Reports & Papers

1589 Items

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Report Chapter

Politics and education in post-war Algeria

| October 2018

The 1990s in Algeria were tumultuous. Economic crisis drove widespread protests in the late 1980s, which were followed by democratic political reforms, the victory of the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) in the 1991 legislative elections, a rapid political breakdown, and a long and bloody civil war. These events have since continued to shape political developments not only in Algeria, but also in the broader Middle East region. What remain to be clarified, though, are the longer-term consequences of this contentious period for economic and social welfare conditions in the country.

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Report

Introduction: Social Policy in the Middle East and North Africa

Social policy refers to policies shaping life concerns such as education, health, housing, and employment. It concerns the ways that polities and societies meet the basic needs of their citizens and residents for human security and well-being, broadly defined, and face the challenges of poverty, unemployment, demographic and socioeconomic change. National and local governments are the main actors in crafting and enforcing social policy, but non-state actors, such as international and domestic organizations, civil society groups, for-profit entities, and families, among others, are also key.

A satellite view of the Gansu Dunhuang Solar Park, a photovoltaic power station under construction in Gansu Provence, as seen on June 9, 2018.

DigitalGlobe, CNES/Airbus, Google Earth, used with permission

Report - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy

| September 2018

The Belfer Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University held the fifth annual Tsinghua-Harvard Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy. This event brought together leading experts on climate and energy from academic, business, and government communities in both the United States and China. This year’s workshop focused on electricity systems and renewable energy penetration.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Catching Swedish Phish: How Sweden is Protecting its 2018 Elections

    Author:
  • Gabriel Cederberg
| Sep. 07, 2018

Alarmed by Russia’s brazen interference in the 2016 US Election, Sweden began preparing for its September 2018 election in earnest. Over the past year and a half, Sweden has created a comprehensive strategy based on a clear understanding of the threat; it has learned lessons from other targeted elections; and it has developed a whole-of-society defense—mobilizing not just the government, but also the Swedish media and Swedish citizens.

A Tesla Model 3 charges using a Mobile Charger 2.0, 29 July 2017.

Steve Jurvetson

Paper - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Charging the Future: Challenges and Opportunities for Electric Vehicle Adoption

| September 2018

Electric vehicles (EVs) have advanced significantly this decade, owing in part to decreasing battery costs. Yet EVs remain more costly than gasoline fueled vehicles over their useful life. This paper analyzes the additional advances that will be needed, if electric vehicles are to significantly penetrate the passenger vehicle fleet.

A computer chip, a DNA strand, and a self-driving vehicle

Collage: Adobe Stock / AP

Paper

Shaping Disruptive Technological Change for Public Good

| August 2018

“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”

The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia, located in the city of Segovia, Spain.  (Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Collapse of Civilizations

| September 2018

Five causes of collapse appear paramount: major episodes of climate change, crises-induced mass migrations, pandemics, dramatic advances in methods of warfare and transport, and human failings in crises including societal lack of resilience and the madness, incompetence, cultic focus, or ignorance of rulers.

G20 Dinner

Kay Nietfeld/ Pool Photo via AP

Paper - Cyber Security: A Peer-Reviewed Journal

Normative Restraints on Cyber Conflict

| Aug. 28, 2018

Cyber security is a relatively new international problem. A decade ago, it received little attention as an international issue, but since 2013 the Director of National Intelligence has named cyber security risks as the biggest threat facing the USA. Although the exact numbers can be debated, various non-profit organisations have listed hundreds of state-sponsored attacks by a score of countries in the past decade. Many observers have called for laws and norms to manage the growing cyber threat. In this paper the author outlines the key normative restraints on cyber conflict. The author draws on the development of international norms in recent history to offer insights into the formation of normative restraints in the cyber realm.

A person types on a laptop keyboard in North Andover, Mass, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Paper - Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center

(Why) Is There a Public/Private Pay Gap?

| August 2018

The government is facing a severe shortage of skilled workers, especially in information technology and cyber security jobs. The conventional wisdom in branches of policy and public administration is that the shortage is driven by low salaries that are not competitive for attracting top talent. Using longitudinal data on high skilled workers between 1993 and 2013, this paper shows that, if anything, government employees earn more than their private sector counterparts. Although government workers tend to earn less in the raw data, these differences are driven by the correlation between unobserved ability and selection into private sector jobs. These results are robust to additional data from the Census Bureau between 2005 and 2016. Instead, this paper shows that a more plausible culprit behind the worker shortage in government is a lack of development opportunities and poor management.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

An Economic Anatomy of Optimal Climate Policy

| August 2018

The authors introduce geoengineering into an optimal control model of climate economics. Together with mitigation and adaptation, carbon and solar geoengineering span all possible climate policies. Their wildly different characteristics have important implications for policy. They show in the context of their model that: (i) whether emissions are positive or zero the optimal carbon tax always equals the marginal cost of carbon geoengineering; (ii) the introduction of either form of geoengineering leads to higher emissions yet lower temperatures; (iii) in a world with above-optimal cumulative emissions, mitigation alone is insufficient and only a complete set of instruments can minimize climate damages.

This is an updated version of a paper first published in July 2017.