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HKS in the News May 3, 2012

1. The keys to keeping Boston free of riots (Glaeser) The Boston Globe

2. Will India’s Right to Education Act Upset Stereotypes? (Pande) The Wall Street Journal

3. In Mali, a shaky debut for the would-be country of Azawad (Juma) The Los Angeles Times

4. Al Qaeda loses its way (Kayyem) The Boston Globe

The keys to keeping Boston free of riots

The Boston Globe

May 3

Commentary by: Edward Glaeser, Taubman Center, Rappaport Institute

Topic: Urban unrest

Twenty years ago this week, a jury acquitted the Los Angeles policemen who beat motorist Rodney King, and the city exploded in a six-day riot. Before it was over, there were more than 50 deaths, about 2,500 injuries, and half a billion dollars or more in property damage. The riot led to alarming predictions that a new age of urban unrest might be at hand. What happened in the next two decades, though, was very nearly the opposite: Cities in the United States have been relatively riot-free over the last two decades.

But that peace should not make us feel too smug. The lack of rioting in urban America lately is primarily because of the competence of law enforcement agencies — including, notably, the Boston Police Department — not because we have solved the problems of race and poverty that can fuel rioting. …

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Will India’s Right to Education Act Upset Stereotypes?

The Wall Street Journal

May 2

Cited: Study by Rohini Pande

Topic: Affirmative action in India

… While the Right to Education Act is too recent to have spawned any scientific research, there is new evidence on how affirmative action can help undo stereotypes in another important arena, namely gender.

In 1993, a law in India created reservation for women in leadership positions in village councils. A study by economists Lori Beaman, Esther Duflo, Rohini Pande, and Petia Topalova in the prestigious journal Science looked at the effects of this law. In many states, at every election one third of village councils were picked randomly to have their top spot reserved for a woman. …

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In Mali, a shaky debut for the would-be country of Azawad

The Los Angeles Times

May 2

Quoted: Calestous Juma, Belfer Center

Topic: Resistance to new nations in Africa

A month ago, ethnic Tuareg fighters seized the northern stretches of Mali as it reeled from a coup, declaring a new state of their own called Azawad. Mali has so far failed to dislodge the rebels, but the Tuareg stab at independence has fallen flat internationally, winning scant support.

The would-be state has been rejected by the African Union, the European Union and the United States since it declared itself. The African Union shuns changing any borders, let alone creating new nations, as part of a pact agreed to decades ago to quash conflict.

"If that door opened, almost every ethnic group might want its own separate state," said Calestous Juma, professor of international development at the Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. "Africa's road to hell is paved by tribal intentions. Nobody wants another Somalia." …

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Al Qaeda loses its way

The Boston Globe

May 3

Commentary by: Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Center

Topic: Waning support for Al Qaeda in Muslim countries

Who killed Osama bin Laden? Former political leaders, military brass, and intelligence chieftans are all staking their claims, as if there’s a contest that will crown a winner. If so, it’s the wrong contest. The debates about how much credit President Obama can reasonably take for the manhunt, and the faux outrage expressed by Obama’s opponents, are centered on a single, though significant, death. The much more consequential question is: Is bin Laden really gone?

After all, the death of bin Laden is only one barometer of success against a movement that might have been so much larger than its leader. Al Qaeda still exists but is lifeless; finding its adherents is more akin to whack-a-mole than some existential clash of civilizations. Fortunately, new soundings from Muslim nations reveal that the terrorist mastermind wasn’t so special after all. He only had one life. …

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Broadcast Notes

Nazila Fathi, Shorenstein Center

Fox News , 4/29

Topic: Egypt’s political future

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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