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    Geostrategy

  • Foreign Policy

    Syria Mission Could Start Easy But Become More Complex

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  • Foreign Policy

    A Dirty Hyphenated Word

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  • Foreign Policy

    A Dirty Hyphenated Word

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  • Foreign Policy

    Take Away Their Guns -- Then We'll Talk

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  • Foreign Policy

    Take Away Their Guns -- Then We'll Talk

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  • Foreign Policy

    Take Away Their Guns -- Then We'll Talk

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  • Foreign Policy

    Bloody Brawl Breaks Out During Military Training -- at a Chinese High School

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  • Foreign Policy

    Bloody Brawl Breaks Out During Military Training -- at a Chinese High School

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  • Foreign Policy

    Iraqi Ambassador Offers Window Into New Prime Minister's Worldview

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  • Foreign Policy

    Iraqi Ambassador Offers Window Into New Prime Minister's Worldview

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Egyptian Human Rights Lawyer Ahmad Seif Dies at 63; Two of His Children Are in Prison for Protests

    Seif with DefendantsVeteran Egyptian human rights lawyer and activist Ahmad Seif El-Islam has died at the age of 63.  He had suffered a heart attack two weeks ago.Seif (1951-2014), an attorney, has actively defended protesters and activists for decades; though from the political left himself, he defended clients from across the political spectrum. He resigned from the Human Rights Council to protest the 2013 coup.Seif, in fact, headed an entire family of activists. His wife Laila Soueif is a professor at Cairo University and an activist; his son, Alaa Abdel Fattah, is perhaps the best known non-Muslim Brotherhood political prisoner in Egypt, once a pioneering blogger prominent in the 2011 Revolution and now serving 15 years for violating the anti-protest law; after...more

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  • Moneybox

    The Biggest Peer-to-Peer Lending Site Just Filed for an IPO

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  • Foreign Policy

    Russian Troops in Ukraine Shape NATO's Counter to Putin

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    A Roundup of Recent Studies and Commentary on ISIS

    During the two weeks I was on vacation and posting historical posts, much of the academic and think-tank world was wrestling with the question of the Islamic State (though it's sill easier to call it ISIS in English or Da‘ish  in Arabic since the acronyms are pronounceable). I thought a roundup of some of these pieces and reports might be timely.Let's start close to home, with recent opinion pieces by colleagues here at MEI:Robert Ford for CNN, "How US Can Help Syria Drive Out ISIS,"Steven Simon at Foreign Affairs, "The Middle East's Durable Map."Wayne White at LobeLog: "Let's Keep ISIS in perspective."Some longer form reports from other think ranks: Michael Knights for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point's CTC Sentinel: "ISIL's Political-Military Power ...more

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  • Moneybox

    The U.S. Sells Green Cards, and It Should Charge More for Them

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  • Moneybox

    IMF Chief Investigated in France

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    The Arab World's Sandhurst Alumni

    The current rulers of Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman all attended The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and many send their sons there. The BBC offers a nice piece on the British connection: "Sandhurst's sheikhs: Why do so many Gulf royals receive military training in the UK?" [Link corrected.]Former French colonies (plus Iran) have seemed to favor Saint-Cyr over Sandhurst. ...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The promise and peril of automation: now everyone sees the challenge

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  • Informed Comment

    Mansplaining Women’s Pay Gap (John Oliver satire)

    John Oliver explores America’s wage gap between men and women and proposes a possible solution. Note: Solution proposed is 100% sarcastic. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Wage Gap between Women and Men ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    As Int’l Powers focus on Kurds and Sunni Arabs, have Shiite Politicians lost Iraq Forever?

