Month: September 2015

How the Fight for Reproductive Rights Toppled One of the Nation’s Most Powerful Politicians

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters Speaker of the House John Boehner created a media splash on Friday September 25, 2015 when he announced that he would be stepping down from both his post and seat in Congress at the end of October. His statement comes only a day after Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, a meeting the devoutly Catholic Boehner had courted earlier in the year. Many on both the left and the right cheered the Speaker’s resignation, viewing his tenure as either the embodiment of a party that is increasingly dominated by its most extreme members or...

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The US Role in the International Refugee Crisis

Photo Credit: AFP / Baraa al-Halabi Refugee Ceilings and Admitted Refugees to the U.S., FY 2009-2014, American Immigration Council, 2014 The Syrian Civil War has created the largest refugee crisis of the twenty-first century. Some 40% of Syria’s population has been forced to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere, either abroad or in Syria itself.  As millions of refugees pour out of Syria and into relatively unstable neighboring countries, the western world struggles to respond in any significant or sustainable way. The US announced on September 10 that it will commit to taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the...

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A Path Forward for the Addis Tax Initiative

photo credit: UTPAL Baruah/Reuters Third and final in a series by Steven Damiano (LBJ MGPS Graduate) covering his internship at Bread for the World.  In my previous blog post, I noted the role taxation and domestic resource mobilization plays in international development.  In this post, I lay out the policy recommendations from my upcoming Bread for the World briefing paper on how the U.S. government can use the Addis Tax Initiative to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Fragile states and low income countries, mostly located in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia, will face the biggest hurdles to...

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Facebook’s WiFi Drone: Proof that Trans-national Corporations are Game Changers

Third and final in a series by Beatrice Halbach (LBJ MPAff Student) covering her internship at OECD. We often talk about the rise of globalization as a game-changer in the field of international development: as information technologies continue to advance, trade flows have greatly expanded while national economies have become highly interdependent.  This phenomenon has generated a multitude of complex and mixed effects. In a number of countries, the proliferation of cheap, accessible technologies through interconnected global markets is spurring rapid economic investment and growth; while, in others, this same force is actively limiting the competitiveness of national economies...

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CIA Director Calls for Reform, Not Retribution

On September 15 and 16, 2015, one of the most famous University of Texas alumni returned to campus to promote his organization. Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan readily admitted that the CIA does a poor job of communicating its value to the American public, as evidenced by the fact that only 50% of the American public trusts the agency, 14% of Americans think that the CIA spread crack cocaine in the 1980s, and 29% of voters think that the CIA knew about 9/11 before it happened. The public consensus seems to be that the CIA is terribly incompetent...

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