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

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Journal Article

Jin Zhao, Huan Wang, Yaojiang Shi, Robin Li, Scott Rozelle
Journal of East China Normal University , 2020
Providing vision care to students in rural areas may serve the purpose of poverty alleviation by improving education and health. This study aims to provide a comprehensive review of myopia studies among rural students in China and offer policy recommendations for the national myopia prevention and control plan under “Targeted poverty alleviation through education”. The results show that in rural China, 25% of primary school students and 50% of lower secondary school students are myopic. Moreover, more than 70% of rural myopic students suffer from uncorrected vision, which negatively affects student academic performance and mental health. Correcting myopia also has a significant positive impact on student academic achievement. Studies show that vision screening is an effective way to identify myopia among rural students. Providing subsidies for the families of myopic students to obtain eyeglasses, and providing incentives to teachers, can significantly improve the uptake and usage rates of eyeglasses. A county hospital-based vision center may be an effective platform for reducing children's visual impairment in rural China.
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Journal Article

Huan Wang, Yiwei Qian, Nathan Congdon, Matthew Boswell, Scott Rozelle, Xiaochen Ma
BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 2020
Background Daily “eye exercises,” massaging of periocular acupuncture pressure points, have been part of China’s national vision care policy in schools for some 50 years. However, the effect of eye exercises on myopia progression and eyeglasses wear has not been definitively investigated. This study evaluates the effectiveness of eye exercises on visual acuity and the propensity of rural children to wear eyeglasses. Methods Cohort study in 252 randomly-selected rural schools with baseline in September 2012 and follow up surveys 9 and 21 months later. Outcomes were assessed using propensity-score matching (PSM), multivariate linear regression and logistic regression to adjust for differences between children performing and not performing eye exercises. Results Among 19,934 children randomly selected for screening, 2374 myopic (spherical equivalent refractive error ≤ − 0.5 diopters in either eye) children (11.9%, mean age 10.5 [Standard Error 1.08] years, 48.5% boys) had VA in either eye ≤6/12 without eyeglasses correctable to > 6/12 with eyeglasses. Among these who completed the 21-month follow up, 1217 (58.2%) children reported practicing eye exercises on school days and 874 (41.8%) did not. After propensity-score matching, 1652 (79%) children were matched: 826 (50%) in the Eye Exercises group and 826 (50%) in the No Exercise group. Performing eye exercises was not associated with change in LogMAR uncorrected visual acuity and wear of eyeglasses, using either logistic regression or PSM at 9 or 21 months. Conclusions We found no evidence for an effect of eye exercises on change in vision or eyeglasses wear.
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Journal Article

Ai Yue, Yu Bai, Yaojiang Shi, Renfu Luo, Scott Rozelle, Alexis Medina, Sean Sylvia
Demography, 2020
Nearly one-quarter of all children under age 2 in China are left behind in the countryside as parents migrate to urban areas for work.We use a four-wave longitudinal survey following young children from 6 to 30 months of age to provide first evidence on the effects of parental migration on development, health, and nutritional outcomes in the critical first stages of life. We find that maternal migration has a negative effect on cognitive development: migration before children reach 12 months of age reduces cognitive development by 0.3 standard deviations at age 2. Possible mechanisms include reduced dietary diversity and engagement in stimulating activities, both known to be causally associated with skill development in early life. We find no effects on other dimensions of physical and social-emotional health.
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White Paper

Anna Grzymala-Busse, Didi Kuo, Francis Fukuyama, Michael A. McFaul
2020

“Populism” has claimed enormous amounts of popular and press attention, with the Brexit vote of 2016, the election of President Donald J. Trump, and the rise of self-proclaimed populists in Europe and elsewhere. But what exactly is populism? And is populism in Poland the same phenomenon as in the United States? Does populism have the same set of universal causes, or are there many paths to populist resurgence?

“Global Populisms and Their Challenges” finds that established mainstream political parties are the key enablers of populist challenges—and the key solution.

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Journal Article

Amr Hamzawy
2020

The current Egyptian political scene reveals an important paradox: since its ascendancy to power in 2013, the military-led authoritarian government has not faced significant challenges from civil society despite systematic human rights abuses and continuous societal crises.

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Journal Article

Didi Kuo
2020

The 2016 election brought into sharp relief the anomalies and imperfections of our democratic institutions. Trump, beating out a crowded field of primary candidates, won the election having lost the popular vote. Despite intense media coverage, the party primaries were still low-turnout events, and party infighting undermined the legitimacy of the final candidates. Third-party candidates who stood no chance of winning nonetheless drew significant votes in swing states.

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Book

Luca Scholz
Oxford University Press, 2020

In the Holy Roman Empire 'no prince â can forbid men passage in the common road', wrote the English jurist John Selden. In practice, moving through one the most fractured landscapes in human history was rarely as straightforward as suggested by Selden's account of the German 'liberty of passage'.

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Working Paper

Ran Abramitzky, Hanna Halaburda
NBER Working Paper, 2020

In the context of interwar Poland, we find that Jews tended to be more literate than non Jews, but show that this finding is driven by a composition effect. In particular, most Jews lived in cities and most non-Jews lived in rural areas, and people in cities were more educated than people in villages regardless of their religion. The case of interwar Poland illustrates that the Jewish relative education advantage depends on the historical and institutional contexts.

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Working Paper

Marshall Burke
The National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020

Floods and other climate hazards pose a widespread and growing threat to housing and infrastructure around the world. By incorporating climate risk into asset prices, markets can discourage excessive development in hazardous areas. However, the extent to which markets actually price these risks remains poorly understood. Here we measure the effect of information about flood risk on residential property values in the United States.

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Journal Article

David Lobell
Global Change Biology, 2020

Researchers including David Lobell analyze how human-caused climate change has impacted a water defecit in Southern Africa and might contribute to a rising food security crisis in the region.

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Book

Adrian Daub
Bloomsbury Collections, 2020

When it came to how movies sounded, Stanley Kubrick was of a particular moment, but he seized that moment in a unique way. The moment — one might designate it as 1968, though it extends beyond the calendar year — was one that Kubrick shared with other innovative young filmmakers who sought to renegotiate how films were scored. The end of the Golden Age studio system brought with it an end to one kind of smoothed-over Hollywood sound. And the rise of the Hollywood auteur presented new opportunities to incorporate unusual types of music in mainstream cinema.

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Journal Article

Anna Grzymala-Busse
Comparative Political Studies, 2020

How do the successors to authoritarian ruling parties influence subsequent democratic party competition? The existing literature does not distinguish among these parties, nor does it differentiate among the distinct strategies of their adaptation to the collapse of authoritarian rule. As a result, the impact of these parties on democracy has been unclear and difficult to discern.

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Book

Elaine Treharne, 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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Journal Article

Michael Bechtel, Kenneth F. Scheve, Elisabeth van Lieshout
SSRN, 2020

Many international policy problems, including climate change, have been characterized as global public goods. We adopt this theoretical framework to identify the baseline determinants of individual opinion about climate policy. The model implies that support for climate action will be increasing in future benefits, their timing, and the probability that a given country's contribution will make a difference while decreasing in expected costs.

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Journal Article

J Zhao, H Guan, K Du, Huan Wang, Matthew Boswell, Yaojiang Shi, Scott Rozelle, Nathan Congdon, Annie Osborn
Hong Kong Medical Journal, 2020
PURPOSE: To assess the prevalence of visual impairment and spectacles ownership among academic and vocational upper secondary school students in rural China. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 5583 students from four academic upper secondary schools (AUSSs) and two vocational upper secondary schools (VUSSs) in Mei and Qianyang counties, Baoji Prefecture, Shaanxi Province. In March and April 2016, students underwent assessment of visual acuity (VA) and completed a questionnaire regarding spectacles use and family characteristics. Students with visual impairment (presenting VA ≤6/12 in the better eye) and students needing spectacles (uncorrected VA ≤6/12 in the better eye, which could be improved to >6/12 with refraction) were identified. RESULTS: Among 5583 students (54% boys, mean age 16.4±1.0 years) in grades 10 and grade 11 attending AUSSs (n=4549) and VUSSs (n=1034), visual impairment was detected in 4026 students. Among the AUSS students, 3425 (75%) needed spectacles; 2551 (75%) had them. Among the VUSS students, 601 (58%) needed spectacles; this proportion was significantly smaller (P=0.004), as was the proportion who had spectacles (n=212, 35%, P
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Journal Article

Jodok Troy
International Relations, 2020

This article argues that how the United Nations (UN) conceptualizes legitimacy is not only a matter of legalism or power politics. The UN’s conception of legitimacy also utilizes concepts, language and symbolism from the religious realm. Understanding the entanglement between political and religious concepts and the ways of their verbalization at the agential level sheds light on how legitimacy became to be acknowledged as an integral part of the UN and how it changes.

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Journal Article

Krish Seetah, Desiree LaBeaud, Jochen Kumm, Elysse Grossi‐Soyster, Alfred Anangwe, Michele Barry
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 2020

Modelling of emerging vector borne diseases serves as an important complement to clinical studies of modern zoonoses. This article presents an archaeo‐historic epidemiological modelling study of Rift Valley fever (RVF), using data‐driven neural network technology. RVF affects both human and animal populations, can rapidly decimate herds causing catastrophic economic hardship, and is identified as a Category A biodefense pathogen by the US Center for Disease Control.

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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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Book

Londa Schiebinger
MIT Press, 2020

An introduction to the new area of ignorance studies that examines how science produces ignorance—both actively and passively, intentionally and unintentionally.

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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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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

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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