Global Peace & Security Archive

Talking with Assad: an End in Itself? A Response to Phil Gordon

Triggered by Russia’s push to turn the military tide in Syria in Assad’s favor, Washington D.C. is currently seeing renewed debates about the need to revise the administration’s Syria policy. Prominent voices, such as former White House Coordinator for the Middle East Phil Gordon, have advocated for striving for a negotiated interim solution in Syria that defers the question of Assad’s fate. Bente Scheller, hbs office director in Lebanon, addresses some of the underlying myths and arguments shaping the current debate.  

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation of North America are pleased to announce the release of a new publication, The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa. U.S. support for democracy, governance, and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa is needed now more than ever.


Germany should support a ban on nuclear weapons

The five-yearly Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is taking place from April 27 to May 22, 2015. In order to increase pressure for nuclear disarmament and to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, nuclear weapons need to be banned under international law.

Foreign Fighters - The Perils and Perks of Western Policy Responses

The recent Charlie Hebdo attacks have raised the level of alert about the security threat foreign fighters might pose to their home countries upon their return from Syria and Iraq. Rudine Emrich, trainee at the Heinrich Boell Foundation, assesses Western governments’ policy responses to violent extremism thus far and highlights what risks and opportunities different policy approaches might harbor.

The United States, Turkey, and the Kurdish Regions: The Peace Process in Context

A collaboration of the Center for American Progress and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

The past four years have swept away the old pillars of U.S. policy toward the Eastern Mediterranean. For the United States and Turkey, the rapidly changing political situation in Syria and Iraq underpins the need for new partners with whom to work toward regional stability and the provision of basic governance. This reality necessitates a re-evaluation of U.S. policy toward Kurdish political groups and a reinvigoration of Turkey’s peace process with its own Kurdish minority.

Assessing Iran's Role in the Middle East

The Iran Advisory Group convened its 10th meeting on May 30, 2014 in Beirut, Lebanon. The seminar shed some light on the impact the domestic dynamics under President Rouhani have on Iran’s regional policy agenda.

Transitional Justice

Until now, transitional justice has, in many places, failed to address gender dimensions but increasingly so the issues of inequality, hierarchies and violence patterns. This study details these problems and presents the resulting challenges facing politicians and society.

Afghan Women Visioning 2024

Afghan women have brought together a very personal account of achievements they have made over the last decade and they have lined out their interest in how the transformation decade beyond 2014 should look like for Afghan women.

[VIDEO] Growing Opposition to President Hassan Rouhani: Is the Honeymoon Ending?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seeing escalating public criticism from Iran's conservative factions, once seemingly stifled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Will Rouhani's presidency follow in the footsteps of the Mohammad Khatami era? HBS and the Stimson Center hosted a panel discussion on the shifting internal political dynamics in Iran.

Perspectives: Political Analysis and Commentary from Africa

Perspectives is a publication series of the Africa offices of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. With this series, we intend to let experts from Africa express their views about current political issues in their region. Perspectives focuses on Southern- , East- and West Africa where the foundation has established offices.

U.S. Says Nuclear Security Work Remains

United States has decided to host a nuclear security summit in 2016, which would be the fourth such meeting to strengthen and deepen the "existing nuclear security architecture" before the summit process ends. Although a July 2013 ministerial-level conference on the topic played an important role in strengthening and institutionalizing nuclear security, the White House does not deem progress in this area to be sufficient for the summit process to end.

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014

This report, authored by POMED's Executive Director Stephen McInerey and Advocacy Director Cole Bockenfeld, offers a detailed look at U.S. funding and assistance for democracy and governance in the Middle East, the congressional appropriations process, and implications for U.S. policy in the Middle East during a turbulent time.

Winning the Power of Information: How Assad Defines the Facts

Bashar al-Assad’s regime depends on an extensive propaganda machine for its political survival. This has had a tremendous impact on the Syrian conflict, dividing the international community and helping to discredit the opposition. Despite there being hardly a place in Syria in which the regime rules unchallenged, Damascus has largely won the power of information: the ability to define facts in this war.


