"Measuring the Impacts of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Placing the Global 'Success' of TRCs in Local Perspective"
Cooperation and Conflict, issue 3, volume 47
By Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch, Research Fellow, International Security Program, Megan Mackenzie, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Women in Public Policy Program, 2008–2009 and Mohamed Sesay
"Truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) have emerged as an international norm and are assumed to be an essential element of national reconciliation, democratization, and post-conflict development. Despite the increase in the number of TRCs being initiated around the globe and the international consensus regarding their positive effects, there is little understanding of the longterm effects and consequences of TRCs. Specifically, currently there are no established methods or mechanisms for measuring the impacts of TRCs; furthermore, the few examples of efforts to measure these impacts have serious limitations. This article explores both the rise in TRCs as an international norm and the contradictions and inadequacies in existing efforts to measure the impacts and successes of commissions."
"Agenda for Peace or Budget for War? Evaluating the Economic Impact of International Intervention in Somalia"
International Journal, issue 2, volume 67
By Aisha Ahmad, Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2011–2012
This article shows how international humanitarian aid, particularly food aid, has played an instrumental role in perpetuating chronic civil war and state collapse in Somalia from 1992–2012. During the 1992 famine, food aid created lucrative opportunities for criminal elements of the Somali business community, who partnered with local warlords to create an enduring system of corruption and aid dependence. International aid financed this elite pact between business and warlords, which subsequently undermined domestic processes of order-making and reduced the bargaining power of local communities in the peace-building process.
The outcome of the December 2011 United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, provides an important new opportunity to move toward an international climate policy architecture that is capable of delivering broad international participation and significant global CO2 emissions reductions at reasonable cost. This paper addresses an important component of potential climate policy architecture for the post-Durban era: links among independent tradable permit systems for greenhouse gases.
Past & Present, issue 1, volume 215
By Erik Linstrum, Former Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy, International Security Program, 2011–2012
"This article first considers the ways in which experimental psychology and psychoanalysis hastened the obsolescence of ideas about the so-called 'primitive mind' and, in some cases, served the purposes of overtly anti-colonial politics. It then surveys the history of intelligence testing in the British Empire, which originated in the aftermath of the First World War, expanded in scale after the Second, and ultimately contributed to post-colonial development. Finally, it asks how far the case of psychology puts the very concept of 'colonial science' into question."
"A successful international climate policy framework will have to meet two conditions, build a coalition of countries that is potentially effective and give each member country sufficient incentives to join and remain in this coalition. Such coalition should be capable of delivering ambitious emission reduction even if some countries do not take mitigation action. In addition, it should meet the target without exceedingly high mitigation costs and deliver a net benefit to member countries as a whole. The novel contribution of this paper is mostly methodological, but it also adds a better qualification of well-known results that are policy relevant."
"Socio-Economic Sustainability of Biofuel Production in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from a Jatropha Outgrower Model in Rural Tanzania"
By Elisa Portale
This new discussion paper investigates whether an outgrower scheme for a Jatropha production project in Tanzania is capable of developing “socio-economic sustainable outcomes for farmers.” The answer relies on the inclusion of an analysis of the farmers’ material benefits and subjective perceptions about the overall welfare contribution of the outgrower scheme. This research is the first to propose a practical way to operationalize such an analysis and to apply it to a concrete investment project.
International Security, issue 3, volume 36
Climate change will most likely impose great hardships on Africa’s agrarian societies in the coming years, but new research suggests that, despite current thought, it will not increase the likelihood of civil war. The concern that scarcity will breed conflict is understandable, but the data show that civil war is more highly correlated with other factors, such as high infant mortality, proximity to international borders, and high local population density. Climate shocks are certain to increase the suffering of marginalized societies in other ways, which makes it all the more important that we do not militarize the issue lest fear limit immigration and relief efforts.
By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa, Josh Drake, Former Belfer IGA Fellow 2009-2011, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and L. Val Giddings
Today, three of ten people on the planet rely on others to grow their food and 900 million remain chronically food insecure. By 2050 the global demand for agricultural production is expected to double. Half of the global population will live in cities and will need to be fed through market channels. Meeting these demands will require significant increases in agricultural productivity. Modern, science-driven farming including genetically modified crops represents the best chance of generating the increases in agricultural productivity necessary to feed our future. This paper's overall conclusion is that genetically modified crops can and should play a critical role in agricultural productivity. It is offers a roadmap for those interested in objectively evaluating both the risk and benefits of biotechnology in agriculture.
November 24, 2011
Nature, volume 479
By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
If African countries can't plant genetically modified crops to produce more and healthier food, vulnerable populations will be at risk, argues Calestous Juma.
By Annie Tracy Samuel, Research Fellow, International Security Program
"The past year has been one of tremendous change in the Middle East and North Africa. The transformations that have come in the wake of momentous upheavals—now commonly known as the Arab Spring—have a wide and varying significance. For many people in the region, the past year has been one of daring, fearless action in pursuit of far-reaching political change. Their demands induced fear among the long-time, autocratic rulers, which has resulted either in the abdication of long-clung-to power or in brutal resistance and violence against masses of unarmed, pro-democracy protesters. World leaders have found themselves scrambling to protect various vital interests while struggling not to end up on the wrong side of history."