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10 May 2021
Strategic Trends Series (4)

Deconstructing President Biden’s 100 Days in Office: Outlook and Prospects

Dr. Stephen Blackwell, Dr. Justin B. Dyer, Dr. James A. Russell, Prof. Yossi Mekelberg, Dr. Cheng Li

Assessing Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office is by no means a definitive judgment of his administration. It sheds some light on where his administration is heading. The grace period for an incoming president, commonly referred to as the ‘honeymoon period,’ has now come to an end.
Biden had pledged to return the office of the presidency to the status that it enjoyed before his predecessor took office. Many of his executive orders, introducing new policies, have been focused on combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most of Biden’s domestic and foreign policy measures look stylistically and substantively different from his predecessor, President Donald J. Trump.
This collection of essays, written by prominent international experts, examines the challenges and offers projections on four key policy areas of the US President, namely the US political system, Russia, China, and the Middle East. The authors discuss Biden’s domestic and foreign policy directives and offer some predictions of the possible implications of these policies.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Professor Yossi Mekelberg is a Senior Consulting Research Fellow of the MENA Program at Chatham House, and a Professor of International Relations at Regent’s University, London. He is a distinguished academic who has also taught at King’s College, London, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the NATO Defense College in Rome. He has published widely on subjects including Middle East security, US foreign policy, and international negotiations.

As a media columnist, Prof. Mekelberg is a regular contributor to Arab News and previously for Al-Arabiya, The Guardian, The Independent, and Newsweek. He has also been a commentator for outlets including BBC News, CNN, Sky News, Deutsche Welle, France 24, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. Prof. Mekelberg has been invited to advise the British Foreign Office, the Department for International Development (DFID), and the US State Department and other international organizations and global business leaders.

Dr. Cheng Li is director and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center. Dr. Li is also a distinguished fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at University of Toronto. He is the author of the new book Middle Class Shanghai Reshaping US-China Engagement (May 2021), and the editor (with author Li Chunling) of the forthcoming volume in the Brookings China Thinker’s Series China’s Youth: Increasing Diversity amid Persistent Inequality (September 2021).

Dr. Stephen Blackwell is an analyst, researcher, and writer with more than 20 years’ experience in roles across the think-tank, academic and media sectors. He is the author of a book entitled British Military Intervention and the Struggle for Jordan: King Hussein, Nasser, and the Middle East Crisis, 1955-1958, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. He has also written for the opinion and news analysis sections of The National, Abu Dhabi’s first English language newspaper.

Dr. Blackwell previously worked as a Researcher at the Emirates Center of Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi. Before moving to the UAE, he was Head of the European Security Program at the Royal United Services Institute in London and Editor for Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessments. He has also lectured at University College London (UCL), and taught at the University of Aberystwyth, where he also completed his doctoral thesis on ‘Anglo-American Defense Policy in the Middle East, 1957-1962’.

Dr. James A. Russell is an Associate Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, US, where he teaches US foreign policy in the Middle East, military innovation, and national security strategy. His articles and commentaries have appeared in several media and scholarly outlets worldwide. His latest articles are: “Saudi Arabia: The Strategic Dimensions of Environmental Insecurity,” Middle East Policy 28, no. 2 (Summer 2016); “Nuclear Reductions and Middle East Stability: Assessing the Impact of a Smaller Nuclear Arsenal,” Nonproliferation Review 20, no. 2 (Summer 2013): 263–268; and “Counterinsurgency American Style: Considering David Petraeus and 21st Century Irregular War,” in Small Wars and Insurgencies 25, no. 1 (2013): 69–90. His latest books include Military Adaptation in Afghanistan, ed., with Theo Farrell and Frans Osinga (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013) and Innovation, Transformation and War: US Counterinsurgency Operations in Anbar and Ninewa Provinces, Iraq, 2005–2007 (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2011). His next book is a volume titled Naval Innovation and Maritime Strategy, forthcoming with the Naval Institute Press. From 1988–2001, Dr. Russell held several positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary Defense for International Security Affairs, Near East South Asia, Department of Defense. During this period, he traveled extensively in the  Persian Gulf and the Middle East, working on US security policy. He holds a Master’s in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in War Studies from the University of London.

Dr. Justin Dyer is a Professor of Political Science and Founding Director  of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. He specializes in moral and political philosophy, jurisprudence, constitutional law, and American political thought, focusing on the perennial philosophy of natural law. Dr. Dyer is the author and editor of several books, including Natural Law and the Antislavery Constitutional Tradition; Slavery, Abortion, and the Politics of  Constitutional Meaning; C.S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law; A Guide to the Missouri Constitution; 77 and the two-volume casebook American Constitutional Law. He also has published several articles and review essays in leading scholarly journals.