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HKS in the News April 19, 2012

1. Egypt’s Spymaster Candidate For President, Omar Suleiman (Masoud) Newsweek

2. Workers of the World Divide (Western) The Huffington Post

3. Innovation: Are feds afraid of their own shadows? (Kelman) Federal Computer Week

4. Broadcast News Networks Misrepresent Intelligence On Iranian Nuclear Issues (Walt)

5. The Tragedy of Argentina ( Barbieri ) The Wall Street Journal

Egypt’s Spymaster Candidate For President, Omar Suleiman


April 16

Commentary by: Tarek Masoud, Ash Center

Topic: Egyptian politics

The 14 months since Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow have not been kind to those who yearn for a free Egypt. A military junta rules, Islamists dominate the Parliament, thousands languish in army jails, the economy careens toward insolvency, no one has been held accountable for the slaughter of more than 800 citizens during the country’s 2011 uprising—and now Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s spymaster and onetime deputy, is running for president. For many Egyptians, the general’s reappearance is a bitter reminder of the incompleteness of their revolution. …

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Workers of the World Divide

The Huffington Post

April 18

Commentary: Bruce Western, Wiener Center

Topic: The decline of unions

Since the middle of the last century, the American labor movement has been in steady decline. In the early 1950s, around one-third of the United States' total labor force was unionized. Today, just one-tenth remains so. Unionization of the private sector is even lower, at five percent. Over the last few decades, unions' influence has waned and workers' collective voice in the political process has weakened. As a result, wages have stagnated, income inequality has increased, and the American political conversation has narrowed. …

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Innovation: Are feds afraid of their own shadows?

Federal Computer Week

April 18

Commentary by: Steven Kelman

Topic: Studies on workplace behavior

I recently read a fascinating article in the Academy of Management Journal with the slightly daunting title “Implicit Voice Theories: Taken-for-Granted Rules of Self-Censorship at Work.”

The article, by James Detert of Cornell University and Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business School, is about how employees decide whether or not to speak up about problems in their workplaces. The authors are not only interested in whistle-blowing but also in cases in which someone could point out inefficiencies or opportunities for improvement. The article is very relevant to a government management context — and not just for what it says about why employees often don’t speak up about problems. …

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Broadcast News Networks Misrepresent Intelligence On Iranian Nuclear Issues

April 18

Quoted: Stephen Walt, Belfer Center

Topic: The media’s representation of the Iran nuclear program

… When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addressed the hypothetical scenario of Iran deciding to pursue nuclear weapons, he still estimated that it would take the country a considerable about of time to build a weapon following the decision to initiate such a program. In the interview, Panetta said, "The consensus is that, if they decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon."

Invoking Ahmadinejad or his rhetoric, including the famously mistranslated "Israel must be wiped off the map," similarly misleads. Stephen Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, explains that inserting Ahmadinejad into the discussion is problematic because the Iranian president "has little or no influence over Iran's national security policy, his power has been declining sharply in recent months, and Supreme Leader Ali Khameini -- who does make the key decisions -- has repeatedly said that nuclear weapons are contrary to Islam." …

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The Tragedy of Argentina

The Wall Street Journal

April 18

Commentary by: Pierpaolo Barbieri, Belfer Center

Topic: Lessons from Argentina’s recession

President Cristina Kirchner's decision to renationalize YPF, the Argentine oil company controlled by Spain's Repsol, took many by surprise. But to someone who grew up in Argentina, it was all too predictable. My country has once again become a byword for economic folly. What I find truly incredible is that serious commentators like economist Nouriel Roubini are offering Argentina as a role model for Greece. …

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This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Jane Finn-Foley

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