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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy

Carnegie Panel


Policy Papers

Korbel Quickfacts on Peace and Security: 2016 U.S. Election Implications

The results of the 2016 United States election have potential implications for many dimensions of peace and security – at home and abroad. As part of its commitment to bridge the gap between the academic and policy worlds, the Sié Center is launching a new "Quickfacts" series on these implications. We intend this series to serve as a resource to vulnerable groups whose members are concerned about how potential changes might affect their security, as well as analysis for academics, the broad community of policymakers, and members of the public. These analyses will be updated as new information becomes available, and we welcome feedback from readers. If you would like to suggest additional relevant information please email

Jason Pielemeier, What Are the Implications of the 2016 Election for Multilateralism in US Foreign Policy? February 2017 A serious and systematic assertion of an "America first" approach is likely to significantly alter the current world order, generating instability and conflict as existing norms and institutions are increasingly challenged. A less disruptive alternative may yet emerge in which U.S. policy toward and within multilateral institutions remains relatively stable, albeit less influential.

Faculty Affiliated with the Sié Center, What Are the Implications of the 2016 Election for Teaching International Studies in the US?, January 2017
There is an urgent need to make sure our classrooms and campuses are spaces where all students—regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, immigration status, citizenship, and so forth—feel welcome, safe, and encouraged to learn. International studies schools and faculty face unique challenges in this regard because of the origins of the field, demographics of our students, and content of our coursework. Based on feedback from students, we offer an initial list of points of entry where we as international studies faculty can easily infuse principles of diversity and inclusion into our courses. 

Michael Kalin, What Are the Implications of the 2016 Election for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in the US?, January 2017
The incoming Trump administration will rebrand the federal government's Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program from a generic effort to prevent radicalization into a specific war against 'radical Islam.' Trump may also make good on his electoral promise to establish a Commission on Radical Islam that is redolent of the Cold War effort to discredit Communism. An increased focus on combating ideology may also come to mean more racial profiling and aggressive surveillance of Muslim American communities in the US.

Rebecca Galemba and Christina Brown, What Are the Implications of the 2016 Election for DACA, Deportation, and Immigration?, December 2016
President-elect Trump's platform articulated a draconian approach to immigration by proposing a complete border wall, mass deportation, and the disbanding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This Quickfacts can be a resource to DACA recipients and undocumented students and their allies and can also inform the public debate regarding immigration and its conflation with criminality. 

Cassy Dorff, What Are the Implications of the 2016 Election for Internet/Digital Security and Privacy?, November 2016
While it is unclear how precisely surveillance policies will change under a Trump administration, the ability of the US government to monitor individuals' digital communication is comprehensive. It is the responsibility of the individual user to protect their communications from any form of surveillance whether that be from the US government or other actors. Individuals can easily update their email, phone, and social media password preferences to quickly enhance their personal digital security.

Marie Berry and Julia Macdonald,  What Are the Implications of the 2016 Election for Women's Health in the U.S.?, November 2016
President-elect Donald Trump and VP-elect Mike Pence appear to be committed to significantly curtailing women's access to health care, especially reproductive services such as abortion and birth control, through executive action, legislation, and judicial appointments. Trump's administration is likely to initiate the most serious assault on reproductive rights in decades. Low-income women living in red states or states with family cap policies are likely to be the most immediately and directly affected by changes in access to abortion and reproductive health care.

Erica Chenoweth and Maureen Holland, What Are the Implications of the 2016 Election for LGBTQI People in the U.S.?, November 2016
Many of the Obama administration's policies are vulnerable to quick reversal. However, many of the laws that protect LGBTQI people exist at the state and local levels, meaning that even if federal government protections disappear, laws in states will hold up unless successfully challenged locally. Also, many companies have LGBTQI protections for employees, providing some limited work protections. 

Deborah Avant and Kathe Perez, What Are the Implications of the 2016 Election for the Human Security of Transgender People in the United States?, November 2016
Many of the Obama administration's policies were made through executive orders and agency guidance and are thus vulnerable to quick reversal. Though no one knows for sure what the new administration will do, transgender people undergoing treatment might be advised to get their federal documents in order before Jan 20.

Korbel Quickfacts on Peace and Security

Movement resources

Erica Chenoweth and Evan Perkoski, Preventing Mass Atrocities, April 2017
Under President Obama, the White House established the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB), a group tasked with identifying, analyzing, and implementing different policy instruments both to prevent and respond to mass atrocities. Motivated in part by events related to the Arab Spring—particularly those in Libya and Syria—the APB made some progress in elevating mass atrocity prevention on the national agenda, although implementing preventive solutions proved exceptionally challenging. The research in this brief, conducted in support of the APB's mission, demonstrates that external assistance to popular uprisings as well as direct assistance to regimes facing a domestic political crisis are key drivers of mass killings against unarmed civilians. The authors also find that nonviolent dissent—especially when coupled with defections from the armed forces—is generally safer than using violence, resulting in a lower likelihood of mass killings.

