International Development
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* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.

 

Register in advance for this webinar: https://stanford.zoom.us/webinar/register/8416226562432/WN_WLYcdRa6T5Cs1MMdmM0Mug

 

About the Event: Is there a place for illegal or nonconsensual evidence in security studies research, such as leaked classified documents? What is at stake, and who bears the responsibility, for determining source legitimacy? Although massive unauthorized disclosures by WikiLeaks and its kindred may excite qualitative scholars with policy revelations, and quantitative researchers with big-data suitability, they are fraught with methodological and ethical dilemmas that the discipline has yet to resolve. I argue that the hazards from this research—from national security harms, to eroding human-subjects protections, to scholarly complicity with rogue actors—generally outweigh the benefits, and that exceptions and justifications need to be articulated much more explicitly and forcefully than is customary in existing work. This paper demonstrates that the use of apparently leaked documents has proliferated over the past decade, and appeared in every leading journal, without being explicitly disclosed and defended in research design and citation practices. The paper critiques incomplete and inconsistent guidance from leading political science and international relations journals and associations; considers how other disciplines from journalism to statistics to paleontology address the origins of their sources; and elaborates a set of normative and evidentiary criteria for researchers and readers to assess documentary source legitimacy and utility. Fundamentally, it contends that the scholarly community (researchers, peer reviewers, editors, thesis advisors, professional associations, and institutions) needs to practice deeper reflection on sources’ provenance, greater humility about whether to access leaked materials and what inferences to draw from them, and more transparency in citation and research strategies.

View Written Draft Paper

 

About the Speaker: Christopher Darnton is a CISAC affiliate and an associate professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. He previously taught at Reed College and the Catholic University of America, and holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University. He is the author of Rivalry and Alliance Politics in Cold War Latin America (Johns Hopkins, 2014) and of journal articles on US foreign policy, Latin American security, and qualitative research methods. His International Security article, “Archives and Inference: Documentary Evidence in Case Study Research and the Debate over U.S. Entry into World War II,” won the 2019 APSA International History and Politics Section Outstanding Article Award. He is writing a book on the history of US security cooperation in Latin America, based on declassified military documents.

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Christopher Darnton Associate Professor of National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School
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New York Times reporter Javier Hernandez interveiws REAP's director Scott Rozelle for an edition of Sinosphere. To read the original article, click here.

Nothing stirs passions quite like the debate over the Chinese school system. Critics say it is a test-obsessed bureaucracy that produces students who excel at reciting facts but not much else. Others argue that it is equipping children with exceptionally strong skills, particularly in math and science. Scott Rozelle, a Stanford University economist who runs a rural education program in China, is an author of a new study that challenges popular conceptions of Chinese schools. In a recent conversation, he discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese education system, as well as the advice he would offer the country’s leaders.
 
Your study finds that Chinese students begin college with some of the strongest critical thinking skills in the world, far outpacing their peers in the United States and Russia. But they lose that advantage after two years. What is going on?
 
It’s a good news, bad news story. The good news: Whatever the heck they do in high school, whether you like it or not, they are teaching massive numbers of kids math, physics and some type of critical thinking skills. What drives me crazy is they’re not learning anything in college. There are no incentives for the kids to work hard. Everyone graduates.
 
Why are high schools doing a better job than colleges?
 
In high school, parents provide oversight. If they don’t think their kid’s being pushed hard, they’re the first ones on the phone, the first ones standing at the teacher’s desk. From the teacher’s view, they have a huge incentive to get their students through the curriculum and get through the tests.
 
Say you are appointed to lead a university in China. What is the first thing you change?
 
In the United States, we get rewarded for good teaching. Your promotions and salary raises depend on you getting good evaluations from students, on performing well in the classroom and winning awards. That’s every bit as important as publishing research. In China, that’s not happening. The professors we work with say, “Why should we push the kids if they’re going to graduate anyway?”
 
A lot of criticism inside and outside of China focuses on the gaokao, the national exam that Chinese students spend years cramming for because it is the main criterion for getting into college. Some people say it is killing creativity. Is it time for change?
 
We plan to study creativity in our next round of exams, and it will be very interesting to see how the Chinese and the other East Asian students perform. A lot of people would say the gaokao is a fair system. Some reforms are needed for the one-test-score-does-all model. We need to reduce the pressure somewhat and to focus teaching on producing better-rounded children.
 
If you were in a room with China’s top leaders, what advice would you give them about the education system?
 
I’d ask: “Why isn’t everybody going to high school? How do we get everybody to go to high school?” It’s a rural problem. Then you ask yourself, “Why aren’t these rural kids going to high school?” Well, it’s because 10, 15, 20 percent of them drop out of junior high school. They aren’t even finishing junior high.
 
What is happening in middle school?
 
This isn’t India, where half the teachers are absent, or Africa, where they haven’t been able to improve the quality of teaching. In China, you’ve got good facilities and good teachers. The curriculum in rural areas is the same as the best that’s taught to the city kids. So what is it?
 
What our work shows very clearly is that it’s really the matter of the individual kids in rural areas. They’re sick. They’ve got uncorrected myopia, malnutrition, anemia and intestinal worms. Forty percent of children in our sample in Guizhou have worms in their stomach. How do you study in elementary school if you’ve got worms in your stomach?
 
At the same time, prosperity is rising and China has become more urban.
 
This is the irony. They have the fastest-growing economy in terms of wealth in Asia. But the kids are a victim of China’s own success. China really grew so fast, and they’ve invested in resources and teachers. But they’ve left behind the human element.
 
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The New York Times writes about REAP's research on comparing the quality of a college education accross China, Russia and the U.S. To read the original article, click here.

BEIJING — Chinese primary and secondary schools are often derided as grueling, test-driven institutions that churn out students who can recite basic facts but have little capacity for deep reasoning.

A new study, though, suggests that China is producing students with some of the strongest critical thinking skills in the world.

But the new study, by researchers at Stanford University, also found that Chinese students lose their advantage in critical thinking in college. That is a sign of trouble inside China’s rapidly expanding university system, which the government is betting on to promote growth as the economy weakens.

The study, to be published next year, found that Chinese freshmen in computer science and engineering programs began college with critical thinking skills about two to three years ahead of their peers in the United States and Russia. Those skills included the ability to identify assumptions, test hypotheses and draw relationships between variables.

Yet Chinese students showed virtually no improvement in critical thinking after two years of college, even as their American and Russian counterparts made significant strides, according to the study.

“It’s astounding that China produces students that much further ahead at the start of college,” said Prashant Loyalka, an author of the study. “But they’re exhausted by the time they reach college, and they’re not incentivized to work hard.”

The findings are preliminary, but the weakness in China’s higher education system is especially striking because Chinese leaders are pressing universities to train a new generation of highly skilled workers and produce innovations in science and technology to serve as an antidote to slowing economic growth.

But many universities, mired in bureaucracy and lax academic standards, have struggled. Students say the energetic and demanding teaching they are accustomed to in primary and secondary schools all but disappears when they reach college.

“Teachers don’t know how to attract the attention of students,” said Wang Chunwei, 22, an electrical engineering student at Tianjin Chengjian University, not far from Beijing. “Listening to their classes is like listening to someone reading out of a book.”

Others blame a lack of motivation among students. Chinese children spend years preparing for the gaokao, the all-powerful national exam that determines admission to universities in China. For many students, a few points on the test can mean the difference between a good and a bad university, and a life of wealth or poverty.
 
When students reach college, the pressure vanishes.

“You get a degree whether you study or not, so why bother studying?” said Wang Qi, 24, a graduate student in environmental engineering in Beijing.

In addition to examining critical thinking skills, the study looked at how Chinese students compared in math and physics. While testing for the United States is not yet available, the researchers found that Chinese students arrived at college with skills far superior to their Russian counterparts.

After two years of college, though, the Chinese students showed virtually no improvement while the Russians made substantial progress, though not enough to catch up.

The Stanford researchers suspect the poor quality of teaching at many Chinese universities is one of the most important factors in the results. Chinese universities tend to reward professors for achievements in research, not their teaching abilities. In addition, almost all students graduate within four years, according to official statistics, reducing the incentive to work hard.

“They don’t really flunk anyone,” said Scott Rozelle, an economist who has studied Chinese education for three decades and a co-author of the study. “The contract is, if you got in here, you get out.”

The problems plaguing the higher education system have taken on new urgency as China’s ruling Communist Party tries to navigate a difficult transition from an economy fueled by manufacturing and assembly-line work to one led by growth in fields such as information technology and clean energy.

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Please note: the start time for this event has been moved from 3:00 to 3:15pm.

Join FSI Director Michael McFaul in conversation with Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. They will address the role of entrepreneurship in creating stable, prosperous societies around the world.

Richard Stengel Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Special Guest United States Department of State

Encina Hall
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

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Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies, Department of Political Science
Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
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PhD

Michael McFaul is Director at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in the Department of Political Science, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995.

Dr. McFaul also is as an International Affairs Analyst for NBC News and a columnist for The Washington Post. He served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014).

