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  1. Asymmetric Campaign Advertising: Partisan Differences in 2014 Congressional Campaign Advertisements [Download]

    Title: Asymmetric Campaign Advertising: Partisan Differences in 2014 Congressional Campaign Advertisements
    Author: Wetter, Daniel
    Description: This preliminary study identified partisan differences in television advertisements for Senate candidates in 2014 and paves the path for further study of partisan differences in campaign advertising more broadly. Analyzing data gathered on all of the television advertisements aired for U.S. Senate candidates in 2014, this research finds distinct partisan styles emanating from both of the major political parties. In particular, the data suggests that candidates for the Republican Party used more cohesive messaging during the 2014 election cycle, while candidates for the Democratic Party advertised on a wider array of issues. These findings align with previous research on partisan asymmetry in the United States, and have important implications for future campaigns. Understanding how campaigns advertise to voters is one of the first steps to addressing growing polarization in Congress.
    Keywords: Political advertising , Campaign communications, 2014 U.S. Senate elections, Campaigns, Political polarization, Elections
    Date Uploaded: 04/17/2018
  2. Association Between Aortic Vascular Inflammation by PET/CT and Aortic Distensibility by MRI in Psoriasis [Download]

    Title: Association Between Aortic Vascular Inflammation by PET/CT and Aortic Distensibility by MRI in Psoriasis
    Author: Shukla, Parag
    Description: Globally, 18 million people die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) annually, making it the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In recent years, inflammation has been established as a key cause of CVD, but the effects of anti-inflammatory treatment on cardiovascular (CV) risk remains poorly understood. Psoriasis (PSO), a chronic inflammatory skin disease associated with increased CV events, provides an ideal clinical model to study the role of inflammation in CV disease. Aortic vascular inflammation (VI) by [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT as well as aortic distensibility (AD) by MRI, are important markers of subclinical CV disease and have been shown to predict future CV events. Following subclinical markers, such as AD, enables physicians to make judicious treatment decisions before CV events such as stroke, myocardial infarction, or angina occur. Our study demonstrates a novel association between VI and AD in patients with chronic inflammatory disease.
    Keywords: Atherosclerosis, MRI, FDG-PET/CT, Inflammation, Psoriasis
    Date Uploaded: 04/17/2018
  3. The Role of Pension Funds in the Development of Capital Markets in Latin America [Download]

    Title: The Role of Pension Funds in the Development of Capital Markets in Latin America
    Author: Poch, Juan Pablo
    Description: Over the past two decades, Latin America has stood out as one of the regions with most promising economic fundamentals and potential among emerging markets. Nonetheless, its track record of economic development has lagged in comparison to other developing economies – especially in the Asia-Pacific region – which points to, among various issues, to an underdevelopment of stable and widespread capital markets. The increasing incorporation of capital markets into financial systems historically dominated by banking systems in Latin America facilitates the process of raising and allocating capital while minimizing transaction costs, mitigating risk through diversification, and improving accessibility to economic actors. This paper analyzes the role of pension funds in the development of capital markets in Latin America as both financial intermediaries and institutional investors with distinguishing characteristics and advantages. I use a series of ordinary least squares regressions to test the effect of the growth on pension fund assets in the growth of stock and bond markets while controlling for entity and time fixed effects, and macroeconomic and demographic factors. The results are both positive and statistically significant for both sets of regressions, despite the differing country-specific circumstances. I conclude that the constructive role of pension funds in Latin American capital markets can promote the enhancement of financial systems overall and contribute to the efficient and equitable economic development of countries across the region. Further, I suggest policies that could be implemented to achieve these objectives.
    Keywords: Institutional investors , Bond markets, Stock markets,, Financial reforms, Economic development, Pension funds, Financial intermediation, Macroeconomic policy
    Date Uploaded: 04/17/2018
  4. Examining the 2007 Redenomination of the Ghanaian Cedi on the Disinflation Process Using the Chow Structural Break Test and VAR [Download]

    Title: Examining the 2007 Redenomination of the Ghanaian Cedi on the Disinflation Process Using the Chow Structural Break Test and VAR
    Author: Matsumoto, Riki
    Description: Ghana has experienced high and variable rates of inflation over the past 40 years. While this is no longer the case, inflation remains stubbornly elevated relative to economies of similar size (Magnus & Fosa, 2011). Conventional disinflation policies involve countercyclical monetary policies, reducing fiscal expenditure, and comprehensive economic and political reform. These policies in turn can be bolstered by a currency redenomination; when the nominal value of all prices is reduced. A number of countries such as, Turkey (in 2005), Romania (in 2005), Belarus (in 2006 and 2016) have pursued this strategy, including Ghana (in 2007). The question of whether currency redenomination is an effective qualitative tool in the disinflation process is important because of its potential as an important tool for countries struggling with high and variable rates of inflation. Unfortunately, existing literature has been deficient, and no appropriate techniques have been employed to examine this question. Thus, the goal of this paper is to examine the impact of the Ghanaian currency redenomination in 2007 on the disinflation process using appropriate statistical techniques; the Chow Test and Vector Autoregression (VAR), then evaluate whether it may be an effective policy option for monetary authorities. This paper employed monthly time series data from January 2000 to September 2017 provided by the Bank of Ghana. The results gathered in this paper showed that the Chow Test found a structural break before and after the date of redenomination. However, the bifurcated vector autoregression VAR(3) was inconclusive as to whether the policy itself directly affected the disinflation process. These results suggest that further research is needed to evaluate the potential of currency redenomination as a qualitative tool in the disinflation process. Originality/value – This paper is one of few studies which has investigated the impact of currency redenomination, especially in Africa and Ghana specifically.
    Keywords: Ghana , Monetary policy, Inflation, International macroeconomics inflation, Redenomination, VAR model
    Date Uploaded: 04/17/2018
  5. “The Indian Method of Warring”: Wampum, Warfare, and George Washington’s Lessons in Frontier Diplomacy During the Seven Years’ War [Download]