Movement resources

Tricia Olsen, Remedy Mechanisms for Corporate Human Rights Abuse, March 2017
Claims against companies for human rights abuses persist, despite major advances in human rights around the world, including the spread of global human rights protections, increased corporate social responsibility, and industry-specific agreements that seek to improve business conduct. These efforts have sought to reduce the likelihood of abuse and ensure that victims have access to remedy. Yet, when abuses do occur, why do victims of corporate human rights abuse have access to remedy in some cases and not others?

Movement resources

Hardy Merriman, Movement Building and Civil Resistance: Key Resources for Movement Organizers, December 2016
This brief outlines common challenges faced by activists and movement organizers and highlights an acute lack of support in building and "professionalizing" their knowledge. It then recommends a short, self-led course to learn some fundamentals of movement building and civil resistance, with an estimated completion time of under 20 hours and a materials cost of under $50.

Can Civil Resistance Work Against Corporations? Erica Chenoweth and Tricia Olsen, Can Civil Resistance Work Against Corporations?, October 2016
Companies are more likely to concede when civil resistance campaigns are durable over time. Concessions are more likely when civil resistance campaigns target a large company or a company that is undergoing a leadership change. We find that companies operating in highly competitive markets in contexts of weak rule of law are less likely to concede than others. Moreover, firms operating in industries upon which the state is heavily dependent are less likely to concede.

Do Natural Disasters Provide Opportunities for Conflict Resolution? Aleksandra Egorova and Cullen Hendrix, Do Natural Disasters Provide Opportunities for Conflict Resolution?, September 2016
Rather than providing opportunities for peaceful conflict resolution, rapid-onset natural disasters tend to prolong armed conflicts. Net of these effects, comparatively better climatic conditions tend to prolong conflict, suggesting the effects flow through resource mobilization in the primarily agricultural societies.

The EBU has Stabilized the Eurozone, but Critical Issues of Reform Remain Rachel Epstein, The EBU has Stabilized the Eurozone, but Critical Issues of Reform Remain, August 2016
The media has long focused on the European economic crisis in recent years as one of debt. Starting with Greece's first international rescue in 2010, the bail-outs together have been referred to most often as a "sovereign debt crisis." A more profound problem for the Eurozone, however, was the contradiction between introducing a common currency in 1999, the euro, in a context of ongoing "banking nationalism."

Criminal Networks and Human Security in MexicoLee Cotton and Cassy Dorff, Criminal Networks and Human Security in Mexico, August 2016
Military action in 2006 against the main drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) transformed Mexico into a more fragile and violent state, resulting in higher levels of human insecurity, greater government corruption, and an increase in the number of DTOs overall. Community building and education are the keys to fostering mediums of transparency and accountability. 

US Progress Toward PSC Regulation Deborah AvantU.S. Progress Toward PSC Regulation: Promising but Potentially Stalled, September 2015
As the spotlight on PSCs has dimmed, the momentum toward PSC governance has waned. Unless Congress continues its pressure to solidify regulation, we could see future operations encounter avoidable PSC problems that will harm U.S. interests.

When and why are nonviolent protesters killers in Africa? Cullen Hendrix, When and Why are Nonviolent Protesters Killed in Africa?, August 2015
The decision to turn guns on nonviolent protesters revolves around the potential threat those protests pose to the government. Governments with smaller ethnic support coalitions are more likely to respond
to nonviolent protests with lethal force than leaders with more ethnically inclusive bases of support.

Policy Briefs on Nonviolent Actions and Non-state Actors

piersonPatrick Pierson, When Strangers Come to Town: A New Way of Thinking About South Africa's 'Xenophobia' Problem, October 2017
Much has been written about the prevalence of anti-foreigner violence in South Africa. Despite an abundance of theories and proffered explanations, violence persists. Departing from prevailing analyses, I suggest that purported xenophobic events are overdetermined and manifest under conditions of contested social belonging and permissive opportunity structures; this is not unique to xenophobia, but anticipates collective violence more broadly across contexts, countries, and cultures.

cotton dorffLee Cotton and Cassy Dorff, The Mexican Criminal Conflict: The Government's Response to an Evolving Crisis, June 2016
Our research employs a network analysis approach to confirm other analyses that suggest Calderón's deployment of 10,000 soldiers and nationwide employment of federal police did not eliminate the four primary cartels, but instead caused them to fracture into more volatile organizations, increasing competition between armed groups and elevating violence against civilians.

