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  • 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
  • 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: Dina Smeltz, Craig Kafura, Lily Wojtowicz
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: High-profile Republican stalwarts John McCain and Lindsay Graham have contradicted President-elect Donald Trump’s dismissal of CIA conclusions that Russia interfered in the US presidential election. The two senators issued a statement along with Democrats Jack Reed and Charles Schumer calling for a special committee to investigate the Russian cyberattacks. In a joint statement issued December 11, the senators warned that “this cannot become a partisan issue” because Russian interference in the election “should alarm every American.” But among the American public, there is a partisan split on whether to investigate further, and self-described Republicans seem to be taking their cues from Trump rather than the senators. A just-completed Chicago Council Survey conducted over the past weekend (December 16-18) finds that a narrow majority of Republicans oppose a congressional inquiry (51%). By contrast, majorities of Democrats (85%) and Independents (64%) – and two thirds of the overall public – favor an investigation.
  • Topic: Corruption, Elections, Democracy, Post Truth Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The world today has the largest population of young people in history, yet tragically, far too many of these youth are unlikely to live past the age of 30. Worldwide, youth aged 15 to 29 make up more than 40 percent of all homicides, while millions more fall victim to nonfatal violent crimes. Three organizations—the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the University of Chicago Urban Labs, and the World Bank—convened approximately 30 leaders in Chicago from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, and other Latin American and Caribbean countries and the United States working on the front lines of urban youth violence prevention. They discussed promising ways to strengthen urban public safety and improve the lives of youth in cities throughout the Americas.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Youth Culture
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: Dina Smeltz, Stepan Goncharov, Lily Wojtowicz
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: A breakdown in cooperation between the United States and Russia in Syria, disputes over bilateral arms control agreements, and official US allegations of Russian cyber-meddling in the US presidential election have increased bilateral tensions. Most recently, the Kremlin ended participation in a joint agreement with the United States to eliminate both countries’ excess stocks of weapons grade plutonium. Yet even before these recent developments, increasingly frosty diplomatic relations seem to have taken their toll on mutual perceptions in public opinion.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Sara McElmurry, Juliana Kerr, Theresa Cardinal Brown, Lazaro Zamora
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Current immigration policies and systems play an important role in protecting citizens. Federal immigration agencies are a central component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Working in collaboration with federal intelligence agencies and local law enforcement at home and foreign governments abroad, the immigration system has become much more sophisticated and effective since DHS was created in 2001. Apprehensions of unauthorized immigrants along the border are at the lowest levels seen in decades. Screenings used to vet visitors, immigrants, and refugees have increased in complexity and efficacy. Programs that remove criminals from the country now increasingly prioritize enforcement resources to address public safety and security threats.
  • Topic: National Security, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Cullen S. Hendrix
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Feeding the world and teaching the world to feed itself is not just a humanitarian endeavor. It is vital to US national security. Food price–related unrest can have an immense impact on the stability of countries vital to US interests. Fortunately, the United States is well positioned to lead the fight against food insecurity across the globe. Even with increases in agricultural productivity, Africa and Asia have become increasingly dependent on global markets to satisfy their growing domestic demand for food. For example, Africa's 20 most populous countries are all net grain importers. This import dependence has made these countries more sensitive to food price volatility than ever before.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, National Security, Food Security
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Vedder
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Like most economics professors, I have spent my academic lifetime examining the economic and public policy effects of issues involving the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services—political economy, if you will. There is, however, a “political economy” to the very act of producing and disseminating economic knowledge and examining public policies. And that political economy and my assessment of it has changed over a career spanning more than half a century. In this brief article, I will confine my attention mostly to the research dimension and look at five issues, most relating to the political economy of the study of political economy.
  • Topic: Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gary Kleck, Mark Gertz
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Crime victims used to be ignored by criminologists. Then, beginning slowly in the 1940s and more rapidly in the 1970s, interest in the victim’s role in crime grew. Yet a tendency to treat the victim as either a passive target of another person’s wrongdoing or as a virtual accomplice of the criminal limited this interest. The concept of the victim precipitated homicide highlighted the possibility that victims were not always blameless and passive targets, but that they sometimes initiated or contributed to the escalation of a violent interaction through their own actions, which they often claimed were defensive.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Crime
  • Political Geography: America