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  • Author: Michael D Bordo
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Dodd Frank Act of 2010 (DFA) was designed to overcome the sources of excessive leverage and systemic risk in the U.S. financial sector perceived to have created the Great Financial Crisis of 2007–2008. Since then, considerable controversy has swirled around the efficacy of various components of the multifaceted act. Many have been critical of the Volcker Rule, while others have praised the elevation of capital ratios and the requirements for banks to undergo periodic stress tests. However, there has been mounting concern in the financial community, Congress, and the press over the negative impact of the DFA regulations on small banks and businesses.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David Bier
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Texas law SB 4 imposes jail time on local police who fail to detain anyone whom federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests. Data from Travis County, Texas, show that ICE targets large numbers of U.S. citizens. From October 2005 to August 2017, 814 targets of ICE detainers in Travis County-3.3 percent of all requests-claimed U.S. citizenship and presented officers with a Social Security number (SSN). ICE subsequently canceled or declined to execute about a quarter of those detainer requests. Based on statements from ICE officials, the best explanation for not executing these detainers is that ICE targeted at least 228 U.S. citizens in the county before canceling or declining to execute those detainers. SB 4 will likely increase the detention of U.S. citizens for supposed violations of immigration law by preventing local police from releasing them.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jacqueline L. Hazelton
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How can the United States best assure its interests abroad when a partner state faces an insurgency? The question has vexed policymakers, military officers, and scholars throughout the Cold War and into the post–9/11 era. When the United States finds its military might turned against itself by insurgents, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, thoughts often turn to the small U.S.-supported counterinsurgency campaign in El Salvador from 1979 to 1992. The Salvadoran government defended itself against Marxist-nationalist-liberal-socialist rebels in a civil war that ended in a peace deal. The small-footprint U.S. intervention is appealing as an alternative to the tens of thousands of troops deployed in bigger quagmires. Conventional wisdom says that the brutal, repressive Salvadoran government instituted liberalizing, democratizing reforms to defeat the insurgency. Analysis of contemporaneous documents and interviews with participants, however, reveals that the campaign is a poor model for future U.S. interventions, for three reasons. First, the government retained power by waging a war of terrorism and attrition against insurgents and civilians alike. Second, Salvadoran elites resisted U.S. pressure for reforms. Third, chance rather than U.S. choices played a significant role in the war's outcome, meaning that replication of the pattern of events is unlikely.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jennifer Harris
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Comprising roughly 700 million barrels of crude oil stored in caverns throughout Texas and Louisiana, the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was established by Congress in the mid-1970s in response to the 1973–74 Arab oil embargo and ensuing oil price shocks. Its purpose was to insulate the United States from crude oil supply disruptions. In the decades since, despite significant changes in global oil markets, the basic logic and design of the SPR have remained largely unchanged.
  • Topic: Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Stephen Halbrook
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: The right to keep and bear arms in Virginia is guaranteed by both the state and federal constitutions. Article I, section 13, of the Virginia Constitution provides in part: ‘‘That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed . . . .’’ The first clause dates to 1776, while the second clause was not adopted until 1971. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted in 1791 and provides: ‘‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’’
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Stephen Halbrook
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Use and manipulation of the pejorative term “assault weapon” is a classic case of “an Alice-in-Wonderland world where words have no meaning.” The Second Amendment provides that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Arms, such as rifles, pistols, and shotguns, do not lose their constitutional protection because the legislature describes them with a derogatory term. Indeed, “no pronouncement of a legislature can forestall attack upon the constitutionality of the prohibition which it enacts by applying opprobrious epithets to the prohibited act . . . .”
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: America