He has authored several books, most recently the New York Times bestseller From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia. Earlier books include Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can; Transitions To Democracy: A Comparative Perspective (eds. with Kathryn Stoner); Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (with James Goldgeier); and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin.

His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations, and the relationship between democracy and development. Dr. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991. He is currently writing a book on great power relations in the 21st century.

 

 

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Russ Feingold, the former U.S. senator perhaps best known for pushing campaign finance reform, will spend the spring quarter at Stanford lecturing and teaching.

Feingold will be the Payne Distinguished Lecturer and will be in residence at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies while teaching and mentoring graduate students in the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies and the Stanford Law School.

Feingold was recently the State Department’s  special envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He will bring his knowledge and longstanding interest in one of the most challenging, yet promising, places in Africa to campus with the cross-listed IPS and Law School course, “The Great Lakes Region of Africa and American Foreign Relations: Policy and Legal Implications of the Post-1994 Era.”

Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat who served three terms in the Senate between 1993 and 2011, co-sponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. Better known as the McCain-Feingold Act, the legislation regulated the roles of soft money contributions and issue ads in national elections.

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The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) is pleased to announce a suite of training, fellowship, and funding opportunities to support Stanford students interested in the area of contemporary Asia. APARC invites highly motivated and dedicated undergraduate- and graduate-level students to apply for these offerings:

APARC Summer 2023 Research Assistant Internships

APARC seeks current Stanford students to join our team as paid research assistant interns for the duration of the summer 2023 quarter. Research assistants work with assigned APARC faculty members on varied issues related to the politics, economies, populations, security, foreign policies, and international relations of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. This summer's projects include:

  • The Biopolitics of Cigarette Smoking and Production
  • The Bureaucratic State: A Personnel Management Lens
  • China’s Largest Corporations
  • Healthy Aging in Asia
  • Hiding in Plain Sight: How China Became A Great Power
  • Nationalism and Racism in Asia
  • U.S. Rivals: Construct or Reality?
     

All summer research assistant positions will be on campus for eight weeks. The hourly pay rate is $17.25 for undergraduate students, $25 for graduate students.

The deadline for submitting applications and letters of recommendation is March 1, 2023.

Please follow these application guidelines:

I. Prepare the following materials:


II. Fill out the online application form for summer 2023, including the above two attachments, and submit the complete form.

III. Arrange for a letter of recommendation from a faculty to be sent directly to Shorenstein APARC. Please note: the faculty members should email their letters directly to Kristen Lee at kllee@stanford.edu. We will consider only applications that include all supporting documents.

For more information and details about each summer research project, visit the Summer Research Assistant Internships Page >


 

APARC 2023-24 Predoctoral Fellowship

APARC supports Stanford Ph.D. candidates who specialize in contemporary Asia topics. The Center offers a stipend of $37,230 for the 2023-24 academic year, plus Stanford's Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) fee for three quarters. We expect fellows to remain in residence at the Center throughout the year and to participate in Center activities.

Applications for the 2023-24 fellowship cycle of the APARC Predoctoral Fellowship are due March 1, 2023.

Please follow these application guidelines:

I. Prepare the following materials:

  • A current CV;
  • A cover letter including a brief description of your dissertation (up to 5 double-spaced pages);
  • A copy of your transcripts. Transcripts should cover all graduate work and include evidence of recently-completed work.

II. Fill out the following online application form, including the above three attachments, and submit the complete application form.

III. Arrange for two (2) letters of recommendation from members of your dissertation committee to be sent directly to Shorenstein APARC.
Please note: the faculty/advisors should email their letters directly to Kristen Lee at kllee@stanford.edu.

We will consider only applications that include all supporting documents. The Center will give priority to candidates who are prepared to finish their degree by the end of the 2023-24 academic year.

For more information, visit the APARC Predoctoral Fellowship Page >


 

APARC Diversity Grant

APARC's diversity grant supports Stanford undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented minorities who are interested in contemporary Asia. The Center will award a maximum of $10,000 per grant to support a wide range of research expenses.

The Center is reviewing grant applications on a rolling basis.
To be considered for the grant, please follow these application guidelines:

I. Prepare the following materials:

  • A statement describing the proposed research activity or project (no more than three pages);
  • A current CV;
  • An itemized budget request explaining research expense needs.

II. Fill out the following online application form, including the above three attachments, and submit the complete application form.

III. Arrange for a letter of recommendation from a faculty to be sent directly to APARC.

Please note: the faculty members should email their letters directly to Kristen Lee at kllee@stanford.edu.

