Richard Arenberg on the Hill: "The filibuster has played a critical role for more than 200 years. It has been used to protect the privileges of the minority, particularly the rights to debate and to offer amendments."
Journalist in Residence Stephen Kinzer in the Boston Globe: "Americans sometimes forget how difficult it is to live in a turbulent region. Turks know. Their country is a relatively stable democracy and NATO member. Near the border with Syria, though, chaos is literally just down the road."
Furthermore, a recent independent economic analysis conducted by John Friedman concludes that even under all optimistic assumptions, AAF will generate annual losses of more than $100 million and will be unable to service its debt burden.
Timmons Roberts on Brookings Blog, "As with the U.S.-China announcement in November 2014, the announcement today again shows how climate targets can be “differentiated” between countries. Developed countries can have more absolute targets, whereas developing nations have put forward targets of other sorts."
Mark Blyth, professor of international political economy, comments on the current economic crisis in Greece and cautions against austerity as a solution. “The definition of a dangerous idea is it’s a zombie,” he said. “It keeps coming back, and it’s immune to critical evidence."
In The New Yorker, "Vazira Zamindar’s excellent recent study, “The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia,” opens with an account of Ghulam Ali, a Muslim from Lucknow, a city in central North India, who specialized in making artificial limbs."
Jeff Colgan, assistant professor of international studies and political science, comments on the future of oil prices, as the market prepares for the return of Iranian crude: “Some people think the Saudis might reduce their oil production to try to stabilize the price while Iran is increasing theirs. I tend to disagree with that,” Colgan said in part.
In DVIDS, "Members of NWC’s faculty and Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, Providence, met for a faculty research colloquium with the theme 'Promoting International Peace and Security: Challenges for the Next Decade.'"
In a recap of the 2015 state legislative session, Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science, comments on how well key people — Gov. Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed — seemed to be getting along. “It appears, from the outside, that the three most powerful people at the top knew how important it is to work together,” she said.
Nina Tannenwald in the Providence Journal, "But, say, why shouldn’t the PawSox owners fund their skyboxes the way my daughter’s teachers fund their teaching supplies? The PawSox owners could put in a request for $120 million, the amount they initially requested from the state, through a crowdsourcing website."
On June 23, The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a policy forum on promoting financial well-being in retirement. John Friedman discussed his new paper on reforms to the landscape of retirement savings accounts.
Wendy Schiller in the Providence Journal, "Chafee wants to reclaim his legitimacy as a public servant. And I think he deserves to do that because he has been an honest, sincere participant in the public arena."
Timmons Roberts on Brookings Blog: "The pope’s statement puts it very plainly to those leaders of nations who might be laggards: it’s time to face climate change very thoughtfully, justly, and aggressively."
Director of the Brown Public Policy Program James Morone in Foreign Affairs, "Today, there is hardly an aspect of American political life untouched by religion. God seems to be everywhere. The nation’s official motto is 'In God We Trust.' The phrase is printed on the nation’s money, affixed behind the Speaker’s dais in the House of Representatives, and engraved over the entrance to the Senate."
Last week, a temporary shelter modeled on shelters used by the victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal went up on the lawn outside of the Watson Institute at Brown University. Teaching fellow Atul Pokharel, who lead the construction of the shelter, talks about what he hopes it will achieve.
Stephen Kinzer writes about the recent Turkish elections, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party, Justice and Development, took just 41 percent in the parliamentary election. Kinzer writes that "Voters punished him for his excesses."
Students who took part in an international relations class taught by Stephen Kinzer have their articles published in the Global Post. These articles are part of a series of stories written by students that will be posted on the site.
Stephen Kinzer, journalist in residence, in the Boston Globe: "If Kurdish and Iranian forces can bring the battle to ISIS in ways that do not further inflame sectarian tensions, it is in our interest to encourage them. First, though, we must decide whether crushing ISIS is really our priority."
Jeff Colgan, assistant professor of politics and international relations, comments on OPEC, which holds its biannual meeting in Vienna on Friday. "OPEC does not function as a cartel," he said. "Its members continue to have quite different interests and are unlikely to cooperate in any meaningful way to cut their collective oil production."
Journalist in Residence Stephen Kinzer in Al Jazeera, "Iranians are thrilled that their government has reached a preliminary agreement with outside powers and are eager for a final accord, which all parties say they want to conclude by June 30. The possibility that Iran could emerge from its pariah status and begin rebuilding its ties to the outside world has electrified the country."
