Confronting Poverty: Weak States and U.S. National Security

Brookings Institution Press
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Former Brookings Senior Fellow Susan E. Rice spearheads an investigation of the connections between poverty and fragile states and the implications for American security. Coedited by Rice and former Brookings colleagues Corinne Graff and Carlos Pascual, Confronting Poverty is a timely reminder that alleviating global poverty and shoring up weak states are not only humanitarian and economic imperatives, but key components of a more balanced and sustainable U.S. national security strategy.

Rice elucidates the relationship between poverty, state weakness, and transnational security threats, and Graff and Pascual offer policy recommendations. The book's overarching conclusions highlight the need to invest in poverty alleviation and capacity building in weak states in order to break the vicious cycle of poverty, fragility, and transnational threats.

Confronting Poverty grows out of a project on global poverty and U.S. national security that Rice directed at Brookings from 2002 through January 2009, before she became U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.

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About the author

Susan E. Rice was a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies and Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution from 2002 to 2009. From 1997 to 2001, she was the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs. In 2009, she left Brookings to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Corinne Graff was a fellow in Foreign Policy Studies and Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution. She holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Carlos Pascual was vice president and director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. Before joining Brookings he served on the National Security Council, as coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization at the State Department, and as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Since August 2009, he has been serving as U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Jun 1, 2010
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Pages
244
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ISBN
9780815704355
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Economic Development
Political Science / Political Freedom
Political Science / Security (National & International)
Social Science / Poverty & Homelessness
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Energy security has become a top priority issue for the United States and countries around the globe, but what does the term "energy security" really mean? For many it is assuring the safe supply and transport of energy as a matter of national security. For others it is developing and moving toward sustainable and low-carbon energy sources to avoid environmental catastrophe, while still others prioritize affordability and abundance of supply. The demand for energy has ramifications in every part of the globe—from growing demand in Asia, to the pursuit of reserves in Latin America and Africa, to the increased clout of energy-producing states such as Russia and Iran. Yet the fact remains that the vast majority of global energy production still comes from fossil fuels, and it will take a thorough understanding of the interrelationships of complex challenges—finite supply, environmental concerns, political and religious conflict, and economic volatility—to develop policies that will lead to true energy security. In E nergy Security, Brookings scholars present a realistic, cross-disciplinary look at the American and global quests for energy security within the context of these geopolitical, economic, and environmental challenges. For example, political analysts Pietro Nivola and Erin Carter wrap their arms around just what is means to be "energy independent" and whether that is an advisable or even feasible goal. Suzanne Maloney addresses "Energy Security in the Persian Gulf: Opportunities and Challenges," while economist Jason Bordoff and energy analyst Bryan Mignone trace the links between climate policies and energy-access policies. Carlos Pascual and his colleagues examine delicate geopolitical issues. Assuring long-term energy security remains one of the industrialized world's most pressing priorities, but steps in that direction have been controversial and often dangerous, and results thus far have been tenuous. In this insightful volume, Brookings assesses exactly what we're talking about, what it means in several contexts, and where we go from here.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Today the United States has little leverage to promote change in Cuba. Indeed, Cuba enjoys normal relations with virtually every country in the world, and American attempts to isolate the Cuban government have served only to elevate its symbolic predicament as an "underdog" in the international arena. A new policy of engagement toward Cuba is long overdue. —From the Introduction

As longtime U.S. diplomats Vicki Huddleston and Carlos Pascual make painfully clear in their introduction, the United States is long overdue in rethinking its policy toward Cuba. This is a propitious time for such an undertaking—the combination of change within Cuba and in the Cuban American community creates the most significant opening for a reassessment of U.S. policy since Fidel Castro took control in 1959. To that end, Huddleston and Pascual convened opinion leaders in the Cuban American community, leading scholars, and international diplomats from diverse backgrounds and political orientations to seek common ground on U.S. policy toward Cuba. This pithy yet authoritative analysis is the result.

In the quest for ideas that would support the emergence of a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Cuba—one in which the Cuban people shape their political and economic future—the authors conducted a series of simulations to identify the critical factors that the U.S. government should consider as it reformulates its Cuba policies. The advisers' wide-ranging expertise was applied to a series of hypothetical scenarios in which participants tested how different U.S. policy responses would affect a political transition in Cuba.

By modeling and analyzing the decisionmaking processes of the various strategic actors and stakeholders, the simulations identified factors that might influence the success or failure of specific policy options. They then projected how key actors such as the Cuban hierarchy, civil society, and the international and Cuban American communities might act and react to internal and external events that would logically be expected to occur in the near future.

The lessons drawn from these simulations led to the unanimous conclusion that the United States should adopt a proactive policy of critical and constructive engagement toward Cuba.

WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE GENERAL NON-FICTION 

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness
"The aim of the Managing Global Insecurity project is to launch a reform effort of the global security system in 2009. That task is both ambitious and urgent.... The time to act is now."—from the Foreword by Javier Solana

The twenty-first century will be defined by security threats unconstrained by borders—from economic instability, climate change, and nuclear proliferation to conflict, poverty, terrorism, and disease. The greatest test of global leadership will be building partnerships and institutions for cooperation that can meet the challenge. Power and Responsibility describes how American leadership can rebuild international order to promote global security and prosperity for today's transnational world.

Power & Responsibility establishes a new foundation for international security: "responsible sovereignty," or the notion that sovereignty entails obligations and duties toward other states as well as one's own citizens. Governments must cooperate across borders to safeguard common resources and tackle common threats.

