Browsing Master's Program in International Affairs (MPIA) Capstones by Title
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County Judge Randy Sims, Texas Director of Homeland Security; Department of Homeland Security ( 2006)[more][less]
Description: Gaps of understanding exist between Homeland Security Response and Recovery strategies and policies at the federal level versus understanding, authority, and capability at the state and local level. Responsibilities, authority, and expectations at every level of government (including the public) need to be clarified. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita provide an excellent case study to see what policies should be changed in the areas of response and recovery to major disasters in the future.
A variety of strategies, policies, and plans are already in place to deal with disasters and catastrophic events. Faculty members provided access to documents that describe the policies, as well as a framework to examine response and recovery "at the tip of the spear." Students selected the aspect of the framework they wished to address, fleshed it out in detail through discussions and research, identified the gaps in theory, used Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita to examine how those gaps developed in reality, and developed a set of policy recommendations to close those gaps. The final student recommendations were presented to the clients.
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Causey, Chris; Hahn, Jason; Heichelbach, Terry; Malecha, Lindsay; Meiners, Stephen; Race, Brandon ( 2009)[more][less]
Description: Government agencies face special problems when they seek to assess non-disaster security risks in areas where there are multiple jurisdictions and levels of governance. The client, Centra Technology, in support of the Department of Homeland Security, sought a conceptual approach or theoretical model for determining how governments should value, assess, and balance risks that arise from illegal immigration, weapons smuggling, the narcotics trade, natural disasters, and terrorism. The students compiled and evaluated the available literature on the subject and developed a structure by which policymakers should consider the difficulties of regional risk assessment.
Files in this item: 1Engel_Spring2009.pdf (699.4Kb)
Chester, Alex; Dang, Thao; Edgell, Amanda; Harber, Matthew; Mahaney, Dace; Messer, Matthew; Ramos, Luis ( 2011)[more][less]
Abstract: Although Zambia has enjoyed decent economic growth, its employment growth and labor productivity have continued to stagnate. What factors explain the stagnation? This Capstone project aims to answer this question through empirical analysis of employment decisions and labor productivity at the firm level using the 2008 Zambia Business Survey (ZBS) and the 2011 World Bank Investment Climate Survey (ICS). The study concludes that to improve business registration in Zambia, policymakers should target rural and agricultural firms, reduce red-tape and regulatory costs, and expand education to grassroots entrepreneurs. To improve labor productivity and employment, focus should be placed on targeting younger firms, increasing agricultural yields, improving access to and the reliability of infrastructure, and fighting government corruption.
Files in this item: 2Mu_Spring2011_Summary.pdf (495.1Kb)(more files)
Chiriboga, Luis M.; Kilmer, Chris; Fan, Rocky ( 2008)[more][less]
Description: This is the second part of a study that began by asking whether exports to developed countries are hampered by the inability of developing Southern African countries to participate fully in the meat export market. The project was broken into two segments focusing on the formal and informal sectors. After conducting in-depth research and refining the development problem, students designed a survey model and flew two group members to Southern Africa to conduct a survey. The survey was designed to help answer why Southern African countries were not participating at greater levels in the meat export market. Using supportive research, economic development theory, and the survey results, students then compiled a report which was presented to the client.
Files in this item: 1Gawande_2008.pdf (524.4Kb)
CEFADES: An impact evaluation of a vocational and rehabilitation program for at-‐risk youth in Eastern DRCChen, Zike; Finnegan, Gavin; Hobson, David; Pinzon, Diego; Vander Hey, Gabriel ( 2013)[more][less]
Abstract: In the fall of 2013, a group of students at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University were approached to design and implement a survey to gauge the effectiveness of a youth employment program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the fundamental level, it was necessary to know if the program was helping the children find employment and if that employment was increasing the incomes earned by participants. Vocational programs such as the one described in this paper, are not uncommon and have been shown to be quite effective in setting around the world. For the first time though, an analysis of this type of program was implemented in the unique setting of Butembo, DR Congo. Butembo, as will be described later, is a unique hub of peace within an area that has been ravaged by civil conflict in recent decades. In this particular context, the conflict affects youth in the area through displacement, loss of education, as well as through recruitment into the conflict or other activities that support rebel groups. The research within this paper uses survey instruments in an effort to determine the level of effectiveness of the vocational program in the region that focuses on at risk and vulnerable youth. In this paper, our research team will describe the setting of both conflict in DRC and its effects on institutions and programs as well as the setting of this analysis. In addition, information on the program, CEFADES, will be given along research design and the analysis of our findings.
Files in this item: 1CEFADES-Youth-Article.pdf (519.1Kb)
Combating Child Labor through DESTINO - Reducing Child Labor in Panama: An Impact Evaluation of a Department of Labor-Funded InitiativeAndisha, Nasir; Chiquito-Saban, Oscar; Emmerich, Eduardo; Figueroa, Aurelia; Jiang, Yuewen; Hui-Lee, Jun; Manning, Darren; Ortega-Sanchez, Alejandra ( 2009)[more][less]
Description: This project focused on how to reduce child labor in Panama, using the DESTINO (Disminuyendo y Erradicando el Trabajo Infantil para Nuevas Oportunidades) program, a joint effort of two Panamanian organizations: Casa Esperanza and Fundacion Tierra Nueva. DESTINO seeks to reduce the incidence of child labor through community workshops, income generation activities, scholarship activities, teacher training programs, and civil society programs. The study looked at child labor statistics gathered by DESTINO as well as additional work done by the Centro de Capacitacin y Desarrollo Integral to improve income generating activities among indigenous women. The DESTINO project is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and is being managed by Creative Associates.
Files in this item: 1destinoimpactevaluation_report.pdf (1.422Mb)
Atkinson, Dwain; Collins, Matthew; Colmenares, Monica; McBane, Carla; Ritter, Kyle; Welling, Glen ( 2006)[more][less]
Description: The Iraqi insurgency was formed by multiple nationalities and ethnicities with disparate goals and motivations. A central question to understanding the insurgency's unity is whether there is command and control, which is defined as the sharing of tactics, information, and skills. This capstone explored this question by investigating how insurgent groups in the past have managed to communicate and disseminate tactics, even while operating in a dangerous environment controlled by their more powerful adversary. The class then applied this historical lesson to the current situation in Iraq and examined whether the history of attacks indicated command and control in the Iraqi insurgency.
Files in this item: 1Engel_2006.pdf (380.1Kb)
Confidential and Privileged: The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board - Learning Lessons from Its Past to Shape Its FutureAbsher, Kenneth Michael; Desch, Michael; Popadiuk, Roman; Ambassador David Abshire and the Laury Foundation ( 2006)[more][less]
Description: The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) was established in 1956 to provide the President with a nonpartisan evaluation of the role and effectiveness of U.S. intelligence collection, counterintelligence, covert action operations, and intelligence analysis. Over the years, PFIAB has evolved to reflect the needs of the times and in response to the style of each president. In addition, the government has created new centers and other organizations leading to competing views and the bureaucratic challenge of coordination and oversight of intelligence.
No detailed analysis of PFIAB had been conducted. In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy and the new intelligence reform environment, it was essential to examine the role of the PFIAB in the past to determine how it best can serve future presidents' national security decision-making responsibilities. The aim of the analysis was to determine what had been the strengths and weaknesses of the PFIAB in the past and to identify a productive role for the PFIAB in this new environment. Given the current intelligence needs of the country, such an examination was essential. It helped further define the role of PFIAB and shed light on the interrelationship of various intelligence components. Most importantly, it provided recommendations for presidential action to redefine, and possibly augment, the role of the PFIAB.
