Publications

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Browse FSI scholarship on geopolitics, global health, energy, cybersecurity and more.

Featured Publications

Struggles for Political Change in the Arab World, edited by Lisa Blaydes, Amr Hamzawy, and Hesham Sallam

Struggles for Political Change in the Arab World

This volume edited by Lisa Blaydes, Amr Hamzawy, and Hesham Sallam explains how politicians, opposition movements, and external actors across the region have adapted in the ten years since the Arab Spring.
Liberalism and Its Discontents by Francis Fukuyama

Liberalism and Its Discontents

It's no secret that liberalism hasn't always lived up to its own ideals. But in this short, clear account, Francis Fukuyama offers an essential defense of a revitalized liberalism for the twenty-first century.
Everything Counts: Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe

Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe

A new report led by Rose Gottemoeller on non-strategic nuclear warhead policies in Europe, particulary in light of Russia's changing status in the global nuclear community.

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Joseph Felter
Journal Articles

Conditional Cash Transfers, Civil Conflict, and Insurgent Influence

Joseph Felter, Benjamin Crost, Patrick Johnston
Journal of Development Economics, 2016 January 26, 2016

Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are an increasingly popular tool for reducing poverty in conflict affected areas. Despite their growing popularity, there is limited evidence on how CCT programs affect conflictand theoretical predictions are ambiguous. We estimate the effect of conditional cash transfers on civil conflict in the Philippines by exploiting an experiment that randomly assigned eligibility for a CCT program at the village level.

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Journal Articles

The Super Smart Way to Dismantle ISIS

Joseph Felter, Joseph Felter
The National Interest, 2015 February 27, 2015

Every week, the Islamic State (ISIS) makes further headlines with its ruthless behavior. Beheadings, mass executions, burnings and extreme acts of brutality are the methods of a terrorist campaign intended to cow opponents and rally potential fighters. At the same time, the group is fighting a guerilla war against Iraqi forces while engaging in more conventional infantry battles against Kurdish Peshmerga and Free Syrian Army cadres. The many tactics of ISIS raises the question: Which type of war are we fighting against?

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Journal Articles

Aid for Peace: Does Money Buy Hearts and Minds?

Joseph Felter
Foreign Affairs, 2015 January 22, 2015

The future of humanitarian assistance and security policy in chaotic places such as Syria and Iraq could rest on a single question: Does aid in conflict zones promote peace or war? It seems intuitive to assume that hunger and exposure push people to violence and that aid should, therefore, lead to peace. This idea has been the bedrock of scores of “hearts and minds” campaigns dating back to the Cold War, which have invested billions of dollars on the principle that assistance can buy compliance and, eventually, peace.

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Working Papers

Iranian Strategy in Iraq: Politics and "Other Means"

Joseph Felter, Brian Fishman
Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 2008 October 13, 2008

Iran has a robust program to exert influence in Iraq in order to limit American power‐projection capability in the Middle East, ensure the Iraqi government does not pose a threat to Iran, and build a reliable platform for projecting influence further abroad. Iran has two primary modes of influence. First, and most importantly, it projects political influence by leveraging close historical relationships with several Shi'a organizations in Iraq: the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), the Badr organization, and the Dawah political party.

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Policy Briefs

Harmony and Disharmony: Exploiting al-Qa'ida's Organizational Vulnerabilities

Colonel Joseph Felter, Jeff Bramlett, Bill Perkins, Jarrett Brachman, Brian Fishman, James Forest, Lianne Kennedy, Jacob N. Shapiro, Tom Stocking
Combating Terrorism Center, United States Military Academy, 2006 February 14, 2006

This study, conducted by the faculty and research fellows of the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point, serves multiple purposes, the most important of which is contributing to the depth of knowledge about the al-Qa'ida movement. Evidence supporting the conclusions and recommendations provided in this report is drawn from a collection of newly-released al-Qa'ida documents captured during recent operations in support of the Global War on Terror and maintained in the Department of Defense's Harmony database.

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Journal Articles

Aid Under Fire: Development Projects and Civil Conflict

Joseph Felter, Benjamin Crost, Patrick Johnson
American Economic Review,

Governments and multi-lateral donor organizations are increasingly targeting development aid to conflict affected areas with the hope that this aid will help government efforts to reduce conflict and stabilize these areas. 

The expectation is that implementing development projects such as roads, schools, and hospitals will increase popular support for the government – effectively  “winning hearts and minds” of the people- and reduce popular support for insurgents making it more difficult for them to recruit rebels and carry out attacks.

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