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    Geostrategy

  • Foreign Policy

    Scotland's Tricky Choice

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    After 40 Years, UNDOF Withdraws Behind Line "A" in Golan: Nusra Now Occupies Disengagement Zone

    Yesterday the United Nations announced:The situation in UNDOF on the Syrian side and the area of separation has deteriorated severely over the last several days.Armed groups have made advances in the area of UNDOF positions, posing a direct threat to the safety and security of the UN Peacekeepers along the “Bravo” line and in Camp Faouar.All the UN personnel in these positions have thus been relocated to the “Alpha” side. UNDOF continues to use all available assets to carry out its mandated tasks in this exceptionally challenging environment.Deciphered from opaque UN-ese (which is probably why this has been little commented upon in the Western media), this means that UNDOF has completely withdrawn from the Golan disengagement force zone it has held since 1974 ...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Belatedly Noting Coptic New Year 1731

    This year I failed to note Coptic New Year (Neyrouz) on September 11, though I have done so in previous years,  so belatedly I'll refer you to this story: "Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities celebrates New Coptic Year." The year just begun is AM (Year of the Martyrs) 1731. The calendar is Julian and dates from the persecution of Diocletian in AD 284.It's also the New Year for Ethiopians and Eritreans, though the years are computed differently. Ahram Online added this graphic of the Ancient Egyptian calendar, from which the Coptic derives:...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Sharro Gives Scotland "the Middle East Expert Treatment"

    Karl Sharro at "Karl ReMarks" offers us a satirical sense of perspective: "We Give the Scottish Independence Referendum the Middle East Expert Treatment." Like much satire, some of it works better than other parts: analyzing Scotland in terms of the clans, talking about Scottish independence as if it were a Middle Eastern country.The conclusion is on target: We must do something. Things must be done. There is a necessity for the doing of things. It’s also the point at which we normally ask the requisite rhetorical question near the end of the end: should we allow Scotland to exist as a small oil-rich country? (Like, do we need another Qatar now?) President Obama must avoid this by arming the Protestants. Or the Catholics. ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    The Next Conflict in Iraq? Will the Kurds try to Annex Kirkuk Permanently?

    By Nawzat Shamdeen | Berlin | via Niqash.org What will happen to Iraq’s “disputed territories” once Sunni Muslim extremists have been driven out? Will the Iraqi Kurdish military, who now control some of it, insist on staying? Or will conflicts between the Iraqi Kurdish and the Iraqi army make for the country’s next crisis? NIQASH gathers opinions.  As the Sunni extremist group that currently controls parts of northern Iraq is slowly driven back by a combination of local and international military forces, many locals are asking what will happen to the areas that have come under the control of the Iraqi Kurdish military. Many of these areas were formerly under the control of the Iraqi government but came under the control of the Iraqi Kurdis...more

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  • Informed Comment

    CBS Unjustly Punishes Rihanna For Ray Rice Controversy

    Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks “CBS Sports pulled Rihanna’s intro to Thursday night’s NFL game between the Ravens and the Steelers following the release of video showing Ravens running back Ray Rice beating then-fiancée Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator. CBS said it pulled the intro last Thursday to maintain an “appropriate tone,” as Rihanna was beaten by then-boyfriend Chris Brown several years ago in another high-profile instance of domestic violence.” Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks: “CBS Unjustly Punishes Rihanna For Ray Rice Controversy” Mediaite has more ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Gulliver and the Lilliputians: It’s America’s Small Wars that are Unwinnable

    By Tom Engelhardt It’s possible I’ve lived most of my life on the wrong planet — and if that sounds like the first sentence of a sci-fi novel maybe, in its own way, it is. I thought I knew where I was, of course, but looking back from our helter-skelter world of 2014, I wonder.  For most of the last several hundred years, the story in view might be called the Great Concentration and it focused on an imperial struggle for power on planet Earth. That rivalry took place among a kaleidoscopic succession of European “great powers,” one global empire (Great Britain), Russia, a single Asian state (Japan), and the United States. After two world wars that devastated the Eurasian continent, there emerged only two “superpowers,” the U...more

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  • Foreign Policy

    Can the U.S. Army Degrade and Destroy Ebola?

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  • Foreign Policy

    Can the U.S. Army Degrade and Destroy Ebola?

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  • Foreign Policy

    Can the U.S. Army Degrade and Destroy Ebola?

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  • Foreign Policy

    ¡Bienvenidos, Habibi!

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  • Foreign Policy

    ¡Bienvenidos, Habibi!

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  • Foreign Policy

    ¡Bienvenidos, Habibi!

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Unpaid Advert: IMF's Lagarde Plugs IPE

    Christine Lagarde is famously the first non-economist to head the International Monetary Fund. Aside from being in charge during a time of transition when more developing countries want greater representation at the lender of last resort--see the cartoon above and an earlier post on this matter--the economics profession is coming under fire post-global financial crisis. Do economists really know how to run an economy, let alone a world economy? Nowadays, of course, "everything else" is beginning to gain more consideration in global economic governance. Not only do we need to bring political, social and technological factors back into consideration, but also a gendered focus:In truth, some IMF staff also fear that gender issues are a distraction from the more pressing ...more

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  • China Matters

    It’s “Third Force” Time in Syria

    [Subsequent to e-mailing this piece to China Matters subscribers, I went back and added a paragraph about the "28 pages" and the legal jeopardy they might pose to Saudi Arabia in US courts, and some thoughts about the "anti-IS campaign" as a harbinger of a new US approach to pursuing limited goals in the region. CH, 9/16/2014] Ever since President Obama gave his crISis ™ speech, I’ve pushed back against what I considered to be simplistic predictions of the effort’s doom, along the lines of “air power cannot occupy” and “arming anti-Assad ostensibly moderate Syrian rebels is always an exercise in futility”.   On September 12, I wrote:The depressing part of the US strategy is that, as far as I can tell, it views the anti-IS campaign as a Trojan Ho...more

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  • Foreign Policy

    Corrupt Ukrainian Politicians Have a Taste for Mansions

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  • Foreign Policy

    Corrupt Ukrainian Politicians Have a Taste for Mansions

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  • Foreign Policy

    U.N. Takes Over CAR Peacekeeping Mission, U.S. Reopens Embassy

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  • Foreign Policy

    Dempsey Opens Door to Potential U.S. Ground Combat Role

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  • Moneybox

    The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data

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  • Moneybox

    Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks

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  • Achenblog

    Taxi to orbit: NASA goes with Old Space and New Space (with a cameo by Jeff Bezos)

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  • Moneybox

    Middle-Class Incomes: Still Dead in the Water

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  • The World

    A worried unionist’s postcard from Scotland

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Why are we so fearful? Have we become cowards?

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  • Foreign Policy

    What's in a Word? Confusion About U.S. Policy Toward Syria

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Bitcoin Crashed, But Will Apple Pay Take Off?

    You're showing your age if you remember "master charge" (all small caps).I'm kind of surprised Apple didn't name its payments service "iPay." It could have eased the terminological transition to lending, "iOwe," and the unfortunately common American phenomenon of being unable to pay debt on time, "iDefault"--which, in direr circumstances, leads to the state of being "i(M)Bankrupt." All kidding aside, "Apple Pay" is an expected development that nevertheless holds much promise, the first emanating from it being an Apple service and the expectations people have that it will have a higher chance of success in the company's Reality Distortion Field.  Apple's fearsome reputation aside, Apple Pay also deals with many of the obstacles which render Bitcoin a non-starter. To...more

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  • The World

    FT column: This is a very bad time to break up Britain

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  • Macro and Markets

    New Energy for Russian Sanctions

    Time will tell whether new sanctions on Russia announced by the United States and European Union last week will be a game changer. The most significant development concerns oil, as the new measures go much further than previously understood to shut down ongoing exploration and production of new Russian supply. While triggered by events on the ground in Ukraine, from a policy perspective this is a catch-up action, closing loopholes and bringing market practice more in line with the harsher intent of earlier measures. As such, I view the steps as an incremental, if logical, next step in the effort to punish Russia for its actions in Ukraine. Still, compared to what some energy companies thought they would be allowed to do, the new measures look to be material in terms of ...more

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  • Achenblog

    I shall wear my trousers rolled

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  • The World

    Smart Reads: 15 September 2014

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The shame of Alaska: vast wealth, but little spent to protect its people

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  • The Arabist

    We'll Always Have Cairo

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Can German-Style Apprenticeships Save America?

    Stamping out ignorance and providing work is the German way.There's an excellent feature in the WSJ on German firm Festo, a supplier to German firms like VW and Mercedes-Benz, following these MNCs Stateside. Not only is it bringing manufacturing know-how to the US but also vocational knowledge in the form of the German apprenticeship model. The latter has proven to be more successful in avoiding the job-skill mismatches prevalent in US higher education. Festo even has a specialized unit dedicated to training. After all, what is the point of having an ever-increasingly expensive college degree in the face of ever-decreasing job opportunities?Unfortunately, most Anglophone universities haven't bothered answering this question, staffed as they are by inveterate rent-seeker...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Thor vs the Dark World – a fun film about a war against evil

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    2014 Louisville Sluggers

    This is my (very late) annual post about the Louisville Sluggers of the Original Bitnet Fantasy Baseball League. We draft twice each season -- once prior to the regular season and again at the beginning of July. I didn't get around to putting this post together until now. Sorry, though I doubt anyone cares. I'll just report draft results and transactions for the second half season -- my A season did not go all that well.Prior posts: 2013,  2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008,  2007, and 2004.Why do we draft twice each year? Well, the OBFLB crowns champions for both the "A" first half and "B" second half of the baseball season, divided by the All Star game. My team's most recent championship was in 2008B. The current team is all-but-assur...more

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  • China Matters

    With IS, US Getting Ready for Its “Suez Crisis” Post-Imperial Close-Up

    Though an anti-war type I am not on the same page with many anti-war types when it comes to poo-pooing President Obama’s call for military action against the IS caliphate.  The caliphate is a big deal, in my opinion, a big bad transnational deal with significant consequences throughout Asia, and something should be done.  “Something”, unfortunately, would be a big, disruptive military campaign coordinated through the UN Security Council and Arab League, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and involving lots of Saudi and Turkish casualties, both military and civilian, and a prolonged, agonizing, and expensive effort to reassert the control of the Iraqi and Syrian governments over the territory they had lost.Understandably, nobody, including the U...more

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  • The Arabist

    Arabs Without God

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  • Achenblog

    “It is an issue which can only be tried by war and decided by victory”

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Anniversary

    Twenty-five years ago today, my spouse and I saw the Rolling Stones live -- with Living Colour as the warmup group. I've found several different websites that claim to have the setlist. This is from setlist.fm (it is supposed to automatically update when edited):Edit this setlist | More The Rolling Stones setlistsThis one, slightly different, is from someone who has a recording:01. Continental Drift02. Start Me Up03. Bitch04. Sad Sad Sad05. Undercover Of The Night06. Harlem Shuffle07. Tumbling Dice08. Miss You09. Ruby Tuesday10. Play With Fire11. Dead Flowers12. Mixed Emotions13. Honky Tonk women14. Midnight Rambler15. You Can’t Always Get What You Want16. Little Red Rooster17. Before They Make Me Run18. Happy19. Paint It Black20. Sympathy For The Devil21. Gimme ...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    The Geopolitical Paradox: Dangerous World, Resilient Markets

    Should we be worried by how well global markets are performing despite rising geopolitical volatility? I think so. In my September monthly, I look at the main arguments explaining the disconnect, and argue Europe is the region we should be most worried about a disruptive correction. Here are a few excerpts. • Far Away and Uncorrelated. Much of the market commentary has stressed that the risks that most worry political analysts—for example Russia, ISIL and Syria, Syria, an Ebola pandemic—are not necessarily central to global growth and market prospects. But small (in GDP terms)and far away does not mean inconsequential. As the debate over financial sanctions has shown, its Russia’s leverage and interconnectedness, rather than its global trade share, that makes c...more

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  • The Arabist

    When Arab regimes confront terrorism

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  • China Matters

    Uh-Oh: America Pivots Back to the Middle East

    No, We’re Not Here to Help…We’re Here to Stir the Sh*tI believe that President Obama tipped his hand as to the basic US strategy for IS in Iraq and Syria when he stated that the US goal was to reduce IS to “a manageable problem” . Once the appalling implications of this apparent endorsement of a permanent presence for the transnational, decapitation-happy caliphate sank in, Joe Biden was sent out for damage control with the hyperbolic message that the US would pursue IS “to the gates of hell”.Well, truth be told, actually entering the gates of hell and thoroughly sorting out the mess it created in the Middle East is apparently the one thing that the US isn't very eager to do.One of the ironic things about the current situation is that, as the Unite...more

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    New Sally Ride Book

    Lynn Sherr's book about Sally Ride has now been published, but I have not yet seen it. I have read a couple of reviews, including this one in the July/August The American Prospect.Sally Ride and I were both fellows at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation beginning in September 1987 and Sherr interviewed me about the experience some time ago. Google Books tells me that my interview figured into a page or two of the book (see chapter 9).I'm not sure if Sherr recounted my favorite story, but Ride really embarrassed a Reagan administration official visiting CISAC and selling a version of the Strategic Defense Initiative. He was talking about elements of a space-based system that would have required payloads larger than the U.S. boosters had...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    Financing Ukraine: Time for an Honest Assessment

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (“incursion” is far too polite a term) represents a major intensification of the conflict and should cross all red lines the West has established.  The logic of the earlier, incremental approach—put modest sanctions in place, and let the threat of worse create a chilling effect on investment and trade—has reached a dead end.  Whether President Putin seeks a stalemate within Ukraine or something more menacing, full sectoral sanctions (including, importantly, Russia’s access to payments systems) should now be put in place as a firm signal of western resolve.  The real cost-benefit to be done is not the costs on the West compared to Russia. Rather it is those relative costs contrasted against doing nothing and risking a situation...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

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

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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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