For more information, visit the APARC Diversity Grant page >

Read More

Tongtong Zhang
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Predoctoral Fellow Spotlight: Tongtong Zhang Examines Channels for Public Deliberation in China

Political Scientist and APARC Predoctoral Fellow Tongtong Zhang explores how the Chinese Communist Party maintains control through various forms of political communication.
Predoctoral Fellow Spotlight: Tongtong Zhang Examines Channels for Public Deliberation in China
Portrait of Ma'ili Yee, 2020-21 APARC Diversity Fellow
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Student Spotlight: Ma’ili Yee Illuminates a Vision for Building the Blue Pacific Continent

With support from Shorenstein APARC’s Diversity Grant, coterminal student Ma’ili Yee (BA ’20, MA ’21) reveals how Pacific island nations are responding to the U.S.-China rivalry by developing a collective strategy for their region.
Student Spotlight: Ma’ili Yee Illuminates a Vision for Building the Blue Pacific Continent
Stanford main quad at night and text calling for nominations for APARC's 2023 Shorenstein Journalism Award.
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Nominations Open for 2023 Shorenstein Journalism Award

Sponsored by Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, the annual award recognizes outstanding journalists and journalism organizations for excellence in coverage of the Asia-Pacific region. News editors, publishers, scholars, and organizations focused on Asia research and analysis are invited to submit nominations for the 2023 award through February 15.
Nominations Open for 2023 Shorenstein Journalism Award
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To support Stanford students working in the area of contemporary Asia, the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center is offering research assistant positions for the duration of the 2023 summer quarter, a predoctoral fellowship for the duration of the 2023-24 academic year, and a Diversity Grant that funds research activities by students from underrepresented minorities.

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About the Workshops


The SCCEI Young Researcher Workshops are a weekly series of presentations from scholars working on issues related to China’s economy and institutions. The series brings together young scholars by providing a platform to present new research, get feedback, exchange ideas, and make connections. Each session features a single presenter who may present a new research plan, results from preliminary data analyses, or even do a trial run of a job talk or conference presentation.

Workshops are held every other Tuesday from 2 - 3 pm. Afternoon refreshments will be provided! 

Visit the Young Researcher Workshops webpage for more information on the content and format of the series and to learn how to sign up to present. 

Goldman Room, Encina Hall, E409

Yue Hou
Workshops
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About the Workshops


The SCCEI Young Researcher Workshops are a weekly series of presentations from scholars working on issues related to China’s economy and institutions. The series brings together young scholars by providing a platform to present new research, get feedback, exchange ideas, and make connections. Each session features a single presenter who may present a new research plan, results from preliminary data analyses, or even do a trial run of a job talk or conference presentation.

Workshops are held every other Tuesday from 2 - 3 pm. Afternoon refreshments will be provided! 

Visit the Young Researcher Workshops webpage for more information on the content and format of the series and to learn how to sign up to present. 

Goldman Room, Encina Hall, E409

Yingdan Lu
Workshops
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About the Workshops


The SCCEI Young Researcher Workshops are a weekly series of presentations from scholars working on issues related to China’s economy and institutions. The series brings together young scholars by providing a platform to present new research, get feedback, exchange ideas, and make connections. Each session features a single presenter who may present a new research plan, results from preliminary data analyses, or even do a trial run of a job talk or conference presentation.

Workshops are held every other Tuesday from 2 - 3 pm. Afternoon refreshments will be provided! 

Visit the Young Researcher Workshops webpage for more information on the content and format of the series and to learn how to sign up to present. 

Goldman Room, Encina Hall, E409

Minghao Qiu
Workshops
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About the Workshops


The SCCEI Young Researcher Workshops are a weekly series of presentations from scholars working on issues related to China’s economy and institutions. The series brings together young scholars by providing a platform to present new research, get feedback, exchange ideas, and make connections. Each session features a single presenter who may present a new research plan, results from preliminary data analyses, or even do a trial run of a job talk or conference presentation.

Workshops are held every other Tuesday from 2 - 3 pm. Afternoon refreshments will be provided! 

Visit the Young Researcher Workshops webpage for more information on the content and format of the series and to learn how to sign up to present. 

Okimoto Conference Room, Encina Hall, E307

Encina Hall East, 5th Floor
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

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Social Science Research Scholar, Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions
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PhD

Huan Wang is a Research Scholar at Stanford University. Her research focuses on assessing educational quality and identifying effective educational programs and policies to improve student outcomes in rural China. By conducting large-scale randomized controlled trials, she evaluates the impact of social emotional learning on reducing dropouts in rural junior high schools, the impact of independent reading on student performance, and the effect of vision care programs on learning and schooling path.

She also currently runs a social enterprise that works with local communities to establish sustainable, high quality vision care services for children in rural China.

Huan Wang
Workshops
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