Files in this item: 1Desch_2006.pdf (758.7Kb)
Doll, Abby; Pirrong, Renee; Jennings, Matthew; Stasny, George; Giblin, Andy; Shaffer, Steph; Anderson, Aimee ( 2011)[more][less]
Abstract: We were tasked by CENTRA Technology, Inc., to create a methodology that could be used to prioritize critical cyber assets in the United States. We have answered that call by developing a user-friendly, consequence-based methodology that requires end users to carefully consider their cyber assets' contributions to vital missions of national security, economic security, and public safety. The user will be able to clearly visualize the potential impact of a loss of cyber assets on those three indicators vis-a-vis one another, which is especially important in the midst of the current budgetary uncertainty in Washington. In this study, we present our definitions of the three indicators; an overview of the eighteen sectors of critical infrastructure and commonalities and the characteristics of their operating systems; a brief review of the literature on cyber security to date; and, of course, a thorough discussion of the intricacies of how our methodology works.
Files in this item: 1Engel_Spring2011.pdf (1.954Mb)
Cabrera, Raul; Cochran, Matt; Dangelmayr, Lauren; D'Aguilar, Gavin; Lee, Jeongwoo; Speir, Ian; Weigand, Courtney ( 2007)[more][less]
Description: This capstone project deals with standards imposed on the trade of agricultural imports from developing countries by developed countries. BSE, foot and mouth disease, and avian flu are all major concerns for US and European consumers. These governments are extremely risk averse and want to reduce the risk of transmitting any kind of disease, especially those borne by agricultural products, to zero. There is no tolerance for risk. But is there a less burdensome system that also can achieve the zero-tolerance policy?
One of the requirements is that there be no contact between different animals. For example, hoofed animals, which may be possible carriers of foot and mouth disease, must be completely separated from each other. This requires building artificial barriers to separate the animals. But this has deleterious effects for tourism in African countries, where tourists from the developed world go on safaris to see animals. Building fences and artificial barriers reduces the naturalness of the habitat and reduces the attraction for tourism. In order to reduce the cost of the fences, agencies like USAID may subsidize the building of the fences, but they do not subsidize the loss in tourism. Thus there are real costs to these countries. So the main questions this project addressed were these:
1.Are there any alternatives? 2.Is it possible to institute policies that are less burdensome and yet achieve the desired outcome (which is to reduce the risk of spreading diseases)?
Files in this item: 1Gawande_2007.pdf (492.8Kb)
Heavin, Reagan; Hudson, Adam; Krueger, Brandon; O'Neil, Sean; Rozell, Griffin; Suma, Matt ( 2008)[more][less]
Description: This project supported the National Intelligence Council's production of its report Mapping the Global Future: 2025, forthcoming 2009. With China's great rise to power in the background, this capstone helped assess the most likely security outcomes for East Asia in 2025. The Capstone briefed the NIC and other analysts from the intelligence community and also briefed the China desk team under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs in the Department of Defense.
Files in this item: 1Layne_2008.pdf (1.048Mb)
Effective Intelligence Operations during Counterinsurgency Campaigns - Intelligence Community in Counterinsurgency: Historical Lessons and Best PracticesAlbers, Andrew C.; Binkley, Samuel G.; Chaudhry, Mariam F.; Craswell, Kimberly; Freeman, Jordan S.; Lytle, Carrie E.; Myers, Tristan L.; Naser, Rami; Sloan, Peter T. ( 2009)[more][less]
Description: The United States Army's recently published field manual detailing an improved counterinsurgency doctrine is seen by many as a crucial step towards improving military effectiveness in counterinsurgency campaigns. This capstone project laid out a framework to help the intelligence community craft its own unique doctrine for counterinsurgencies. The project looked at intelligence operations that are crucial for defeating insurgencies, the operational factors that are most effective, and the lessons learned from past counterinsurgency successes and failures. Blending historical case studies and first-person accounts from field operatives, the project outlined the kinds of intelligence operations that should be implemented and the goals they must meet in order to run a successful counterinsurgency.
