By Sarah Bakhtiari
Archaeologists at a Stone Age settlement in Ösmo, Södermanland, Sweden, circa 1929. By Berit Wallenberg.
This week Marie Berry blogged here about the migration-gender-insecurity nexus, pointing to the many overlooked but interdependent dimensions of human security today. With quotes like this, “We thought it was normal in the United States that in order to keep your job, you had to have sex,” from an immigrant female farmworker in Iowa, it’s difficult to dispute Marie’s claim. This review of the EU’s response to new security challenges reflects the interconnectedness of these phenomena. What’s to be done? This New York Times op-ed lays out some recommendations to protect female farmworkers, in particular. The European and African Unions, along with other key countries, met this past week at the Valetta Summit to deepen cooperation on the issues of migration and mobility. Are these issues fueling the rise of “illiberal democracy” in Europe today—or, are undemocratic practices masquerading as illiberal democratic ones? (Not that democracies in decline are only found in Europe.)
The Islamic State debates continue; Paul Pillar argues that ISIS is following the well-worn and identifiable path of Maoist large-scale insurrections, and what we should expect from the group in the future based on this template.
Was war with Iran more likely during Obama’s tenure than at any other time? David Sanger writes about how a third world war might have been avoided by the administration.
Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections this past week yielded a victory for Taiwan’s first female president, along with a legislature that will be comprised of 38.1% women. Equally important, however, was the success of the Democratic Progressive Party, winning an absolute majority in the legislature. Some are calling these victories a potentially disruptive mandate—because they reflect an increasingly distant possibility of reunification with China. How predictable are these elections, anyways? Forecasting future electorates is tricky, but there are some models that perform better than others.
Need research funding? Pew data shows that Kickstarter funded hundreds of independent journalism projects (including blog, documentary, magazine, website, newpaper, book and radio formats) since its launch, and the numbers just keep rising. If it’s data you’re seeking, Kaggle just opened up a new forum for data exploration, viewing prior work on a dataset, and participating in online conversations about datasets. On that note, did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau committed to an open source policy that seeks to build a community around their data and tools? And not because it has much political science content, but because it’s very cool and offers great visualizations of how you might display data—Nathan Yau’s “A Day in the Life of Americans: This is How America Runs.”
Lastly, be sure not to miss the latest from Celestino Perez on reforming military education to enable more ethical, efficacious warfighting.