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Center on International Cooperation

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Dr. Shephard Forman

Center on International Cooperation

Improving multilateral responses to security and humanitarian threats

New York City, United States

Policy Reports and Recommendations

Key people
Dr. Bruce Jones, Director

The Center on International Cooperation (CIC) is a foreign policy think tank based at New York University that works to enhance multilateral responses to global problems, including: conflict, humanitarian crises, and recovery; international security challenges, including weapons proliferation and the changing balance of power.; and resource scarcity and climate change. Through innovative applied research and direct engagement with policy actors, CIC has been at the forefront of policy decision-making in each of its core areas of research.


History and staff

CIC was established in 1996 by Dr. Shepard Forman, former Director of the Ford Foundation's Human Rights, Governance and Public Policy, and International Affairs programs. Forman received his Ph.D.in Anthropology, did post-doctoral work in development economics at the Institute for Development Studies at Sussex, England, field research in Northeast Brazil and Timor-Leste, and taught at Indiana University, the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. He authored two books on Brazil and edited six others on multilateral themes and a number of policy papers including recommendations that served as forerunners to the UN Peacebuilding Commission.

In 2005, Dr. Bruce D. Jones became CIC's Director. Jones has held a range of positions at the United Nations, and works regularly with the Brookings Institution and the World Bank. Most recently, Jones served as Senior External Advisor to the World Bank’s 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security, and Development, and in March 2010 was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as a member of the Senior Advisory Group to guide the Review of International Civilian Capacities. Other notable fellows include Dr. Barnett Rubin, Jean Arnault, and Jean-Marie Guéhenno.

Under Jones, and with Richard Gowan and Jake Sherman, CIC's Annual Review of Global Peace Operations and Review of Political Missions have become seminal works on global peace operations. With Rahul Chandran and other CIC staff, Jones has also produced policy reports that have substantially informed the design of a number of national and multilateral programs and initiatives, including the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations project, New Horizons for Peacekeeping; the OECD and UK Department for International Development's work on state fragility and resilience; the OECD's workstream on financing; and the United Nations Review of International Civilian Capacities initiative, among others.

CIC staff have enjoyed great influence, both through secondments and research support, in a number of high-profile United Nations and multilateral initiatives. The first of these, the 2004 UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, strongly featured CIC staff recommendations on peacebuilding, development, and organized crime, all of which have come to be prominently placed in the UN's reform agenda. CIC also helped draft the IAEA's report on WMD terrorism in April 2010, drawing from previous research support to the IAEA Special Event on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. Most recently, CIC was asked to provide policy and research support to the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, with the Panel's findings expected to be released by the end of 2011.

In 2015, Sarah Cliffe, a former senior officer at the World Bank and the United Nations became CIC's third Director.

CIC staff regularly collaborate with a number of international and domestic institutions, such as the Brookings Institution, the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), the Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), and Humanitarian Outcomes. CIC maintains strong links to the current U.S. Administration, strengthened through CIC's institutional and programmatic foci on issues of interest to the U.S. Government and to capitals around the world.

The Center receives and has received financial support and funding from a number of institutions such as The Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Foundations, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the United States Institute of Peace, the World Bank, the Brookings Institution, the Compton Foundation, and the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.


CIC's programs and research activities focus on international security institutions, post-conflict peacebuilding, and global peace operations, with particular emphasis on the UN and multilateral responses to conflict.

Global Peace Operations

CIC's Global Peace Operations program has had significant impact in shaping political support for UN peacekeeping among member states and in shaping multilateral and government policies for effective delivery on the ground. The program has recently produced the sixth volume of the Annual Review of Global Peace Operations, which focuses on managing transitions – from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, often in the face of diminishing national consent. This ongoing publication, which provides information on strategic trends, mission deployments, and deployment data, is arguably the most comprehensive resource on peacekeeping available today. The same model was used for the new Review of Political Missions. his program also published Building on Brahimi: Peacekeeping in an Era of Strategic Uncertainty, a report commissioned by the United Nations DPKO/DFS as the basis for their "New Horizons" initiative, which offers recommendations for more effective and efficient peace operations.

Afghanistan Regional Project

CIC’s Afghanistan Regional Project (ARP) has developed unparalleled expertise on the country's political dynamics and on issues of reconciliation, and continues to develop influence with the Afghan government, regional stakeholders, the UN, the US and NATO ISAF. In the past, ARP advised the Afghan government and the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on the drafting and negotiation of the Afghanistan Compact. ARP's current focus is supporting regional dialogue as well as reconciliation and reintegration.

Peacebuilding as Statebuilding: The International Responses to Fragile States - The Peacebuilding as Statebuilding program focuses on the political, economic, and security challenges of building effective states in the aftermath of violence. It also provides strategic planning support to field missions in countries recovering from conflict. It works closely with the UN, regional organizations, international financial institutions and bilateral donors to improve international responses in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Current projects include a Review of UN Rule of Law Architecture; research relating to organized crime and state capture; reviewing the UN Peacebuilding Commission; and an ongoing study on state fragility.

