The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future is pleased to share the news of the establishment of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. The announcement was made on Dec. 13 in an article in BU Today.
The Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future will partner with the new school and will continue to play a leading role in research on global issues at BU.
“Mr. Pardee’s extraordinary generosity will enable Boston University to continue to show global leadership in research and education dedicated to improving the quality of life for people around the globe,” said Pardee Center Director Anthony Janetos. “I’m thrilled about this new school and the Pardee Center’s association with it.”
Authors of the Pardee Center Task Force Report Remittance Flows to Post-Conflict States recently presented their findings at the African Studies Association Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland. The two-part session, titled “Rebuilding Post-Conflict Africa through Remittances: Challenges and Prospects” discussed a number of topics central to post-conflict remittance systems and the possibility of leveraging these funds for development.
The session was organized by Task Force co-convener Prof. John Harris and lead researcher Daivi Rodima-Taylor, both of whom presented papers and served as discussants. Other Task Force members who presented at the conference included Raymond Natter, Prof. Susan Foster (Pardee Faculty Fellow), Prof. Frank Feeley, Chantel Pheiffer (2013 Pardee Summer Fellow), Neal Estey, and Juergen Scheffran.
The Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI) recently announced the publication of a new working paper titled “From Cocktail to Dependence: Revisiting the Foundations of Dependent Market Economies“. The paper, authored by GEGI co-director Prof. Cornel Ban of the Boston University Department of International Relations, adds to the growing pool of literature on the emerging form of capitalism known as the “dependent market economy”.
The Global Economic Governance Initiative is co-sponsored by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the BU Center for Finance, Law & Policy. GEGI was established at the Pardee Center in 2008 by Pardee Faculty Fellow Kevin Gallagher to advance policy-relevant knowledge about economic governance for financial stability, human development, and environmental sustainability.
2013 Pardee Graduate Summer Fellow Leeann Sullivan recently presented her research as part of the poster session at the American Water Resources Association Conference in Portland, Oregon. The conference was attended by academics, professionals, and policy makers from around the U.S. who work on issues of water quality and management. Leeann’s poster presentation, titled “Managing Resources Across Borders: Linking the principles of community-based natural resources management to international river basins” focused on the role of community stakeholders in improving monitoring and allocation of water resources in Southern Africa, and attempted to build a model for participation that could be replicated in other basins. The poster was based on the research topic of her Pardee summer fellowship paper, and she will build on this research for her master’s thesis in International Relations & Environmental Policy in the coming months.
The co-editors and two contributing authors for the book South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures spoke about how they see the future of the region at a Pardee House Seminar on November 20. Hosted by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, the seminar was part of Boston University’s programs during International Education Week.
Seminar moderator and book co-editor Prof. Adil Najam (BU International Relations, Earth & Environment) highlighted the complexities and contradictions inherent in the region as he presented five major themes distilled from the essays written by 47 contributing authors.
The five themes he noted:
- South Asia as a region (which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) is strong as an idea, but regional structures are weak;
- South Asian institutions are defined by competitiveness, not cooperation;
- The South Asian State is generally overbearing and has mostly fallen short of the expectations of ordinary South Asians;
- Security and development are seen as key, but competing, challenges across the region;
- Hope for the future of “SouthAsian-ness” stems more from the citizens than the state.
The panelists offered opposing views of pessimism and optimism about the future of the region 50 years from now. Co-editor Moeed Yusuf (Director, South Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace) cited politics and security issues as the major problems and “depressing thoughts.” He noted that while demographically the majority of the population is young, the younger generations are growing up during times when political systems are corrupt and there is little respect for the rule of law, coloring their view of the future. While recent democratic elections had widespread popular appeal, “that doesn’t say much about inclusion of the people.” He also noted that South Asia as a region is largely identified as “India and Pakistan, plus the rest of the countries,” which tends to place emphasis on the past and continuing tension between the two largest countries.
Contributing author Beena Sarwar, a journalist and filmmaker, agreed that the history and current relationship between India and Pakistan “bedevils the entire region” but said she sees hope in the relationships between ordinary citizens of the two countries and elsewhere in the region, and especially among the younger people. She views the citizens of South Asia as “far ahead” of governments in seeing their common humanity and shared cultural connections, and thinks the connectivity provided by the internet, cell phones, and social media tools will help advance those connections. She cited a recent ad for Google that went viral on the internet about old friends from India and Pakistan who are reunited by their grandchildren as one example of the power of these tools.
Contributing author Prof. Shahla Haeri (BU, Anthropology) spoke about the serious gender disparity in the region, leaving the majority of women without political power or voice and living in poverty and dependence. She argued that to legitimize women’s status as full citizens and achieve justice for women, encouragement and emphasis toward a culture of “male caring” needs to take place in a region with a strong tradition of patriarchy. She talked of the “father-daughter axis” as one means of encouraging men to support advancement for their daughters in areas such as education and economic opportunities. But, she noted, such changes will come about through pressure from civil society.
