Islam and Sharia Law

Islam and Sharia Law. Atlantic Council. Yussef Auf. May 5, 2016.

With the meteoric rise of Islamic political movements in 2011, the issue of Sharia law has come to the forefront of a debate around the role of religion in governance. In the issue brief, Auf identifies and explains the challenges of incorporating Sharia law into the legal framework of modern governments, using the example of Egypt to enumerate the difficulties of codifying religious doctrine into law. Auf discusses how Sharia law attempts to regulate public life in three different domains: political governance, the Islamic legal system, and the economic system. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 920.72 KB]

Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government

Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government. Pew Research Center. November 23, 2015.

A year ahead of the presidential election, the American public is deeply cynical about government, politics and the nation’s elected leaders in a way that has become quite familiar.
Elected officials are held in such low regard that 55% of the public says “ordinary Americans” would do a better job of solving national problems. Yet at the same time, most Americans have a lengthy to-do list for this object of their frustration: Majorities want the federal government to have a major role in addressing issues ranging from terrorism and disaster response to education and the environment. And most Americans like the way the federal government handles many of these same issues, though they are broadly critical of its handling of others – especially poverty and immigration. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 198 pages, 4.11 MB].

Fair Share Scorecard: Ensuring Taxpayers Receive a Fair Share for America’s Public Resources

Fair Share Scorecard: Ensuring Taxpayers Receive a Fair Share for America’s Public Resources. Center for American Progress. Greg Zimmerman et al. August 2015.

President Richard Nixon’s 1973 request that Congress reform federal mining policy—though still unheeded—affirmed a powerful principle that guides U.S. natural resource policy: America’s public lands and waters, and the energy and minerals beneath them, belong to all Americans. It follows that, as owners of these resources, American taxpayers should be entitled to their fair share of the revenues from drilling, mining, logging, and other development that takes place on public lands. In practice, however, the outdated laws and regulations governing energy and natural resource extraction on U.S. public lands provide few protections for the fiscal interests of U.S. taxpayers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 24 pages, 815.7 KB].

EU Politics Could Look to Multiethnic India for Strategies

EU Politics Could Look to Multiethnic India for Strategies. YaleGlobal. Pallavi Aiyar. November 11, 2014.

Visions of a united Europe are under strain as anti-EU parties have made political gains in France, Sweden, the UK and other nations. Although the European Union is often thought of as a “United States of Europe,” journalist Pallavi Aiyar argues that the EU more resembles chaotic India. “India, like the European Union, is the antithesis of the 19th-century European conception of the ‘nation state’ according to which a single religion, a single language and a common enemy, are the only ‘natural’ basis for a sustainable political entity,” she writes. Protracted debate and sluggish consensus building are existential demands for India and Europe, not just some annoying character flaw.” India’s political reliance on large multi-party coalition politics could offer an answer to the challenges facing the EU. Good governance requires a strong political identity, and Aiyar concludes that success for India and the EU could serve as a model for inclusive political configurations worldwide. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

A Sign of Things to Come?

A Sign of Things to Come? Oxfam International. September 19, 2014.

The report identifies cases where extreme weather events exacerbated existing unfavorable conditions, and considers the roles of governance in state and non-state responses to each emergency. The relevance of climate change is also discussed, through an examination of scientific evidence about the influence of human emissions on extreme weather events, and explorative scenario analysis to consider the potential impacts of increased extreme weather severity on food security. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 44 pages, 1.0 MB].

Global Markets, Global Citizens, and Global Governance in the 21st Century

Global Markets, Global Citizens, and Global Governance in the 21st Century. Center for Global Development. Nancy Birdsall et al. June 24, 2013.

The politics, rules, and institutions of cooperation among nations have not kept up with the demands from global citizens for changes in the global political order. Whether norms and policies can make the global politics of managing the global economy more effective, more legitimate, and more responsive to the needs of the bottom half of the world’s population, for whom life remains harsh, remains to be seen. There is some cause for optimism, however: citizens everywhere are becoming more aware of and active in seeking changes in the global norms and rules that could make the global system and the global economy fairer, in processes if not outcomes, and less environmentally harmful. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 61 pages, 947.7 KB].

Government Efficiency And Effectiveness: Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits

Government Efficiency And Effectiveness: Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits. U.S. Government Accountability Office. April 9, 2013.

In summary, GAO’s 2013 annual report identifies 31 new areas where agencies may be able to achieve greater efficiency or effectiveness. Within these 31 areas, GAO identifies 81 actions that the executive branch or Congress could take to address the issues GAO identified. Although it may be appropriate for multiple agencies or entities to be involved in the same programmatic or policy area due to the nature or magnitude of the federal effort, GAO’s report includes 17 areas of fragmentation, overlap, or duplication where multiple programs and activities may be creating inefficiencies. The report also identifies 14 additional areas where opportunities exist to achieve cost savings or enhance revenue collections.

[PDF format, 43 pages, 1003.71 KB].