The global food, fuel, and financial crises have given new prominence to school feeding as a potential safety net and as a social support measure that helps keep children in school. 'Rethinking School Feeding: Social Safety Nets, Child Development, and the Educator Sector' was written jointly by the World Bank Group and the World Food Programme (WFP), building on the comparative advantages of both organizations. It examines the evidence base for school feeding programs with the objective of better understanding how to develop and implement effective school feeding programs in two contexts: as a productive safety net that is part of the response to the social shocks of the global crises and as a fiscally sustainable investment in human capital, as part of long-term global efforts to achieve Education for All and to provide social protection to the poor. School feeding programs provide an explicit or implicit transfer to households and can increase school attendance, cognition, and educational achievement, particularly if supported by complementary actions such as deworming and food fortification. When combined with local purchases of food, school feeding can potentially be a force multiplier, benefiting both children and the local economy. Today, every country for which we have information is seeking to provide food, in some way and at some scale, to its schoolchildren. Coverage is most complete in high- and middle-income countries indeed it seems that most countries that can afford to provide food for their school children do so. But where the need is greatest, in terms of hunger, poverty, and poor social indicators, the programs tend to be the smallest, though usually targeted to the most food insecure regions. These programs are also those most reliant on external support, and WFP supports nearly all of them. So the key issue today is not whether countries will implement school feeding programs, but how and with what objective. The near universality of school feeding provides important opportunities for WFP, the World Bank, and other development partners to assist governments in rolling-out productive safety nets as part of the response to the current global crises and to sow the seeds for school feeding programs to transition into fiscally sustainable investments in human capital in the future. 'Rethinking School Feeding' will be useful to government agencies and nonprofit organizations working in education reform and food and nutrition policies.
Five Weatherhead Center Undergraduate Associates were among several Harvard College seniors who received the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for outstanding scholarly work or research this year. The winners of the prestigious prize include:
Killian Clarke for his submission titled "Saying 'Enough': The Impact of Authoritarianism in Egypt on the Kefaya Movement"—nominated by Professor Jocelyn Viterna and Professor Emad Shahin.
Ana Ines Mendy for her submission titled "The Origins of Dominican Anti-Haitianismo: The Effects of the Haitian Revolution on Dominican National Identity (1791-1801)"—nominated by Professor Vincent Brown.
Noah Nathan for his submission titled "Institutional Change, Ethnic Identity, and Conflict in Northern Ghana"—nominated by Professor Nahomi Ichino.
John Sheffield for his submission titled "The Anatomy of the Iron Fist: Police Violence in Democratic Latin America"—nominated by Professor Steven Levitsky.
Leah Zamore for her submission titled "We Can No Longer Wait: The UN Refugee Agency and Involuntary Repatriation Refugees"—nominated by Jacqueline Bhabha.
For a full list of the award recipients, please go to the original article on Harvard University's Gazettte.
For immigrants, politics can play a significant role in determining whether and how they assimilate. In Bringing Outsiders In, leading social scientists present individual cases and work toward a comparative synthesis of how immigrants affect—and are affected by—civic life on both sides of the Atlantic.
Just as in the United States, large immigrant minority communities have been emerging across Europe. While these communities usually make up less than one-tenth of national populations, they typically have a large presence in urban areas, sometimes approaching a majority. That immigrants can have an even greater political salience than their population might suggest has been demonstrated in recent years in places as diverse as Sweden and France. Attending to how local and national states encourage or discourage political participation, the authors assess the relative involvement of immigrants in a wide range of settings. Jennifer Hochschild and John Mollenkopf provide a context for the particular cases and comparisons and draw a set of analytic and empirical conclusions regarding incorporation.
Industry representatives would have you believe that the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act enacted last month spells the end of the credit card as we know it. President Obama’s proposal last week to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to enforce the law has increased the industry’s concerns.
But the example of cards issued by credit unions puts the lie to these claims. Credit unions largely conform to the new rules already, while profitably maintaining the basic features that users know and love.
The credit card act is under fire for limiting a number of fees commonly used in credit card contracts, like the charge for going over the credit limit and the increased interest rate that applies once a borrower has missed a payment. These changes might look like a boon for the average card user, but industry advocates claim that fees on delinquent borrowers subsidize the perks for those who pay on time. Take away the lucrative fees, the argument goes, and credit card issuers will be forced to ax free plane rides, slash generous credit limits and impose hefty annual dues for all.
Some in the industry even say that profitability would require issuers to charge interest from the moment of purchase, thus eliminating the grace period of interest-free lending that borrowers have long enjoyed.
These fears are largely unfounded. We have performed a study that compared credit cards issued by investor-owned banks to those issued by customer-owned credit unions. We found that credit unions are less likely to charge the fees and penalties that the new act hopes to eliminate — and when they do, they charge less than other issuers.
While virtually all banks and other for-profit issuers increase the interest rate if the borrower fails to make a minimum payment on time, most credit unions do not. Similarly, credit union fees for exceeding the credit limit are on average just half those of other issuers. But contrary to industry assertions, more responsible card users don’t pay the price. Credit union cards actually offer lower annual fees and longer grace periods than regular cards.
Is the lending model used by credit unions feasible for banks and other issuers? Absolutely. Banks and credit unions compete for customers in the same market. The primary distinguishing characteristic of credit unions is that they answer to a different group of owners: profits that are not reinvested are paid to the union’s shareholder-customers as a dividend, much as investor-owned banks reinvest or pay dividends to their shareholder-investors.
True, unlike typical banks, credit unions have the advantage of being exempt from corporate income taxes, thus some might argue that this gives them an edge. But this is a proportional tax on profits. In other words, if credit unions were not exempt from the tax, their model would still make profits, they would just retain less of them.
Credit union cards are a great test case for how regular cards will perform under the new law. The evidence so far suggests that the credit card act is likely to bring about moderate, and even positive, changes. Card issuers, after all, need to retain customers. Any bank that attempts to pad its bottom line by, say, levying large annual fees will likely see its customers flee to credit unions or to banks that emulate the credit union model.
To be sure, the new law will require some sacrifices. Our data indicate that rewards programs, for example, may become less generous or less common. But is this necessarily a bad thing? While you may be reluctant to sacrifice your airline miles, rewards programs are anything but free for the nation as a whole. Debt-laden and often low-income borrowers tend to pay high fees to subsidize the vacations of those who manage to pay on time.
Credit union cards demonstrate that punishing fees are not an essential ingredient of profitable lending. This should help assuage fears that the credit card act will bring disaster for credit cards. Rather, it should nudge them toward the gentler credit union model that many Americans already enjoy.
In both the Acehnese and Indonesian languages, there is no single lexical term for “nightmare.” And yet findings from a large field research project in Aceh that examined post traumatic experience during Aceh’s nearly 30-year rebellion against the Indonesian state and current mental distress revealed a rich variety of dream narratives that connect directly and indirectly to respondents’ past traumatic experiences. The results reported below suggest that even in a society that has a very different cultural ideology about dreams, where “nightmares” as such are not considered dreams but rather the work of mischievous spirits called jin, they are still a significant part of the trauma process. We argue that it is productive to distinguish between terrifying and repetitive dreams that recreate the traumatic moment and the more ordinary varieties of dreams that Acehnese reported to their interviewers. Nightmares that refer back to conflict events do not appear as an elaborated feature of trauma as the condition is understood by people in Aceh, but when asked further about their dreams, respondents who reported symptoms suggestive of PTSD were more likely to report PTSD-like dreams, memory intrusions that repeat the political violence of the past.
This new introduction to world politics by three leading scholars offers a contemporary analytical approach based on the way political scientists study international relations today. Each chapter begins with an intriguing empirical or theoretical puzzle that sets up the chapter's analysis, and "Controversies" boxes throughout the text provide insights into some of the most compelling current policy debates.
Offering an approach that is closely in line with the way that political scientists study international relations today, this framework is used consistently in every chapter to help students understand the basic topics in international relations.
Each chapter begins with an intriguing empirical or theoretical puzzle to draw students in and set up the chapter’s analysis. Thoughtful pedagogy reinforces key points.
Snyder and Kick’s (1979) measure of world-system position continues to serve as the
premier trichotomous network indicator of a state’s location in the capitalist world economy.