Files in this item: 1Castillo_Spring2009.pdf (1.221Mb)
Environmental Impacts of China Outward Foreign Direct Investment: Case Studies in Latin America, Mongolia, Myanmar, and ZambiaAl-Aameri, Nour; Fu, Lingxiao; Garcia, Nicole; Mak, Ryan; McGill, Caitlin; Reynolds, Amanda; Vinze, Lucas ( 2012)[more][less]
Abstract: China’s rapid increase of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) over the past decade has garnered worldwide attention for a variety of reasons. Of particular concern is the concentration of Chinese OFDI in extractive industries, especially in developing countries. Generally, developing countries have fewer and weaker regulations than developed nations, exposing them to more severe environmental degradation. As the environmental consequences of such growth and investment become more visible, governments, companies, and communities pursue better environmental management and protection policies. Increasing environmental awareness and protection measures are evident in China’s 11th and 12th five-year plans, which suggests that domestically China is pursuing a more efficient and sustainable growth than in previous decades. China plans to implement policies to increase accountability and capacity to improve environmental protection. While challenges still exist, namely China’s growing demands for energy, such policies will provide a framework to advance environmental protection. China’s growing demand for and consumption of energy drives Chinese OFDI. The concentration of China’s investment in extractive industries leads to substantial environmental degradation. The majority of investment takes place through large state-owned enterprises. Despite improving its domestic environmental policies, China lacks any environmental regulation of OFDI. Though it promotes corporate social responsibility (CSR) and recently released legal guidelines for OFDI, such practices rely on the initiative of the investing company. The domestic policy environment interacts with the regulations of the recipient countries, resulting in differing environmental impacts. 3 An examination of several countries from varying regions illustrates how investments interact with recipient countries’ regulations. The increase of Chinese investment has affected the environment of South America, Mongolia, Myanmar and Zambia. Chinese investment in South America has allowed China to secure natural resources by increasing petroleum and mining production. Investment has impacted both small and established producers throughout the continent. South America, in particular Peru, shows how political development and improved financial markets can improve the regulatory environment, allowing FDI to benefit recipient countries. Most Chinese FDI entering Mongolia is in the mining sector to meet China’s growing demand for minerals. Investors in this sector include large Chinese state-owned mining enterprises that dominate Mongolia’s largest deposits, as well as small and medium Chinese mining firms in the artisanal mining industry. Unlike their larger counterparts, these small and medium mining firms do not employ environmentally friendly technology to extract minerals. Hence, Chinese artisanal mining has harmed Mongolia’s environment by generating excess surface water, waste rock piles, tailings, and mercury pollution, which causes air and water pollution. Inadequate law enforcement and local government corruption, coupled with the increasing influence of China, have made it difficult for Mongolia’s central government to address these environmental issues. In Myanmar, FDI in the nation’s hydropower, oil and gas and mining sectors has resulted in water pollution, destruction of fisheries, loss of biodiversity and deforestation. Chinese investors and firms from other countries, whose investments predate those of China, caused these environmental issues. They can also be attributed to Naypyitaw’s ineffective environmental governance, resulting from underdeveloped institutions and flouting the of its own environmental 4 laws. To improve environmental governance, Myanmar’s government must develop its institutions, devote more resources to environmental protection and promote environmental education. In Zambia, Chinese investments are concentrated heavily in the country’s copper mining industry. In Zambia, the country’s reliance on the mining sector results in air and water pollution of the surrounding areas. Though Chinese companies are by no means the largest investors or polluters in Zambia’s mining sector, the rapid increase of investments has made China particularly influential. The legislative and regulatory framework exists for environmental protection in Zambia, but the country lacks capacity for enforcement and accountability mechanisms. As such, several international mining companies have no incentive to comply with environmental regulations, worsening environmental degradation. To generate recommendations for improved environmental performance through sustainable outward foreign direct investment, we analyzed several viewpoints. Using the country report, we identified existing regulations and discovered areas where regulations or environmental awareness is lacking. One major observation from the country report is that China does not impose environmental regulations on outward foreign direct investment; instead, the government expects firms to comply with the regulations of the host countries. This raises an interesting question about whether home countries have an incentive to regulate environmentally sensitive areas. We surveyed theory and the existing literature on the pollution haven hypothesis to see if host countries avoid environmental regulations to encourage investment. Although the theory remains popular, robust evidence of the hypothesis does not exist. After completing the theoretical approach, we chose to apply country case studies to see if any developed countries have taken the lead in imposing environmental regulations. After 5 studying the U.S., Canada, and Europe, we found that environmental regulations for in-country development are common. However, like China, these countries do not actively regulate OFDI. In the absence of a global regulatory environment, a collaborative effort is needed. Through the research, we discovered a multi-tiered relationship, in which the home government, the host government, NGOs, and investors can all coordinate to improve environmental outcomes. After noting that the two-way tie between governments and investors is not always sufficient for regulations, we looked into alternative third parties that can affect environmental awareness. Through a literature review, we identified NGOs as powerful actors that can affect information availability, policy, operations, assessment and monitoring, and environmental advocacy. The combination of country analysis, theoretical framework building, case studies, and player identification allows us to formulate recommendations from the macro to the micro level. Specifically, we identified several broad categories where improvements can occur: with local communities and NGOs, with regulatory bodies, and with investors. Some recommendations apply to China’s environmental regulations; some apply to our four country regions; and others apply to investors and NGOs. TNC can help local communities and NGOs develop institutions, increase awareness, and build capacity to enhance management of environmental resources. By partnering with regulatory bodies, TNC can work to improve monitoring of environmental regulations through additional training and providing access to accurate information. Where investors are concerned, TNC and government actors can help improve banking practices and provide incentives to encourage environmental protection.
Files in this item: 2Final Bush School Report_2012.pdf (1682.Kb)(more files)
Bell, Rich; Bennett, J. Ethan; Boles, Jillian R.; Goodoien, David M.; Irving, Jeff W.; Kuhlman, Phillip B.; White, Amanda K. ( 2010)[more][less]
Abstract: Economic espionage is a serious threat to the vitality of the U.S. economy. While this is a widely accepted fact, there is no formal way to measure the damage an incident of economic espionage has on the U.S. economy. The U.S. government would like to know how damaging economic espionage is on the economy. However, the full repercussions of an incident of economic espionage are never known. A stolen trade secret, over the course of many years, could be used in different products and in different industries. The loss of a trade secret is an immeasurable value. Instead of attempting to measure such an overarching elusive concept, the research team sought to measure the potential consequence of economic espionage. In this study, the research team constructed a model to identify the severity of an incident of economic espionage and its consequences on the U.S. economy. The model was designed for use by federal government employees with the intent that the federal government could apply publically available case information to the model. The model provides a qualitative estimate of “consequence” as it relates to economic loss. The model generates a severity score between 0 and 1, which corresponds to a „low‟, „moderate‟, and „high‟ consequence. The severity score incorporates the model‟s four main variables into two primary components: „Industry‟ and „Case Variables‟. „Industry‟ assesses the significance of where the incident of economic espionage occurred. „Industry‟ is derived from a combination of the percentage of GDP in terms of value added for each of the 14 industries and the „susceptibility‟ of each of the 14 industries. This process enables the model to be individualized to a specific industry, which allows a different potential consequence to the U.S. economy. „Case Variables‟ assess the significance of the incident of economic espionage. „Case Variables‟ include the „Characteristics of the Theft‟, „Cost‟, and „Beneficiary‟ variables. The model requires the user to first select the „Industry‟ where the incident occurred and then to identify the „Case Variables‟. Therefore, the potential consequence on the U.S. economy from an incident of economic espionage is dependent on the industry. To greater individualize the model, the research team designed a method whereby questions within the model would matter more when compared to others. As no two incidents of economic espionage are identical, the research team developed a system of weighing the variables and their respective questions. With all the variables measured, standardized, and weighed against each other, the model calculates an overall severity score, which corresponds to the level of consequence for an incident of economic espionage.
