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Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 165
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    Development Finance as the Foreign Policy Tool of Choice United States And China In Africa as a Case of Great Power Competition
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-04-12) Meredith, Wesley
    The debate on Great Power Competition (GPC) is traditionally framed within the space of security and is thus viewed through the lens of hard power and military might. This framing, however, may be counterproductive, as it has the potential to cause policy makers operating in the traditional framework to narrow their field of vision and miss how the current great powers are competing in Africa. With respect to Africa, and how U.S.-China GPC is playing out, official development finance (ODF) has developed as a tool of this competition. The data has shown that China has given varying amounts of aid to different countries during different years. Conversely, the United States has given sustained levels of ODF to 48 Sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries examined over the 20- year period from 2000 to 2019. This dissertation examines the total amount of ODF given by each country, and tests the motivations for ODF as it relates to GPC. For U.S. disbursement of ODF to countries in SSA, five findings matter: a historical disbursement of ODF, poverty, population, corruption, and violence. For Chinese ODF, three things matter: population, gross national income per capita, and resources. Are these motivations complementary or antagonistic, and what does this mean for the future of GPC between the United States and China in Africa? In areas, such as corruption, the research demonstrated that the motivations work counter to one another. In areas, such as security in Africa, the motivations for U.S. and Chinese ODF have the potential to work at cross-purposes. When it comes to ideological alignment in UN voting, the research demonstrates that in the case of extreme ends of the funding spectrum, the votes trend in favor of the predominant donor.
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    Market-based approaches for postharvest loss reduction
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2020-03-16) Adebola, Olufunke T.
    Do farmers in contract farming (CF) arrangements have lower levels of postharvest losses than do farmers who do not participate in contract farming? Does our current understanding of postharvest losses overlook other critical causes of loss? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 1.3 billion tons of food, representing nearly one-third of annual global food production, is lost or wasted before it reaches the final consumer. In Africa, 18 percent of cereals is lost postharvest. Technologies have traditionally been deployed towards reducing these losses. However, the success of technology solutions has been inconclusive in Africa. In light of this, market-led approaches to reducing losses are becoming mainstream in the postharvest loss literature. The research finds that farmers who participated in formal contract farming schemes experienced lower postharvest loss than farmers who did not. However, farmers participating in informal contracting schemes suffered more significant postharvest loss than did farmers in formal schemes or no schemes at all. The research also finds that while contract farming is an effective market-based policy for increasing food production and reducing losses, several institutional and cultural factors can hinder the communities from maximizing the potential benefits of contract farming. It also finds that the current understanding of postharvest loss is limited because the issue has been approached at the macro-level. To improve our knowledge and governance of postharvest losses, researchers must move from the macro-theoretical level to consider the micro-practical level and examine other unanswered, ignored, and unaccounted-for social and policy issues that drive postharvest losses.
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    The Politics of the Military in China: The CCP and PLA
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-12-12) Bulanov, Alex ; Fatykhova, Amelia ; Gouhl, Anika ; Detzler, Benjamin ; Dykstra, Emily ; Durrani, Faris ; Brown, Geoffrey ; Feroz, Mariam ; Chandanala, Prabhath ; Cai, Runyu
    The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is and has always been a crucial part to help the Party and Republic to advance its goals, from helping Mao to establish his communist state to the current endeavor into the controversial South China Sea. From the Qing Dynasty, the chaotic struggle of power between the Guomindang, the Communist Party, and Imperial Japan of the mainland provided ample space for the former Red Army to grow from a period of near defeat to the dominant force in the mainland, a key to the establishment of the modern PRC under Mao Zedong. In line with Mao’s infamous line “The party must always control the gun, the gun must never control the party,” Mao sought to ensure the PLA keeps under his iron fist control, promoting the lack of clear distinctions between military and civil leadership, and creating the only armed forces that do not swear loyalty to its nation but rather to the Party. The Party today continues to utilize the PLA to consolidate its ruling status, protect China’s sovereignty and advance its interests, whilst strategically subjugating its power to ensure it will always be under the regime’s control. Historically a symbiotic relationship, relations between the Party and PLA have evolved into one that is more “institutionalized” where the Party attempts to assert greater control through civil-military bifurcation efforts, forced divestiture from commercial activities, and systematic penetration by a network of commissars in the ranks of the PLA. Besides leadership, the PLA plays an important role in the Chinese public through military training, disaster relief, communist propaganda, and even the production of films and children’s toys. The PLA exists because of the Party and serves for the Party; it is the sole body which represents the PRC’s military interests from its physical expansionist efforts to nuclear arsenals.