In this study, we identify several problems with this orthodox measure concerning its
age, informal construction, and incorporation of inappropriate networks. We introduce a
trichotomous network measure of world-system position that addresses these concerns,
applying Borgatti and Everett’s (1999) core/periphery model to a three-tiered partition
using international trade data. Our trichotomous measure of the trade network identifies
an expanded core, consisting of an old orthodox core joined by a set of upwardly mobile
states. We estimate the effect of world-system position on economic growth and find
that our trade measure significantly outperforms Snyder and Kick’s orthodox measure.
When controlling for human capital, the strong effects of our trade measure persist, while
the weaker effects estimated by the orthodox measure largely disappear. Moreover, our
models with human capital reveal that states economically converge within world-system
zones, while continuing to diverge between zones.
Even though Australia has experienced frequent and large commodity export price
shocks like the Third World, it seems to have dealt with the volatility better. Why? This
paper explores Australian terms of trade volatility since 1901. It identifies two major
price shock episodes before the recent mining-led boom and bust. It assesses their relative
magnitude, their de-industrialization and distributional impact, and policy responses. In
what way has Australia been different from other commodity exporters experiencing
This short paper is a response to Andrew Guzman's book, How International Law Works. Guzman presents a novel synthesis of the IR approaches to IL by arguing that a state's concern with its reputation is one most important source of compliance with international law. But the book's approach to reputation is not up to the task of explaining compliance. In discussion the book's shortcomings, I ask to whom the relevant reputation belongs. Guzman relies on notions of the state's reputation, but this assignment is a problem for a causation analysis because governments (who make the compliance decisions) will not fully internalize the state's reputation. In addition, I discuss the methodological problems in Guzman's approach. The book provides for only a very loose means of assessing reputational costs, even as a conceptual matter. Without such means of assessment, any claim about the power of reputation remains non-falsifiable and therefore has less theoretical force.
After just one year of the Spanish Civil War, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident
led to the Sino-Japanese War, both conflicts remaining for two years as daily
reminders of the world conflicts of the time. This article attempts to emphasize
the importance of the coincidence in time of those conflicts in delimiting each
bloc, especially through a decision that was particularly divisive for the
Japanese government, such as recognition of Franco’s rebel government after
the outbreak of the war in China. Efforts by Japanese Foreign Minister Hirota
KÄki to avoid a decision that would further Japan’s pro-Axis drift show the
lines of division in the government. His maneuvers progressively failed, including
the November 1937 proposal for negotiations to include the recognition of
Manchukuo, accepted first by Franco’s Spain, later by Italy and finally by the
Germans. The article emphasizes the role of Italy in Asia, the reasons for
Spanish actions, and the aims of other key persons in this period, such as Prime
Minister Konoe, the postwar leader Yoshida Shigeru, or Ishihara Kanji, the
officer who masterminded the 1931 invasion of Manchuria.
Does development lead to the establishment of more democratic institutions? The key to
the puzzle, we argue, is the previously unrecognized fact that based on quantitative
regime scores, countries over the past 50 years have clustered into two separate, very
distinct, yet equally‐common stages of political development—authoritarian states with
low levels of freedom on one side and democracies with liberal institutions on the other
side of a bimodal distribution of political regimes. We develop a new empirical
strategy—exploiting exogenous world economic factors and introducing new panel data
estimators—that allows for the first time to estimate the effects of development as well
as unobserved country effects in driving democracy at these different stages of political
development. We find that income and education have the least effect on democracy
when authoritarian regimes are consolidated and that only country effects, possibly
accounting for institutional legacies, can lead to political development. Ironically, it is in
highly democratic and wealthiest of nations that income and education start to play a
role; however greater wealth and better educated citizenry can both help and hurt
democracy depending again on what the country’s institutional legacies are. Far from
accepting the notion that much of the developing world is cursed by unchanging and
poor long‐run institutions, policy‐makers should take note that with democratization we
also see country‐specific factors that in turn condition the difference income and
education make for democracy.
