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FSI scholars offer expert commentary and convene thought leadership events on contemporary global issues.

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Wondering what's really going on in North Korea or Russia? Or how climate change or the health-care debate could affect your life? On FSI's Medium blog, faculty give context for the latest global issues and help us understand what's likely to happen next. Looking ahead, Stanford students tell us about their research and internships and give a glimpse of tomorrow's global policy landscape.

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Forms of Property Rights: Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies

Commentary / July 12, 2013

This paper develops a model where there is a trade-off between the enforcement of the property rights of different groups. An "oligarchic" society, where political power is in the hands of major producers, protects their property rights, but also tends to erect significant entry barriers, violating the property rights of future producers. Democracy, where political power is more widely diffused, imposes redistributive taxes on the producers, but tends to avoid entry barriers.

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Institutions and Impersonal Exchange: The European Experience

Commentary / July 12, 2013

This paper presents an instituion - the COmmunity Responsibility System (CRS) - which constitutes a missing link in our understanding of market development. It highlights the importance of contract enforcement institutions combining reputational and legal mechanisms in the rise of modern markets. Throughout pre-modern Europe, the CRS provided the contract enforcement required for intercommunity impersonal exchange characterized by separation between the quid and the quo over time and space.

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Campaigning for a Progressive Japan

News / July 12, 2013
Corporate Affiliates visiting fellow alumnus Hirofumi Takinami makes a successful bid for Japan's upper house as an LDP candidate.
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Visiting Scholar's Forthcoming Book on Malaysia

News / July 12, 2013
Dr. Dominik Mueller, hosted by SEAF in 2013, is back in the Department of Anthropology at Goethe University in Frankurt. His revised dissertation will be published in January 2014 as Islam, Politics and Youth in Malaysia: The Pop-Islamist Reinvention of PAS. A recent article by him on this topic is linked on this site under "Publications."
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Democratization in Greater China: What Can We Learn from Taiwan's Past for China's Future

Commentary / July 11, 2013

The conference, organized by the Taiwan Democracy Program of the Center on The conference, organized by the Taiwan Democracy Program of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), will consider what Taiwan's democratic development may teach us about possible future democratic development in mainland China.

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Applying the Odious Debts Doctrine While Preserving Legitimate Lending

Commentary / July 11, 2013

Odious debts are debts incurred by the government of a nation without either popular consent or a legitimate public purpose. While there is some debate within academic circles as to whether the successor government to a regime which incurred odious debts has the right to repudiate repayment, in the real world this is currently not an option granted legitimacy either by global capital markets or the legal systems of creditor states.

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Political Liberalism Abroad

Commentary / July 11, 2013
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The Invention of a GACACA: A Logic of Institutional Choice

Commentary / July 11, 2013

This piece analyzes the evolution of lawfare, what Jeremy Bentham called "an irregular system of warfare." Meierhenrich introduces lawfare as a conceptually and analytically distinct type of warfare, and a political strategy not previously theorized in any systematic fashion. In his conceptualization, lawfare is a revolutionary strategy for broadcasting power, by which he means a strategy aimed at the systematic and comprehensive overhaul of the foundations of politics and society.

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