Thursday, November 20, 2008

Detention as Targeting: Standards of Certainty and Detention of Suspected Terrorists

To the extent that a state can detain terrorists pursuant to the law of war, how certain must the state be in distinguishing suspected terrorists from nonterrorists? This Article shows that the law of war can and should be interpreted or supplemented to account for the exceptional aspects of an indefinite conflict against a transnational terrorist organization by analogizing detention to military targeting and extrapolating from targeting rules. A targeting approach to the detention standard-of-certainty question provides a methodology for balancing security and liberty interests that helps fill a gap in detention law and helps answer important substantive questions left open by recent Supreme Court detention cases, including Boumediene v. Bush. Targeting rules include a reasonable care standard for dealing with the practical and moral problems of protecting innocent civilians from injury amid clouds of doubt and misinformation, though the application of this standard in the detention context must account for differences such as a temporal dimension, available procedural mechanisms, and political and strategic context. Applying a targeting law methodology, this Article offers a law of war critique of past and current U.S. government detention policies. It recommends several ways to remedy them, including through an escalating standard of certainty as time in detention elapses, comparative consideration of accuracy-enhancing adjudication procedures, and greater decisionmaking transparency. Source: Columbia Law School Forthcoming Columbia Law Review Vol. 108:1365 2008.

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| Link to online abstract

The Big Curve: Trends in University Fees and Financing in the EU and US

Globally, fees and tuition are growing as an important source of income for most universities, with potentially significant influence on the market for students and the behavior of institutions. Thus far, however, there is no single source on the fee rates of comparative research universities, nor information on how these funds are being used by institutions. Furthermore, research on tuition pricing has also focused largely on bachelor’s degree programs, and not on the rapid changes in tuition and fees for professional degrees. This paper offers a brief scan of pricing trends among a sample group of 24 public and private research universities in the US, all with a wide array of graduate and professional programs, and a small sample group of EU universities. We trace a pattern of convergence not only between US public and private institutions, but also find indications that these trends occur among EU universities. We theorize that pricing among major research universities is increasingly influenced by levels of market tolerance, and a convergence in pricing driven in part by the perception that price confers quality and a corresponding level of prestige to consumers. This study focuses on pricing, and hence does not delve into the complex moderating effects of bursaries and student costs such as room and board. The recent implosion in credit markets may seriously shake this emerging pricing model, in large part because it is increasingly dependent on students taking out sizable loans. But it is our sense that the long-term trends in pricing, including some level of convergence, will continue as institutions that are globally competitive look over their shoulder at what their perceived peer (or near peer) institutions are charging for specific degrees and programs. This in turn will influence the entire higher education market. Source: Center for Studies in Higher Education. Paper CSHE. U.C. Berkeley.

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| Link to online abstract & eScholarship repository

Digital Youth Research Final Report

Social network sites, online games, video-sharing sites, and gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones are now fixtures of youth culture. They have so permeated young lives that it is hard to believe that less than a decade ago these technologies barely existed. Today’s youth may be coming of age and struggling for autonomy and identity as did their predecessors, but they are doing so amid new worlds for communication, friendship, play, and self-expression.

We include here the findings of three years of research on kids' informal learning with digital media. The two page summary incorporates a short, accessible version of our findings. The White Paper is a 30-page document prepared for the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Series. The book is an online version of our forthcoming book with MIT Press and incorporates the insights from 800 youth and young adults and over 5000 hours of online observations. Source: U.C. Berkeley iSchool

Download Summary (pdf) | Download white paper (pdf) | Link to site - Full Chapters available online

Monday, November 10, 2008

Still Working Hard, Still Falling Short: New Findings on the Challenges Confronting America's Working Families

The Working Poor Families Project presents an important new report examining the state of America's working families: "Still Working Hard, Still Falling Short: New Findings on the Challenges Confronting America's Working Families." The report is a follow-up to the 2004 report, "Working Hard, Falling Short."

The new report finds that more than one in four working families - a total of 42 million adults and children - are low-income, an increase from the findings of the 2004 report. Source: Working Poor Families Project

The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) was launched in 2002 by national philanthropic leaders who saw the need to strengthen state policies affecting these working families. The national initiative is now supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and Mott foundations. The WPFP focuses on the states because many of their policies and investments critically affect the lives of working families.

