12-21Editors' Note: Over the past decade the world has been rocked by earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes on a seemingly endless pattern of destruction. From villagers in Haiti to businessmen in Japan, the Earth's population has watched as-within the blink of an eye-lives have ended, families have been torn apart, and whole communities have taken massive hits to their morale. Yet these tragic events broke the hearts of millions across the globe, another phenomenon has revealed itself among the rubble. Out of hope for a more promising future, possibilities for recovery arose from even the most drastic circumstances. Now, more than ever, the resilience exhibited by those who have been weakened by disaster has allowed them to bounce back and prove their true strength to themselves and to the world. Resilience examines resilience from a diverse set of political, economic, and social perspectives. We invite you to enjoy this theme as well as the cutting-edge international affairs analysis included in the other sections of the Journal.

– Michael McKeon & Imani Tate

Forum: Resilience

Resilience in communities around the world can be found in a multitude of contexts. This issue’s Forum delves into the varied experiences and events that have shaped what it means to be resilient in today’s society and what it takes to restore normalcy after periods of crisis.

  • Post-Conflict Resilience:The Liberian Experience by D. Elwood Dunn | 
  • Fighting for the Right: Community Participation in Latin American Post-Transitional Democracies by Manuel Orozco and Beatriz Slooten | 
  • Repression, Resistance, and Resilience in Tibet by Michael C. Davis | 
  • Survival and Prospects for Peace: Refugee Communities in Chad by Randy Newcomb | 
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization : A Study in Institutional Resilience by Brian Sayers | 
  • Disaster Risk Reduction: U.S. Responses to the 2005 Earthquake and 2010 Floods in Pakistan by Mark Ward | 

Politics & Diplomacy

Rwanda is a de facto one-party state where the ruling party maintains a façade of legitimacy through a sham electoral process. The country’s turbulent past has given rise to a tense, and at times, violent political environment. The international community must develop a comprehensive strategy with the people of Rwanda to establish a legitimate and functioning democratic process.

Following the monumental events in the country at the beginning of the year, the author examines the political landscape of a post-Mubarak Egypt. The military continues to play a central role in government, and the Muslim Brotherhood has risen as the most powerful political movement in the country. However, the transition to democracy will be the key to lasting stability in the country. Egyptians must consider the structure and institutions that are needed for a proper democracy to function.

Conflict & Security

The controversial nature of U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan is a symbol of the distrustful relationship between the two countries that has persisted for decades. The author addresses the effects, legality, and implications of these attacks in Pakistan’s FATA region, where a number of terrorist organizations have found refuge.

Culture & Society

  • Crisis Aftershocks and European Welfare State Futures by Anton Hemerijck | 

While the current financial crisis has proved a challenge for the European welfare states, it need not destroy them if policymakers can create a vision for a new social policy more suited to a changing and increasingly globalized world.

Law & Ethics

  • Repatriating Justice: New Trends in Stolen Asset Recovery and Fighting Corruption by Mark V. Vlasic and Greg Cooper | 

Historically, recovering financial assets stolen by corrupt leaders such as Haiti’s Jean-Claude Duvalier has been very difficult. Although challenges remain, a combination of efforts by key nations such as the United States and Switzerland, as well as a renewed focus on the issue by international institutions have created some momentum in recovering these assets.

Business & Economics

The Financial Crisis has emphasized the need for a radical change in the governance of global financial institutions. With help from the G20, the IMF changed from a moribund and almost penurious body to a competitor for global preeminence as global financial rule-maker, reviewer, and implementer. For IMF governance, the financial crisis had the effect of removing any democratic façade, revealing the realities of realpolitik decision-making. Discontent from the financial crisis persists, however, and rumors of new power principles warrant analysis and support.

  • Converging Africa: The 21st Century Development Dilemma by Rosa Whitaker |

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the cornerstone of a U.S. policy that seeks, through a market-based approach, to integrate Africa into the global economy. Over the past ten years, AGOA has made tangible contributions on the continent and has helped to shift the global discussion from Africa as aid-dependent to Africa as a destination for investment. Capitalizing on Africa’s opportunities and momentum requires policy tools acutely tuned to private sector needs.

Science & Technology

  • China is My Backyard: China's Environmental Degradation in a Global Context by Darrin Magee | 

China’s environmental degradation and resultant human health impacts are embedded in global political and economic cycles. There is an urgent need to minimize the release of noxious byproducts of manufacturing and de-manufacturing into the environment. This will likely only be achieved by the coordinated efforts of Chinese authorities to tighten regulations and strengthen enforcement, by the demands of corporations for higher standards along their supply chains, and by the demands of consumers via purchasing decisions for manufacturers to prioritize environmental and health concerns.

View from the Ground

  • Weirdos and Old Men by Melinda Reyes | 

Turkey might seem monolithically Muslim from the outside, but there is great diversity among the religious, and a wide spread of opinions regarding religion among the general population.

  • Calls for Reform: Challenges to Saudi Arabia's Education System by Karen Courington and Vanessa Zuabi | 

Education in Saudi Arabia faces a twofold challenge. The weak existing education system creates a serious mismatch between skills and demand for domestic workers. Moreover, the religious, clerical, and societal forces hinder educational advancement. These problems must be solved in the interest of reform if Saudi Arabia is to avoid the youth unrest and instability that has plagued its neighbors.

A Look Back

  • Inside an Embassy: Perspectives from a U.S. Ambassador by James Jeffrey | 

James Jeffrey talks about his experiences as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, as well as the U.S. missions in these countries, Turkey, and the European Union, progress and development in Iraq, and relations among countries in the region.

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