Research in Brief

Why the UN Can’t Stop Civilian Slaughter

Though the perceived function of the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations is to protect civilians in conflict, it is often unable to fulfill its role in safeguarding vulnerable lives. What hinders the organization from preventing loss of civilian life, and why? Authors Bellamy and Hunt explore the expectations attached to the organization and why these expectations may not necessarily reflect reality on the ground.

Paving the Way towards Healthier Consumption Habits to Tackle Obesity: The Mexican Soda Tax Case

New evidence on the effects of the Mexican soda tax suggests successful intermediate effects of raising the real prices of sodas and avoiding shifts in consumption towards other caloric beverages.

Are Improved Nutritional Outcomes and a Robust Agricultural Sector Mutually Exclusive? Case Study Findings from the Developing World

Recent East African and South Asian stakeholder research has helped shed light on the thorny relationship between food security and nutritional policymaking in the developing world. Though findings point to a need for action on several fronts, addressing data disconnects in each of the six case study countries remains vital.

The Strategy Behind China’s Rising Influence in Latin America

China’s efforts to foster a partnership with countries in Latin America reflects its strategic goal of enhancing its “hard” and “soft” power to elevate China’s status at the systemic level.

NATO Needs to Rethink Its Enlargement Strategy

NATO should alter its current enlargement policy by infusing it with geopolitical rationales. This means downgrading the transformative and democratization elements of enlargement and, instead, focusing on how candidate countries add to NATO's capabilities and impact overall alliance security.

The Evolution and Challenges of UN Targeted Sanctions

In 1990, the United Nations Security Council imposed several economic sanctions on Iraq in response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. These measures were aimed at restoring international peace and security; however, they failed to accomplish their goals while raising political, economic, and humanitarian concerns. This was also the case with similar sanctions imposed on Haiti and former Yugoslavia. As a result, the UN’s authorities have diversified the kind of sanctions that it can impose, as well as the targets of these sanctions, to address those concerns and increase the effectiveness of its sanctions.

Common Cents: The Benefits of Expanding Head Start

New research indicates that Head Start offers a substantial benefit for students who are least likely to enroll and yields a significant financial gain for the government.

Better School Outcomes Aren’t Free

A new analysis demonstrates that funding increases make a huge difference in schooling outcomes, especially for students from low-income families.

Feel It in the Air: Pollution and Crime in Chicago

A recent study provides the first quasi-experimental evidence of a link between air pollution and criminal behavior. Researchers estimate the cost of pollution-induced crime and make a case for environmental sustainability policies that consider the impact of pollution and crime on communities.

Testing vs. Discretion: How Should Firms Hire Their Employees?

New research analyzes how hiring decisions made using job assessments versus manager discretion impact employee retention and productivity.