Supporting Democracy in the Middle East: Tools and Strategy
October 5 – December 7
Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
1820 Jefferson Pl. NW, Washington, DC 20036
Focus of the Course:
This course will examine the tools and strategies available to U.S. policymakers for encouraging genuine democratic progress, the links between these tools in theory and practice, and the process of policymaking from budgeting to decisions to execution. Its aim is to equip participants to navigate and influence various instruments of US policy relevant to democracy support.
The first section of the course will explore two central tools of U.S. policy, public rhetoric and diplomacy before moving to discuss the interagency process. Next, we will focus on democracy assistance, including both the budgetary process and the tools that deliver U.S. democracy-related aid. In the 9th session, we will take into account the broader field of actors, including foreign sources of aid. Our final session will be a moderated discussion intended to help participants synthesize the issues covered over the previous nine weeks and draw conclusions for U.S. policy.
The course will be led by POMED staff, but lectures will be delivered by leading experts from academic institutions, think tanks, and related organizations. Lecturers will have both a theoretical understanding of their subjects and a practical knowledge of U.S. policy.
Participants are free to attend as many or as few lectures as they choose; however, to maximize the benefit of the course and to enhance the quality of discussion, we highly encourage participants to attend every lecture.
Participants may opt to receive a grade. If so, the grade will be based on a) participation in class discussions during the first 9 weeks (25%), b) participation in the final class discussion on week 10 (25%), and c) the quality of a short final paper (50%). The final paper will require participants to synthesize material from the course and draw recommendations for U.S. policymakers in the form of a 5-page memo.
Suggested readings for each week are available below. Participants will benefit most from the course if they complete the suggested readings prior to class and engage fully in class discussion.
- Public statements (October 5) – Heather Hurlburt
- Diplomacy (October 12) -David Adesnik
- The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) (October 19) – Eric Bjornlund
- From Appropriations to Programs: USAID (October 26) – Paige Alexander
- The Congressional Appropriations Process (November 2) – Jim Kolbe
- From Appropriations to Programs: MEPI and DRL (November 9) – Scott Carpenter
- MCC (November 16) – Rodney Bent
- Interagency coordination and dueling priorities (November 23) – Michele Dunne
- Other Actors (foreign and multilateral funding sources) (November 30) – Thomas Melia
- Supporting Democracy in the Middle East: Tools and Strategy (December 7) – Thomas Carothers