Wednesday, August 26, 2009

China's International Behavior Activism, Opportunism, and Diversification

RAND Publication Summary:

China is now a global actor of significant and growing importance. It is active in regions and on issues that were once only peripheral to its interests, and it is effectively using tools previously unavailable. It is no longer appropriate to talk of integrating China into the international system; by and large, it is already there. Its international behavior is clearly altering the dynamics of the current international system, but it is not transforming its structure.

China's global activism is continually changing and has so many dimensions that it immediately raises questions about its current and future intentions and the implications for global stability and prosperity. This study examines how China views its security environment, how it defines its international objectives, how it is pursuing these objectives, and the consequences for U.S. economic and security interests.

Source: RAND

Download full pdf report | Download pdf Summary | Link to online TOC at RAND

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

UN Report: Tourism and Economic Stimulus

About the Report:
The current initial assessment aims to provide information on the response measures being implemented by countries around the world to mitigate the impact of the economic crisis on tourism.

It is part of UNWTO programme in the area of response to the current crisis, namely in the component of stimulus. This comprises an ongoing process of collecting, monitoring and evaluating the response actions and measures undertaken by governments to address the economic crisis.

This initial assessment includes information on around 60 countries worldwide. The information has been collected through a questionnaire sent to all UNWTO Member States by the Secretariat during the months of March and April 2009 as well as through online sources.

Source: World Tourism Organization United Nations

Download full pdf report | Link to UNWTO

Confidence in Obama Lifts U.S. Image Around the World

The image of the United States has improved markedly in most parts of the world, reflecting global confidence in Barack Obama. In many countries opinions of the United States are now about as positive as they were at the beginning of the decade before George W. Bush took office. Improvements in the U.S. image have been most pronounced in Western Europe, where favorable ratings for both the nation and the American people have soared. But opinions of America have also become more positive in key countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well.

Source: Pew Global Attitudes Project

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| Link to online summary including graphics

The Size and Role of Government: Economic Issues

From Online Summary:
The size and role of the government is one of the most fundamental and enduring debates in American politics. Economics can be used to analyze the relative merits of government intervention in the economy in specific areas, but it cannot answer the question of whether there is too much or too little government activity overall. That is not to say that one cannot find many examples of government programs that economists would consider to be a highly inefficient, if not counterproductive, way to achieve policy goals. Reducing inefficient government spending would benefit the economy; however, reducing efficient government spending would harm it, and reducing the size of government could involve either one. Government intervention can increase economic efficiency when market failures or externalities exist. Political choices may lead to second-best economic outcomes, however, and some argue that, for that reason, market failures can be preferable to government intervention. In the absence of market failures and externalities, there is little economic justification for government intervention, which lowers efficiency and probably economic growth. But government intervention is often based on the desire to achieve social goals, such as income redistribution. Economics cannot quantitatively value social goals, although it can often offer suggestions for how to achieve those goals in the least costly way.

Source: Congressional Research Service

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Testing Strategies to Help Former Prisoners Find and Keep Jobs and Stay Out of Prison

The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. has more than quadrupled in the last three decades. Today, more than 2 million people are incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails, and almost 700,000 people are released from state prisons each year. Corrections costs exceed $65 billion per year, with most of this total borne by state and local governments.

This policy brief describes an ongoing initiative, the Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration, that seeks to learn what works best to help former prisoners make a successful transition back into society.

Source: MDRC

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Cost of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States

"According to statistics released in July 2009 from a nationwide government survey, U.S. adults spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on visits to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners and purchases of CAM products, classes, and materials."

Source: National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Cost of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States
Download the Full Cost Data Report(pdf) | Link to Fact Sheet

Interim Guantanamo Legislative Report.

This two-volume report provides, in detail, the policy positions of every Representative and Senator on the issue of closing Gitmo and transferring detainees to the United States.

The report identifies each Representative/Senator by name, state, and party affiliation, and goes on to identify (1) any public statements that the legislator has made on the issue of Gitmo closure / detainee transfer; (2) how the legislator has voted on key Gitmo legislation in the 111th Congress and prior sessions; and (3) which Gitmo-related legislation he or she has sponsored or co-sponsored.

Source: Center for Security Policy

Download pdf reports : Download Senate Volume | Download House Volume

Students Who Study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Postsecondary Education

From Online Summary:
Using data from the 1995-96 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:96/01), this Statistics in Brief focuses on undergraduates who enter STEM programs and examines their characteristics and postsecondary outcomes (persistence and degree completion) several years after beginning postsecondary education.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary