Brookings Today, 12/1/14

A roundup of some of the content published today at Brookings.

  • Profiling the Islamic State. Charles Lister traces the group’s roots, its capabilities, tactics, and trajectory.
  • Mobile phones helping to close the broadband gap. Darrell West and Joshua Bleiberg discuss the recent report from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that shows more and more Americans are using their cell phones to access the Internet.
  • What the non-voters decided. E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Elizabeth Thom review data on non-voters in the 2014 elections, during which only 36.2 percent of eligible voters turned out.
  • The limits of legislative transparency. On the topic of transparency in government, Sarah Binder pushes back against charges in a recent paper by Bass, Brian and Eisen that her research suggests transparency leads to gridlock.
  • Social programs that work. Ron Haskins provides an overview of five social programs that have produced positive impacts on social problems as demonstrated by testing and rigorous evaluations.
  • Mubarak’s trial. Tamara Cofman Wittes looks at an Egyptian judge’s tossing out charges against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, while Bruce Riedel says that “the Saudi royal family undoubtedly welcomed the decision.”
  • Importing the German approach to career building. Amy Liu discusses the advantages of German-style apprenticeships and how they can help advance American economic growth.

Charmaine Crutchfield contributed to this post.