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  • Author: Jennifer M. Urban, Joe Karaganis, Brianna L. Schofield
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: American Assembly at Columbia University
  • Abstract: It has been nearly twenty years since section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act established the so-called notice and takedown process. Despite its importance to copyright holders, online service providers, and Internet speakers, very little empirical research has been done on how effective section 512 is for addressing copyright infringement, spurring online service provider development, or providing due process for notice targets. This report includes three studies that draw back the curtain on notice and takedown: 1. using detailed surveys and interviews with more than three dozen respondents, the first study gathers information on how online service providers and rightsholders experience and practice notice and takedown on a day-to-day basis; 2. the second study examines a random sample from over 100 million notices generated during a six-month period to see who is sending notices, why, and whether they are valid takedown requests; and 3. the third study looks specifically at a subset of those notices that were sent to Google Image Search.
  • Topic: Intellectual Property/Copyright, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Kathryn McNabb Cochran, Gregory Tozzi
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Humanity is fascinated by prediction failures. The failure to predict the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has replaced the failure to predict the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as the United States’ canonical intelligence failure, but the failure to predict the Arab Spring is gaining ground. These failures have prompted some to argue that because prediction is a futile exercise, organizations are better served by investing in agile systems that can react rapidly to change rather than investing in predictive systems that help them anticipate change. The authors argue that this is a false dichotomy. Predictive systems can support agility, and recent advances in the science of forecasting offer multiple tools for organizations seeking to see around the corner faster and with more acuity.
  • Topic: Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Adaner Usmani, Benjamin Bradlow
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Over the last several decades, dozens of authoritarian regimes have fallen and been replaced by formal democracies. These new democracies are not all of identical quality -- some have made substantially greater progress than others towards deepening democratic institutions. We make use of a new dataset which identifies five distinct dimensions of democratization in order to study this variation. We argue that prolonged unarmed contentious mobilization prior to transition drives democratic progress in each of these five dimensions. Mobilization matters because it generates a new, democratically-oriented political elite and because it furnishes non-elites with the capacity for autonomous collective action. In panel regressions spanning the 1950 to 2010 period and using original data, we show that the duration of antecedent anti-authoritarian mobilization is a significant and consistent predictor of subsequent democratic deepening. To illustrate the mechanisms, we present a historical analysis of democratic transition in Brazil. This case study shows how both formal political actors and non-elite collective actors, emboldened by prolonged mobilization, drove deepening of democracy post-transition.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Scholars and policymakers have increasingly recognized that Islamist movements and actors vary widely – from domestically oriented, quietist movements engaging in democratic systems to revolutionary, armed movements aiming to upend the nation-state system. Yet little has been done to understand how the nature of individual movements, and their success, often differs substantially at the subnational level. Some communities are much more likely to support different Islamist actors than others, and even the same movement may have very different strategies in some localities than others. Many questions remain regarding if and how Islamist movements and actors look or act differently in rural areas and secondary cities as they do in the capitals. To what extent do the strategies and performance of Islamists vary subnationally? And what explains this variation?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Long repressed, banned, and exiled, many Islamist movements and parties across the Middle East and North Africa witnessed a moment of electoral success after the 2011 uprisings. Since then, their fates have varied widely. Some have made significant compromises to stay in power, others have ostensibly separated their religious and political efforts, while others have been repressed more brutally than before or have fragmented beyond recognition. What accounts for these actors’ different adaptation strategies and divergent outcomes? Earlier this year, the Project on Middle East Political Science brought together a dozen top scholars for our 4th Annual workshop on Islamist politics to address these questions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Engaging and influencing public policy debates on areas of their expertise is a core part of the mission of academics. The last decade has in many ways been the golden age of academic policy engagement. Social media, the proliferation of online publishing platforms, and a generational change in disciplinary norms and practices has unleashed an impressive wave of writing by academics aimed at an informed public sphere. The Project on Middle East Political Science has worked to promote such public and policy engagement, with hundreds of academics each year contributing their expertise on the Middle East on publishing platforms such as The Middle East Channel and The Monkey Cage and through direct policymaker engagement.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: In years past, Islamist televangelists like Amr Khaled, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Tareq Suwaidan seemed like the future of Arab media. Advancing a form of “soft Islam” focused on personal betterment and religiosity, these preachers were seen by some as a potential counterweight to extremist voices and by others as a sinister leading edge of radicalization. The contretemps between Amr Khaled and Yusuf al-Qaradawi over the Danish Cartoons Crisis of 2006 inspired numerous academic articles
  • Topic: International Affairs, Social Media
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ofra Bengio
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The Kurds challenge the self-perceptions of the nation-states in which they reside: Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq; and they have played a crucial role in combatting Islamic State. This study analyzes the rivalry and interdependence among the four parts of Kurdistan as well as the dynamics of their relations with regional countries and the international community. With the entire region in a state of flux, will the Kurds fulfill their dream for a state or autonomous existence of their own?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Self Determination, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Middle East