    Mustafa Habib | Baghdad | via Niqash.org In Baghdad [last] week, Iraq’s most senior Shiite Muslim politicians are lamenting their increasing isolation from the international community. The EU and the US are bypassing Baghdad to support Iraq’s Kurdish forces militarily; they’re also holding meetings with Iraq’s Sunni Muslim leaders and have apparently promised to support more Sunni independence. Is this the beginning of the end of a united Iraq? At a meeting . . . that gathered senior leaders from Iraq’s Shiite Muslim political scene, one man turned to another and whispered in his ear: “So it seems we will not be ruling all of Iraq ever again. We will have Baghdad and our Shiite cities in the south, but nothing else”. Almost everyone who attended the meet...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Can you Pass the Hamas Quiz?

    By Jeffrey Rudolph (updated) The degree of mainstream media distortion concerning Hamas is endemic in the US and Canada. In my local newspaper, the Montreal Gazette, one searches in vain for meaningful coverage of the respected Goldstone Report yet references to Barak’s (mythical) “Generous Offer” persists and ahistorical reporting on Hamas rockets dominates. While one cannot entirely absolve Palestinians for their dire situation, three categorical truths should always be borne in mind to ensure that there is no confusion between victim and victimizer: Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian land; Occupied people have the legal right to resist occupation; and, Palestinians are the only occupied people to suffer international sanctions (while Israel enjoys...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Will Ebola Stop the African Cup of Nations?

    Another Ebola Victim? The 2015 African Cup of Nations.It's only a game, the refrain goes when people take football too seriously. In Africa, though, it may be a game of life and death. Recently, a player died from being hit by a rock thrown at the end of a match. Now, the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus for which there is no cure is threatening to stop the continent's most prestigious international tournament, the African Cup of Nations. There always seems to be interesting IPE-ish stuff going on with this tournament. Four years ago, I discussed how China was using "football diplomacy" by building stadiums for Angola to host the 2010 tournament. For the 2015 tournament in Morocco, things are in disarray, to put it mildly. The proximate cause is safety fears amidst Eb...more

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  • Foreign Policy

    How NATO Could Confront the Putin Doctrine

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The long-simmering conflict in the Middle East breaks out, surprising US experts

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  • The World

    Are 12 million Americans living on less than $2 a day?

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    World's Governments vs Uber: In South Korea, India

    To Gangnam, man, on the double! (wherever that is.)Libertarians for the most part tout the ride-sharing service Uber as a way to avoid taxis whose need to be government-regulated allows them to charge exorbitant fares. With Uber, anyone who can afford a smartphone and a data plan can use his or her vehicle as a privateer taxicab. Break the monopoly! Or that's how Uber works in theory. In practice, local governments the world over have taken legal action against the app's developers for skirting regulations on who can offer tax services in their jurisdictions. I do not exaggerate when I say it's Uber against the world's officialdom.Having come to Asia, Uber is under assault after complaints from taxicab services wary of being marginalized by the app. While Uber has not y...more

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  • China Matters

    Cauldrons, Kessels, Pockets, and Ukraine

    There is a lot of talk on the pro-Russian side of the Ukrainian question about “cauldrons” in which hapless Ukrainian troops are trapped and doomed to destruction or surrender.Perhaps the use of “cauldron” is meant to evoke memories of the mother of all cauldrons, the trap that encircled and annihilated the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad and signaled the turning of the military tide against Hitler.However, as a point of interest, it might be pointed out that the “cauldron” (in German, “kessel”) was originally a clever and successful tactic employed by the Wehrmacht in its retreat from Leningrad, in order to slow down, tie up, and otherwise confound the advancing Red Army.The Ur-kessel, I believe, was at Demyansk, in the Novgorod Oblast just south of Le...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The core of the climate debate: how much of the past warming did we cause?

