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  • Author: Barry J Le Grys
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: The working paper series on Sierra Leone is part of the research programme 'Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997-2007'. These working papers present perspectives from both Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom regarding the implementation of activities broadly defined as security sector reform (SSR) in the period towards the end of and following the Sierra Leone war.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Rosalind Hanson-Alp
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: The working paper series on Sierra Leone is part of the research programme 'Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997-2007'. These working papers present perspectives from both Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom regarding the implementation of activities broadly defined as security sector reform (SSR) in the period towards the end of and following the Sierra Leone war.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Author: María Fernanda Arias
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: En 1986, dos años después del arribo de Raúl Alfonsín a la Presidencia de la Argentina, se inauguraba una escuela de estudios informáticos. La Escuela Superior Latinoamericana de Informática (ESLAI) abrió sus puertas en un bucólico lugar: el Parque Nacional Pereyra Iraola, en el casco de la antigua estancia de una aristocrática familia argentina, cuya propiedad fuera expropiada por el gobierno del General Juan Domingo Perón en 1949 (“Parque Pereyra, una reserva natural mundial”, 2008, 28 de enero).
  • Topic: Education, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: In August, for the first time in history, China will host the Olympics. For Beijing, those will be days of pride, a chance to display its progress and bask in the world's admiration. But far from the splendor of the Summer Games, the people of a remote area in the largest nation in Africa—the people of Sudan's Darfur region—will endure more death, disease and dislocation, and this will be due in no small part to China's callousness. Craving energy to keep its economic miracle humming, Beijing has forged a strong partnership with the Sudanese government in Khartoum.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Sudan
  • Author: Noureddine Jebnoun
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: On March 4, 2004, General Charles Wald, then-deputy commander for the European Command (EUCOM), observed that “there has, without a doubt, been some al-Qaida presence in portions of North Africa. But it isn't like Afghanistan or other places, and what's more, Pakistan, for that matter.” On March 10, 2005, Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-California), chairman of the House Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation, mentioned in a prepared statement that the “train and equip efforts [undertaken by the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP)] are aimed at eliminating the 'next Afghanistan': another terrorist sanctuary” across the Sahara-Sahel region, which allegedly harbors Islamic militants and bin Laden sympathizers. More recently, Rep. Jane Harman (D-California) argued that “North Africa could be the next front in [the] war on terror.”
  • Topic: Political Violence, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Arabia, Algeria, North Africa
  • Author: Daniel K. N. Johnson, Kristina M. Lybecker
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Economics and Business, Colorado College
  • Abstract: During the tabulation of votes in the 2000 presidential election, the world was shocked at the technological inadequacy of electoral equipment in many parts of the US. In reaction to public dismay over "hanging chads", Congress quickly enacted the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), legislation to fund the acquisition of advanced vote-counting technology. However, the intention was to enable, rather than mandate, choices of new electoral equipment. This paper takes advantage of a unique historical opportunity to test whether electoral equipment follows the pattern predicted by well-established models of innovation diffusion, merging electoral data with census data on socioeconomic characteristics. We infer that fiscal constraints to acquisition are strong but are not the only limitations to technology adoption, particularly within certain types of easily identifiable populations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kelly Hugger
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Economics and Business, Colorado College
  • Abstract: The recent emergence of the Euro, combined with the completion of a decade of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has sparked interest in adopting a common currency for North America. This study examines the likelihood that Canada, Mexico, and the United States will adopt a common currency under fixed exchange rate regimes. The benefits and costs of a common currency are explored using the theory of optimum currency areas (OCA). Empirical research focuses on several variables including intra-regional and intra-industry trade, trade openness, gross domestic product, inflation rates, interest rates, economic growth rates, business cycle synchronization, factor mobility, fiscal policy and monetary policy coordination. The analysis also presents a comparative analysis of NAFTA with Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) nations on different economic criteria. Finally, correlation and regression analysis further explores the likelihood that members of NAFTA will economically integrate. Though this research concludes that it is economically feasible for NAFTA members to move towards a common currency, this venture depends on the political readiness of the nations.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Shashank Joshi
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: The concept of honor has an extensive and distinguished lineage in the study of international relations, although contemporary theory has lost sight of its importance. This study begins to remedy that situation. It does so by first setting out the place of honor in relation to a number of other related concepts, like prestige and status. It then outlines a theory of "negative honor," and situates this in relation to existing theoretical and empirical accounts of honor-related variables. This theory draws on extant work in social psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and other fields, to set out hypotheses on why, how, and when political leaders of states might respond to certain kinds of challenges in a way that constitutes honor-seeking behavior. The second part of the paper tentatively sets out one way to empirically evaluate these hypotheses. While unsuccessful, this provides a blueprint for further research and a number of soon-to-be-implemented refinements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Filiz Garip, Bruce Western
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Sociological research often examines the effects of social context with hierarchical models. In these applications, individuals are nested in social contexts-like school classes, neighborhoods or villages-whose effects are thought to shape individual outcomes. Although applications of hierarchical models are common in sociology, analysis usually focuses on inference for fixed parameters. Researchers seldom study model fit or examine aggregate patterns of variation implied by model parameters. We present an analysis of Thai migration data, in which survey respondents are nested within villages and report annual migration information. We study a variety of hierarchical models, investigating model fit with DIC and posterior predictive statistics. We also describe a simulation to study how different initial distributions of migration across villages produce increasing inter-village inequality in migration.
  • Topic: Migration, Social Stratification, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Regina Abrami, Edmund Malesky, Yu Zheng
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Over the past two decades, no two economies have averaged more rapid economic growth than China and Vietnam. But while China's income inequality has risen rapidly over that same time frame, Vietnam's has only grown moderately. Structural and socio-cultural determinants fail to account for these divergent pathways. Existing political variables are also unhelpful. China and Vietnam are coded in exactly the same way, even in the path-breaking work on authoritarian regimes. In this paper, we take a deeper look at political institutions in the two countries, demonstrating that profound differences between the polities directly impact distributional choices. In particular, we find that Vietnamese elite institutions require construction of broader coalitions of policymakers, place more constraints on executive decision making, and have more competitive selection processes. As a result, there are stronger political motivations for Vietnamese leaders to provide equalizing transfers that limit inequality growth.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia, Vietnam, Southeast Asia