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Open Think Tank Articles

August 30, 2012 | The EU Frontier: Policy Implications at the Spanish Border

Alice Pannier: Spain’s illegal immigration policies, especially those towards boat people, indicate a re-imagination of its borders as the greater EU frontier. These policies underline a rhetorical gap in EU border discourse—a gap full with ethical and legal challenges that must be addressed before effective policies come about.

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July 16, 2012 | Your Ideas, Your NATO: A Look Back This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: Our 2012 policy workshop competition featured many fantastic articles from our members, produced great Atlantic Memos and received enthusiastic feedback from decision makers! Editor-in-Chief Joerg Wolf takes a look back at the five months of “Your Ideas, Your NATO” in this new video.

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June 14, 2012 | The Future of Berber Languages After the Arab Spring

Vikas Kumar: The Arab Spring brought hope to many, especially minorities in North Africa. The Berbers are one of the largest minority groups in the region. The long struggle for recognition of their language and culture may finally be succeeding. There is still work left to do though.

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May 16, 2012 | The Dangers of "Stability": A Rebuttal to Atlantic Memo 39

Andrea Teti: Western governments need to recognize that authoritarian regimes are often fierce but not strong; that privatization is rarely the road to liberalization, much less democratization; and that Islamism was as wrong-footed by the uprisings as they were.

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May 14, 2012 | Responding to the Arab Spring: NATO and Its Partners

Editorial Team: The additional articles from the second category of “Your Ideas, Your NATO” have been merged into a single “Your Opinion” piece. A recurring theme was that NATO must build civil-military relations and an intercultural youth dialogue, as well as undertake good governance and rule of law initiatives in order to support the long-term transition process underway in partner countries.

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April 3, 2012 | Partners in Democracy, Partners in Security: NATO and the Arab Spring

Memo 39: New challenges require new partnerships. NATO must reach out to countries in North Africa by restructuring the Mediterranean Dialogue and partnering with other institutional actors to offer comprehensive assistance aimed at building democratic institutions.

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March 19, 2012 | Your Ideas, Your NATO: Partnerships after the Arab Spring

Editorial Team: In the second theme week from our current policy workshop, we focus on NATO’s partnerships in North Africa and the Middle East. How can NATO best interact with the new governments forming in the wake of the Arab Spring and what should its role be in furthering security in the region? Read our young writers’ top ideas!

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March 18, 2012 | NATO's Future Role: Promoting Transatlantic Values

Karsten M. Jung: Sixty years after its foundation, the aspirations of the Arab Spring show that NATO’s values are as relevant as they have ever been. Events in the Middle East also indicate, however, that the Alliance’s role in their pursuit has to change from merely defending to actively promoting these values.

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March 18, 2012 | Rule of Law: Foundations for Governments New and Old

Robert James Hurd: As developing nations seek to improve their status at home and abroad, the focus must be on improve the Rule of Law, NATO ought to use its members’ expertise and experience to support efforts in developing nations to establish a Rule of Law in order to support long-term partnerships and stability.

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March 18, 2012 | How NATO Can Contribute to Regional Stabilization in the Middle East

Dmitriy Burov: The 2011 Arab spring engendered a hotbed of instability in the region. NATO, as an effective political organization, has huge potential for bringing peace and order to the Middle East and North Africa through initiating a number of the steps listed below.

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June 21, 2011 | NATO and the Arab Spring This Article contains Flash-Video

Anders Fogh Rasmussen: The international community has to ensure that the Arab Spring does not turn into a bleak winter. In Libya the question is not if Qadhafi goes, but when. NATO can help North Africa and the Middle East with its democratic transition - complementing support from other international actors, particularly the European Union and the United Nations.

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April 13, 2011 | Arab Spring: The West's Chance for a Fresh Start

Memo 30: Focusing on societal engagement, economic reform, and military confidence building, we should break with our questionable past and respond to the Arab uprisings by taking bold action to improve our reputation.

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February 3, 2011 | How to Respond to the Revolutionary Wave

Ioan Mircea Paşcu: Nobody can predict what the ultimate outcome of uprisings across North Africa will be. Nevertheless, a coherent response to turmoil in the region is required from Europe. Failure to contain unrest could see revolts spreading southward which would further strain the resource balance in the global economy.

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January 19, 2011 | Al Qaeda's War of Succession in the Maghreb

Olivier Guitta: Al-Qaeda has been raising its profile in North East Africa recently, mainly due to lucrative kidnappings of Westerners. However, a power struggle among various different offshoots in the region is at play. The consequences of this war of succession could threaten to destabilize the surrounding area.