Download full pdf report
| Link to project homepage

Promoting Engagement for All Students: The Imperative to Look Within.

"The 2008 report from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is
based on information from nearly 380,000 randomly selected first­year and senior
students at 722 four ­year colleges and universities in the U.S. The report, Promoting
Engagement for All Students: The Imperative to Look Within, provides an overview of
survey findings and points to accomplishments as well as areas where improvement is
needed." Source: Indiana University for Postsecondary Research

Download full pdf report
| Link to NSSE site

UN Offices on Drugs and Crime releases UNODC Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons

"Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them. Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. Virtually every country in the world is affected by trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labour. The challenges for all countries, rich and poor, are to target the criminals who exploit desperate people and to protect trafficking victims. As the only U.N. entity focusing on the criminal justice element, the GPAT brings special expertise to the fight against trafficking.

The UNODC Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings (GPAT) assists countries in their efforts to combat this crime."

The 123 tools contained in the Toolkit offer guidance, recommended resources, and promising practices to policymakers, law enforcers, judges, prosecutors, victim service providers and members of civil society who are working in interrelated spheres towards preventing trafficking, protecting and assisting victims and promoting international cooperation.

Download full pdf toolkit | Link to UNDOC website

The Hispanic Vote in the 2008 Election

Updated November 7, 2008 to reflect updated exit poll results

Hispanics voted for Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden over Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin by a margin of more than two-to-one in the 2008 presidential election, 67% versus 31%, according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of exit polls from Edison Media Research as published by CNN. The Center's analysis also finds that 9% of the electorate was Latino, up from 8% in 2004. This report contains an analysis of exit poll results for the Latino vote in 9 states and for the U.S. Source: Pew Hispanic Center

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Election Weekend News Interest Hits 20-Year High Top Events of Campaign 2008

"As the long presidential campaign wound down last week, the public remained highly engaged. Fully 60% of registered voters said they were following campaign news very closely, while 28% said they were following fairly closely. That is the highest level of voter interest just before a presidential election since the Pew Research Center began tracking campaign news interest in 1988." Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report | Download topline questionnaire | Link to online Summary

The Impact of Urbanization on Zinacantec Maya Women and Girls: A Controlled Case Study in Historical Perspective

In recent decades, ecocultural environments of the Maya in Chiapas, Mexico have undergone continuous change from more subsistence-based to more commerce-based and from more rural to more urban. Comparing ethnographic observations of one family over a ten-year period and across rural and urban environments, we used activity-setting analysis to investigate changes on the micro level that would reflect these shifts in the macro-environment. The development of commerce between 1997 and 2007 led to increased reliance on technology, increases in individuation and individual choice, specialization for economic tasks, and, for women, more formal education. Other changes in this same period of time were greatly intensified by urban dwelling: contact with strangers and people of different ethnicities, women's economic achievement, and greater freedom for young women to have unchaperoned contact with young men. Author: Patricia Greenfield (CASBS Fellow Class of 2005) Source: UCLA Center for the Study of Women.

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The Influence of Agriculture on Aboriginal Socio-Political Organization in the Lower Colorado River Valley

The Yuman-speaking peoples of the Southwest and California were for the most part non-agricultural in pre-contact times, but the tribes of the lower Colorado River Valley did regularly farm. These tribes were, from north to south, the Mohave, Halchidhoma, Yuma (Cuchan), Kahwan, Halyikwamai, and Cocopa. Castetter and Bell (1951:74) estimated that, on the average, they obtained from 30% to 50% of their food supply from agriculture. These percentages are low—and in many years they must have been much lower—yet River Yuman culture differed from that of the Yuman-speaking peoples of California and upland Arizona in many ways, the most fundamental of which represent, we believe, an adaptation to agriculture and to the distinctive environment in which it was practiced. In this paper, we will suggest that the successful practice of agriculture in the Colorado River Valley necessitated a settlement pattern to which the distinctive River Yuman sib system is an adaptation. This in turn gave rise to a form of chieftainship, a type of warfare, and a supporting ideology that was quite unlike that of the non-agricultural Yuman-speaking peoples of California and Arizona.

