About Power & PolicyPower & Policy is a virtual forum for explaining and debating the exercise of American power in the world. The core participants are renowned Harvard Kennedy School faculty members and associates who have spent decades studying how power works.
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Author Archives: Power & Policy
By Kathleen Araujo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy; Project on Managing the Atom: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs This week marks the 40th anniversary of the OPEC oil embargo. On October 16th, 1973, the Organization of … Continue reading
By Scott Moore Research Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Sustainability Science Program, Harvard Kennedy School California recently made foreign-policy history by becoming the first sub-national government to sign an agreement with China’s powerful National Development and … Continue reading
By Eben Harrell Associate, Belfer Center Project on Managing the Atom This summer, The Project on Managing the Atom, at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, released “Plutonium Mountain: Inside the 17-Year Mission to Secure … Continue reading
Any new permanent government will face the choice Morsi had but never made: market economic reforms on the one hand and a command-and-control statist economy on the other. By Ben W. Heineman, Jr. (This article first appeared on TheAtlantic.com, where … Continue reading
By Calestous Juma Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, Belfer Center; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project, author of The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa. Many analysts viewed … Continue reading
The wisdom of transporting hazardous materials by rail through our towns and cities is a topic on the mind of many Massachusetts’s residents. On May 23rd, the Globe reported (“Residents north of Boston call for halt of ethanol rail plan”) on the ongoing debate over a proposal by Global Partners LP, a petroleum company, to begin receiving rail shipments of ethanol at their Revere storage facility. Under the proposal, ethanol would be shipped on MBTA tracks and move through parts of Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, and Somerville. Ethanol is highly flammable. If the train carrying ethanol derailed, many people could be injured or killed. In response to the concerns of local residents, State Senators from Everett, Somerville, and East Boston, introduced an amendment that would effectively block the proposed shipments. But even if these ethanol shipments are blocked, an even more serious danger involving rail shipments of even more dangerous industrial products will remain. Railcars carrying more dangerous materials go through Massachusetts every day. Continue reading
By Matthew Bunn Today is the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s remarkable American University commencement address, in which he called for a new approach to easing tensions with the Soviet Union. Kennedy announced a halt in U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing, … Continue reading
By Hui Zhang Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School The new defense white paper released by China on April 16 has sparked a debate over whether China is … Continue reading
[caption id="attachment_751" align="alignleft" width="90"] Ben W. Heineman, Jr.[/caption]
(This article first appeared on TheAtlantic.com, where Ben Heineman is a frequent contributor)
The horrific death of more than 900 Bangladesh garment workers in the collapse of a building, following the death of 112 garment workers in a Bangladesh factory fire five months ago, has led, of course, to the inevitable calls for reform. The immediate question is how to ensure structural soundness of factories after the multi-storied Rana Plaza facility–making garments for as many as 30 international retailers–broke apart, burning, suffocating and crushing its workforce. But broader issues of worker health and safety for Bangladesh’s 5,000 garment factories have also come to the fore.
But if real reform is to occur on the ground, hard, complex questions must be asked and answered. Most importantly, what is the cost of necessary changes to protect workers and who will pay? Many actors have a role: the Bangladesh government, the factory owners, the garment buyers (including many international brands), consumers across the globe looking for cheap prices and developed world governments which have allowed preferential treatment for Bangladesh imports (using “trade” in lieu of “aid”) without serious review of worker standards. Continue reading
President Obama has nominated two representatives who will lead US trade talks over the next two years: Michael Froman, former White House economic aide as U.S. Trade Representative and Penny Pritzker, Hyatt scion and Chicago fund raiser as the new Secretary of Commerce. Together their appointments signal America’s new focus on increasing international trade as a stimulus to the domestic economy. The two representatives will deal with proposals for a customs accord with the European Union (TAFTA and an investment agreement) and a commercial union with Pacific nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But the new stress on trade represents a more profound reorientation than just a new way of seeking economic development. It underscores America’s undiminished power of attraction to other countries in both international politics and economics.