Saturday News And Views

A Global Agenda For Cities?
Simon Curtis, a fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, suggests that large cities should consider responding to the political paralysis on the national level by advancing their own foreign policy.

“City incursions into global politics reflect instead the growing centrality of cities to an emerging regime of complex global governance beyond the state. Such governance is different from the hierarchical form of political order that underpins the state. It is based much more on horizontal interaction between multiple agencies in civil society. In this regime global cities have a form of network power that resides in their ability to shape agendas, foster transnational collaboration, and bring together a wide variety of actors in civil society to tackle transnational issues of common concern,” he posits.

Good Governance Is Key To Middle East Stability
If the Middle East is to achieve any semblance of stability, the region must focus on improving governance and the US will need to pay more attention to solving long-term socioeconomic and political inefficiencies, argues Perry Cammack of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Commack notes that despite relatively positive economic growth leading up to the Arab Spring in 2010, Arab populations were “among the least content people in the world, frustrated by the shortage of good jobs, the quality of public services, and the lack of government accountability.”

It is the lack of good governance over decades that has contributed to the region’s downward spiral into violence and extremism and has been largely ignored by domestic and international actors.

“The recent history of the Arab world is a reminder that most successful political transformation is evolutionary rather than revolutionary in nature. The process of creating a more stable Middle East is a decades-long project. Brittle political systems should not be expected to change quickly. But the turbulence of today is unlikely to respect the region’s fragile political boundaries,” he laments in conclusion.

Interview With The Man On The Front Lines Against Radical Islam
The Wall Street Journal sat down with Masrour Barzani, the intelligence chief for Syrian Kurds, to discuss how to achieve victory over ISIS and what the Kurdish military will need from the United States to succeed.

Barzani told the BBC last month in the wake of the Paris attacks that it is possible to defeat the Islamic State within a year.

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