The Journal of California Anthropology: Vol. 1: No. 2, Article 5. [via eScholarship repository]

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Crisis Averted, Transition Ended?: Russia’s Response to the 2008 Financial Crisis as the End of Russia’s “Transition”

Transitologists—scholars who study economic and legal transitions from planned to market economies in formerly socialist countries—have long had difficulty applying dominant paradigms to the ever-enigmatic and unique Russian example. A central question in transition studies is what constitutes the “end” of transition, the theoretical point of arrival. In the case of Russia, this debate is wide-open, with some claiming that recent political developments and the general sliding back of “rule of law” reforms signal a return to totalitarianism, while more moderate Western observers voice hope that Russia’s posture towards Europe (at least) resembles that of a dependable trading partner and member of the civilized family of nations. This short article analyzes Russia’s response to the 2008 global financial crisis and posits that the response of Russia’s ruling elites’ to the crisis is meant to signal to the West the end of transition in Russia; in short, that Russia has learned to manage its own economic affairs. Part one provides an overview of liberalization reforms in Russia during the active transition period (1989-1998). Part two examines the consolidation of power, latent transition, and Russia’s economic growth under Putin’s reign (1999-2008). Lastly, part three analyzes the impact of Russia’s immediate response to the crisis both on Russia’s standing in the world, as well as the consequences for America’s continuing liberalization policies in Russia and beyond.

Source: Cornell Law School. Cornell Law School Working Papers Series. Paper 46.

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| Link to online abstract

"Think Global, Act Local": Workplace Representation in a World of Global Labor and Product Market Competition

The decline of unionization rates in private companies, while at an especially low point below 10% in the U.S., is a worldwide phenomenon, hastened by the emergence of global labor and product market competition. The dilemma for public policy is that while strong unions can promote worker voice and economic participation, they do so in a manner that harms firm performance where all companies competing in the same product market are subject to the same union standards. Global markets make it increasingly difficult for unions to pursue traditional redistributive goals, bringing to the fore an alternative model of workplace representation that emphasizes pursuit of objectives that do not undermine firm profits. Although global labor standards are often suggested as a means of improving the ability of U.S. workers to compete on a “level playing field” with workers in other countries, this approach is not likely to succeed if developing countries are to pursue their competitive advantage as lower-cost producers. Rather, the path for U.S. public policy should be two-pronged: (1) strengthening the protections for workers seeking collective representation, while (2) removing disincentives in current institutional arrangements that retard the evolution of unions as integrative bargaining agents. Source: NY University School of Law New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers. Paper 90.

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| Link to online abstract

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Authorʹs Rights Tout de Suite

Authorʹs Rights Tout de Suite is designed to give journal article authors a quick
introduction to key aspects of authorʹs rights and to foster further exploration of
this topic though liberal use of relevant references to online documents and links
to pertinent Web sites.

Download dpf article: Authorʹs Rights Tout de Suite

Fundraising, Campaigns and Endowments in a Challenging Economy

Tactics for Troubled Times
"In difficult economic times, fund raising consultants frequently suggest colleges go back to basics. That means connecting with donors who have given before, including the widowed spouses of once-great contributors." Source: Inside Higher Ed
Link to online Article

Donations rise, markets fall

"By all accounts, September was not a good month for the American economy.

Stock prices plummeted, and 159,000 jobs were lost, the worst such decline in five years. But at Yale, it was a record month for fundraising. Figures obtained by the News show that the University raked in over $28.25 million in donations last month, more than double the $14 million raised in September last year." Source: Yale Daily News

Link to online article

From the Council for Advancement and Support of Education
CASE has pulled together a number of resources with
the guidance of senior advancement professionals to help educational institutions maximize the effectiveness of their fundraising initiatives during challenging economic times.
Link to CASE

Obama Leads McCain 52% to 46% in Campaign's Final Days

"Barack Obama holds a significant lead over John McCain in the final days of Campaign 2008. The Pew Research Center's final pre-election poll of 2,587 likely voters, conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 1, finds 49% supporting or leaning to Obama, compared with 42% for McCain; minor party candidates draw 2%, and 7% are undecided."