What Can the European Union Do in Syria? - Foreign & Security Policy

As a follow-up to the closed workshop "The responsibility to protect in Syria - What can the European Union do?" organized by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union and Dutch peace organization IKV Pax Christi on 5th of December 2012, this joint policy paper focuses on what could be done by the EU in Syria.

Afghanistan's Transition in the Making

Afghanistan represents a very particular case of military intervention-cum-state-building-cum-democratization. Afghan women parliamentarians and civil society actors have positioned themselves against a complete withdrawal of the international community by 2014.

Climate - Migration - Security

Growing evidence of links between climate change, migration, and conflict raise plenty of reasons for concern and it’s time to start thinking about new answers to these multifaceted crisis scenarios. - New report on Climate Change, Migration, and Conflict in South Asia!

Closure of the Heinrich Böll Foundation office in Ethiopia

The Heinrich Böll Foundation will close its office in Ethiopia at the end of 2012. The current political and legal situation in the country is such that the Foundation is unable to carry out its work in a politically sustainable and practicable manner. We can no longer fulfil our mission of working with local partners to support democracy, gender justice and sustainable development.

[VIDEO] Understanding Iranian Public Opinion

In the midst of bombastic rhetoric exchanged among Iran, Israel, and Western states over the nuclear issue, Iranian public opinion is seldom heard on topics such as the nuclear program, international sanctions, and a potential military strike. Where do the Iranian people stand? Watch the discussion of Iranian Public Opinion hosted by HBF and the Stimson Center.

Sudan after Separation - New Approaches to a New Region

Hardly a year has passed since Sudan split in two. For much of the time, both sides have been embroiled in conflict. The authors lay out new approaches to a new region, providing guidance to understand the complex political realities of the two Sudans, and point out areas where constructive international engagement is possible.

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013

This fifth annual report offers a detailed look at the U.S. administration's approach to funding and providing assistance to support democracy and governance in the Middle East and North Africa. As some countries in the region embark on political transitions and others continue to protest authoritarian rule, it is important to examine changes in U.S. funding for the Middle East and the impact on Washington’s relations with the region.

International Security Guarantees on the Way to a Permanent Agreement on a Two-State-Solution Israel / Palestine

From mid-2010 to mid-2011 a working group of Israeli and Palestinian security experts developed concrete proposals and practical steps for international security guarantees in the case of a two state solution between Israel and Palestine. This work was undertaken at the invitation of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. The group presents their recommendations at several events in Berlin, Brussels and Washington, DC.

Syria's Revolution: Society, Power, Ideology

It is almost a year ago that Syrian citizens, inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, courageously took to the streets in protest against the decades-long denial of their basic rights by the Assad regime.

Dangerous Journey. Migration through the Transit Land Mexico

The discovery of 72 killed migrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas in August 2011 was a tragic event that accelerated and enhanced public awareness for the problem of severe human rights violations toward migrants in Mexico. Since then, new cases are continually coming out in the open. The majority of the migrants killed in Mexico are never identified and remain nameless.

Women, Revolution, Politics and Power

During the Arab uprisings, an unprecedented number of women took to the streets, paving the way for a more important role in politics. However, in the transitional period that follows, they now have to fight against their exclusion from the political arena.

The German Mission in Afghanistan

German involvement in Afghanistan did not begin with the attacks of September 11. German humanitarian and development aid existed before the German military intervention – and it will (and must) still be there after the military mission is over.

People's Power - The Arab World in Revolt

The self-immolation of young and jobless Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid, being deprived of his vegetable stand and humiliated by the authorities, triggered popular movements and historic events in the Arab World completely unexpected in their magnitude.

