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Sometimes there’s a positive side to being a little slow to post. Today I can tell you about a conference that took place on October 8th and 9th, but also provide some follow-up.
As the 2016 presidential race heats up, foreign policy looks like it will play a prominent role in the campaign. Even at this embryonic stage, the presidential candidates have weighed in on a myriad number of foreign affairs topics, including the nuclear deal with Iran, the war against the Islamic State, the proper U.S. approach towards immigration, and Sino-American relations. The salience of foreign affairs has waxed and waned in post-Cold War presidential campaigns. Based on the campaign rhetoric and polling to date, however, 2016 will be a year when it matters.
Saying that foreign affairs will be a campaign issue gives rise to some important questions, however. How do candidates develop their foreign policy worldview? What is the relationship between foreign policy expertise and the candidate and campaign staff? Do campaign pledges on foreign affairs matter if a candidate wins? And how does all of the campaign rhetoric on foreign policy look to the rest of the world? We will tackle these questions with a conference of journalists, scholars, pollsters, policy practitioners, and international observers — part of a larger, multiyear, overarching project on the ideas industry in American foreign policy.
And here’s the schedule of topics and speakers:
Welcome and Introduction — Daniel W. Drezner, The Fletcher School
What does the public care about in 2016?
Liz Mair, Mair Strategies, chair
Richard Eichenberg, Tufts University
Dina Smeltz, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Lynn Vavreck, UCLA
Bruce Stokes, Pew Research Center
What role do foreign policy advisors play in campaign politics?
Susan Glasser, Politico, chair
Alex Wong, Office of Senator Tom Cotton
Marie Harf, U.S. Department of State
Rosa Brooks, Georgetown University
Kori Schake, Hoover Institution
The view from the 2016 campaigns
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post, chair
Laura Rosenberger, Hillary for America
Doug Stafford, Rand Paul for President
Brian Hook, Lattitude LLC
Mike Gallagher, Walker for America
The view from the rest of the world
Ian Johnstone, The Fletcher School, chair
Yehuda Yaakov, Israeli Consul General
Lana Zak, ABC News
Suzanne Maloney, Brookings Institution
Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post
Do campaign pledges even matter on foreign policy?
Jeffrey Taliaferro, Tufts University, chair
Jamelle Bouie, Slate
Elizabeth Saunders, George Washington University
Douglas Foyle, Wesleyan University
Gautam Mukunda, Harvard University
Want to catch up on the conference discussions? First, you can read Professor Drezner’s Washington Post column reflecting on conference take-aways. Second, you can review the Twitter chatter. And, last, you can watch recordings of the panels, starting with Professor Drezner’s introduction.
I apologize for the blog silence this week. And today I’m still going to let someone else do the talking for me.
Though there isn’t great change semester-to-semester in the Fletcher full-time faculty, we’re nonetheless fortunate to have new people and new ideas coming into the School each year. Whether we’re bringing someone in to cover for a professor on leave or there’s a newly created position, we welcome several additions to the teaching community every semester. Our academic dean, Steven Block, recently introduced the new faculty in an email to the School. The professors are:
Paul Berkman, Professor of Practice in Science Diplomacy. Paul Berkman is an interdisciplinary scientist with formal training in oceanography and ecology. He focuses on science-policy interactions in international governance, particularly with regard to the cooperative management of transboundary resources and international spaces that exist beyond national jurisdictions. His principal activities currently involve the: (1) “North Pole as a pole of peace” with the High Seas in the central Arctic Ocean as an undisputed international space; (2) conceptual development and practical implementation of environmental security in the Arctic Ocean; and (3) science-policy lessons from the first 50 years of the Antarctic Treaty System. Professor Berkman earned his Ph.D. at the University of Rhode Island.
John Cerone, Visiting Professor of International Law. John Cerone is returning to Fletcher to teach International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law. He has been a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and a visiting scholar at the International Criminal Court. He has also been a Fulbright scholar at both the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
James Fry, Visiting Professor of International Law. James Fry will be teaching International Organizations. He is visiting from the University of Hong Kong, where he is Associate Professor of Law and Director of the LLM Program. Professor Fry has provided legal counsel and expertise to various international organizations throughout the world, including the International Committee for the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Meteorological Organization, and the World Trade Organization, and he has represented the New York City Bar Association in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. His Ph.D. is from the University of Geneva.
Michele Malvesti, Professor of Practice. A highly experienced practitioner of national security at the most senior levels of government, Professor Malvesti brings a wealth of expertise, including serving two presidential administrations at the White House. From August 2002 to October 2007, she served in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the National Security Council (NSC) staff, including as the Senior Director for Combating Terrorism Strategy. In this role, she advised the President and his National Security Advisor and Homeland Security Advisor on U.S. counterterrorism policy and strategy. She subsequently returned to the White House in 2009 to co-chair the Presidential Study Review that reformed the White House organization for homeland security and counterterrorism on behalf of the Obama Administration. She arrives in January, for a three-year appointment. Professor Malvesti earned her Ph.D. at the Fletcher School.
Kingsley Moghalu, Visiting Professor. Professor Moghalu, a Fletcher graduate, earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He joins us from his position as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he was in charge of the Operations Directorate. He is also the author of three books, most recently Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter. This book provides the foundation for his seminar this fall. Professor Moghalu is a member of the Board of Directors, the Monetary Policy Committee, and the Committee of Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in addition to numerous boards and commissions.
Kimberly Theidon, Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies. Professor Theidon is a renowned medical anthropologist who joins us from Harvard University, following an interim year as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Her research interests include political violence, transitional justice, reconciliation, and the politics of post-war reparations. Professor Theidon will be teaching Memory Politics: Truth, Justice and Redress; Engaging Human Security; and Issues in Global Health. Her most recent book, Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru was awarded the 2013 Honorable Mention from the Washington Office on Latin America-Duke University Libraries Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America, and the 2013 Honorable Mention for the Eileen Basker Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology for research on gender and health. Her Ph.D. is from University of California, Berkeley.
I join Dean Block in welcoming the new members of Fletcher’s faculty!
A quick photo follow-up on the post last last week that included the farewell to the community from Professor (now Ambassador) Basáñez. He just sent me this photo with Mexico’s President Peña Nieto, which I’m happy to share.
Chatted about behind the scenes — but unofficial until just recently — is the news that Fletcher professor Miguel E. Basáñez is Mexico’s new ambassador to the U.S. Professor Basáñez wrote to the community last night to bid us a temporary farewell. I asked his permission to share his message via the blog, which previously featured him in the Faculty Spotlight series, and he graciously agreed. He wrote:
It is both with joy and sadness that I write to let you know that I have been officially approved as the next Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., which forces me to bring to an end a golden page in my life — seven wonderful years at Fletcher.
It will be a joy, an honor, and a privilege for me to serve my country as its Ambassador. As you may know, Mexico is the country where the largest community of expatriate Americans live — over 1 million strong — for good reason. Mexico remains a very safe country for foreign visitors. Not to mention, we boast beautiful beaches (Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun), world-famous archaeological sites (Chichen Itzá, Teotihuacán, Palenque), and a wealth of charming colonial towns (Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Querétaro). I hope that you will consider friendly and beautiful Mexico in your future travels.
As Ambassador, I will also be working to represent the large and diverse community of Mexicans who live in the United States. Historically, economic conditions in Mexico have made it difficult for our country to retain its raw, uneducated — yet extremely talented — youth, who have worked hard and succeeded in the U.S., adding greatly to the economy. These immigrants (who now number 35 million people) now produce economic output of $1.5 trillion, a number which if added to Mexico’s GDP, would raise Mexico from 14th to 7th in world GDP. I look forward to working on their behalf to the best of my abilities.
Yet it is with sadness that I say goodbye to Fletcher, where I have deeply enjoyed my interactions with the faculty and staff, learning about their academic endeavors and life experiences. Most of all, I have enjoyed teaching here at Fletcher, where I have found the brightest and most intellectually engaging students any professor could wish for.