Power & Responsibility argues that in order to advance its own interests, the United States must learn to govern in an interdependent world, exercise leadership through cooperation, and create new institutions with today's traditional and emerging powers. The result of a collaborative project on Managing Global Insecurity, the book also reflects the MGI project's global dialogue—extensive consultations in the United States and in regions around the world as well as discussions with the MGI project's Advisory Group, composed of prominent U.S. and international figures.

"The 2008 financial crisis has brought our global interconnectedness close to home. But economic insecurity is just one concern. Power and Responsibility provides a road map for building effective policies and legitimate global institutions to tackle today's suite of transnational challenges."—Kemal Dervis, administrator, UN Development Program

Today the United States has little leverage to promote change in Cuba. Indeed, Cuba enjoys normal relations with virtually every country in the world, and American attempts to isolate the Cuban government have served only to elevate its symbolic predicament as an "underdog" in the international arena. A new policy of engagement toward Cuba is long overdue. —From the Introduction

As longtime U.S. diplomats Vicki Huddleston and Carlos Pascual make painfully clear in their introduction, the United States is long overdue in rethinking its policy toward Cuba. This is a propitious time for such an undertaking—the combination of change within Cuba and in the Cuban American community creates the most significant opening for a reassessment of U.S. policy since Fidel Castro took control in 1959. To that end, Huddleston and Pascual convened opinion leaders in the Cuban American community, leading scholars, and international diplomats from diverse backgrounds and political orientations to seek common ground on U.S. policy toward Cuba. This pithy yet authoritative analysis is the result.

In the quest for ideas that would support the emergence of a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Cuba—one in which the Cuban people shape their political and economic future—the authors conducted a series of simulations to identify the critical factors that the U.S. government should consider as it reformulates its Cuba policies. The advisers' wide-ranging expertise was applied to a series of hypothetical scenarios in which participants tested how different U.S. policy responses would affect a political transition in Cuba.

By modeling and analyzing the decisionmaking processes of the various strategic actors and stakeholders, the simulations identified factors that might influence the success or failure of specific policy options. They then projected how key actors such as the Cuban hierarchy, civil society, and the international and Cuban American communities might act and react to internal and external events that would logically be expected to occur in the near future.

The lessons drawn from these simulations led to the unanimous conclusion that the United States should adopt a proactive policy of critical and constructive engagement toward Cuba.

"The aim of the Managing Global Insecurity project is to launch a reform effort of the global security system in 2009. That task is both ambitious and urgent.... The time to act is now."—from the Foreword by Javier Solana

The twenty-first century will be defined by security threats unconstrained by borders—from economic instability, climate change, and nuclear proliferation to conflict, poverty, terrorism, and disease. The greatest test of global leadership will be building partnerships and institutions for cooperation that can meet the challenge. Power and Responsibility describes how American leadership can rebuild international order to promote global security and prosperity for today's transnational world.

Power & Responsibility establishes a new foundation for international security: "responsible sovereignty," or the notion that sovereignty entails obligations and duties toward other states as well as one's own citizens. Governments must cooperate across borders to safeguard common resources and tackle common threats.

Power & Responsibility argues that in order to advance its own interests, the United States must learn to govern in an interdependent world, exercise leadership through cooperation, and create new institutions with today's traditional and emerging powers. The result of a collaborative project on Managing Global Insecurity, the book also reflects the MGI project's global dialogue—extensive consultations in the United States and in regions around the world as well as discussions with the MGI project's Advisory Group, composed of prominent U.S. and international figures.

"The 2008 financial crisis has brought our global interconnectedness close to home. But economic insecurity is just one concern. Power and Responsibility provides a road map for building effective policies and legitimate global institutions to tackle today's suite of transnational challenges."—Kemal Dervis, administrator, UN Development Program

Energy security has become a top priority issue for the United States and countries around the globe, but what does the term "energy security" really mean? For many it is assuring the safe supply and transport of energy as a matter of national security. For others it is developing and moving toward sustainable and low-carbon energy sources to avoid environmental catastrophe, while still others prioritize affordability and abundance of supply. The demand for energy has ramifications in every part of the globe—from growing demand in Asia, to the pursuit of reserves in Latin America and Africa, to the increased clout of energy-producing states such as Russia and Iran. Yet the fact remains that the vast majority of global energy production still comes from fossil fuels, and it will take a thorough understanding of the interrelationships of complex challenges—finite supply, environmental concerns, political and religious conflict, and economic volatility—to develop policies that will lead to true energy security. In E nergy Security, Brookings scholars present a realistic, cross-disciplinary look at the American and global quests for energy security within the context of these geopolitical, economic, and environmental challenges. For example, political analysts Pietro Nivola and Erin Carter wrap their arms around just what is means to be "energy independent" and whether that is an advisable or even feasible goal. Suzanne Maloney addresses "Energy Security in the Persian Gulf: Opportunities and Challenges," while economist Jason Bordoff and energy analyst Bryan Mignone trace the links between climate policies and energy-access policies. Carlos Pascual and his colleagues examine delicate geopolitical issues. Assuring long-term energy security remains one of the industrialized world's most pressing priorities, but steps in that direction have been controversial and often dangerous, and results thus far have been tenuous. In this insightful volume, Brookings assesses exactly what we're talking about, what it means in several contexts, and where we go from here.
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