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  • Author: Deborah Gordon, Frances Reuland
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Earth's temperature is rising to dangerous levels. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is increasingly urgent. Although carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas, short-lived climate pollutants like methane are rapidly accelerating global warming in the near term. Methane emissions are on the rise. The global growth in oil and gas production and consumption is a prime driver. A new report released today by researchers at the Watson Institute identifies a multi-pronged approach for mapping and measuring methane and provides new tools to more effectively manage this super pollutant. Under a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, authors Deborah Gordon, Watson Institute Senior Fellow, and Frances Reuland, former Brown University Researcher, assess the many ways that methane escapes from the oil and gas sector, both unintentionally and purposefully. Using a first-of-its-kind model under development, the Oil Climate Index + Gas, they estimate that oil operations are at greater risk for intentional venting and flaring of methane while gas operations pose a higher risk of inadvertent fugitive methane and accidental releases. The ability to focus detection and policymaking on the operators who bear direct emissions responsibility holds out the best prospects for methane reductions worldwide. While governments, NGOs, and companies continue to improve their methods to pinpoint and measure methane, difficulties remain. Overcoming these barriers requires: increased transparency and data collection; improved oversight through monitoring, reporting, and verification; regulations and binding agreements; research and development (R&D) and technology transfer; and financial incentives and penalties. In order to offer durable climate solutions, efforts to mitigate methane must be designed to withstand future political pressures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Science and Technology, Pollution, Fossil Fuels, Methane
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ng Ser Song
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Illicit drug use exacts a high cost on abusers, their families, and ultimately society as a whole. Livelihoods are lost, relationships are destroyed, children suffer, and the wider community pays a hefty price through a resulting worsened crime situation. Singapore has hence adopted a harm-prevention approach to drugs, incorporating educational, legal, and rehabilitative measures. While we acknowledge that there is a variety of approaches to drug policy globally, our approach has worked well for our local context and enabled people here to live to their fullest potentials.
  • Topic: Crime, Health, Law, Criminal Justice, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Singapore, Global Focus
  • Author: Russell Buchan
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The essence of espionage is the non-consensual collection of confidential information. Espionage takes different forms depending upon the identity of the perpetrator and the nature of the confidential information targeted. Political espionage describes the state-sponsored theft of confidential information, and its purpose is to shed light on the capabilities and intentions of other state and non- state actors. Economic espionage is also state-sponsored, and it involves states stealing trade secrets from companies located in foreign jurisdictions, usually with the intention of passing this information to domestic companies so that they possess a competitive advantage. In contrast, industrial espionage is perpetrated by non-state actors insofar as it entails companies stealing foreign competitors’ confidential information without the support or assistance of a state.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Law, Business , Espionage
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cristina Flesher Fominaya
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, hundreds of protests spread across the world. Remarkably, despite the diversity of polities, regimes, and socioeconomic status across countries, these protests share two core demands to a varying degree: greater, more meaningful, or “real” democracy; and greater economic justice. While these are two distinct demands, they cannot be sepa- rated from each other. Although initially (and understandably) the protests were interpreted in direct relation to the global economic crash, especially in those countries hit hardest by the crisis and austerity politics, it soon became clear that the protests also reflected a crisis of representative democracy.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis, Protests, Global Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Coalter G. Lathrop
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: On land, the political map of the world has been relatively stable since the end of World War II: with some significant exceptions, most countries are, spatially, as they were in 1945 or shortly thereafter. Land borders are mostly set, and the major state-to-state territorial disputes that persist today are—again, with some notable exceptions—disputes over relatively small areas, mostly tiny insular features with negligible inherent value.
  • Topic: International Relations, Geopolitics, Navy, Oceans and Seas, Cartography
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luis da Vinha
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In his memoirs of his final years as one of the United States’ most prominent foreign policy decision-makers, Henry Kissinger offers an anecdote involving President Nixon and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. As part of the celebration of the UN’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Ramgoolam was invited to dine with Nixon at the White House on 24 October 1970. The gathering nearly created a diplomatic faux pas due in large part to the admin- istration’s confusion regarding the geography of Africa. According to Kissinger, the national security staff mistook the country of Mauritius—U.S. ally and island nation located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar—for Mauritania, a northwestern African nation that had broken diplomatic relations with the United States in 1967 as a result of U.S. support for Israel during the Six-Day War.
  • Topic: International Relations, War, Geopolitics, Peace, Cartography
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Yury Fedotov
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In drug policy, the problems are never far from the headlines. From opioid overdoses and violence in the Americas to growing tramadol abuse in Africa and methamphetamine trade in Asia, drug threats to health, development, safety, and security are proliferating. Global opium and cocaine production have hit record levels. Drugs are killing people, and governments everywhere are struggling to respond.
  • Topic: United Nations, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Law Enforcement, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Khalid Tinasti
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Evidence indicates that the “war on drugs” has failed to achieve its stated objectives of eliminating or reducing the production, consumption, and trafficking of illegal drugs. In 2016, an estimated 275 million people used drugs globally, and the value of the drug trade is estimated at between US$426 and $652 billion, an increase from 208 million drug users and $320 billion of market turnover a decade ago.1 Furthermore, the war on drugs has created major negative unintended consequences impacting global development objectives: mass incarceration, a thriving illegal drug market, the spread of infectious diseases, urban violence, and human rights violations. These unintended consequences prompted a global movement to address the problems created by drug control policies, based on evidence that while drug use is harmful, harm can be mitigated with the right mix of policies.
  • Topic: Crime, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Erin Jessee
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Erin Jessee is Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in History at the University of Glasgow. She has over a decade of experience conducting oral historical and ethnographic fieldwork in confict-afected settings, particularly in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Uganda. She is the author of Negotiating Genocide in Rwanda: Te Politics of History, which was published in Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Oral History series in 2017. She has also published several articles in notable journals such as Memory Studies, Conflict and Society, History in Africa, Oral History Review, and Forensic Science International, among others.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Genocide, International Cooperation, International Law, Humanitarian Intervention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Rwanda, Global Focus
  • Author: Timothy M. Swanson
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: The coming century is set to pose many important problems regarding population, food requirements and land use. In many ways, the problem facing us is a stark reminder of Malthus’ predictions regarding the importance of resource constraints in the face of population growth. Despite questions concerning the core of the problems to be solved, there is little issue concerning the manifestations of these problems. First, we are seeing the culmination of a long-term process of human population growth, which commenced in earnest about 250 years previously (about the time of Malthus) and escalated thereafter, continuing to this day. A global population that was only about a million individuals in 1750, escalated to about two billion individuals in 1950, and has since increased to approximately seven billion.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Food, Population, Food Security, Land Rights, Population Growth
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus