Publications

The Weatherhead Center has developed a presence on the Internet that, to a growing readership, is playing a significant role in the projection of Harvard scholarship on international affairs. The site includes: published journal articles; op-eds and other pieces written by or about the Center’s Faculty Associates; and recent books by Faculty Associates, including editorial summaries. The Center is always adding to the collection of published journal articles available on its site and responding to the interests of Center faculty and other users in making the site an indispensable scholarly tool.

McClendon, Gwyneth H. Forthcoming. “Individualism and Empowerment in Pentecostal Sermons: New Evidence from Nairobi, Kenya.” African Affairs. Oxford University Press.Abstract

Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are rapidly growing in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and the developing world. In this paper we present new evidence on the theologies and activities of these popular churches, having gathered sermon texts and interview data from a random sample of them in Nairobi, Kenya. We find that Pentecostal churches in Nairobi are remarkably consistent in the messages they disseminate, despite greatvariation in church and membership characteristics across congregations. We argue that the dominant theme in the sermons is a focus on cultivating believers' sense of their own potential and autonomy as individuals. Other topics commonly associated with Pentecostal churches, such as getting rich quickly and social conservatism, are not as central. The focus on individual autonomy also stands in stark contrast to more collectivist agendas of social change. Indeed, the individualist theme is accompanied by a relative lack of social service provision, reflecting an approach to economic development that focuses on individual mental transformation rather than material handouts or systemic reform.

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The Curse of Cash

The Curse of Cash
Rogoff, Kenneth S. 2016. The Curse of Cash. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The world is drowning in cash—and it's making us poorer and less safe. In The Curse of Cash, Kenneth Rogoff, one of the world’s leading economists, makes a persuasive and fascinating case for an idea that until recently would have seemed outlandish: getting rid of most paper money.

Even as people in advanced economies are using less paper money, there is more cash in circulation—a record $1.4 trillion in U.S. dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills. And the United States is hardly exceptional. So what is all that cash being used for? The answer is simple: a large part is feeding tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy.

As Rogoff shows, paper money can also cripple monetary policy. In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, central banks have been unable to stimulate growth and inflation by cutting interest rates significantly below zero for fear that it would drive investors to abandon treasury bills and stockpile cash. This constraint has paralyzed monetary policy in virtually every advanced economy, and is likely to be a recurring problem in the future.

The Curse of Cash offers a plan for phasing out most paper money—while leaving small-denomination bills and coins in circulation indefinitely—and addresses the issues the transition will pose, ranging from fears about privacy and price stability to the need to provide subsidized debit cards for the poor.

While phasing out the bulk of paper money will hardly solve the world’s problems, it would be a significant step toward addressing a surprising number of very big ones. Provocative, engaging, and backed by compelling original arguments and evidence, The Curse of Cash is certain to spark widespread debate.

 

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Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course

Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course
Reimers, Fernando M., Vidur Chopra, Connie K. Chung, Julia Higdon, and E. B. O'Donnell. 2016. Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Publisher's VersionAbstract

How do we help students work effectively with others from diverse cultural backgrounds? How do we help them understand the world? How do we prepare them for work and life in an era of globalization, volatility, and uncertainty? Empowering Global Citizens offers educators and parents compelling answers to those questions.

This book presents The World Course, a curriculum on global citizenship education designed to equip students with the competencies they need to thrive and contribute to sustainable development in an era of globalization. Drawing on curriculum mapping this book offers a coherent and rigorous set of instructional units to support deep learning of twenty-first-century competencies that develop agency, imagination, confidence, and the skills to navigate the complexity of our times.

Drawing on a rich conceptual framework of global education, The World Course scaffolds the development of global competency drawing on project-based learning and other pedagogies that support personalization. The course expands children’s horizons, helping them understand the world in which they live in all its complexity from kindergarten to high school. This is done through learning activities at the zone for proximal development for each age group, with activities that foster student agency and a growth mindset.

 

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McClendon, Gwyneth H. 2016. “Race and Responsiveness: An Experiment with South African Politicians.” Journal of Experimental Political Science.Abstract

Do politicians engage in ethnic and racial favoritism when conducting constituency service? This article presents results from a replication field experiment with local South African politicians that tested for racial bias in responsiveness to requests about public goods provision. The experiment represents an adaptation of similar experiments conducted in the United States, extending the design to a different institutional environment, albeit one with a similar racially-charged history. Although one might suppose that politicians in South Africa would seek to avoid racial bias given the recent transition to full democracy, I find that South African politicians—both black and white—are more responsive to same-race constituents than to other-race constituents. Same-race bias is evident in both the dominant and the main opposition political parties. Moreover, politicians are not particularly responsive to anyone. Implications for the further study of democratic responsiveness are discussed.

King, Gary, Matthew Blackwell, and James Honaker. 2015. “A Unified Approach to Measurement Error and Missing Data: Details and Extensions.” Sociological Methods and Research. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We extend a unified and easy-to-use approach to measurement error and missing data. In our companion article, Blackwell, Honaker, and King give an intuitive overview of the new technique, along with practical suggestions and empirical applications. Here, we offer more precise technical details, more sophisticated measurement error model specifications and estimation procedures, and analyses to assess the approach’s robustness to correlated measurement errors and to errors in categorical variables. These results support using the technique to reduce bias and increase efficiency in a wide variety of empirical research.

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