Erez Manela, the Dunwalke Associate Professor of American History at Harvard University, is among eight individuals who have been awarded fellowships as part of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Visiting Scholars Program for 2009. The fellowship program supports scholars and practitioners in the early stages of their careers—both post-doctoral fellows and untenured junior faculty—who show potential of becoming leaders in the humanities, policy studies, and social sciences.
"Fellowships in the humanities and social sciences are limited," noted Academy Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz. "Our experience shows that these types of fellowships can be a significant factor in developing the careers of new scholars."
During his residency in Cambridge, Manela will be working on a project titled, "The Eradication of Smallpox: An International History." The project is a study of the World Health Organization’s Global Smallpox Eradication Program, which provides insight into the history of the Cold War, postcolonial international relations, the role of transnational organizations in globalization, and the development of modern medicine and international public health.
Manela directs undergraduate programs at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard and authored The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2007). He received his PhD from Yale University and his undergraduate degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The Academy fellowships combine the scholars' individual research with participation in the many ongoing programs and activities at the Academy, including the opportunity to interact with Academy Fellows, who bring an unparalleled wealth of knowledge from diverse scholarly and professional backgrounds.
"The Academy’s Visiting Scholars Program gives emerging scholars the chance to engage in studies of complex social and intellectual issues in an environment that is both interdisciplinary and intergenerational," Berlowitz added.
Launched in 2002, the Visiting Scholars Program is co-chaired by Patricia Meyer Spacks, former President of the Academy, and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English Emerita at the University of Virginia.
During the program's first six years, 53 emerging academic leaders have participated. They have gone on to secure teaching and research positions at Columbia, Harvard, Northwestern, Yale, Case Western Reserve, and Boston universities, among others, and have used their residency at the Academy to complete more than 40 books and numerous articles.
It is disconcerting to share a hotel room with someone who needs to tell you in
detail how he learned to use a machete to chop the human body up into unrecognizable
chunks of flesh. Vladimiro's military training showed not only in his butchering
prowess, but also in his upright posture, an odd juxtaposition of perfect etiquette and
A friend had brought Valdimiro by my hotel in Apartadó, knowing my colleague
and I were interested in interviewing members of Colombia's paramilitary forces.
Although Vladimiro arrived in civilian clothing, the phone call from the hotel receptionist
made clear that he needed no uniform in order to inspire fear. "You are needed down
here," she tersely informed me. When I walked down the stairs into the lobby, the three
hotel employees behind the main desk all made a point of being intensely involved in
their paperwork and sweeping, never looking up as I shook hands with Vladimiro and invited him and my friend Jefferson upstairs. I glanced back over my shoulder—their
tasks continued to be riveting.
The 2008 G8 summit in Toyako, Japan, produced a strong commitment for collective action to strengthen health
systems in developing countries, indicating Japan’s leadership on, and the G8’s increasing engagement with, global health policy. This paper describes the context for the G8’s role in global health architecture and analyses three key components—financing, information, and the health workforce—that affect the performance of health systems. We propose recommendations for actions by G8 leaders to strengthen health systems by making the most effective use of existing resources and increasing available resources. We recommend increased attention by G8 leaders to country capacity and country ownership in policy making and implementation. The G8 should also implement a yearly review
for actions in this area, so that changes in health-system performance can be monitored and better understood.
The horrific acts of anti-Western and anti-Jewish terrorism carried out
by Muslim fanatics during the last decades have been labelled by
politicians, religious leaders and scholars as a ‘Clash of
Civilizations’. However, as the contributors to this book set out to
explain, these acts cannot be considered an Islamic onslaught on
Judeo-Christian Civilisation. While the hostile ideas, words and deeds
perpetrated by individual supporters among the three monotheistic
civilisations cannot be ignored, history has demonstrated a more
positive, constructive, albeit complex, relationship among Muslim,
Christians and Jews during medieval and modern times. For long periods
of time they shared divine and human values, co-operated in cultural,
economic and political fields, and influenced one another's
thinking.This book examines religious and historical themes of these
three civilising religions, the impact of education on their
interrelationship, the problem of Jerusalem, as well as contemporary
interfaith relations. Noted scholars and theologians—Jewish,
Christian and Muslim—from the United States, Canada, Egypt,
Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Palestine and Turkey contribute to this
book, the theme of which was first presented at an international
conference organised by the Weatherhead Center for International
Affairs, and the Divinity School, Harvard University.
