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  • Author: Colin Polsky, Dagmar Schröter, Marybeth Long Martello
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: There is a growing call among researchers interested in studying global change and associated effects on society and ecosystems to examine vulnerabilities as well as impacts. Such a move would require a renewed emphasis on the factors that constrain and enable coupled human - environment systems to adapt to stress. Although a picture is emerging of what general factors global change vulnerability assessments should address, it is less clear what methods are needed for this endeavor. This paper presents results from a workshop held in October 2002 to explore the issue of methods and models for vulnerability assessments. The results include an objective for global change vulnerability assessments, a set of five information criteria that vulnerability assessments should satisfy for achieving this objective, and a set of eight steps designed to satisfy those criteria. The proposed objective for global change vulnerability assessments is to inform the decision - making of specific stakeholders about options for adapting to the effects of global change. The five criteria for achieving the objective are that vulnerability assessments should: engage a flexible knowledge base, be place - based, consider multiple and interacting stresses, examine differential adaptive capacity between and within populations, and be prospective as well as historical. The eight steps for satisfying the criteria are: define the study area in tandem with stakeholders, get to know places over time, hypothesize who is vulnerable to what, develop a causal model of vulnerability, find indicators for the components of vulnerability, weight and combine the indicators, project future vulnerability, and communicate vulnerability creatively. We expect most readers to identify some of the steps as self - evident and part of their well - established disciplinary practices. However, most readers should also identify one or more steps as uncommon to their research traditions. Thus taken together the eight steps presented here constitute a novel methodological framework.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Human Welfare, Treaties and Agreements
  • Author: Jay Smith
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since the September 11 attacks, the federal government has undertaken a fundamental review of the U.S. defense priorities. The terrorist strikes against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon exposed the extraordinary vulnerability of the U.S. homeland that some had warned against over the last several years. There is now widespread agreement that the threat of terrorist attack against the United States is likely to be a long-term reality. Given this situation, the Bush administration's decision to reassess its policy on homeland security is wholly appropriate.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert I. Rotberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The inhabitants of tropical Africa in 2003 demand higher levels of performance from their governments than they could, or dared to do, in the 1970s and 1980s, a decade or two after independence from colonial rule. Nowadays they suffer despots reluctantly, as in Zimbabwe, deny them unconstitutional third terms, as in Malawi and Zambia (but not in Togo), gleefully vote for more promising rulers, as in Ghana and Kenya, or insist al- most everywhere on improved governing and government.
  • Topic: Civil War, Environment, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Zambia, Ghana
  • Author: Simon Saradzhyan
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The likelihood of a catastrophic terrorist attack against Russia is growing, as radical separatists in troubled Chechnya increasingly become more desperate, and security at many of Russia's civil nuclear facilities remains insufficient. They have already demonstrated their capability and willingness to inflict massive indiscriminate casualties by organizing an apartment bombing in the southern Russian city of Buinaksk. They have acquired radioactive materials, threatened to attack Russia's nuclear facilities, plotted to hijack a nuclear submarine, and have attempted to put pressure on the Russian leadership by planting a container with radioactive materials in Moscow and threatening to detonate it. These incidents occurred between 1994 and 1996, during Russia's first military campaign in Chechnya at a time when separatists were so overwhelmed and outmanned they believed that acts of terrorism employing nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) materials—if not weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—could be the only way to force Russian troops to retreat from Chechnya.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: A.A. Kokoshin
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The author proceeds from the definition, that nuclear conflict is a situation involving one or more possessors of nuclear weapons, and in the course of which escalation reaches a level at which the practical possibility of using nuclear weapons begins to be considered. The higher phase of nuclear conflict means the use of nuclear weapons at various scales—from single nuclear explosions to the mass use of nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Author: Robert I. Rotberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Haiti is small, poor, and badly governed. That has been the lot of Haitians from 1804 to 1990, despite an emperor, a clutch of dictators, the despotic rule of the Duvalier family, an American occupation, and a few well-meaning democratic rulers. For nearly two centuries, Haitians have been waiting for leaders who favor the national over narrow personal interest, who seek a sustained improvement in the national condition, and who put the needs and claims of ordinary Haitians first.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Caribbean
  • Author: Andrea Gabbitas
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since September 11, the relationship between the United States and Russia has evolved significantly. At the Crawford summit in November 2001, President George W. Bush and President Vladimir V. Putin officially declared a “new relationship” between the United States and Russia. A significant portion of this new relationship has centered on nonproliferation matters, which have been declared a priority by both presidents. In fighting terrorist threats, Bush and Putin have “agreed to enhance bilateral and multilateral action to stem the export and proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological materials, related technologies, and delivery systems as a critical component of the battle to defeat international terrorism.”
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: James B. Steinberg, Gilman Louie
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The challenge of preventing and responding to the new security threats is very different from the one we, as a nation, faced in the Cold War. Today, the private sector is on the frontline of the homeland security effort: Its members are holders of information that may prove crucial to thwarting terrorist attacks; stewards of critical infrastructure that must be protected and dangerous materials that could be used to do harm; and important actors in responding to attacks. As we said in our first Task Force report, private sector information is essential to counter-terrorism, and government agencies should have timely, needed access to that information, pursuant to guidelines that give confidence that the information will be used in a responsible way.
  • Topic: Government, National Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William H. Frey
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Hundreds of thousands of people move to the U.S. each year seeking a better life. Millions of Americans move to new locations within the U.S. each year for the same reason. The respective destinations of these two groups—immigrants and domestic migrants—shape the physical landscape, public service needs, business patterns, and political culture of our nation's metropolitan areas. For those reasons, international and domestic migration trends in the late 1990s, and how they shaped metropolitan growth dynamics, represent some of the most eagerly anticipated findings from U.S. Census 2000.
  • Topic: Demographics, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: W. Courtland Robinson
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: While it may have as many meanings as people who invoke its name, development generally has positive, though perhaps ambiguous, connotations. Uneven development is a bad thing and sustainable development is a good thing but, for the most part, under- developed countries and communities seek to become more developed, whether that is through improving health and livelihoods, expanding educational opportunities, or building infrastructure. But, as the citations above suggest, development does not benefit everyone equally and for some—indeed, for millions of people around the world—development has cost them their homes, their livelihoods, their health, and even their very lives. The suffering of those displaced by development projects can be as severe, and the numbers as large, as those displaced either internally or internationally by conflict and violence. What follows is an examination of the often-overlooked phenomenon of development-induced displacement, its causes, consequences and challenges for the international community.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia