Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Lennard G. Kruger. June 10, 2014.

The Internet is often described as a “network of networks” because it is not a single physical entity, but hundreds of thousands of interconnected networks linking hundreds of millions of computers around the world. As such, the Internet is international, decentralized, and comprised of networks and infrastructure largely owned and operated by private sector entities. As the Internet grows and becomes more pervasive in all aspects of modern society, the question of how it should be governed becomes more pressing.

[PDF format, 29 pages, 413.8 KB].

Year-Round Schools: In Brief

Year-Round Schools: In Brief. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Rebecca R. Skinner. June 9, 2014.

In general, year-round schools are schools that reorganize a traditional school year without allowing for any extended breaks in instruction (e.g., 10-week summer vacation). Rather, the days usually included in summer break are redistributed to create regular breaks throughout the year. The research on the extent to which year-round schools affect student achievement has generally been found to be inconclusive and lacking in methodological rigor. There is some consensus that year-round schooling has no effect or a small positive effect on student performance; however, the quality of the studies that led to these findings has been questioned.

[PDF format, 9 pages, 215.13 KB].

Immigration: Visa Security Policies

Immigration: Visa Security Policies. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Ruth Ellen Wasem. June 9, 2014.

At its core, visa integrity protects the United States from foreign nationals who threaten public health and safety or national security, while at the same time welcomes legitimate foreign nationals who bolster the U.S. economy and foster international exchanges. Balancing these dual, and some would say competing, missions is an ongoing challenge. The policy questions center on the efficacy of the process, the security features of the policies, and whether the law needs to be revised to improve efficiency and strengthen security.

[PDF format, 22 pages, 419.2 KB].

Political Polarization in the American Public

Political Polarization in the American Public. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. June 12, 2014.

According to the report, Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines, and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive, than at any point in the last two decades. These trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life. A survey of 10,000 adults nationwide finds that these divisions are greatest among those who are the most engaged and active in the political process. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 121 pages, 3.36 MB].

Europe Divided Over Immigration, Work Ethics

Europe Divided Over Immigration, Work Ethics. YaleGlobal. Pallavi Aiyar. June 5, 2014.

Immigration, transfer of new technologies and evolving work ethics have put entire industries in flux. This has stirred anti-immigration fervor in some communities as demonstrated by big gains of far-right parties in the European Parliament elections. Author Pallavi Aiyar analyzes the forces of globalization transforming the diamond-cutting industry in Antwerp. Once dominated by Jewish merchants, the trade is now largely in Gujarati hands whose small businesses expanded into global enterprises. The market caters to the wealthy, and Indian traders credit their success to skilled labor, low wages and hard work. Stereotyping aside, intense economic competition leads to new interconnectedness, and ethnic locks on an industry can be broken. Modern Europe embraces and codifies unsustainable benefits, and Aiyar questions criticism directed by wealthy societies at immigrants eager to compete through low wages. While the preferences are likely a function of wealth, she concludes that the right to leisure is a priority for many Europeans whereas citizens of developing countries emphasize a right to work. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Growing Number of Dads Home with the Kids

Growing Number of Dads Home with the Kids. Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends. Gretchen Livingston. June 5, 2014.

The number of fathers who do not work outside the home has risen markedly in recent years, up to 2 million in 2012. High unemployment rates around the time of the Great Recession contributed to the recent increases, but the biggest contributor to long-term growth in these “stay-at-home fathers” is the rising number of fathers who are at home primarily to care for their family. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 288.20 KB].

Self-Employment, Family-Business Ownership, and Economic Mobility

Self-Employment, Family-Business Ownership, and Economic Mobility. Urban Institute. Elizabeth Brown and Austin Nichols. May 28, 2014.

Surprisingly little is known about whether self-employment and family businesses promote mobility, despite a recurring theme in the policy discourse of families achieving upward economic and social mobility through entrepreneurship. The rewards of entrepreneurship can be great for those who succeed, but the risks are also greater. Looking over numerous decades of panel data on Americans, we document that family-business owners have more upward mobility and less downward mobility than wage-and-salary workers, but that the self-employed do not outperform other workers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages, 792.87 KB].

Citizen-Soldiers in a Time of Transition: The Future of the U.S. Army National Guard

Citizen-Soldiers in a Time of Transition: The Future of the U.S. Army National Guard. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Stephanie Sanok Kostro. May 28, 2014.

Currently, U.S. armed forces are facing a rapidly shifting environment. Even as the major combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq that defined the last decade are coming to an end, a wide variety of new and evolving challenges, both abroad and at home, are confronting the nation’s military. The U.S. Army National Guard faces a unique set of dynamics, given its role in domestic as well as overseas operations. The report provides policymakers and practitioners with objective insights and recommendations to assist in outlining potential future responsibilities for the Army National Guard. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 74 pages, 6.68 MB].

A Russian Military View of a World Destabilized by the US and the West

A Russian Military View of a World Destabilized by the US and the West. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Anthony H. Cordesman. May 28, 2014.

The British strategist, Liddell Hart, stressed the need to understand rival views of grand strategy and military developments, or “the other side of the hill.” A range of Russian and Belorussian military and civil experts presented a very different view of global security and the forces behind it at the Russian Ministry of Defense’s third Moscow Conference on International Security on May 23, 2014. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. Summary [PDF format, 50 pages, 2.36 MB]. Full Text [PDF format, 110 pages, 4.09 MB].

Evolution of the International Climate Effort

Evolution of the International Climate Effort. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Daniel Bodansky and Elliot Diringer. May 2014.

The international community is in the midst of shaping the next stage of the global climate effort, working both within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and through the broader “regime complex” that has grown alongside it. Within the UNFCCC, countries are working toward a new global climate agreement in 2015. The brief looks at different ways the climate effort has evolved over the years, and potential implications for the current round of international climate negotiations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 4 pages, 123.55 KB].