"Pew's final survey indicates that the remaining undecided vote breaks slightly in McCain's favor. When both turnout and the probable decisions of undecided voters are taken into account in Pew's final estimate, Obama holds a 52% to 46% advantage, with 1% each going to Ralph Nader and Bob Barr."

Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Internet Now Major Source of Campaign News

Many more Americans are turning to the internet for campaign news this year as the web becomes a key source of election news. Television remains the dominant source, but the percent who say they get most of their campaign news from the internet has tripled since October 2004 (from 10% then to 33% now).

While use of the web has seen considerable growth, the percentage of Americans relying on TV and newspapers for campaign news has remained relatively flat since 2004. The internet now rivals newspapers as a main source for campaign news. And with so much interest in the election next week, the public’s use of the internet as a campaign news source is up even since the primaries earlier this year. In March, 26% cited the internet as a main source for election news, while the percentages citing television and newspapers remain largely unchanged. Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf Report | Link to summary of findings

Female Genital Mutilation as Persecution: When Can It Constitute a Basis for Asylum and Withholding of Removal?

"Female genital mutilation (FGM) encompasses a wide range of procedures which involve the removal or alteration of a woman's and girl's genitalia. The federal courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) have classified FGM as a form of persecution, a showing of which can act as a basis for a successful asylum or withholding of removal claim. However, there was a split between the federal courts and the BIA over the treatment of applicants who have already been subjected to FGM. The federal courts that have addressed this issue have held that a past infliction of FGM creates a presumption of a well-founded fear of future persecution, which is a prerequisite for refugee status, and also a clear probability of future harm, a requirement for obtaining withholding of removal. The BIA, on the other hand, has rejected this position in In re A-T-, arguing that FGM can be inflicted only once, which means that an applicant cannot have a well-founded fear or present a clear probability of FGM happening again in the future. Thus, under the BIA interpretation, the past infliction of FGM, a form of past persecution, rather than creating a presumption of a well-founded fear of future persecution, rebuts the presumption." Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf report | Link to Online Summary

The America COMPETES Act and the FY2009 Budget

"The America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69) responds to concerns that the United States may not be able to compete economically with other nations in the future due to insufficient investment today in science and engineering research and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. A similar concern led President Bush to announce the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) in January 2006. FY2008 appropriations met neither the Administration's ACI target nor America COMPETES Act authorized levels. An issue for Congress is whether FY2009 appropriations will.

The Presidents's Office of Science and Technology Policy reports that the FY2009 budget request includes funding for America COMPETES Act initiatives at 88% of the FY2009 authorization level. In June 2008, the House and Senate approved the Concurrent Budget Resolution Conference Report (S.Con.Res. 70), which provides a sense of the Congress on the America COMPETES Act, stating "the Congress should provide sufficient funding so that our Nation may continue to be the world leader in education, innovation and economic growth." For FY2009, the federal agencies that manage America COMPETES Act programs are funded through an interim continuing resolution until March 6, 2009. Funding for the remainder of FY2009 and all of FY2010 remains to be determined. The act authorizes increases in the nation's investment in science and engineering research at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratories, and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science." Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress

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Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation

"The passage of the reauthorization of the North Korean Human Rights Act in October 2008 (P.L.110-346) reasserted congressional interest in influencing the Bush Administration's policy toward North Korea. In addition to reauthorizing funding at original levels, the bill expresses congressional criticism of the implementation of the original 2004 law and adjusts some of the provisions relating to the Special Envoy on Human Rights in North Korea and the U.S. resettlement of North Korean refugees. Some outside analysts have pointed to the challenges of highlighting North Korea's human rights violations in the midst of the ongoing nuclear negotiations, as well as the difficulty in effectively reaching North Korean refugees as outlined in the law. Further, the law may complicate coordination on North Korea with China and South Korea. For more information, please see CRS Report RL34189, North Korean Refugees in China and Human Rights Issues: International Response and U.S. Policy Options, coordinated by Rhoda Margesson." Source: Congressional Research Service, Library Of Congress

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| Link to online abstract

Among Hispanics in Florida, 2008 Voter Registration Rolls Swing Democratic

"Unlike in the rest of the country, the Latino vote in the Sunshine State has tended to be heavily Republican; but changing politics and demographics have produced a substantial shift in electoral rolls." Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf fact sheet | Link to Pew Hispanic Center