All panelists agreed that leadership in the countries of the region and strong and active civil societies will be key to the future. Sarwar summed it up: “No country in the world has everything right, but there has to be accountability and awareness.”
A video of the seminar is available on the multimedia page of this website.
South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures (Anthem 2013) is the fourth edited volume to result from a Pardee Center research project. Previous books include How Immigrants Impact Their Homelands (2013, Duke University Press) edited by Adil Najam, and Pardee Faculty Fellow Susan Eckstein; China Today, China Tomorrow: Domestic Politics, Economy and Society (2010, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers) edited by Pardee Faculty Fellow Joseph Fewsmith stemming from a 2008 conference, Where Is China Headed?; and The Future of South-South Economic Relations (2012, Zed Books), edited by Adil Najam and Pardee Center Research Fellow Rachel Denae Thrasher and stemming from a 2010 Pardee Center conference by the same name.
The co-editors and three contributing authors of the recent book South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures will discuss the future of South Asia at the next Pardee House Seminar on Wednesday, Nov. 20 starting at 12 noon.
Seating is limited and advance registration is required by November 15. Click here to register.
The seminar will provide an overview and highlights of the book (Anthem Press 2013), which is the outcome of a Pardee Center research initiative. Presenters will include co-editors Prof. Adil Najam (International Relations, Earth & Environment and former Pardee Center Director) and Moeed Yusuf (former Pardee Center Graduate Fellow, now Director of South Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace). Other panelists will be contributing authors Prof. Shahla Haeri (BU Anthropology), Beena Sarwar (journalist and filmmaker), and Prof. Balakrishnan Rajagopal (MIT Law and Development). Prof. Najam will serve as moderator.
The book includes contributions from 47 experts with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise including policymakers, academics and civil society leaders. During the seminar, panelist will discuss the likely longer-range trajectories of South Asia’s future as a region as outlined in the book. The contributing authors will speak specifically about the topics of their chapters, including gender equality issues (Prof. Haeri), human rights (Prof. Rajagopal) and the media (Sarwar).
This seminar is part of Boston University’s program of activities during International Education Week.
Note: The seminar will take place at Pardee House, 67 Bay State Road. Lunch will be available starting at 11:30 a.m. and the seminar runs from 12 to 1:30 p.m.
Shahla Haeri is an associate professor of cultural anthropology, and former director of the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University. Trained as a cultural anthropologist with specific focus on law and religion, she is the author of Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage, Mut’a, in Iran (1989) and No Shame for the Sun: Lives of Professional Pakistani Women (2002).
Adil Najam, currently professor of International Relations and Earth & Environment at Boston University, has served as vice chancellor of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan, the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy and director of the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University, and as associate professor of negotiation and diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His research focuses on issues of global development, and particularly on climate change and environment.
Balakrishnan Rajagopal is an associate professor of law and development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the director of MIT’s Program on Human Rights and Justice. He received an interdisciplinary SJD (Doctor of Juridical Science) from Harvard Law School and formerly served with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia between 1992 and 1997. He has consulted with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Commission on Dams and with various civil society organizations. His research experience and interests are primarily in South and Southeast Asia, Brazil and South Africa.
Beena Sarwar is a journalist, artist and documentary filmmaker focusing on media, gender, peace and human rights issues, with extensive experience in television and print media in Pakistan and abroad. She has been a Nieman Fellow, Harvard University (2005-06), Research Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (2006-07), and Associate Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School (2013). She currently serves as editor of Aman ki Asha, a peace initiative between the Jang Group of Newspapers, Pakistan and The Times of India. Her blog is Journeys to Democracy.
Moeed Yusuf is the Director of South Asia Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace. A native of Pakistan and a political scientist by training, before joining USIP, Yusuf was a fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University and concurrently a research fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center at Harvard Kennedy School. His co-edited volume, South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures was published by Anthem (UK) in 2013. He is also the co-editor of Getting it Right in Afghanistan (U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2013), editor of Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Challenge (Georgetown Press, 2014), and editor of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in South Asia: Does Peacebuilding have a Role? (U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2014).
Whether and how organic waste, such as food waste from homes, farms and restaurants, can become a significant source of fuel and electric power was the topic of discussion at the Pardee House Seminar on Oct. 31.
Pardee Faculty Fellow Nathan Phillips organized and moderated the morning session, which featured panelists Amy Barad, Program Director at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; Tony LaRusso, Project Director at National Grid; and Paul Sellew, Co-Founder and CEO of Harvest Power. The session was co-sponsored by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the Boston University Sustainable Neighborhood Lab project.
Paul Sellew called it “shameful” that 97 percent of organic waste generated in the U.S. currently goes into the municipal trash stream and ends up in landfills or incinerators. He said that half a billion tons of such waste is generated each year domestically, enough to create biogas fuel equivalent to the amount of diesel fuel currently used by the entire trucking fleet in the U.S.
The panelists addressed technical issues related to the conversion of organic waste to a renewable source of gas through the use of anaerobic digesters like those currently used at wastewater treatment plants. Amy Barad discussed how the use of such technology to convert the waste to gas also reduces greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, as the digesters are closed systems that capture methane that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere.
Tony LaRusso talked about the potential for incorporating renewable gas into the existing natural gas supply, and he said detailed technical analyses have estimated that renewable gas could generate between four and seven percent of current production levels. He said storage is not a significant issue because gas can be compressed or liquified for storage. Sellew added that there is “huge storage capabilities” and noted that gas is a baseload source of power, in contrast to wind and solar, for which lack of storage ability is a major issue and the power source itself is intermittent.
While the panelists spoke primarily about domestic possibilities for biogas use, they noted that it is used on small scales in developing countries, and referred to projects in West Africa and rural China.
In addition to technical issues, the panelists noted that there are economic, cultural, and political issues involved in moving toward biogas as a resource. Sellew said getting individuals and communities to separate food and agriculture waste from other waste streams and agree to locate a biogas plant in their town can be compared to efforts 20 years ago to separate yard waste and establish municipal yard waste composting facilities. All panelists noted that European countries — and Germany, in particular — are far ahead of the U.S and other countries in renewable gas use because of incentives and policies that make it both practical and desirable.
“We all have to be holding hands to move this forward,” said Sellew.
A video of the seminar is available in the multimedia section of this website.
Pardee Center Director Anthony Janetos was among the featured speakers at a national conference on Oct. 29 marking the one year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy. Titled “Sandy: One Year Later,” the day-long conference was held at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey and was sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Part of a panel called “Assessing the Risk”, Prof. Janetos reviewed the major findings in the recently released “Summary for Policymakers” as part of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and also talked about recent research produced by climate models. He said that programs of preparation and coping with the impacts of climate change will be important as natural resources and the built environment will continue to be affected. “Not to respond, not to plan, not to think about how the planet will change is really not an option,” he said.
Prof. Janetos is a coordinating lead author for Working Group II of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, which is scheduled to be released in 2014.
The Oct. 29 conference was live streamed on the Internet and generated discussion on Twitter @#PostSandy.
The Intergovernmental Group of Twenty Four, or G-24, is hosting a seminar in Washington, D.C. next week titled “Capital Flow Management and the Trading System” that will feature a presentation and discussion of the Pardee Center Task Force Report, Capital Account Regulations and the Trading System: A Compatibility Review.
Pardee Center Faculty Fellow Kevin Gallagher, who co-chaired the Pardee Task Force that produced the report and co-authored the executive summary, will present the report’s findings during the Oct. 28 session to be held at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Task Force members and report contributors Annamaria Viterbo and Sarah Anderson also will take part in the presentation. Discussion leaders will be Sean Hagan, IMF General Counsel and Director of the Legal Department, and Hector Torres, IMF Alternate Executive Director (Argentina), who also was a Pardee Task Force member and contributor to the report.
The G-24 is hosting the seminar “to discuss the findings of the review and the implications for G-24 countries.”
According to its website, “the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G-24) was established in 1971. The purpose of the group is to coordinate the position of developing countries on monetary and development issues, particularly issues on the agendas of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the Development Committee (DC), and to ensure increased representation and participation of developing countries in negotiations on the reform of the international monetary system.”
The March 2013 report is the second publication of the Pardee Center Task Force on Regulating Capital Flows, and builds on the Task Force´s first report published in March 2012. The more recent report is the outcome of a workshop the Pardee Center co-sponsored in June 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the Center for the Study of State and Society (CEDES) in Argentina and the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University. The workshop brought together experts who looked specifically at the relationship between global financial regulations and the global trading system.
Pardee Center Faculty Fellow Henrik Selin traveled to Kumamoto and Minimata Japan Oct. 7 – 11 to attend the United Nations-sponsored conference that formally adopted the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The new mercury convention – the first global environmental convention to be concluded in 12 years – was signed by the European Union and 91 countries, launching its implementation. The Pardee Center is accredited formal NGO observer status with the mercury negotiations.
At the conference, Prof. Selin distributed his recent Pardee Center Issues In Brief paper on the future of mercury abatement. An expert on international environmental governance issues who has been closely following the treaty development and negotiations, he also moderated a Pardee House Seminar on the topic in Feburary 2013.