Barriers to Women's Progress After Atrocity Marie Berry and Trishna Rana, Barriers to Women's Progress After Atrocity: Evidence from Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina, June 2016
War can sometimes open unexpected opportunities for women to increase their political mobilization. Yet how is this mobilization maintained? We explore the processes that have emerged to undermine or limit women's mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Despite the change war precipitated in women's lives, the domestic state, international actors, and patriarchal structures complicated and restricted women's gains. 

Drug Policy briefSteven Zech  UNGASS 2016 and Drug Policy in America, March 2016
In April 2016 a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) will convene to evaluate system-wide UN drug policies. Current policies have had little impact on efforts to lower drug production, to curtail drug usage, or to reduce the negative social and public health effects.

Walls Oliver Kaplan and Natalie Southwick, Walls as a Nonviolent Strategy in Armed Conflict, October 2015
Whether constructed and enforced by state institutions, international organizations, or civilian groups, walls are more than physical barriers. Their social significance reinforces their physical presence and they can therefore be powerful symbols that demarcate physical, political, social, and humanitarian boundaries. While they can keep populations safe, they can also reinforce divisions between them.

REPRESSIVE EFFORTS ARE CONSISTENTLY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE Erica Chenoweth and Laura DuganRepressive Efforts are Consistently Counterproductive in Reducing Al-Qaeda Inspired Violence against Canadians, August 2015
When the Canadian government adopts a more conciliatory posture toward ending terrorism, we see that the number of violent incidents toward Canadians declines. This analysis provides evidence for the notion that carrots, rather than sticks, may be effective tools in the continuing fight against violent extremism.

Religion and Social Cohesion

Food Security and Climate Change

Aleksandra Egorova and Cullen Hendrix, "Climate Shocks, Hydrometeorological Disasters and Conflict Duration". 

Cullen Hendrix, "When Hunger Strikes: How Food Security Abroad Matters for National Security at Home" The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Cullen Hendrix, "Can Natural Disasters Precipitate Peace? " CCAPS Research Brief No. 22, Strauss Center for International Security and Law, UT Austin (with Aleksandra Egorova).

Cullen Hendrix, "Trends and Triggers: Climate Change and Interstate Conflict," CCAPS Research Brief No. 21, Strauss Center for International Security and Law, UT Austin (with Colleen Devlin and Brittany Franck).

Cullen Hendrix, "Climate Change, Global Food Markets, and Urban Unrest," CCAPS Research Brief No. 7, Strauss Center for International Security and Law, UT Austin

Cullen Hendrix, "Food Insecurity and Conflict Dynamics: Causal Linkages and Complex Feedbacks," Background paper for the FAO-WFP High Level Expert Forum on Food Insecurity in Protracted Crises(with Henk-Jan Brinkman).

Cullen Hendrix, "Climate Shocks and Political Violence: Beyond Scarcity, Beyond Africa," CCAPS Research Brief No. 3, Strauss Center for International Security and Law, UT Austin (with Idean Salehyan).

Cullen Hendrix, "A Population-Centric View of Social, Political, and Economic Indicators of a Fragile State," In National Security Challenges: Insights from Social, Neurobiological, and Complexity Sciences, SMA White Paper, Department of Defense.

Cullen Hendrix, "Markets vs. Malthus: Food Security and Global Economy," Peterson Institute for International Economics Policy Brief 11-12.

Cullen Hendrix, "Food Insecurity and Violent Conflict: Causes, Consequences, and Addressing the Challenges," World Food Programme Occasional Papers No. 24 (with Henk-Jan Brinkman). 

Cullen Hendrix, "The Brewing Storm? Climate Change, Rainfall, and Social Conflict in Africa," CCAPS Policy Brief No. 2, Strauss Center for International Security and Law, UT Austin (with Idean Salehyan).


Caitlin Trent and Srijana Nepal, All Voices Heard? Victims, Civil Society and Politics in Nepal's Efforts Toward Victim-Centric Transitional Justice, Sié Center Policy Brief, August 2017

Cullen Hendrix, Putting Environmental Stress (Back) on the Mass Atrocities Agenda, The Stanley Foundation Policy Analysis Brief, October 2016

Jakkie Cilliers and Timothy D Sisk, Prospects for Africa's 26 fragile countries, African Futures Paper No. 8, October 2013.

Timothy Sisk, "Managing Contradictions: The Inherent Dilemmas of Postwar Statebuilding," International Peace Academy Policy Report, November 2007.

Timothy Sisk, "Democracy and Peacebuilding at the Local Level: Lessons Learned," with Paul Risley, Occasional Paper (Stockholm: International IDEA, Fall 2005).

Timothy Sisk, "Competing Claims: Self Determination and Security in the United Nations," with Simon Chesterman and Tom Farer, International Peace Academy Policy Brief, April 2001.