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January 19, 2011 | Western Sahara's Polisario: Crime and Terrorism

Antonin Tisseron: The connection between crime and terrorism within the Polisario Front, Western Sahara’s rebel national liberation movement, is becoming increasingly clear. Moreover, there is also increasing evidence of Al-Qaeda involvement in the organization.

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January 1, 2011 | The Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East and North Africa

Olivier Guitta: There is intense debate among political leaders and government officials in Washington and Brussels on how to handle the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). A strategy of engaging the MB has recently been gaining currency.

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March 24, 2009 | Stubborn Authoritarianism: Lessons for Central Asia

Rob Steer: There is an assumption that liberal democracy is the result of all political systems, despite detours they have taken along the way. However, the creation of regime types do not necessarily follow a simple trajectory

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Global Must Read Articles

August 22, 2011 | "What Will Free Libya Look Like?"

The conflict in Libya has reached “zero hour”. ++ As rebels infiltrate Tripoli and celebrate Gaddafi’s imminent surrender, the “forward-thinking” Transitional National Council makes plans for post-conflict stabilization. ++ The most important task for the TNC is to ensure that all regions of Libya are adequately represented in the new government, whose seat could be moved

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February 28, 2011 | Oil Shock: 2011

Moammar Gadhafi, Libya’s erstwhile leader has begun sabotaging oil facilities in an effort to sow chaos. ++ Despite an increase in Saudi production to make up the shortfall, oil analysts are worried about what will happen in the mid term, as the writing is on the wall for many regimes across the region. ++ As we have seen, reform is often a catalyst for revolution rather than a substitute for it.

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February 7, 2011 | Egypt: Tweet for Freedom

Despite Mubarak’s internet blackout, Google has teamed up with Twitter to offer a service which allows Egyptians to have their voices heard offline. ++ Google’s “digital lifebuoy” does not need Internet access to function; users call a dedicated number and leave a voice mail, which is then translated and automatically displayed on Twitter. ++ Restricting internet access is now considered to be

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January 31, 2011 | Arab States: A Quagmire of Tyranny

“Arabs are rebelling not just against decrepit autocrats but the foreign backers who kept them in power.” ++ Years of rule across the Arab world by faceless autocrats and ruthless generals, supported in many cases by the West, have caused entire populations to identify little with their own States. ++ The result has been a turning inwards toward narrow sectarian identities. ++ If it were not for

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January 20, 2011 | Tunisian Revolution Sparks Reforms Not Revolts

Tunisia’s “jasmine revolution” is unlikely to lead to other revolts in the Middle East, but it may well set in motion a movement for greater political reform. ++ Events in Tunis shattered the myth that Arabs are too downtrodden to rise against their oppressors. ++ In today’s Middle East, a large number of youth are well educated and have high expectations. ++ Through social networks

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January 17, 2011 | Tunisia Heralds Change in Arab World

The ongoing Tunisian drama will be seen in retrospect like the Solidarity movement in Poland, as it marks the beginning of a slow process of change throughout the Arab world. ++ By standing up to their dictatorial leadership, Tunisians will almost certainly inspire renewed agitation for change in many sectors of Arab society. ++ “We have just witnessed the first stirring, genuine signs of an Arab

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June 25, 2010 | Morocco: Press under Pressure

A government campaign against journalists in Morocco provides ominous signs of rising autocratic sentiment among the country’s elite. ++ Journalists fear that the government is “attracted by the Tunesian model” of curtailing press freedom. ++ Journalists face prosecution based on trumped-up charges. ++ A human rights association allegedly sympathetic to the separatist cause of the Western

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May 6, 2009 | Stability in North Africa: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Unlike
the countries on the Horn or in Central Africa, countries in North
Africa radiate stability. The rate of economic growth is on
average 5-6%. Abounding energy supplies and cooperation in the war on terror
have led to close partnerships with Europe and the US. But appearances can be deceiving.
In Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia
and Libya
socio-economic as wells as political tensions

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October 6, 2008 | What Hinders Economic Growth in the Middle East?

Economically speaking,
Arab states have developed at a strikingly slower pace in the last 20 years
than most other regions in the world. This is particularly true for the Arab Mediterranean, including Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and
Morocco, which have failed to capitalize on their especially advantageous
geo-strategic position “at the crossroads of three continents, with

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September 7, 2011 | Dr. Lucke, it is not my belief that anyone...

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