After the Death of Osama bin Laden: Now to Break the Al- Qaeda Franchise

It is young people at the heart of the Arab revolt who are rebelling not for jihad but for freedom and democracy. Nevertheless, bin Laden's death opens up huge opportunities worldwide. President Barack Obama needs to follow up on the promise he made in Cairo, two years ago, when he pledged to build bridges to the Muslim world.

Effects of the Arab Spring

Because the Arab democracy movement is spreading to the Palestinian territories, Fatah and Hamas had to sign a reconciliation agreement in early May.

Ambition and Peril: Nuclear Energy and the Arab World

Should Arab countries with less advanced technological capacities invest in nuclear power that proved uncontrollable in Fukushima, Japan? Activists and policy-makers from the Arab World and Europe critically discuss these and other questions in this report.

Revolutions among the Southern Neighbors

The people of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and also in other countries such as Yemen, Bahrain and Algeria are revolting against encrusted structures. Which direction the movement will take is still open, but one thing has become clear during the last few weeks: Neither the EU nor the EU Member States can claim that the current transition process in Tunisia or Egypt is a direct result of the European democratization policy.

Europe’s New Divide

The European Union ushers in the new year amid the ruins of its foreign policy with regard to Eastern Europe. If the EU wants to be a strategic actor in Eastern Europe, it will have to offer credible accession perspectives to all countries wishing to be a part of democratic Europe.

Jasmine Hope

The Jasmine Revolution has prevailed, and the dictator has fled. The Tunisian people have outlined a new page in their history and the history of the Arab world during this first half of 2011.

Placing Human Rights Violations in Iran on Top of the Foreign Policy Agenda

As more time passes since the disputed June 2009 election in Iran that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, the Iranian regime’s campaign of repression against its own citizens deepens. Now more than ever, the segment of the Iranian population seeking positive change feels depleted and disillusioned. This report focuses on the desires of Iranians who are directly involved in the opposition movement or who support the movement regarding the steps governments should take to pressure Iran on its human rights violations.

Beyond Guantánamo

How to restore the credibility of a country whose foundations and self-understanding are based on the universality of freedom and human rights, but that has violated precisely those rights by practicing torture in Guantánamo and other prisons around the world? Thomas C. Hilde outlines several post-Guantánamo detainee policy proposals – and their difficulties – that address these distinctive sets of issues.

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) has become a centerpiece of the administration's efforts to engage civil society and support democracy in the region. Following a 30% increase in funding in FY10, the new budget requests an additional 32% increase up to $86 million.

Palestine and the Palestinians 60 Years after the "Nakba"

The geographic and social fragmentation of the Palestinian people is essentially a result of the conflict in the Middle East. This topic represents the main focus of our two-day conference with international experts in March 2010. Our dossier provides further information about the conference and the invited experts.

London Conference and Pakistan

In the post-London scenario, caution becomes even more necessary; if the international community wants to try the dialogue option, it shall have to lower the temperature by scaling down combat operations.

Afghanistan on the Eve of the London Conference

Nine years after 9/11 and all the blood and treasure expended on efforts in the region, President Barack Obama told People magazine on January 11 that 'the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan remains the epicenter of al’ Qaeda, their leadership and their extremist allies.

Pakistan - Reality, Denial and the Complexity of its State

December 28, 2009This publication is designed to provide a differentiated view of Pakistan’s complex political processes and social challenges to a broad international audience. Authors from a variety of disciplines present their analyses of Pakistan’s deficits and shortcomings, as well as their ideas and visions for a more democratic and peaceful future.

The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2010

In May, President Obama submitted to Congress the full details of his first budget request, for Fiscal Year 2010.This report offers an in-depth analysis of Obama’s attempts to support democracy, governance, and human rights in the Broader Middle East and North Africa.

What Europe Can Do for Iraq: A Blueprint for Action

President Obama has approached the European Union to become more active in Iraq, and the EU itself has expressed interested to re-engage. But what can, and what should, Europe do? And how shall this be articulated with the American effort?