Files in this item: 1Engel_Spring2010.pdf (827.6Kb)
Armstrong, Iain; Berry, Erin; Bitter, Alexander; Colburn, Leland; Karika, Kathleen; Paulino, Jose; Redden, Rebekah; Vien, Thomas "Tex"; Williams, Lodrick (May 20, 2015)[more][less]
Abstract: Biological incidents, both man-made and naturally occurring, represent a significant threat to the national security of the United States. Identifying these crises begins with the detection and reporting of essential biological disease information, known as biosurveillance. As the first of its kind, the 2012 National Strategy for Biosurveillance targets the process essential information should take to reach decisionmakers. Although there are points of strength in the system, extensive research finds the current biosurveillance infrastructure does not adequately transmit information to decisionmakers. Therefore, this report recommends three improvements to the biosurveillance system: increase incorporation of information, improve interagency relationships, and strengthen governance in the biosurveillance community.
Files in this item: 1
Coffman-Cole, Sandra; Du, Minghua; Hattan, Justin; Powers, Shawn; Rubenstein, Sarah; Santos, Araceli; Slupski, Steve ( 2006)[more][less]
Description: Much of the world's poor has difficulty in obtaining loans, especially the small loans (termed microfinance) they require. In order to improve access, Mohammed Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which uses innovative methods so the poor can obtain loans. The lessons of the Grameen Bank have been replicated worldwide, including in India in 2004 with Grameen Capital India (GCI). GCI partners with commercial banks such as the largest Indian private bank, ICICI bank, and Citigroup in order to provide funds to microfinance institutions. It structures its financial products so that low-income producers can access capital markets through various initiatives. GCI wants to expand this effort because only 5 % of Indian microfinance demand is now being met but is concerned that expanding is difficult. They believe they can learn much from an organization that has successfully increased its scale.
A parallel organization in the U.S. is the Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF, crfusa.com). The CRF provides economic development funds and acts as a secondary market for loans for affordable housing and community facilities. Founded in 1989, with lending institutions in 22 states, the CRF has more experience than GCI in expanding operations. Students in this capstone project interacted with members from both the CRF and GCI and applied the lessons of the CRF to the GCI. They provided valuable advice to GCI on how it can enhance financial assistance for very small entrepreneurs in India, especially housing finance.
In this endeavor, students became familiar with one of the most popular of development fields. They actively engaged in current discussions on financial development in India and enhanced their own analytical skills in the fields of economics and finance.
Files in this item: 1Varghese_2006.pdf (999.2Kb)
Boggs, Jay W.; Chellinsky, Andrew; Ege, David; Hodges, Allen; Reynolds, Tripp; Williams, Andy ( 2007)[more][less]
Description: Looking ahead to 2025, what policies should future US administrations consider as appropriate responses to climate change, and what level of commitment should be devoted to addressing global climate change by the US government? To answer the key question, the project addressed the following secondary issues:
1.Based on the best scientific evidence currently available, what will the most likely manifestations of global climate change be by 2025? This includes aggregate changes (surface temperatures, rising sea levels) as well as discrete changes (drought, flooding, disease, storms, heat waves). With respect to the latter, what are the probabilities that such events will be more (or less severe) than they are today? 2.Based on the answers to the above, how politically salient will the issue of responding to global climate change be in 2025 (globally, by geographic region/location, by coalitions of similarly situated countries)? 3.What low-probability, but potentially catastrophic events, may occur and how should these be taken into account by US policy? 4.Responding to global climate change could be costly financially. However, there also could be positive spin-offs from addressing the consequences of global climate change. What may these positive spin-offs be (new technologies, energy independence, health, multilateral leadership, reputation gains)?
