Strategic Foreign Assistance

Strategic Foreign Assistance

Civil Society in International Security

Authors: A. Lawrence Chickering, Isobel Coleman, P. Edward Haley, Emily Vargas-Baron
ISBN: 978-0-8179-4712-5
Publication Date: 6/9/2006
Pages: 142

Stopping terrorism at its source The emergence of global terrorism has created a new reality in national and international security. Governments and peoples must come together to encourage economic, political, legal, and social change within weak societies in which terrorists take refuge and to assist deadlocked governments in overcoming the explosive legacies of religious and ethnic conflict. In Strategic Foreign Assistance the authors show that, to do this, the United States must develop a strategic international cooperation and assistance policy that fosters strong civil societies.

The book details the key role that civil society organizations (CSOs) could play in mitigating the conditions that promote terrorists and terrorism. The authors reveal how CSOs can help nations overcome internal conflicts by attacking the roots of violence and empowering people directly affected by the conflict to develop culturally appropriate strategies to pacify violent regions. They explain the value of informal society-based, nonstate initiatives—including initiatives aimed at religious leaders—in recruiting a country's citizens in the efforts for peace. And they show how CSOs can help accomplish strategic objectives for promoting social development and changing state policies in such critical areas as economic and educational policy reform, empowerment of women, property rights for the poor, and other vital areas.

A. Lawrence Chickering is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Isobel Coleman is a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy and director of the Women and U.S. Foreign Policy Program of the Council on Foreign Relations. P. Edward Haley is the Wm. M. Keck Professor of International Strategic Studies at Claremont-McKenna College. Emily Vargas-Baron directs the Institute for Reconstruction and International Security through Education.

"This is a profound and greatly useful exposition on a critical question yet strangely unexamined: how to use civil society to advance strategic objectives abroad, especially when government-to-government relations are incapable of moving adversaries away from conflict. The approach is useful and challenging and original, at once profoundly conservative and yet bound to be deeply appealing without regard to party to the most perceptive of those responsible for American foreign policy." --William F. Buckley Jr.

"Strategic Foreign Assistance deftly highlights the ways in which individuals and civil society can and must be empowered when governments are paralyzed and unable to act and the stakes are too high for inaction. It should be welcomed and studied by all who seek to understand how nongovernmental forces can serve as a leading force for peace, prosperity, and progress in the twenty-first century." --Lee H. Hamilton, director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and former vice-chair, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission)

"This book will appeal to all people who are concerned with foreign policy and foreign aid strategies regardless of party. Seeking to strengthen the role of civil society organizations is not a left or right proposition but a thoughtful and practical approach to development and security." —William P. Fuller, former president of the Asia Foundation

"This excellent book offers innovative ideas for engaging and supporting civil society, and enabling it to play a leading role in promoting social and political reform and economic development in the future." —Radwan A. Masmoudi, president, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy, Washington D.C.

"Strategic Foreign Assistance is the most encouraging integration of development strategy and civil society building within a track two diplomacy framework that I have ever seen." —Joseph V. Montville, diplomat in residence, Center for Global Peace, American University

"This thoughtful book suggests a strategy for success in helping civil society organizations address critical problems in regions where the American government is mistrusted." —Joseph S. Nye Jr. is distinguished service professor at Harvard and author of Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics.

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A. Lawrence Chickering

A. Lawrence Chickering is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.



Emily Vargas-Baron

Emily Vargas-Baron directs the Institute for Reconstruction and International Security through Education.



Isobel Coleman

Isobel Coleman is a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy and director of the Women and U.S. Foreign Policy Program of the Council on Foreign Relations.



P. Edward Haley

P. Edward Haley is the Wm. M. Keck Professor of International Strategic Studies at Claremont-McKenna College. 



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