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    Military Deception and Strategic Culture: The Soviet Union and Russian Federation
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-12) Morrell, Sara
    This article explores the influence of Soviet and Russian strategic cultures on the conduct of military deception operations, one facet of information warfare. Our thesis is that a subcomponent of strategic culture in the Soviet Union and Russia from 1941 to 2017, termed hierarchical culture, enabled the conduct of cohesive deception operations. Our case studies are World War II, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the recent conflict in Ukraine. For each conflict, we use contemporneous primary documents to verify the existence of hierarchical culture and determine the cohesion of millitary deception operations based on descriptions of their level of success. Our findings indicate that hierarchical culture may have aided in development and conduct, but did not guarantee attempted military deception operations would be cohesive.. This work shows that in the context of foreign policy toward Russia, not only does one need to consider advances in high technology for traditional military applications but also innovations and uses below the threshold of declared war.
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    Coordinating across chaos: The practice of transnational internet security collaboration
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019-03-18) Chaudhary, Tarun
    This dissertation explores transnational security provisioning on/for the internet. A unique framework of analysis is established that melds traditional understandings of security drawn from computing disciplines with levels of analysis from international relations (IR) theory. This helps bridge the gap between IR security literature that often places the State at the center of analysis with the system of distributed agency often called a “patchwork” that underlies security provisioning on/for the Internet. This results in the Information Centered IR Security Model (ICIRS pronounced Icarus). The recognition and remediation of large-scale issues on/for the Internet is shown to be a form of social practice which has instantiated a community of practice. Data across cases of malware recognition and remediation are used to establish a historical context for the provisioning of security on/for the Internet and to analyze the modern provisioning context. It is concluded that an information security community of practice has arisen as consequence of the Internet’s early structure while evolving through various important security events. That community is embedded within the functional structure of the Internet and, through the maintenance of professional social relations, individuals within the community can act both as sensors to recognize emerging threats and as agents to remediate such threats thus wielding an important dimension of power in a connected world.
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    New Geostrategic Challenges Facing Our Western Alliance
    ( 2018-11-06) Breedlove, Philip M.
    General Breedlove will be speaking about the geostrategic challenges that western allies face.
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    Immigration, Race and Populism: Politics and Policy from Colonialism to Brexit
    ( 2018-10-17) Givens, Terri
    With images of children in cages, separated from their parents, and would-be migrants floating on overloaded boats in the Mediterranean becoming fixtures in the news media, politicians are struggling to find solutions to the ongoing issues related to migrant flows. Immigration has become a flashpoint not only in the U.S., but it has also had an impact on the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, led to instability in Angela Merkel’s government in Germany, and has influenced the rise of populist parties across Europe. Since I began studying the politics of immigration in the 1990s, it is difficult to think of a time that the issue has had more of an impact on politics. This brief overview of immigration policy developments in the U.S. and Europe explains how policy toward migrants has interacted with attitudes toward racial and religious minorities over time. Many studies have shown that recent voting behavior in the U.S. and Europe has been tied to racism and xenophobia. This will continue to be a challenge to democratic values as “white” populations become the minority amidst demographic change.