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    The Big One: Saudi Arabia Sells Stocks to Foreigners

    It's Riyadh or bust, baby.The never-ending chase for better investment returns brings us to the doorstep of Saudi Arabia. The country remains an enigmatic mix of integration and isolation with the world economy. For instance, the same government that now funds one of the premier research institutions in the region, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), has long paid what is in effect hush money to fundamentalist educational groups which have helped radicalize impressionable youths the world over. Or, the same country that is a G-20 member does not allow women to drive cars.One of the restraints Saudi Arabia has kept is barring foreigners from buying stocks listed in the country directly. Sure you could acquire exposure to this market through mu...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    What Tom Friedman's Interview Revealed About Obama's Foreign Policy

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  • Achenblog

    The Burning of Washington (and excellent spin afterward)

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  • China Matters

    China as an EEZ Outlaw in the South China Sea

    A think tank called CNA recently issued a 140 page report titled China versus Vietnam: An Analysis of the Competing Claims in the South China Sea authored by Raul (Pete) Pedrozo.  It provides a further legal rationale for growing US efforts to inject itself into South China Sea EEZ disputes on behalf of Vietnam and against the PRC.A few reasons why attention should be paid.First, the institution.CNA is described as a non-profit corporation.  A fuller description would be a “US Navy analytic division dating to 1942 that works exclusively for and is funded exclusively by the US government but was corporatized in the 1990s so it could dip its beak into non-DoD government work through a division called the Institute for Public Research”.You could say that “C...more

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  • The Arabist

    "Palestinians Live What Israelis Fear"

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  • The Arabist

    “I will no longer play the role they’ve written for me”

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  • The Arabist

    Please spread the word

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  • Achenblog

    Ferguson, Obama and justice [Updated]

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Touring Scotland

    As you might have noticed in my twitter feed (in the right-hand column), I was in Scotland August 4-8 and again August 12-15. The first week, three-fourths of my family was in Edinburgh attending the annual Fringe Festival. Our youngest daughter, though a recent graduate, was performing in a production with her high school theater company. They staged "Our Town, Louisville" four times over the course of the week.You can see some photos and a playbill here for their show, cleverly "derived" from Thornton Wilder's "Our Town":YPAS performs Our Town Louisville #fringefestival pic.twitter.com/wHGS1HVwy7— Tracy Morrison (@tdmorrison1234) July 26, 2014In Edinburgh, my wife and I had a busy week. For example, it was exhausting and exhilarating walking the Royal Mile duri...more

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  • China Matters

    “Paramilitarizing” the SCS: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come?

    In this piece I misidentified Carlyle Thayer as "Carleton Thayer".  I regret the error. CH 8/18/14 Usually, my predictions don’t pan out so quickly.On August 11, I looked at the implications of a statement by US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in Vietnam that used a striking reinterpretation of the global stake in maritime EEZs or Exclusive Economic Zones to justify escalated US activity in the South China Sea.The Senator’s gambit apparently drew on the US conclusion that efforts to deter PRC salami slicing in the SCS have failed and it is time for a more aggressive and, I might add, extremely novel doctrine to justify a more forward US posture:Quote:At yesterday’s press briefing, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper asked Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for comments about the U...more

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  • Achenblog

    Burnin’ down the (White) House

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  • The World

    Live Blog: BoE inflation report

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Bat Signal

    This week, I'm attending my first Words and Images conference in Dundee, Scotland. Specifically, it is the joint Tenth International Association of Word and Image Studies Conference (I'm now a 3-year member) and Twenty-First Annual Scottish Word and Image Group Conference: "Riddles of Form: Exploration and Discovery in Word and Image" (that links to the full program).My paper is slated for the film panel Thursday afternoon: "The Dark Knight: Science and the National Security State." Here's the abstract:The crime-fighting character Batman was created 75 years ago; yet, his age has not been an impediment to achieving tremendous recent successes in popular culture. The two latest “Dark Knight” films, released in 2008 and 2012, rank among the top 20 highest grossing fil...more

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  • The World

    Will the UK join the US with air strikes in Iraq?

