ExpECON contributor Brock Dahl has penned an op-ed, posted today on the must-read Small Wars Journal, arguing that, to avoid a damaging “transition gap” similar to those that occurred amid regime change in Iraq and Afghanistan, the international community must use its leverage with Libyan rebel forces to ensure that rule of law institutions – police, judiciary and anti-corruption units – are maintained as a new government takes shape.
 

Dahl is the author of the fourth paper in the Kauffman Foundation’s Expeditionary Economics Research Series, "Closing the Transition Gap: The Rule of Law Imperative in Stabilization Environments", released this week.

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Libya

It goes without saying that a breakdown in rule of law prohibits economic growth and disincentivizes entrepreneurs. In the paper we released today, the fourth in our Expeditionary Economics Research Series, "Closing the Transition Gap: The Rule of Law Imperative in Stabilization Environments", author Brock Dahl examines the strategic, moral and legal arguments that creating and sustaining rule of law institutions is an imperative from the very first day of an intervention or regime change. Brock also offers a combined reading of international humanitarian and international human rights law that implies that intervening forces are obligated to prioritize rule of law and should leverage local actors to do so also. Failure, he argues, results in what he terms a "transition gap", which can be catastrophic to the viability of a new government and allow criminal activity, violent extremism and private and public sector corruption to flourish.

Abstract and bio after the jump.

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Gayle Lemmon, author of the bestselling “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana”, wrote in today’s USAToday about the impressive, yet neglected progress that Afghan society has made since 2001. She highlights:

  • A communications boom that has seen cellphone penetration top 50% —up from barely a blip a decade ago.
  • A thriving, independent regional and national news media.
  • 2.4 million girls in school, from fewer than 10,000 in 2001.
  • Nearly 3,000 nationally accredited midwives, up from 250 in 2001, who teach women to deliver babies more safely.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a contributor to Kauffman’s work expeditionary economics, the deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy program, and editor at large at Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

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Carl Schramm visited the Heritage Foundation in Washington today to speak about expeditionary economics and the need to examine American foreign assistance policy and practices. Video of his remarks and Q&A below and on Heritage's site.


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