Science & Technology

140 Items

Saudi Arabia’s Moment in the Sun

AP/Donna Fenn Heintzen

Analysis & Opinions - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Saudi Arabia’s Moment in the Sun

| May 07, 2019

As part of a high profile tour of China in February, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has overseen a range of multi-billion dollar pledges and MOUs with Beijing. This partly reflects Riyadh’s desire to diversify sources for investments and technology following the mass withdrawal of major Western business leaders from the Future Investment Initiative in October 2018, after the murder of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul. Yet cooperation with China on renewable energy, if successful, would realize a significant first step towards Saudi Arabia’s lofty ambitions for solar and wind power.

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

Election Officials Discuss Midterm Interference and Security Plans for 2020

| Dec. 18, 2018

“It was too quiet.”

That was the sentiment expressed by a number of the 45 election officials from 23 states who gathered earlier this month at Harvard for a Belfer Center Defending Digital Democracy (D3P) Midterm After-Action Conference to discuss problems around their November midterm elections.  Most said they experienced significant but mostly unintended misinformation – and some disinformation – along with a number of other challenges to their electoral processes, but not the extensive foreign cyber and other attacks that took place during the 2016 presidential election.

How sovereign wealth funds are inflating the Silicon Valley bubble

Flickr/Steve Jurvetson

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

How Sovereign Wealth Funds Are Inflating the Silicon Valley Bubble

| Aug. 21, 2018

Elon Musk jolted markets and shareholders when he tweeted his intention to take his electric car company, Tesla, private. Saudi billions, he proposed, could help the company escape the pressures of being publicly listed. In a blog post, Musk said that “the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund [had] approached [him] multiple times about taking Tesla private”.

Security personnel surround Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during an incident as he was giving a speech in Caracas on Saturday.

(Xinhua/AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Drone Attacks Are Essentially Terrorism by Joystick

| Aug. 05, 2018

A failed assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Saturday was mounted with explosive-armed drones, according to news reports. Nine days earlier, and on the other side of the world, terrorists claimed to have sent an armed drone to attack the international airport in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. No one was killed in either case, and the circumstances of both remain murky. But a new and dangerous era in non-state-sponsored terrorism clearly has begun, and no one is adequately prepared to counter it.

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

Rahm Emanuael/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

| June 18, 2018

Early in Richard Rhodes’s new book, “Energy: A Human History,” we hear of a prominent citizen using colorful language to lament the state of his polluted city and urge his government to shut down industry or move it elsewhere: “If there be a resemblance of hell upon earth, it is in this volcano [on] a foggy day.” Though this could easily apply to modern-day Beijing, the speaker here is John Evelyn, a wealthy horticulturalist and one of the founders of the scientific Royal Society of London — and he’s complaining about London in 1659.

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Journal Article - Middle East Institute

Sovereign Wealth Funds in Small Open Economies

| Apr. 24, 2018

The small open economies of the Gulf and Southeast Asia are pioneers in the establishment of

Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs). The SWFs of countries like Qatar and Singapore are among the

world’s largest in terms of total asset size relative to Gross Domestic Product. This article looks

at the different compulsions behind the setting up of SWFs by small open economies.

 

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Journal Article - Global Policy

The Case for Economic Development Through Sovereign Investment: A Paradox of Scarcity?

| Apr. 14, 2018

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have traditionally been created to recycle excess reserves from natural resource or non‐commodity revenues. However, in recent years funds are being established under conditions of capital scarcity with objectives to contribute domestic economic development, often through the buildout of national infrastructure programs. Such trends in new fund creation represent a fundamental shift in the sovereign wealth fund paradigm and raise serious questions about how these entities are to be capitalized and also the implications of capitalization models on their sustainability. This study examines the recent evolution of SWF models focused on economic development. Its analytic focus is drawn, in particular, to countries that are neither endowed with oil wealth, nor otherwise enjoy export surpluses to be used to capitalize a development‐oriented SWF. While this study is relevant to and expands the scope of the broad literature on SWFs, its specific contribution is as a focused analysis of how SWF funding sources impact achieving long‐term financial and socio‐economic development objectives.

Photo of state and local election officials at D3P conference.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

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

Election Officials from 38 States Learn to Fortify Elections Against Attacks

| Mar. 29, 2018

More than 120 election officials from 38 states gathered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this week to participate in role-playing exercises that provided them with tips, tools, and training to fortify their election systems against cyber attacks and information operations. Organized by the Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the two-day event featured a tabletop exercise (TTX) scenario for officials that simulated attacks on election systems ranging from hacks and social media misinformation to  manipulation of voter information and trust. The state and local election officials learned how to better prepare, defend, and respond to a range of attacks on the integrity of American elections and how to empower their colleagues back home with this knowledge as they prepare for the 2018 and 2020 elections.