October 10, 2014
By Melissa Hathaway, Senior Advisor, Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age
"Cybersecurity is a major concern at companies of all sizes and has a measureable impact on many facets of operations, and certainly profitability. Yet the scale of that impact is often obscured or lost in translation. Unless directors can cut through the technical jargon in what are often massive amounts of information they receive, the size of the risk and the steps to mitigate it may not be clear. Instead, Hathaway says, the risks need to be translated into a language most directors know well: dollars and cents."
October 10, 2014
Boards are increasingly taking responsibility for cybersecurity because they recognize it for what it is: the latest form of risk, which, while in a new guise, must be managed with the same diligence and processes applied to other risks. Since most boards lack specific cybersecurity expertise we recommend several avenues to getting that crucial input and, importantly, translating it from tech-talk to the language of business most directors understand.
October 9, 2014
Project on Middle East Political Science
By Tarek Masoud, Faculty Affiliate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
"The scholarly literature has long argued that one of the reasons that parties like the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt are able to earn the loyalties of voters is through their provision of health, welfare, and educational services that the cash-strapped states of the Arab world are increasingly unable (or unwilling) to provide. However, in recent years, the provision of social services by Islamist parties has gone from being an explanation of Islamist success to something to be explained in itself."
Small Wars and Insurgencies, issue 5-6, volume 25
By Ches Thurber, Research Fellow, International Security Program
"The Shia militia has emerged as one of the most powerful and important actors in the Middle East security environment. Despite this trend, they remain poorly understood by scholars and policymakers alike. This article seeks to expand our understanding of the militia as a type of non-state armed group through an examination of Shia militia movements in Iraq between 2003 and 2009."
Nature Climate Change, volume 4
By Dabo Guan, Stephan Klasen, Klaus Hubacek, Kuishuang Feng, Zhu Liu, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Kebin He, Yong Geng and Qiang Zhang
China committed itself to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy (the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP) by 40–45% during 2005–2020. Yet, between 2002 and 2009, China experienced a 3% increase in carbon intensity, though trends differed greatly among its 30 provinces. Decomposition analysis shows that sectoral efficiency gains in nearly all provinces were offset by movement towards a more carbon-intensive economic structure.
Environment Systems and Decisions
The frequency and severity of many types of extreme weather events may be changing because of climate change. To date, most vulnerability studies and resulting toolkits for decision makers, while state of the art, only address a specific subset of possible extreme weather events and mitigation and adaptation efforts. This paper extends Haddon's strategies to facilitate a holistic, systematic analysis of the options that communities have to cope with uncertain impacts from multiple hazards in multiple sector of society. This framework distinguishes between efforts to reduce the hazard, the exposure, and the vulnerability, thus helping end the semantic confusion of the meaning of adaptation and mitigation.
Geopolitics, History, and International Relations, issue 2, volume 6
By Mansour Salsabili, Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are not suitable for the Iranian Army, given its non-mechanized nature; its defensive military posture; its current status as a non-nuclear weapon state; and its sufficient conventional preparation to meet its protective security interests. This paper proposes three interlinked policy approaches to resolve the current impasse.
Environmental Science and Technology
By Chao Zhang, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–July 2013, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Hongpin Mo, Zhongnan Zhao and Zhu Liu, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
The energy sector is increasingly facing water scarcity constraints in many regions around the globe, especially in China, where the unprecedented large-scale construction of coal-fired thermal power plants is taking place in its extremely arid northwest regions. As a response to water scarcity, air-cooled coal power plants have experienced dramatic diffusion in China since middle 2000s. By the end of 2012, air-cooled coal-fired thermal power plants in China amounted to 112 GW, making up 14% of China's thermal power generation capacity. But the water conservation benefit of air-cooled units is achieved at the cost of lower thermal efficiency and consequently higher carbon emissions intensity.
Reducing carbon emissions in Shanghai is a huge undertaking and involves every facet of both energy supply options and energy consumption patterns. The report focuses on three areas: 1. The integration of land use, transportation, and housing planning; 2. Improving building efficiency; and 3. Improving electricity use in building operations. As public concern over conventional air pollutants grows and the demand for air conditioning in the increasingly hot summers and heating in the winter rises, the potential of "locking-in" inefficient and costly energy use patterns increases. This report addresses these challenges.
May 22, 2014
"A liberal actor in a realist world? The Commission and the external dimension of the single market for energy"
Journal of European Public Policy
By Andreas Goldthau, Associate, The Geopolitics of Energy Project
This article investigates the European Commission's external energy policy through the lens of the regulatory state. It argues that because of the nature of its institutions, policy tools and resources, the Commission remains a liberal actor even as the world leaves the benign pro-market environment of the 1990s and becomes more mercantilist – or ‘realist’.