At Fletcher, I was able to realize my life’s work as a mathematician of culture, based on public opinion polls from around 100 countries every five years since 1980. My years of study and research on culture culminates in my book, A World of Three Cultures, which will be published in the late fall of this year by Oxford University Press. I hope you will agree to allow me to host a book launch event at Fletcher at the end of the fall semester. It would seem only appropriate to hold the event at the place that has been my academic home for the past seven years.
I would very much like to return to Fletcher when I end my service as Ambassador, so that I can share with students both my academic work on culture and my experiences as Ambassador.
I wish you all the best, and I hope to see you in Washington, DC.
Coincidentally, the nominee for the position of Ambassador to Mexico from the U.S. is a Fletcher graduate, Roberta Jacobson, F86. Assuming she is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, what a nice coincidence to have a swap of members of the Fletcher community for these two very important positions!
The pre-session students are here, but they’re too busy and/or new to be making news, which leaves me grasping for a topic for today’s post. I’ve reached into my magic bag of possible blog topics and pulled out a few notes on staff and faculty.
First, from one of the monthly updates we receive, news of a staff member who is also a Fletcher graduate:
Mieke van der Wansem, F90, associate director of educational programs at the Fletcher School’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, was senior faculty at an intensive week-long executive education program, the International Programme on the Management of Sustainability. The course, held every June in the Netherlands in partnership with the Sustainability Challenge Foundation, is designed for mid-career professionals mostly from developing countries. The training focuses on the mutual gains approach to negotiation and consensus building for sustainable development conflicts. The goal of the trainings is for professionals from many different sectors to be better able to achieve sustainable development goals through effective stakeholder engagement and negotiation.
Mieke conducts several training sessions each year, and was in South Africa earlier in the spring for a similar program. The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy has a particularly active research and practice agenda.
Next, a Tufts Now story about the (relatively) new director of the The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Dr. Nadim Shehadi. In the article, he notes that The Fares Center is important “because profound misunderstanding of the complexities of the Middle East is prolonging suffering and violence. The center could help frame discussion about the region, taking advantage of the Fletcher School’s international reputation and its alumni, who are influential in every corner of the globe.”
In faculty news, last spring, a student pointed out that Professor Elizabeth Prodromou, F83, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs (Helsinki Commission), “speaking on genocide denial, ‘memoricide’ and the industry of denialism. The Congressman who spoke after her mentioned that he’s never heard the subject explained so well.”
And, finally, Professor Jeswald Salacuse sent us a link to a long video interview with a Hawaii television program that he did on his most recent book, Negotiating Life. The interview is interesting, and Fletcher is one of the stars. It originally ran some time back, but I’m making up for having never included it on the blog.
At Fletcher, we refer to International Security Studies in two ways. First, as the Field of Study that is among the most commonly pursued by students. Second, for the International Security Studies Program, which offers extremely robust programming throughout the year. Despite the important place that Security Studies (in both its meanings) occupies at Fletcher, I have not always done my part in spreading the word. Making up for that lapse is going to be a focus of my blog work for 2015-16, and there’s no time like the present to start. To do so, I reached out to my old friends, Prof. Shultz and Prof. Pfaltzgraff to ask for information. It happened they had just completed a report for one of the organizations that funds their work (and that of many master’s-level and PhD students). Today, I’m going to share excerpts of that report. This is a long post, but the extra length is needed to capture the broad scope of ISSP activites.
International Security Studies at The Fletcher School
With the beginning of 2015-16, the International Security Studies Program (ISSP) will enter its 45th year at The Fletcher School, and International Security Studies remains at the cutting edge of The Fletcher School’s multidisciplinary curriculum. Through its many graduates and other efforts, ISSP has a major impact in shaping strategic thought and analysis in and beyond the political-military affairs community. Many ISSP graduates have gone on to important positions of responsibility in the United States and abroad, including General Joseph Dunford, incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and currently Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Course Offerings & Curriculum Development
ISSP offers a range of courses that examine conflict and war; strategy and statecraft; crisis management; regional security; intelligence; homeland security; proliferation; national security decision making; and terrorism. Our courses are theoretical and policy-oriented, as well as historical and contemporary, and reflect and anticipate a rapidly changing security environment, while providing instruction on the basic and timeless issues of strategy, statecraft, conflict, and war. During the 2014-2015 academic year, seventeen courses were offered in International Security Studies or closely related areas including: The Role of Force in International Politics, International Humanitarian Law; Internal Conflicts and War; Proliferation-Counterproliferation and Homeland Security Issues; The Evolution of Grand Strategy; Foundations of International Cybersecurity; The Strategic Dimensions of China’s Rise; Modern Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism; Peace Operations; Foreign Relations and National Security Law. In support of our curriculum, ISSP sponsors a high-level guest lecture series, an annual conference, a colloquium series, a crisis simulation exercise, and occasional field trips.
ISSP Student Research Supervision
During the 2014-2015 academic year the Security Studies faculty supervised a large number of student research papers, including seven MA theses and 15 MALD Capstone Projects. Currently 18 students are working on PhD dissertations under supervision of Security Studies faculty. Between 1971 and 2015 a total of 201 dissertations in the ISSP were completed and the PhD awarded. International Security Studies remains among the most popular fields as well as the largest Field of Study at Fletcher.
During the 2014-2015 academic year nine mid-level officers were assigned to the ISSP in lieu of spending a year at one of the various service War Colleges. This year’s group included two Air Force, one Navy, four Army, and one National Guard officer, and one senior official from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The mid-career military fellows, who pursue special research projects at Fletcher, bring an unusual set of experiences, expertise, and knowledge that adds greatly to our curriculum.
“Outside the Classroom” Educational Programs
Beyond its course offerings, the ISSP sponsors various “outside-the-classroom” activities designed to enrich the education of our students by addressing the emerging issues of 21st century international security.
IFPA-Fletcher Conference Series
Central to our programmatic activities are high-level conferences. These conferences help to publicize the Security Studies field in the broader national security/foreign policy communities. This year the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA) and ISSP joined together to organize and facilitate “Symposium on New Dynamics in Japanese Security Policy,” a one-day symposium at Fletcher to promote an informed exchange of views on the new dynamics of Japan’s security policy and their implications for U.S.-Japanese strategic cooperation going forward.
The symposium provided a unique opportunity for a select group of Japanese and American policy experts, academics, business leaders, and officials to review and explain in some depth key aspects of the Abe administration’s defense and foreign policy reforms aimed at facilitating Japan’s emergence as a “proactive contributor to peace” at both the regional and global levels. The Honorable Hideshi Tokuchi, F86, Vice Minister for International Affairs at Japan’s Ministry of Defense, was the keynote speaker for the luncheon.
Crisis Simulation Exercise (SIMULEX)
Each year, as part of the seminar on Crisis Management and Complex Emergencies, ISSP includes a weekend crisis simulation exercise. The 40th anniversary of SIMULEX event was held on November 7-8, 2014 and had more than 160 participants from The Fletcher School and the outside community. The scenario was entitled “Baltic Crisis and a Chaotic Middle East.”
Lectures by outside experts on topics related to international security remain an important dimension of ISSP. These presentations, usually in a luncheon/lecture setting, take place throughout the academic year. Our objective is to draw speakers from a broad cross-section of the professional civilian and military communities, and to design the lecture format in such a way as to give our students maximum opportunity to meet with such experts. Among the speakers sponsored by the ISSP during the 2014-2015 academic year were:
Major General Yaakov Amidror, former Israeli National Security Advisor: Israel’s Security Challenge.
Dr. Daniel Fine, Research Associate at the Mining and Minerals Resources Institute, MIT: Geopolitics of Russian Oil and Gas: Limits of Sanctions and Counter-Sanctions.
Sigrid Kaag, former Special Coordinator of the joint Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and United Nations mission to eliminate the chemical weapons program of the Syrian Arab Republic: Effective Multilateralism, The Experience of Chemical Weapons Elimination in Syria.
VADM Frank C. Pandolfe, Director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), Joint Staff: Global Trends and International Security.
ADM Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations: The Future of Naval Operations.
Dr. David McKean, Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State: Foreign Policy Challenges in a Changing World.