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  • Macro and Markets

    Argentina Defaults: The Day After

    Argentina has defaulted. The long-running court drama that ran for over ten years and pitted Argentina against a small group of holdout creditors was decided decisively in favor of the holdouts in June, and Argentina subsequently refused to make payments as required by the courts. As a result, neither the holdouts nor the holders of restructured external debt will get paid, resulting in S&P placing the country in “selective default.” (Payment on the restructured bonds was due June 30, and the grace period for making those payments expired yesterday.) There is a great deal of back-and-forth on who is to blame, focusing mostly on the equity/ethical/moral implications of creditors (or vultures?) being rewarded for a litigating their contractual rights against a di...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    EU Sanctions Rules Released

    The rules for implementing new EU sanctions against Russia have been released (see also here and here).  On quick glance, they are, as advertised, an important step that will have systemic effects in financial, energy and defense markets. In this respect, they are “sectoral” or “level three” sanctions in the language of policymakers.  While narrow in scope– the financial ban (Article V) is on new transferable securities of majority state-owned Russian banks with maturities greater than 90 days–one is left with the impression that Europe, like the United States, stands ready to extend the sanctions if there is evasion or further Russian efforts to destabilize Ukraine.     ...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    Russian Sanctions: Europe Prepares to Act

    The Europeans look set to surprise us with significant economic sanctions against Russia (see here and here) that exceed in some respects U.S. measures. The United States likely would expand their sanctions in parallel. I yesterday published an op-ed on what we should make of the moves, and assuming reports of an agreement are true, I think it is worth highlighting four takeaways from that piece and recent developments: 1. These are meaningful measures, with long-term adverse consequences for the Russian economy, but not full sectoral sanctions. Europe, having earlier extended sanctions to 33 individuals and entities, is considering prohibiting European institutions from participating in new debt or equity of majority Russian state banks (similar to U.S. measures earli...more

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    At least he didn't mention Munich....

    A few days ago, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin E. Dempsey said the following at the Aspen Security Forum (full text here):“You’ve got a Russian government that has made the conscious decision to use its military force inside of another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives -- first time, I think, probably, since 1939 or so that that’s been the case,”To some readers, the remark fails the laugh test even though no one in the room apparently laughed.In that last link, former Reagan Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts is hot and bothered that the United States is demonizing Russia and Vlad Putin in apparent preparation for war -- and he means World War III, all caps and Roman numerals. The title ...more

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  • The Moor Next Door

    New World Politics Review Piece

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    The Peace Process Ends: Not With a Bang, But a Whimper

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    The Horror: Iraq Class of '03 Mounts Rerun

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

    In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014. The Becker-Posner blog is terminated. Richard A. Posner

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  • The Moor Next Door

    The Army and the Status Quo

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  • The Moor Next Door

    RND Sketch

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

    Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

    The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba. In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troop...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    Can the F-35 Replace the A-10?

    by Nickolai Sukharev  One of the big decisions the United States Air Force has considered over the last few months is whether to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as a cost saving measure while developing and procuring the F-35A Lightening II. Given the Budget Control Act caps on Pentagon spending and the need to better allocate funds, officials have expressed their preference to prioritize multi-mission platforms in the inventory. But the problem is that the F-35A is not a replacement for the A-10’s close air support. The reason is simple: it lacks comparable capabilities despite a higher operating cost. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    After Geneva Talks A Consensus on Moving Forward

    By Homa Hassan The two-day round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva and Western diplomats are carefully reviewing a detailed proposal presented by Iran. As this proposal is being reviewed ahead of the follow-on meetings in November it is important to look at what the realistic prospects of a deal will look like. Going into this week’s talks, a number of commentaries came out attempting to set negotiations up for failure. However, it is widely agreed that a negotiated solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program is the best way to achieve a sustainable solution and a recent survey of reports and recommendations from bipartisan think tanks and high-level experts demonstrates a broad consensus on how to approach negotiations a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    TPP, TTIP and Getting America's Competitiveness Back on Track

