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Sejong Korean Scholars Program honors U.S. high school students

News / July 25, 2013
During the second annual Hana-Stanford Conference on Korea for U.S. Secondary School Teachers, July 29-31, 2013, Sejong Korean Scholars Program (SKSP), a distance-learning program on Korea, will honor three high school students. 27 high school students representing ten states participated in the inaugural SKSP this year. The SKSP honorees will be presenting their research essays at the conference.
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Stanford is seeking Middle East faculty

News / July 24, 2013
STANFORD UNIVERSITY invites applications for a tenure-line, open-rank position in MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES to begin in the academic year 2014-15. The scholar-teacher appointed will be based in a social science department but is also expected to make contributions to the interdisciplinary study. Click on the title above for further details. The deadline to apply is October 1, 2013.
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Smallholder irrigation a development priority in sub-Saharan Africa

News / July 24, 2013
FSE study finds smallholder irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa has great potential to reduce hunger, raise incomes, and improve development prospects. But investment is needed to better understand water resources and provide financial services to farmers.
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Stuck in the mud: Stanford’s scholarly farmer on the soggy fortunes of Midwest growers

News / July 16, 2013
FSE deputy director Walter Falcon shares field notes from his farm in Iowa a year after the region experienced its worst drought in decades. Now farmers are recovering from the wettest spring on record, eclipsing the 1892 record. "The riskiness of farming is something to see in real time; it is also very instructive to listen as farmers talk about coping with uncertainty," writes Falcon.
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The 2012 Taiwan Elections: What Happened and Why?

Commentary / July 12, 2013

The 2012 Republic of China presidential and legislative elections to be held on January 14th mark the fifth presidential and seventh national legislative direct elections in Taiwan. Incumbent ROC President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) enjoyed a landslide victory in 2008 over Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Hsieh Chang-ting, winning by over 2.2 million votes.

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Sizing Up Taiwan's 2012 Election

Commentary / July 12, 2013

One of Taiwan's leading political scientists and most widely quoted authorities on Taiwan politics and cross-Strait relations, Professor Chu will address five issues in his talk:

First, how should we interpret the outcome of the January election and the nature and extent of President Ma's renewed mandate?

Second, to what extent has the 2012 election enhanced the overall quality of Taiwan's democracy?

Third, what can we expect in terms of President Ma's domestic agenda for the next four years?

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Inequality and Corruption

Commentary / July 12, 2013

Sociological theorizing and research on the relationship between inequality and corruption is surprisingly rare given the discipline’s long-standing focus on the correlations of inequality with democracy and development, as well as research that demonstrates the associations between corruption, democracy and development.  The authors propose that greater income inequality increases corruption and find that its explanatory power is significant relative to conventionally accepted correlates of corruption such as low levels of economic development and democracy.  They argue that the rich will

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Do International Regimes Punish Heretics More Than Infidels? A Study of the Democratization Clause in International Agreements

Commentary / July 12, 2013

In this paper, Marinov draws on the experience of the European Union (EU) to ask under what conditions economic integration furthers democratization. Scholars agree that incentives at the European level have helped democratic transitions in Southern and Eastern Europe. However, there is no agreement on (i) the exact causal mechanisms involved, (ii) the relative size of the effects, (iii) whether this success can be replicated outside or Europe. He addresses these issues by offering a theory of how integration furthers democratization.

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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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