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    The determinants of military technology innovation and diffusion
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2018-03-28) Schmid, Jon
    A state’s capacity to develop and produce advanced military technology contributes to its standing within the global distribution of power. Similarly, the manner in which such technologies, once developed and produced, diffuse throughout the international system affects the relative capabilities of states. These processes – military technology innovation and diffusion – constitute the primary subject of this dissertation. In particular, this dissertation investigates the causes of military technology innovation and military technology diffusion. In attempt to identify determinants of military technology innovation, I introduce a novel explanatory framework, threat-capacity theory, to explain international variation in the capacity to develop and produce novel military technologies. This framework suggests that a state’s military technology output will primarily be driven by two factors: the state’s threat environment and its innovative infrastructure. In chapter 2, I use this explanatory framework to guide an empirical investigation into state-level variation in military technology patenting incidence. I find that the variables used to approximate threat-capacity theory explain much of the international and inter-temporal variation in military technology patenting. Whereas chapter 2 examines the effect of national security threats over a large number of states and over a long period of time, chapter 3 investigates the manner in which a single salient national security concern can drive innovation. It is well-documented that the 1957 launch of Sputnik I initiated a flurry of US government activity aimed at reducing a perceived shortfall in US scientific, technological, and military capacity vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. Less well known, however, is that Sputnik’s launch immediately preceded a period of rapid organizational and technological innovation within the US intelligence community. Chapter 3 investigates the contribution of the Sputnik scare to this innovation. In particular, the chapter applies Barry Posen’s model of innovation to the historical case of post-Sputnik innovation in the US intelligence community. I find the historiographic and documentary evidence to indicate that Posen’s theory of innovation has substantial explanatory power in the context of the post-Sputnik United States. In particular, the US intelligence services’ improved capacity to collect and analyze information regarding Soviet rocket and missile programs appears to have been initiated by a process of external auditing motivated by an increase in the perceived level of threat posed by the USSR. The net effect of military technologies on international politics also depends on the extent to which these technologies diffuse. In chapter 4, I use an original dataset of patents assigned to defense servicing organizations to investigate the diffusion of military technologies. Contrary to the predictions of the prevailing scholarship, I find no difference in the rate of diffusion between civilian and military technologies. Neither do military technologies assigned to government agencies diffuse at different rates than those assigned to firms. The overall technological experience of the patent assignee is found to be a positive predictor of the diffusion of military technologies. The effect of the prevailing intellectual property rights regime is ambivalent: when US patents are included in the sample, the effect of patent protection is positive, when the US is excluded, the effect is either non-significant or negative depending on the model specification that is utilized. Chapter 5 investigates whether the counterintuitive finding that military technologies diffuse at the same rate as civilian ones owes the higher generality of military-funded technologies. In particular, the chapter investigates whether patents assigned to different types of organizations – firms, universities, and government research agencies – vary with regards to their effect on subsequent technological change. I find the organization type to which a patent is assigned to have significant and robust effects on the number of times a patent is cited and its generality. More precisely, I find that university patents are cited more often than corporate patents and that both university and government patents are more general than corporate ones. Additionally, university and governments patents are more likely than corporate patents to be both highly cited and highly general. These results are found to be robust to the use of distinct models, samples, and metrics. This result suggests that the failure to observe higher rates of diffusion in military technologies may be the result of the disproportionately general character of these technologies. I conclude by considering the contribution of the dissertation to three fields of inquiry: military innovation theory, the theory of the commercialization of knowledge, and social science methodology. The final chapter also proposes, and begins to elaborate, three potential extensions to the dissertation. First, I suggest that threat-capacity theory could be strengthened by linking innovation in particular technological areas to particular threats. I provide preliminary evidence that improvised explosive device (IED) countermeasure technologies were developed in response to IED fatalities. Second, I elaborate additional testable hypotheses on military technology diffusion. Finally, I propose a method for the identification of general purpose technologies. I conclude by elaborating a limitation to the dissertation: the failure to consider the interaction between military technology and military doctrine.
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    Achieving Individual Privacy and International Security Cooperation in a Shifting Landscape
    ( 2017-04-18) Gencarelli, Bruno
    The Center for European and Transatlantic Studies at The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, the Institute for Information Security & Privacy at Georgia Tech, and the Scheller College of Business host a one-day conference, titled "Surveillance, Privacy, and Data Across Borders: Trans-Atlantic Perspectives", about trans-Atlantic mutual legal assistance. This event features panelists from premier universities, Fortune 100 technology companies, and Internet advocacy groups. The keynote lecture will be delivered by Bruno Gencarelli, the European Commission's DG Justice with oversight of data exchange and protection.
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    Euro-Atlantic Challenges: A Way Ahead
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016-11-28) Breedlove, Philip