    By Marcela Heywood Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia marked further progress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and set an ambitious goal to finish negotiations by the end of the year. Although the U.S. government shutdown – and President Obama’s absence in Bali – did not hinder the trade talks, it did call America’s credibility into question. Government shutdown could threaten both TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by displaying uncertainty in U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. Congress needs to reach an agreement and prioritize TPP and TTIP, as they are necessary policy initiatives to boost American competitiveness, stimulate the economy, and exert soft power to cr...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Why US Financial Hegemony Will Endure

    Will and I have a piece, now ungated, over at a fantastic new online magazine called Symposium. Our article translates much of the main points of our Perspectives Piece (co-authored with Thomas and Andy Pennock) for popular consumption. We are also blogging over there this week in support of the article. Please do check out our writing this week on the magazine's website, as well as the other great content on the site....more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Foreign Direct Investment, Human Rights, INGOs

    One of the major areas of underdeveloped research within political science is the interaction between non-state actors. From an international political economy perspective, the literature has largely ignored the interaction of various non-state actors that are growing in importance, and its effects on different forms of trade. In a recently published article "Avoiding the Spotlight: Human Rights Shaming and Foreign Direct Investment" by Colin Barry, Chad Clay and Michael Flynn, they lay the foundation for examining this interaction. They examine the interaction between non-state actors (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) and the extent to which private actors' choices to invest in countries are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in those...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Verizon, Vodafone, and Measuring FDI

    Recently back from APSA in Chicago, I've been reflecting on the state of our knowledge about FDI (or perhaps more accurately, cross-border management stakes in enterprises). That, and working on my dissertation, applying for academic jobs, and teaching. Oh, and telling everyone who'll listen about my Optimus Prime sighting on Michigan Ave.Anyway, I find a post-conference review of the discipline is generally a good way to consider potentially fruitful lines of new inquiry. In my experience, the quality of papers at conferences can be rather hit-or-miss. This generally fits into my view of conferences as important sources of external deadlines for getting drafts done as well as interacting with other scholars in more informal settings such as the hotel bar/lobby/over-cro...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Why Defining Terrorism Matters

    This is a guest post by Karolina Lula, a PhD student at Rutgers-Newark.---------------The terrorism industry has grown exponentially since 9/11.  Whenever a terrorist attack occurs, a plethora of terrorism scholars eagerly spoon out their collective wisdom.  The chance to be included in the over-caffeinated media spotlight justifies decades cooped up in small offices pouring over data. In a certain respect, terrorism scholars mirror their subject.  They both love an audience.              Despite their growing presence in the media, academics fail to persuade others about what terrorism is in the first place.  Language evolves and academia is only one source of influence.  T...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Planning to be Shocked

    One of the most repeated, and most dubious, axioms about strategy is the notion that being proactive is wiser than being reactive, and that reactivity is something we should be allergic to. In the words of Briain's foreign secretary William Hague, 'the nation that is purely reactive in foreign policy is in decline.' Likewise, written into the folklore of the US foreign policy establishment is the notion that the 'strategic shocks' that struck America - such as Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11 - happened because Washington was passively sleeping. A quick read of Presidential speeches on the anniversary of that attack shows how powerful the creed of active vigilantism lives on, even if it doesn't power all of America's day to day behaviour.Never mind that a...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Quick Note

    If you haven't been seeing any posts for a few months, that's because we moved to http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/. Some readers have informed us that the redirect may not be behaving for some subset of RSS feed readers. If that's the case, you can subscribe to the new feed at http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rsshttp://whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rss...more

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  • Political Animal

    Wednesday's Mini-Report

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  • Political Animal

    The need for partisan cover

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  • Political Animal

    House rebuffs Boehner, scraps F-35 Jet Engine Program

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Otaviano Canuto

Otaviano Canuto is Senior Advisor on BRICS Economies in the Development Economics Department, World Bank, a new position established by President Kim to bring a fresh research focus to this increasingly critical area. He also has an extensive academic background, serving as Professor of Economics at the University of Sao Paulo and University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil.

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