Resource Scarcity, Climate Change, and Multilateralism

The Resource Scarcity, Climate Change, and Multilateralism program identifies policy operations for innovation or adaptation of multilateral institutions, both at headquarters and in the field, to improve performance on the inter-related issues of resource scarcity and climate change. Program research considers the multi-dimensional characteristics of these issues, and how current multilateral mechanisms and actors should respond to them.

Humanitarian Action in a New Security Era

The Humanitarian Action in a New Security Era program focuses on policy and systemic developments in the international humanitarian system, in order to evaluate the changing roles of its actors and institutions within a dynamic security context. It critically evaluates humanitarian policy and practice towards recommendations that reflect changing political realities. This program is a collaborative effort between CIC and Humanitarian Outcomes, and includes three former CIC staff members: Dr. Abby Stoddard, Adele Harmer, Katherine Haver.

Strengthening Multilateral Approaches to Nuclear and Other WMDs

The Program on Strengthening Multilateral Approaches to Nuclear and Other WMDs focuses on the efforts and capacity of the international community, and in particular of the UN system, to identify and implement ways to address weapons proliferation, the spread of dual-use technology, and the implications of the anticipated spread of nuclear power. The Program has provided research and analysis to organizations such as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).

Managing Global Order Project (MGO)

MGO is a joint project between the Center on International Cooperation, the Brookings Institution and the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Its activities and publications aim to provide policy recommendations towards adapting and revitalizing multilateral security systems to new and dynamic political realities. Recently, MGO has published many pieces on global order and international power politics, among them Power and Responsibility, recently presented with the Gold Award for best book in the political science field by ForeWord Reviews. MGO's work is founded on the view that “U.S. leadership offers the prospect of renewed international order that can foster cooperation, manage competition and avoid conflict and crisis in the international system.”

Current MGO Fellows Include : Bruce Jones, CIC and MGO Director; Stephen Stedman, Professor and Senior Fellow at CISAC; Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Senior Fellow; Javier Solana, Senior Fellow; Strobe Talbott, Senior Fellow; Martin Indyk, Senior Fellow; Kemal Dervis, Senior Fellow; Ann Florini, Senior Fellow; Ashraf Ghani, Non-Resident Senior Fellow; Ted Piccone, Senior Fellow; and Michael Fullilove, Non-Resident Fellow.

Annual Publications

CIC's "Global Peace Operations" program publishes the Annual Review of Global Peace Operations, an annual report informing policy-makers, members of the media, academics and peacekeepers in the field on strategic trends, mission developments, and deployment data for UN and non-UN peace operations. This program also publishes the Review of Political Missions, a unique volume reviewing over fifty civilian missions launched by the UN, OSCE, EU, OAS, ECOWAS and other international organizations, with the aim of mapping this essential and under-documented element of international conflict management.

Select other reports and publications

Jones, Bruce D.; Carlos Pascual; Stephen John Stedman (2009). Power & Responsibility: Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threats. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8157-4706-2. 

Jones, Bruce D.; Shepard Forman; Richard Gowan (30 November 2009). Cooperating for Peace and Security: Evolving Institutions and Arrangements in a Context of Changing U.S. Security Policy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-88947-6. 

Sellwood, Elizabeth (March 2011), State-building and political change: Options for Palestine 2011 (PDF), New York, New York: NYU Center on International Cooperation 

Strick van Linschoten, Alex; Kuehn, Felix (February 2011), Separating the Taliban from al-Qaeda: The Core of Success in Afghanistan (PDF), New York, New York: NYU Center on International Cooperation 

Gowan, Richard; Whitfield, Teresa (January 2011), Security Council Working Methods and UN Peace Operations: The Case of UNMEE (PDF), New York, New York: NYU Center on International Cooperation 

Gregg, Tom (July 2010), Is a Regional Pact to Stabilize Afghanistan Possible? (PDF), New York, New York: NYU Center on International Cooperation 

Evans, Alexander; Jones, Bruce; Steven, David (January 2010), Confronting the Long Crisis of Globalization: Risk, Resilience and International Order (PDF), New York, New York: NYU Center on International Cooperation 

CIC (December 2009), Robust Peacekeeping: The Politics of Force (PDF), New York, New York: NYU Center on International Cooperation 

CIC (April 2009), Building on Brahimi: Peacekeeping in an Era of Strategic Uncertainty (PDF), New York, New York: NYU Center on International Cooperation 

Brahimi, Lakhdar; Ahmed, Salman (May 2008), In Pursuit of Sustainable Peace: The Seven Deadly Sins of Mediation (PDF), New York, New York: NYU Center on International Cooperation 


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