A Framework for Sustainable Security Systems

A Framework for Sustainable Security Systems. World Economic Forum. August 6, 2014.

The Global Agenda Council on Social Security System is committed to find solutions to ensure an individual’s lifetime financial security. The second edition of this compendium is a part of an ongoing conversation addressing the social security challenges presented by an aging society. It aims to establish a framework that will enhance sustainable social security systems. The framework is applicable to both developing and developed nations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 100 pages, 5.93 MB].

Beyond Sanctions: What’s the West’s Strategy on Russia?

Beyond Sanctions: What’s the West’s Strategy on Russia? Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Ulrich Speck. August 1, 2014.

Western sanctions against Russia appear to have a fairly narrow, tangible goal: to punish Moscow for supporting pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. But to what end? Sanctions need to reinforce a wider strategy designed to change Moscow’s behavior so that it starts respecting the sovereignty of all post-Soviet states. Ukraine is just the latest example in a long series of attempts by Russia to control its neighborhood and to reduce the sovereignty of countries that were controlled by Moscow in Soviet times. The conflict did not start in Ukraine, and it will not end there. The tensions that have erupted in Ukraine will subside only if Russia finally understands that it can have a prosperous future as a nation-state alongside others when it respects the rules of the post-World War II and post-Cold War international system. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment

Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment. Strategic Studies Institute. Carol K. Winkler and Cori E. Dauber. July 25, 2014.

Visual images have been a central component of propaganda for as long as propaganda has been produced. But recent developments in communication and information technologies have given terrorist and extremist groups options and abilities they never would have been able to come close to even 5 or 10 years ago. There are terrorist groups who, with very little initial investment, are making videos that are coming so close to the quality of BBC or CNN broadcasts that the difference is meaningless, and with access to the web they have instantaneous access to a global audience. Given the broad social science consensus on the power of visual images relative to that of words, the strategic implications of these groups’ sophistication in the use of images in the online environment is carefully considered in a variety of contexts by the authors in this collection.

[HTML format with a link to the PDF format, 258 pages, 3.69 MB].

Wakeup Call for Europe

Wakeup Call for Europe. YaleGlobal. Philippe Legrain. August 5, 2014.

“Europe isn’t just falling further behind the United States; it also faces ever-greater competition from China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Korea and other emerging economies, not just in lower-end manufacturing but also in higher-tech sectors,” writes economist Philippe Legrain. Depressed demand, poor productivity and an aging population put the continent on a path for decline. But rather than support radical reforms, many voters endorse extreme policies that target immigrants. Leadership has been clubby and class-based, he contends. Instead, the continent needs bold leaders who could tackle Europe’s real problems of vested interests, crony capitalism, troubled banks and unsustainable benefits. Political entrepreneurs and a grassroots movement must vigorously pursue accountability and boost productivity, wages and optimism. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Colorado’s Rollout of Legal Marijuana Is Succeeding

Colorado’s Rollout of Legal Marijuana Is Succeeding. Brookings Institution. John Hudak. July 31, 2014.

Hudak reports that the state of Colorado has largely succeeded in rolling out a legal marijuana system, and its early implementation efforts have been impressive. The report details what has been successful, how Colorado has achieved an effective rollout, and what challenges remain. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 35 pages, 293 KB].

Stark Racial Divisions in Reactions to Ferguson Police Shooting

Stark Racial Divisions in Reactions to Ferguson Police Shooting. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. August 18, 2014.

Blacks and whites have sharply different reactions to the police shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Mo., and the protests and violence that followed. Blacks are about twice as likely as whites to say that the shooting of Michael Brown “raises important issues about race that need to be discussed.” Wide racial differences also are evident in opinions about of whether local police went too far in the aftermath of Brown’s death, and in confidence in the investigations into the shooting. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 17 pages, 456.72 KB].

Protecting Civilian Flights from Missiles

Protecting Civilian Flights from Missiles. CRS Insights, Library of Congress. Bart Elias. July 28, 2014.

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, crashed over eastern Ukraine after apparently being struck by a surface-toair missile. The event has renewed congressional interest in protecting civilian aircraft from missiles, a topic of considerable interest in the context of protection against terrorist threats and risks to aircraft operated in conflict zones.

[PDF format, 2 pages, 61.24 KB].

Shifting Views of Supreme Court’s Ideology among Liberals, Conservatives

Shifting Views of Supreme Court’s Ideology among Liberals, Conservatives. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. July 31, 2014.

Overall views of the U.S. Supreme Court, and its ideology, have changed only modestly since last measured in April before the court’s end-of-term decisions, including the Hobby Lobby ruling that limits the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive requirement. But among liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans there have been sizable changes in opinions of the court; more liberals now view the Supreme Court as conservative, and fewer conservatives view it as liberal, than did so just a few months ago. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 374.58 KB].

Toward Universal Learning: Implementing Assessment to Improve Learning

Toward Universal Learning: Implementing Assessment to Improve Learning. Brookings Institution. July 2014.

In the run-up to 2015 and beyond, the global education community must work together to improve learning and propose practical actions to deliver and measure progress. In response, UNESCO through its Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution have co-convened the Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF). The project’s main objective is to shift the focus of global education debates from access to access plus learning. Based on input from more than 1,700 people in 118 countries through technical working groups and global consultations, the task force made recommendations to help countries and international organizations measure and improve learning outcomes for children and youth worldwide. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 80 pages, 3.85 MB].

Debt in America

Debt in America. Urban Institute. Carolinge Ratcliffe et al. July 29, 2014.

Debt can be constructive, allowing people to build equity in homes or finance education, but it can also burden families into the future. Total debt is driven by mortgage debt; both are highly concentrated in high-cost housing markets, mostly along the coasts. Among Americans with a credit file, average total debt was $53,850 in 2013, but was substantially higher for people with a mortgage ($209,768) than people without a mortgage ($11,592). Non-mortgage debt, in contrast, is more spatially dispersed. It ranges from a high of $14,532 in the East South Central division to a low of $17,883 in New England. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 14 pages, 1.22 MB].