Publications

Browse FSI scholarship on geopolitics, global health, energy, cybersecurity and more.

Publications

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Book

Jean C. Oi, Thomas Fingar
2020

China's future will be determined by how its leaders manage its myriad interconnected challenges. In Fateful Decisions, leading experts from a wide range of disciplines eschew broad predictions of success or failure in favor of close analyses of today's most critical demographic, economic, social, political, and foreign policy challenges. They expertly outline the options and opportunity costs entailed, providing a cutting-edge analytic framework for understanding the decisions that will determine China's trajectory.

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Book

Elaine Traharne, Claude Willan
Stanford University Press, 2020

The field of text technologies is a capacious analytical framework that focuses on all textual records throughout human history, from the earliest periods of traceable communication—perhaps as early as 60,000 BCE—to the present day. At its core, it examines the material history of communication: what constitutes a text, the purposes for which it is intended, how it functions, and the social ends that it serves.

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Commentary

Andrew Grotto, Andrew Grotto
2020

Despite pressure from President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, Apple continues to stand its ground and refuses to re-engineer iPhones so law enforcement can unlock the devices. Apple has maintained that it has done everything required by law and that creating a "backdoor" would undermine cybersecurity and privacy for iPhone users everywhere.

Apple is right to stand firm in its position that building a "backdoor" could put user data at risk.

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Journal Article

Stephen J. Stedman, Nathaniel Persily, Alex Stamos, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Laura Chinchilla, Noeleen Heyzer, Yves Leterme, Ory Okolloh , Ernesto Zedillo, Megan Smith, William Sweeney
2020

Democratic consolidation around the world currently faces major challenges. Threats to democracy have become more insidious, especially due to the manipulation of legal and constitutional procedures originally designed to guard democracy against arbitrary action and abuse. Free and fair elections, the cornerstone of democratic legitimacy, are under considerable stress from populism and post-truth movements, who abuse new digital communication technologies to confuse and mislead citizens.

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Journal Article

Francis Fukuyama
2020

Since the publication of the Journal of Democracy began in 1990, the political climate has shifted from one of democratic gains and optimism to what Larry Diamond labels a “democratic recession.” Underlying these changes has been a reorientation of the major axis of political polarization, from a left-right divide defined largely in economic terms toward a politics based on identity. In a second major shift, technological development has had unexpected effects—including that of facilitating the rise of identity-based social fragmentation.

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Journal Article

Larry Diamond
2020

Since 2006, democracy in the world has been trending downward. A number of liberal democracies are becoming less liberal, and authoritarian regimes are developing more repressive tendencies. Democracies are dying at the hands of elected authoritarian populists who neuter or take over the institutions meant to constrain them. Changes in the international environment, as well as technological developments and growing inequality, have contributed to this democratic slump.

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Working Paper

Beatriz Magaloni, Vanessa Melo, Gustavo Robles, Gustavo Empinotti
2020

In this paper we examine the effects of police body-worn cameras through a randomized control trial implemented in Rio de Janeiro. The paper explores the use of this technology by police officers in charge of tactical operations and officers performing “proximity” patrolling in the largest favela of Brazil, Rocinha. The study reveals that institutional and administrative limitations at Military Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro (PMERJ) were associated with limited use of the cameras –basically officers refusing to turn the cameras on.

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Working Paper

Beatriz Magaloni, Veriene Melo
2020

This study is the result of over four years of active collaboration between the Poverty, Violence and Governance Lab (PovGov) and the Rio-based NGO Agency for Youth Networks (hereafter, Agency). What began in 2012 as an informal conversation between PovGov researchers and the program’s founder and director, Marcus Faustini, led to a solid partnership that has produced not only this research but also opportunities for engagement through events both in California and in Rio de Janeiro.