The Watson Institute's Costs of War Project cited in Yahoo News, "Another 162,000 have been wounded since the US-led offensive that toppled the Taliban government in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, says the study by the Costs of War Project, based at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University."
Wendy Schiller comments on how former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee's presidential campaign, which he plans to announce today, could help democrats: "Certainly, I think to counter some of the negatives of Hillary Clinton you’re going to need people like Linc Chafee, like Bernie Sanders, out there, getting the Democratic Party base out the door."
Journalist in Residence Stephen Kinzer in Al Jazeera, "Turks have spent countless hours wondering what produced Erdogan’s astonishing transformation from a reformist leader to an angry, divisive politician blinded by unlimited personal ambition."
Journalist in Residence Stephen Kinzer in the Boston Globe, "In many countries, a head of state would not even acknowledge a few unflattering sentences published ın a newspaper thousands of miles away, or might shrug them off with no more concern than an elephant shows for a mosquito. Erdogan, however, takes an intense interest in what the press writes about him. Many of the country’s independent journalists have been forced from their jobs. Those who remain are expected to toe his party line."
Watson Faculty Fellow and Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences Glenn Loury participated in a Congressional briefing on The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences, a recent report released by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
Wendy Schiller comments on Providence's rising costs for pensions and healthcare, following Mayor Elorza's announcement of a proposed three-part savings plan for the city. Schiller says these costs are unsustainable.
Tim Edgar, visiting fellow in international studies, shares his take on the opposition to the USA Freedom Act, which many view as a workable compromise to the Patriot Act that preserves essential capabilities.
Journalist in Residence Stephen Kinzer in the Boston Globe, "If justice were truly blind, all would be treated equally and punished according to the scope of their offenses. Since justice is clearly being administered prejudicially, however, a larger solution is necessary."
Timothy Edgar, visiting fellow in international studies, comments on the possibility of key parts of the NSA’s surveillance powers granted by the Patriot Act expiring soon, unless Congress takes action.
Kenneth Wong, professor of education policy, commented on an article about Rushern L. Baker's proposal to increase property taxes to fund Prince George County's struggling school system. Wong said it's unusual to have a double-digit tax increase to fund schools, adding "It sends a strong signal that the new team will take school reform seriously."
May 15, 2015Center for International Maritime Security
Journalist in Residence Stephen Kinzer on the Center for International Maritime Security, "The forces that created the Dulles brothers are the forces that created America. If you can understand those sources you can understand a good deal about this country."
Visting Fellow Timothy Edgar on Lawfare, "The job of lawyers and privacy officials is the intelligence community is to administer the two basic systems of oversight first established by the Church Committee reforms of the 1970s: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and E.O. 12,333."
Timmons Roberts, professor of environmental studies and sociology, wrote an op-ed applauding Gov. Gina Raimondo and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner's proposed Infrastructure Bank, saying the "bank is simply a great plan, filled with common-sense approaches, and begins to allow us to scale up our existing state programs to build a more resilient economy and society."
Director of the China Initiative Edward Steinfeld on Brookings Blog, "When confronted by the kind of production practices emerging from China today, the smart move by observers in advanced industrial nations is to stop worrying, stop accusing, stop making excuses, and instead start learning."
Anna Aizer, Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy, co-authored a paper, "The Long Term Impact of Cash Transfers to Poor Families" that was cited in an opinion piece in the New York Times. Opinion writer Jason Furman uses Aizer's research to make the case that rather than increasing dependency, cash-transfer programs to help the poor have "substantial long term benefits for children."
Ed Fitzpatrick talks to Brown postdoctoral fellow Atul Pokharel about the loss his family and town suffered during the earthquake in Nepal and a website he has created to help those affected by the disaster.
Nitsan Chorev, professor of sociology and international studies, comments on President Obama's proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, which some fear will snuff out Fall River's hard-earned progress toward rebirth. “The winners are going to be companies that rely heavily on copyright and intellectual property protections . . . the other winners are going to be foreign companies,” Chorev says.
Stephen Kinzer writes about the history of denial on the part of many countries for genocide and other atrocities they have committed. He cites the Ottoman massacre of Armenians 100 years ago as one example.