Dr. Alexander Mirtchev, president of Krull Corp., USA: Rebalancing the Global Security Disequilibrium: Dealing with the Challenges to the Post-Cold War Order in the Universally-Securitized World.
Dr. Hassan Abbas, F02, F08, professor and chair of the Department of Regional and Analytical Studies at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs: Taliban and ISIS: A Comparative Analysis and Future Prospects.
Rebecca Ulam Weiner, Director of Intelligence Analysis for the NYPD Intelligence Bureau: Al Qa’eda and ISIS Messaging to the West.
Slobodan Djinovic and Srdja Popovic, Chairman and Executive Director respectively of CANVAS (the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies): Strategic Nonviolent Resistance in the 21st Century: Lessons Learned from the Arab Spring, Ukraine, and Hong Kong.
General Joseph Votel, Commanding General of the U.S. Special Operations Command: USSOCOM and the Challenges Associated with Russian Aggression.
General Knud Bartels, current Chairman of the NATO Military Committee: Security Challenges facing NATO.
General Frank Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau: The Modern Day Minuteman — The National Guard in the 21st Century.
Major General and Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, former Director of Defence R&D in the Israeli Ministry of Defence, and currently professor at the University of Tel-Aviv and Deputy Director of the Hartog School of Government and Policy: The Israeli Cyber Ecosystem: Combining Industry, Government, and Academia.
Lt. General John Nicholson, Commander of Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), NATO: An overview of NATO’s Land Command, its mission and priorities, and Russia’s Impact on NATO.
NATO Parliamentarians Conference, featuring:
Dr. Robert Legvold, Visiting Professor, The Fletcher School, and Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Columbia University: Perspectives on U.S.–Russian Relations.
Dr. Kostas A. Lavdas is Professor of Hellenic and European Studies, The Fletcher School, and Professor of European Politics and Director of the Centre for Political Research and Documentation (KEPET) at the University of Crete: A Transatlantic Relationship for the 21st Century: Advancing Collective Security through Complementarity and Effective Burden Sharing.
Dr. Sung-yoon Lee, F94, F98, is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies, and Assistant Professor, The Fletcher School: Five Myths about North Korea.
Fellowships to ISSP Students
With support from several external foundations and fellowships, during the 2014-2015 academic year, ISSP granted tuition assistance and research support to a total of 39 master’s-level and PhD students, along with support for two student-organized academic activities.
Planned Activities (as of June 2015)
On November 13-14, 2015, ISSP will hold our annual weekend simulation, Simulex 2015.
In 2015-2016, ISSP will host one Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel, one Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, one Army Lieutenant Colonel, and one Army Colonel as senior research fellows, in lieu of their studies at the Army War College, along with one Navy Federal Executive Fellow.
The core ISSP faculty is comprised of three professors: Richard Shultz, Director of the ISSP and Professor of International Politics; Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies; and Antonia Chayes, Professor of Practice in International Politics and Law. In addition, ISSP faculty includes two adjunct professors: Toshi Yoshihara, F04, John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies and professor of strategy in the Strategy and Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College; and James Forest, Director and Professor of Security Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell.
ISSP has also added to its core faculty a new Professor of Practice, Michelle Malvesti, F00. Professor Malvesti worked for several years in the U.S. Intelligence Community as a Middle East terrorism analyst at the Joint Special Operations Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency. More recently her government service included Senior Director for Combating Terrorism Strategy for the Directorate for Combating Terrorism in the National Security Council, where she advised President Bush and his administration on US counterterrorism policy and strategy. During the Obama Administration she co-chaired the Presidential study review that reformed the White House organization for homeland security and counter terrorism.
Tagged with: ISSP
The final collection of books that professors suggest incoming students MIGHT want to look at this summer comes from Prof. Shultz and Prof. Pfaltzgraff, the core members of the International Security Studies faculty. Together, they have selected:
The Revenge of Geography, by Robert D. Kaplan
World Order, by Henry Kissinger
Grand Strategy in Theory and Practice: The need for an Effective American Foreign Policy, by William C. Martel
Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement in a Complex World, Stanley McChrystal
“International Security Studies: Looking Back and Looking Ahead,” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, by Robert L. Pfaltzgraff and Richard H. Shultz, Jr. (This article in Fletcher’s student-run journal shares the history of the Security Studies program at Fletcher, dating back to 1971. Good background for incoming students.)
Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman
The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO, James Stavridis (the dean of The Fletcher School)
And that wraps up the reading list for Summer 2015! No matter whether you’re an incoming student or someone who stumbled accidentally on the Admissions Blog, I hope you found a book, article, or video that is worth exploring this summer. And if you want to review all the posts, you can find them here.
I’m coming to the end of the oh-so-optional summer reading list. Here’s this week’s installment.
Prof. Papa, F03, F10 (a graduate of Fletcher’s PhD program) wrote, “This is a super-exciting time for sustainable development and global governance because of major geopolitical and environmental challenges, which we will cover in my course Sustainable Development Diplomacy. Two brand new books can put students on the frontiers of the current debates: Want, Waste or War? The Global Resource Nexus and the Struggle for Land, Energy, Food, Water and Minerals, by Philip Andrews-Speed, Raimund Bleischwitz, Tim Boersma, Corey Johnson, Geoffrey Kemp, and Stacy D. VanDeveer Routledge; and The BRICS and the Future of Global Order, by Oliver Stuenkel.”
Prof. Trachtman, accepting my invitation to make us aware of professors’ own writing, points us to his The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue and Win, which he wrote based on his teaching experience and believes will be “excellent preparation for law courses.”
Prof. Lavdas also pointed us toward a book that he co-authored, the timely Stateness and Sovereign Debt: Greece in the European-Conundrum.
Finally, Prof. Mankad recommends Resonate by Nancy Duarte, as well as This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman.
It’s Monday, so it must be time for another set of book suggestions from Fletcher faculty members.
From Prof. Conley-Zilkic at the World Peace Foundation: Regarding the Pain of Others, by Susan Sontag; The Garden of Evening Mists: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide, by Tan Twan Eng; and The Blood Telegram, by Gary Bass. With her focus on mass atrocities, Prof. Conley-Zilkic’s suggestions will always be meaningful, but also unsettling.
Prof. Everett wrote, “I would like to suggest The Prize by Daniel Yergin, which is a great read and will introduce students to the long historical connection between the oil industry and geopolitics.”
Prof. Hannum, one of the law professors who provided their picks, suggested The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day, by David J. Hand.
Continuing to aim for suggestions in a mix of fields, here’s the latest installment of the (utterly optional) summer reading list, provided by Fletcher professors.
The first suggestion comes from an unexpected place. After last week’s posts ran, I received a note from Erin Coutts, the Outreach Coordinator for the Tufts Global Development and Environment Institute. She had bumped into a tweet of one of the book lists and wanted to add a suggestion. She wrote:
Jeffrey Ashe, a Research Fellow at Tufts’ Global Development And Environment Institute, has recently published In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development, a history of community finance and financial empowerment. Kim Wilson, a Fletcher Lecturer in International Business and Human Security and co-editor of Financial Promise for the Poor: How Groups Build Microsavings, called the book “essential for any practitioner interested in helping the poor transform small amounts of money into meaningful ways of changing their lives.” In the book’s forward, Frances Moore Lappee proclaims that the stories in this book bury the myth that poor people have too little to save and that financial independence begins with a loan.
I’m happy to spread the word about a book by a Tufts professor, and I appreciate that Erin reached out to tell me about it.
Prof. Schaffner recommends The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Community on the Brink of Change, by Roger Thurow, noting that it “follows four real farm families in western Kenya through a year of hunger and hope. It’s a great introduction to the difficult choices faced by poor rural households (something development economists think about a lot), which engages the heart as well as the mind.”
And, our last suggestion for today comes from Prof. Henrikson, who writes, “I would recommend: Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. The book is a remarkably candid reflection on American leadership, government and politics, written from a personal perspective and from deep knowledge of the affairs of the world. It shows realism at its best, with humanism (and not simply power) at its center.”
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