The formal modeling techniques of rational choice theory have become central to the discipline of political science, for example with regard to the understanding of the working of legislatures, coalition governments, executive-bureaucracy relations, or electoral systems. The collection includes the very best work in this field, as well as an editors’ introduction to each volume that describes the importance of the articles and their place in political science.
Volume I: Social Choice and Equilibrium
Volume II: Voting, Elections and Electoral Systems
Volume III: Legislatures and Pressure Politics
Volume IV: Bureaucracy, Constitutional Arrangements and the State
We applied an innovation framework to sustainable livestock
development research projects in Africa and Asia. The focus of
these projects ranged from pastoral systems to poverty and ecosystems
services mapping to market access by the poor to fodder
and natural resource management to livestock parasite drug resistance.
We found that these projects closed gaps between knowledge
and action by combining different kinds of knowledge,
learning, and boundary spanning approaches; by providing all
partners with the same opportunities; and by building the capacity
of all partners to innovate and communicate.
NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine is not a realistic possibility, no matter what the Atlantic alliance may say about their potential in principle, as it did at the last two summit meetings. That alternative has been closed, not because some NATO members—notably France and Germany—fractiously
opposed an unpopular Bush administration in its enlargement drive, but for deeper structural reasons.
First, domestic conditions speak against membership. The reckless engagement with a superior Russian military by Georgia's president, Mikheil Saakashvili, although he had been thoroughly briefed by the United States about the Russian potential, demonstrated to NATO how bad leadership in combination with a very old conflict can drag the Atlantic alliance into a war it does not want.
In Ukraine there is no majority support for membership among the general population; indeed, in the eastern part of the country there is strong opposition. If ever the leadership were to force this issue it would risk a deep split, with potentially disastrous consequences for the integrity of Ukraine.
Second, contrary to the expectations at the end of the Cold War, large-scale conventional warfare in Europe has reappeared as a threatening possibility. The worst possible scenario for NATO would be that the alliance would be unable to defend an ally under Article V because of lack of political will (even now the majority of people in some NATO countries do not support going to war over Central European members), or for military reasons—as would be the case for Georgia and Ukraine under the present circumstances. This would expose NATO as a paper tiger and cause it to loose the essence of its credibility and meaning.
Third, Russia's relations with the West have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. The enlargement of NATO, the breakdown of strategic and conventional arms control, the installment of missile defenses in Central Europe, and the West's failure to consult Russia on issues it considers vital to its interests, have created a concoction of resentment and perceptions of not being treated as a major power.
Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO represents a red line that gives them disproportionate
significance. The West has to take this into account if it wants to improve the situation in Europe and regain Russia as a partner in global affairs.
Georgia and Ukraine deserve and will get substantial aid from NATO and the European Union. But it makes little sense to address their long-term security problems separately since they are part of the necessary overhaul of the West's Russia policy that the Obama administration has promised and the
European Allies eagerly await. Such an overhaul would have to include, among other things, strategic
arms control, a nonproliferation policy and missile defense.
As far as Georgia and Ukraine are concerned, two items are central to the alleviation of their problems. First, a general dialogue between the West and Russia is necessary in order to review the problems of European security and develop approaches that could improve the overall situation. Presidents Dmitri Medvedev of Russia and Nicolas Sarkozy of France have supported such an idea with the quiet and explicit approval of many European governments.
Second, the military security of both countries can be addressed by reviving the Treaty on
Conventional Forces in Europe. The treaty was concluded in 1990 and adapted to changed
circumstances with an additional agreement in 1999. It has the advantage of providing for upper limits
to conventional forces in geographic zones, for the destruction of equipment, for inspections, and rules
for stationing foreign troops.
To be sure, the treaty is now blocked by linked conditionality of NATO and Russia and has been suspended by Russia, and is, of course, no panacea. Problems left to themselves for two decades must be dealt with. But reopening conventional arms control in Europe offers a chance to address the concrete security problems of Georgia and Ukraine (as well as of other European countries) and become part of a hopefully constructive redefinition of the West's relationship with Russia.