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Journal Article

Beatriz Magaloni, Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, Alexander Ruiz Euler
2020

Can ethnically distinct communities ruled through “traditional” assemblies provide public goods and services better, than when they are ruled by leaders elected through “modern” multiparty elections? We exploit a unique institutional feature in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, where municipalities are ruled by traditional governance institutions, to explore the effect of these forms of governance on the provision of public goods. Using locality-level census data, we study the provision of local public goods through a geographic discontinuity approach.

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White Paper

Beatriz Magaloni, Thomas Abt, Chris Blattman, Santiago Tobón
2020

What works in preventing and reducing violence among youth? This report draws on the global evidence base of evaluations of existing interventions designed to reduce or prevent violence and identifies those with the greatest evidence of effectiveness.

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Journal Article

Beatriz Magaloni, Luis Rodriguez
2020

A criminal trial is likely the most significant interaction a citizen will ever have with the state; its conduct and adherence to norms of fairness bear directly on the quality of government, extent of democratic consolidation, and human rights. While theories of repression tend to focus on the political incentives to transgress against human rights, we examine a case in which the institutionalization of such violations follows an organizational logic rather than the political logic of regime survival or consolidation.

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Journal Article

Beatriz Magaloni, Edgar Franco Vivanco , Vanessa Melo
2020

State interventions against drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) sometimes work to improve security, but often exacerbate violence. To understand why, this paper offers a theory about different social order dynamics among five types of criminal regimes – Insurgent, Bandit, Symbiotic, Predatory, and Anarchic. These differ according to whether criminal groups confront or collude with state actors; predate or cooperate with the community; and hold a monopoly or contest territory with rival DTOs.

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Journal Article

Beatriz Magaloni, Gustavo Robles, Aila M. Matanock, Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, Vidal Romero
2020

Why do drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) sometimes prey on the communities in which they operate but sometimes provide assistance to these communities? What explains their strategies of extortion and co-optation toward civil society? Using new survey data from Mexico, including list experiments to elicit responses about potentially illegal behavior, this article measures the prevalence of extortion and assistance among DTOs.

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Journal Article

Sherrie Wang, George Azzari, David Lobell
Remote Sensing MDPI, 2020

Accurate automated segmentation of remote sensing data could benefit applications from land cover mapping and agricultural monitoring to urban development surveyal and disaster damage assessment. While convolutional neural networks (CNNs) achieve state-of-the-art accuracy when segmenting natural images with huge labeled datasets, their successful translation to remote sensing tasks has been limited by low quantities of ground truth labels, especially fully segmented ones, in the remote sensing domain.

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Journal Article

Jennifer Burney
Nature Sustainability, 2020

The recent shift in the United States from coal to natural gas as a primary feedstock for the production of electric power has reduced the intensity of sectoral carbon dioxide emissions, but—due to gaps in monitoring—its downstream pollution-related effects have been less well understood. Here, I analyse old units that have been taken offline and new units that have come online to empirically link technology switches to observed aerosol and ozone changes and subsequent impacts on human health, crop yields and regional climate.

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Journal Article

David Lobell, Stefania Di Tomasso, Marshall Burke
Remote Sensing MDPI, 2019

The advent of multiple satellite systems capable of resolving smallholder agricultural plots raises possibilities for significant advances in measuring and understanding agricultural productivity in smallholder systems. However, since only imperfect yield data are typically available for model training and validation, assessing the accuracy of satellite-based estimates remains a central challenge.

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Journal Article

Marshall Burke, Noah Diffenbaugh, Frances Davenport, Julio Herrera-Estrada
American Geophysical Union Publications, 2019

Many mountainous and high‐latitude regions have experienced more precipitation as rain rather than snow due to warmer winter temperatures. Further decreases in the annual snow fraction are projected under continued global warming, with potential impacts on flood risk. Here, we quantify the size of streamflow peaks in response to both seasonal and event‐specific rain‐fraction using stream gage observations from watersheds across the western United States.

