Bolsonaro’s Impact on Global Markets

Brazil’s Jair Messias Bolsonaro takes the presidential oath of office on January 1. “Bolsonaro follows a series of public corruption scandals that led to political chaos,” explain Claudia Ribeiro P. Nunes and Pedro D. Peralta for YaleGlobal Online. Nunes is a visiting scholar with the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies with the MacMillan Center at Yale and deputy coordinator of the Graduate Program in Law at Veiga de Almeida University. Peralta is a researcher at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Veiga de Almeida University. The writers explain that Bolsonaro veers in his positions on trade, urging reforms for the South American bloc Mercosur to promising flexibility, questioning Chinese influence via foreign direct investment during the campaign and later calling China a “great cooperation partner.” Another foreign policy concern is Venezuela, Brazil’s neighbor to the north in chaos due to mismanagement, corruption and poverty. US President Donald Trump has called for intervention, and the Bolsonaro administration has signaled alignment with the Trump sphere of influence. – YaleGlobal

Lilia Moritz Schwarcz Discusses Brazil’s “Sad Visionary”

Some graduate students who attended Professor Schwarcz's presentation.

On November 7, anthropologist and historian Lilia Moritz Schwarcz offered a talk entitled, “Lima Barreto: A sad visionary in Brazil at the beginning of the XX century” as part of the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies Lunchtime Colloquia. Professor Schwarcz is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Sao Paulo and a Visiting Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. Her talk gave listeners a taste of the content of her recent publication Lima Barreto: Triste Visionário, published in 2017 by Companhia das Letras (Sao Paulo).

Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto (1881-1922) was an Afro-Brazilian writer whose prescient critiques of Brazil’s structural racism and supposed “racial democracy” still have resonance today. His writings attempt to break apart the social Darwinism and racial determinism reigning in Brazil at the beginning of the 20th century. As Professor Schwarcz explained, the Portuguese word triste has two connotations, and Lima Barreto was both: he was sad, yes, but also persistent and stubborn.

https://macmillan.yale.edu/news/lilia-moritz-schwarcz-discusses-brazils-sad-visionary

Energy’s Changing Role in Relief Aid

Conflict and disasters have increased human displacement to record levels worldwide, requiring efficient distribution of humanitarian aid. Focusing on renewables for provision of energy services could promote sustainability, explains a team of writers representing the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines, the World Bank, Chatham House and Energy Peace Partners. “At present, operations overwhelmingly rely on diesel for transport and electricity generation, and wood and charcoal for household cooking, which displaced people often buy or collect,” the writers note. “Such practices outlast initial emergencies as refugee settlements grow into small cities and peacekeeping operations drag on for years with impacts on health, environment and safety.” Energy is essential for large populations of refugees and displaced people, and host countries seek to conserve their own limited resources. The writers, reviewing some innovative programs and funding mechanisms, conclude that the aid and peacekeeping sectors could lead on delivery of new energies. – YaleGlobal

 

Christopher Andrew on the lost history of global intelligence

Christopher Andrew (middle) signing copies of his new book "The Secret World: A History of Intelligence" on which his lectures were based.

Christopher Andrew, Emeritus Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Cambridge and former Official Historian of British Security Service MI5, delivered this year’s Stimson Lectures on World Affairs, a series of three lectures that took place over the course of the first week in November at the MacMillan Center. Known for his scholarship on the history of intelligence, he addressed the topic “The Lost History of Global Intelligence—and Why It Matters.”

Throughout the three lectures, Andrew stressed a few overarching themes. He noted that although the strategic importance of signal intelligence (SIGINT) is commonly accepted, there is a surprisingly poor understanding of its history. “No WWII or post-WWII profession was as ignorant of its own history as the intelligence community,” he said, attributing this ignorance to the inherently clandestine nature of espionage operations. Because of its ignorance of its history, the intelligence community is unable to learn from past mistakes. Andrew said, “intelligence history is not linear… it sometimes goes backwards.” He also expressed frustration at how modern SIGINT is commonly seen as more advanced than SIGINT in history, using as an example the code-breaking superiority under Queen Elizabeth I compared to that of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

https://macmillan.yale.edu/news/christopher-andrew-lost-history-global-intelligence

The Higher Education Learning Crisis

University of Denver graduates celebrate by throwing caps in air; journalism class at University of Missouri with more than 150 students

Reading, thinking and writing allow individuals to magnify their influence, noted 20th century writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley. Society expects education to open opportunities for students to improve themselves and their societies, and yet there is a crisis in American undergraduate higher education as students simply do not learn, explain Richard H. Hersh and Richard Keeling. Hersh, formerly president of Trinity College and Hobart and Smith Colleges, now teaches at Yale, and Keeling is president of Keeling & Associates, a higher education consulting practice. “Other countries have increasingly emulated American universities because of prestigious worldwide rankings, but such emulation may be hollow as rankings are based on scholarship and research prowess, measured by numbers of publications and scholarly citations, not undergraduate learning,” they write. “Too many graduates are not prepared to think critically and creatively, speak and write cogently, solve problems, comprehend complex issues, accept accountability, take the perspective of others, or meet employer expectations.” Hersh and Keeling urge faculty and students alike to embrace the ongoing cumulative and collective nature of higher learning while constantly aiming for higher standards of competence. – YaleGlobal

 

Experiment to Save an Endangered Fish Holds Lessons for Policymakers

It’s no accident that Indiana Jones was an archeologist, not an economist. Economists are better known for digging into data sets than digging up clues. But in recent years, a number of economists, particularly development economists, have led a revolution in the field—by going into the field.

Many of these new adventurers are motivated to better understand which new policies, philanthropic programs, or other interventions have the greatest positive impact for people in developing economies. The randomized controlled trial has become a key tool for them to compare the effects of an intervention with what would happen in the absence of such an action.

https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/experiment-to-save-an-endangered-fish-holds-lessons-for-policymakers?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Experiment%20to%20Save%20an%20Endangered%20Fish%20Holds%20Lessons%20for%20Policymakers&utm_campaign=insights-newsletter-nov-long2018-2

 

Committee advises converting Jackson Institute into school of global affairs

55 Hillhouse Ave., home of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale.

Yale’s Jackson Institute should become a school of global affairs featuring a robust, faculty-driven research program dedicated to solving real-world problems and shaping a better future for humanity, according to a vision described in an advisory committee report released Nov. 14.

Founded in 2010 largely as a teaching enterprise through a generous gift from John Jackson ’67 and Susan Jackson, the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs currently houses a thriving educational program that serves hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students each year. In 2017, Provost Benjamin Polak convened an advisory committee of eight senior faculty members to consider the institute’s future and assess whether Jackson should be transformed into an independent professional school.

https://news.yale.edu/2018/11/14/committee-advises-converting-jackson-institute-school-global-affairs?utm_source=YNemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ynalumni-11-15-18