Isobel Coleman

Democracy in Development

Coleman maps the intersections between political reform, economic growth, and U.S. policy in the developing world.

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CFR Backgrounders

by Isobel Coleman
June 25, 2014

Civilian children stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 10, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Stringer). Civilian children stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 10, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Stringer).

The Council on Foreign Relations recently revamped its backgrounder portal, which offers useful insights on today’s most pressing international issues, including unrest in Iraqtensions in the South China Seacrisis in Ukraine, and Islamic fundamentalism in Nigeria. Given what is going on in the world today, here are three I find particularly relevant:

1. The Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) backgrounder lays out the origins, leadership, funding, and influence of the organization that is wreaking havoc in Iraq.

2. The Ukraine backgrounder similarly offers insight on the underlying causes and factors of conflict, in addition to spelling out U.S. and European policy options to help stabilize the country.

3. Lastly, the Boko Haram backgrounder digs into the history and aims of the radical Islamic organization that kidnapped more than two hundred girls in April.

I highly recommend these backgrounders for their concise overviews and recommendations, highlighting CFR’s work on contemporary global challenges.   

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