Files in this item: 2Layne_2007.pdf (2.543Mb)(more files)
Abraham, Phebey; Cantrell, Catherine; Carman, Tara; Gruenwald, Emily; Rowley, Thomas A. ( 2008)[more][less]
Description: This 2008 Capstone research continues the work of a 2007 project titled "The Interagency Process in Support & Stability Operations: Integrating and Aligning the Roles and Missions of Military and Civilian Agencies in Conflict and Post-Conflict Environments." The 2007 Capstone study included analyses of interagency efforts in the conduct of US and NATO operations in counterinsurgency warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. This 2008 study analyzed how US national security policies, strategies, and objectives have changed since 2001. It also estimated the effectiveness of the contemporary national security system, including institutions, organizations, and leadership in addressing what international security experts call "human security," or threats to the survival of societies, groups, and individuals.
Files in this item: 1Cerami_2008.pdf (21.13Mb)
Barnes, Riley; Davis, Stephen; Enderle, Dori; Jacobs, Matt; Joost, Laura; Perkins, Mike; Snodgrass, Steven; Stone, Nathanael; Woolfolk, Melisa ( 2011)[more][less]
Abstract: Angry about the results of the 2009 elections, the Iranian opposition took to the streets, coordinating widespread protests to challenge the authority of the regime in Tehran. The protests hampered, but did not stop, the regime's effort to impose its favorite candidate for president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The strength of this opposition appears to have caught both the government and the international community by surprise. Our sponsor asked this Capstone group to address the following questions: How strong are Iranian opposition groups? Under what conditions could they pose a threat to the regime? To answer these questions, the project develops a framework comparing opposition groups and regimes across different historical cases. We argue the Iranian regime retains a strong grip on power, using both the threat of US intervention and domestic support for its nuclear program to rally support for the government. Unlike recent revolutions in the Arab world, the opposition stands little chance of toppling the government. Opposition movements lack the resources to seriously challenge the government. The project's framework also identified the conditions under which the Iranian opposition might gain enough strength to overthrow the regime. We summarize our findings in both a briefing and a paper. Our findings aim to help intelligence analysts decide which indicators to use when assessing the strength of Iranian opposition groups, and opposition groups in general. The project team briefed the sponsor in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2011.
Files in this item: 2Castillo_Spring2011.pdf (441.3Kb)(more files)
Acuña, Sarah; Akujuobi, Chris; Brigance, Nicholas; Kasper, Brian; Nearburg, Trevor ( 2010)[more][less]
Abstract: With the current public outrage at the environmental consequences of the oil spill in the Gulf, the president is likely to gain much needed support for his promotion of climate change legislation. A market driven switch to alternative and renewable energy will require a bill that puts a price on carbon and gives producers incentives to switch to and invest in cleaner, more efficient inputs and processes. Such a bill must meet two criteria. First, it must not harm the competitiveness of domestic producers relative to their foreign counterparts; and second, it must minimize emission leakage, thereby reducing global emissions levels. In this project for the US Department of Energy, we model the impacts of future US climate legislation. Policy scenarios are drawn from the precedence set by the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA), which the US Senate did not pass in 2010 but which serves as a blueprint for the future. The goal of the ACESA is to motivate US producers to reduce emissions in five manufacturing industries: Iron and Steel, Non-ferrous Metals, Non-metallic Minerals, Pulp and Paper, and Chemicals. Collectively, these sectors make up the most energy-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) sectors in the world. While the bill did not pass in its current form, future legislation will incorporate its three main policies: instituting a cap and trade system in the US, output-based rebates on allowance purchases, and an import tax on embodied emissions.
Files in this item: 2Gawande_Spring2010.pdf (739.2Kb)(more files)