News & Commentary - Archive 2012

June 19, 2012

Paul M. Gross  The Energy Initiative is building on Duke’s existing strengths in teaching, research and outreach. Undergraduates can earn a Certificate in Energy and the Environment. The environment and business schools offer master’s degree programs with a focus in energy, and a Sanford program is under consideration. Duke also offers the first PhD program in the world jointly coordinated by a school of the environment and a school of public policy.

June 18, 2012

In the spring of 2003, Hal Brands watched the first  accounts of the Iraq War trickle in from the battlefield as reporters embedded with U.S. military divisions recorded the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.Now Brands, along with a team of other researchers, has helped to make thousands of internal Iraqi documents and transcripts   captured by coalition forces during the ground invasion available to scholars.


June 18, 2012

Why do some countries invite election monitoring organizations, when candidates clearly intend to cheat? Are foreign election monitors accurate and objective? Most important, do they improve the quality of elections?

June 17, 2012

June 18 marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812, a conflict that may well be the last time most Americans thought seriously about Canada.

June 14, 2012

Sarah Cohen, founding director of The Reporters’ Lab at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, will leave Duke in July to join the computer assisted reporting team at The New York Times.

Cohen will remain involved in the lab and the school will conduct a search to replace the Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy. Cohen joined the faculty in that role in 2009.

June 13, 2012

The health of a caregiver is the most important predictor of orphan health, according to a new Duke University study that spans five less-wealthy nations in Africa and Asia.

More important than an orphan’s geographic location, living conditions or past trauma, the Duke study finds that an unhealthy caregiver likely means an unhealthy child.

The findings prompt Duke researchers to call for international orphan policies to place greater attention on assessing and treating an orphan and his caregiver's health together, rather than focusing solely on children’s health.

June 12, 2012

Earlier this year, economic data suggested that the Thai economy was on the path to recovery after last year's devastating floods.

Projected output growth was revised upward to 5 per cent for 2012. The vulnerability and downside risk from the euro zone crisis was thought to be under control. There was even a ray of hope and cautious optimism that key governments in the euro zone and the European Central Bank (ECB) would agree to readjust their stance on their "expansionary austerity" policy following the G-8 Summit last month.

June 8, 2012

Sweeping changes in the Middle East, such as the reduction of terrorism, the end of the Iraq war and the Arab Spring, call for a new U.S. strategy for the region, argues Sanford Professor Bruce Jentleson in a newly released report. The report, Strategic Adaptation: Toward a New U.S. Strategy in the Middle East by Jentleson, Andrew M. Exum, Melissa G. Dalton and J. Dana Stuster, outlines a framework for new policy approaches.

June 8, 2012

Just four years ago, only two people in the world had their genome sequenced: James D. Watson (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA) and J. Craig Venter (former President of the firm that mounted a private-sector rival to the Human Genome Project). There are now many thousands of such people.

At genome meetings, scientists are talking about millions of fully sequenced genomes in coming years. And after that…?

June 8, 2012

Alcohol abuse is a multifaceted problem that requires a diverse portfolio of programs and policies. Adolescent drinking, alcoholism, drunken driving, alcohol-enabled domestic violence and child neglect, crime and public drunkenness all elicit distinct, tailored policy responses.

But one policy instrument would help reduce all these problems: alcohol prices. With higher prices come reduced rates of alcohol abuse and improvements in public health and safety.