Campaign 2012

Campaign 2012 Issues

The Brookings Campaign 2012 project identified the 12 most critical domestic and foreign policy issues facing the next president after the November election. Experts from across the political spectrum addressed these topics through a series of events, policy briefs, short essays and blog posts.

Afghanistan and Pakistan
With the ongoing military withdrawals from Afghanistan and a difficult relationship with Pakistan, the next president will face hard foreign policy choices with no easy answers in the South Asia region.

Authors: Michael O'Hanlon and Bruce Riedel
Event: February 15, 2012 

Read the paper by O'Hanlon and Riedel » 
Read an additional perspective by Vanda Felbab-Brown » 
Read an additional perspective by Elizabeth Ferris » 
Watch or listen to an interview with Michael O'Hanlon »

Learn more » 

 

America's Role in the World
Although the United States is the world’s reigning superpower, that supremacy is increasingly challenged by countries on the rise and will be an important global trend for the next president to watch.

Authors: Bruce Jones, Thomas Wright and Jane Esberg
Event: May 25, 2012 

Read the paper by Jones, Wright and Esberg » 
Read an additional perspective by Strobe Talbott and John-Michael Arnold » 
Read an additional perspective by Homi Kharas » 
Watch or listen to an interview with Bruce Jones »

Learn more »

 

The Arab Awakening
After a year of remarkable transformation in the Middle East, it will be up to the next president to cope with the diverse foreign policy challenges of the volatile region.

Author: Shadi Hamid
Event: September 25, 2012

Read the paper by Hamid » 
Read an additional perspective by Tamara Cofman Wittes » 
Read an additional perspective by Raj Desai » 
Watch or listen to an interview with Shadi Hamid »

Learn more »

 

The Budget Deficit
The U.S. budget deficit and the economy—one of the most important issues for American voters—will continue to dominate the debate in the 2012 election.

Author: Ron Haskins
Event: January 19, 2012 

Read the paper by Haskins » 
Read an additional perspective by William Gale » 
Read an additional perspective by Isabel Sawhill » 
Watch or listen to an interview with Ron Haskins »

Learn more »

 

Climate Change
U.S. climate and energy policy are important issues for the next president not just in the context of current economic challenges, but also for the security of future generations.

Author: Ted Gayer
Event: June 11, 2012

Read the paper by Gayer » 
Read an additional perspective by Charles Ebinger and Govinda Avasarala » 
Read an additional perspective by Katherine Sierra » 
Watch or listen to an interview with Ted Gayer » 

Learn more »

 

Economic Growth
Following the economic recession, the urgent need for jobs and affordable housing will be among the most important domestic policy issues for the next president.

Author: Martin Baily
Event: March 7, 2012 

Read the paper by Baily » 
Read an additional perspective by Karen Dynan » 
Read an additional perspective by Elisabeth Jacobs » 
Watch or listen to an interview with Martin Baily »

Learn more »

 

Federalism
With the United States’ many diverse regions and multiple levels of government, the next president has the chance to take advantage of the American federalist model to stimulate innovation and growth.

Author: Bruce Katz

Read the paper by Katz » 
Read an additional perspective by Tracy Gordon » 
Read an additional perspective by Pietro Nivola »
Watch or listen to an interview with Bruce Katz » 
 
Learn more »

 

The Global Economy and China
In an increasingly globalized world, the United States faces serious economic competition from growing powers like China and the next American president will have to strategically manage this tricky relationship.

Authors: Kenneth Lieberthal and Jonathan Pollack 
Event: October 9, 2012

Read the paper by Lieberthal and Pollack »
Read an additional perspective by Joshua Meltzer » 
Read an additional perspective by Richard Bush »
Watch or listen to an interview with Jonathan Pollack » 

Learn more »

 

Health Care
With the U.S. health care system plagued by rising costs and inefficient delivery of care, the question of how to achieve quality care in a cost-effective way will be critical for the next president.

Author: Alice Rivlin
Event: May 4, 2012 

Read the paper by Rivlin » 
Read an additional perspective by Tom Mann » 
Read an additional perspective by Ross Hammond » 
Watch or listen to an interview with Alice Rivlin » 

Learn more » 

 

Iran
As Iran continues to pursue a nuclear weapons program, support terrorist organizations in the Middle East and threaten America’s biggest allies, the question of how to deal with this hostile power will be an urgent security priority for the next president.

Author: Suzanne Maloney
Event: April 10, 2012

Read the paper by Maloney » 
Read an additional perspective by Shibley Telhami » 
Read an additional perspective by Michael Doran » 
Watch or listen to an interview with Suzanne Maloney »

Learn more » 

 

Political and Institutional Reform
Political polarization and partisan gridlock are rampant in government today. As economic challenges continue to dominate the conversation around the 2012 election, re-evaluating the current political structure may present an opportunity for the next president to stimulate economic progress.

Author: William Galston
Event: July 24, 2012 

Read the paper by William Galston » 
Read an additional perspective by Russ Whitehurst » 
Read an additional perspective by Sarah Binder »
Watch or listen to an interview with William Galston » 

Learn more »

 

Terrorism
Ten years have passed since the launch of America’s “war on terror,” yet terrorism remains one of the highest national security priorities for the United States today and a critical foreign policy issue for the next president.

Authors: Benjamin Wittes and Daniel Byman
Event: September 10, 2012

Read the paper by Wittes and Byman » 
Read an additional perspective by Stephen Grand » 
Read an additional perspective by Rebecca Winthrop and Kevin Watkins » 
Watch or listen to a discussion between Wittes and Byman »

Learn more »