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Journal Article

Larry Diamond
2019

Once hailed as a great force for human empowerment and liberation, social media and related digital tools have rapidly come to be regarded as a major threat to democratic stability and human freedom. Based on a deeply problematic business model, social-media platforms are showing the potential to exacerbate hazards that range from authoritarian privacy violations to partisan echo chambers to the spread of malign disinformation. Authoritarian forces are also profiting from a series of other advances in digital technology, notably including the revolution in artificial intelligence (AI).

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Book

Larry Diamond
2019

From America’s leading scholar of democracy,a personal, passionate call to action against the rising authoritarianism that challenges our world order—and the very value of liberty

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Journal Article

Jikun Huang, Scott Rozelle, Xinkai Zhu, Shiji Zhao, Yu Sheng
The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2019
The past four decades have witnessed unprecedented economic growth and rapidly rising food demand in China. This paper provides an introduction to readers with useful information summarising the development of China’s agricultural sector and the transformation of its rural economy over the 40 years of economic reform. It is, however, impossible to cover all aspects of this recent and rich history in a single journal special issue. Nevertheless, we are of the view that these papers address the most fundamentally important and insightful topics including: land reform and rural development; technology progress and productivity growth; changing food consumption patterns; rural education and human capital accumulation; and poverty alleviation.
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Journal Article

Jingchun Nie, Xiaopeng Pang, Lei Wang, Scott Rozelle, Sean Sylvia
Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2019

We present the results of a randomized trial testing the impact of providing free eyeglasses on academic outcomes of junior high school students in a poor rural area of western China. We find that providing free prescription eyeglasses approximately halves dropout rates over a school year among students who did not own eyeglasses at baseline. Effects on dropout are mirrored by improvements in student performance on standardized exams in math and aspirations for further schooling

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Journal Article

Huan Wang, Qiran Zhao, Matthew Boswell, Scott Rozelle
Journal of School Health, 2019
BACKGROUND: Childhood malnutrition is commonplace among poor rural communities in China. In 2012, China launched its first nationwide school-feeding program (SFP) to address this problem. This study examines the prevalence of malnutrition before and after the SFP and identifies possible reasons for the trends observed. METHODS: Ordinary least squares regression and propensity score matching were used to analyze data from 2 cross-sectional surveys of 100 rural primary schools in northwestern China. Participants were fourth-and fifth-grade students. Outcome measures include anemia rates, hemoglobin levels, body mass index, and height for age Z scores. RESULTS: Three years after implementation of the SFP, malnutrition rates among sample students had not fallen. The SFP had no statistically significant effect on either anemia rates or BMI, but was linked to an increase in the proportion of students with below normal height for age Z scores. Meals provided to students fell far short of national recommendations that the SPF should provide 40% of the recommended daily allowance of micronutrients. CONCLUSIONS: Despite significant budgetary outlays between 2012 and 2015, China’s SFP has not reduced the prevalence of malnutrition among sample students. To make the SFP more effective, funding and human resources both need to be increased. Keywords: school food services; school health policy; school program evaluation; child growth and development. Citation: Wang H, Zhao Q, Boswell M, Rozelle S. Can school feeding programs reduce malnutrition in rural China?
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Journal Article

Jillian Deines, David Lobell, Sherrie Wang
Environmental Research Letters, 2019

Machine learning and satellite data of crops shows that farms that till the soil less can increase yields of corn and soybeans and improve the health of the soil. Farmers have resisted a switch to reduced tilling because it was believed to reduce yields. Instead, it may increase yields while lowering production costs and reducing soil erosion.

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Journal Article

Gregory Falco, Martin Eling, Danielle Jablanski, Matthias Weber, Virginia Miller, Lawrence A. Gordon, Shaun Shuxun Wang, Joan Schmit, Russell Thomas, Mauro Elvedi, Thomas Maillart, Emy Donavan, Simon Dejung, Eric Durand, Franklin Nutter, Uzi Scheffer, Gil Arazi, Gilbert Ohana, Herbert Lin
Science, 2019
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