    Title: “The Indian Method of Warring”: Wampum, Warfare, and George Washington’s Lessons in Frontier Diplomacy During the Seven Years’ War
    Author: LaBrecque, Annabel G.
    Description: Any scholar and student of early American history is well aware that there is no shortage of literature on George Washington. In recent years, scholars have done well to point out that Washington, despite generations of academic and public deification, was just as human as his more easily forgotten contemporaries, a reality evidenced by his (in)famous military mishap in the inter-imperial hinterlands of eastern North America that started the first world war in 1754. Yet Washingtonian literature remains void of a key element of Washington’s experience in Indian country: his experience with Indians. In a biographical history spanning four centuries, there is still yet to be seen a Washington biography detailing his experiences with his nearest foreign foes and allies. This research paper attempts to fill that void. This is not another study of young Washington’s experience in the British colonial militia, but rather a breakdown of the lessons he learned in warfare and diplomacy as a visitor in Native lodges, villages, and territories and how he applied these experiences to British colonial warfare and wartime politics. These lessons are best understood only when Native players are recast in their proper roles, as the kings, half kings, and queens of Indian country. This redistribution of political and historical agency and reconceptualization of monolithic narratives allows us to better understand the inseparability of colonial, early American, and Native American histories.
    Keywords: George Washington, Seven Years’ War, Native America, Colonial America, Native Americans, Colonialism, Imperialism, War, Diplomacy
    Date Uploaded: 04/17/2018
  6. Energy Materials Analysis for Additive Manufacturing by Selective Laser Melting [Download]

    Title: Energy Materials Analysis for Additive Manufacturing by Selective Laser Melting
    Author: Gray, Rachel
    Description: This research aimed to improve selective laser melting (SLM) of energy materials for thermoelectric power generation devices. Thermoelectric generators (TEG) are solid state devices that offer the potential for waste heat recovery in combustion and heat process systems. These devices are currently being manufactured using bulk material processing with many integration and assembly steps, leading to decreased product efficiency and high manufacturing costs. Selective laser melting is an additive manufacturing technique, when combined with semiconductive powder offers a solution to these manufacturing challenges.
    Keywords: Thermoelectric generator, Selective laser melting, Powder spreading, Powder morphology
    Date Uploaded: 04/17/2018
  7. Detection of Exoplanets Using the Transit Method [Download]

    Title: Detection of Exoplanets Using the Transit Method
    Author: Afanasev, Dennis
    Description: Differential photometry was conducted on the star GSC 3281-0800, a known host to exoplanet HAT-P-32b, using analysis software AstroImageJ. Measurements were plotted from a series of images taken during the transit, via ADU count given from an earth-based digital CCD camera. A definite light curve was established and more details about the properties of this exoplanet were discovered.
    Keywords: Exoplanets , Transit method, Differential photometry
    Date Uploaded: 04/17/2018
  8. Adaptation Strategies of Islamist Movements, POMEPS Studies 26 [Download]

    Title: Adaptation Strategies of Islamist Movements, POMEPS Studies 26
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: Long repressed, banned, and exiled, many Islamist movements and parties across the Middle East and North Africa witnessed a moment of electoral success after the 2011 uprisings. Since then, their fates have varied widely. Some have made significant compromises to stay in power, others have ostensibly separated their religious and political efforts, while others have been repressed more brutally than before or have fragmented beyond recognition. What accounts for these actors’ different adaptation strategies and divergent outcomes? Earlier this year, the Project on Middle East Political Science brought together a dozen top scholars for our 4th Annual workshop on Islamist politics to address these questions. Their excellent essays are available individually on the POMEPS website and collectively as POMEPS Studies 26, available now as a free PDF. Many scholars are pushing to move beyond the traditional framing of Islamist movements. Khalil al-Anani challenges the approach that treats Islamist groups as collective entities, and discusses how personal experience of repression can influence individual members in contradicting ways. Likewise, Jillian Schwedler describes how the debate around inclusion (and whether it makes actors more moderate) is now moot as leaders increasingly move toward repression and away from inclusion. Elizabeth R. Nugent, meanwhile, challenges scholars’ tendency to focus on the uniqueness of Islamist groups and encourages future research to compare similar organization operating in moments of political opportunity to help normalize the study of Islamist politics. Eva Wegner uses innovative survey data analysis to rethink the common assumption that voters for Islamist parties are simply registering a protest vote, finding that ideology does, in fact, matter to many voters. Lindsay J. Benstead looks at the effect of the “Islamic mandate effect” on women’s representation, where the level of freedom or regime control influences a party’s ability to deliver on its promises of symbolic and service representation. In Islamic State controlled areas, Mara Revkin and Ariel I. Ahram look at the tenuous social contract in civil war contexts and how civilians – though they may not actually support that paradigm – sometimes use its institutions to speak up and voice criticism. Several authors reveal the careful balancing act that Islamists must maintain to stay in power. Steven Brooke delves into the complicated relationship between Islamist movements’ socio-religious activism and political engagement and attempts – some more successful than others – to separate the two. Quinn Mecham presents the unique case of Morocco’s PJD party, which acts simultaneously a voice of opposition and of the government. Monica Marks examines the Tunisia’s Ennahda highly contested compromise and contention. Nathan J. Brown describes the state’s messy involvement with Islam and its, often inelegant, attempts to craft and control religious messages through its bureaucracy. Annelle Sheline, looks at how regimes have wielded the rhetoric of “moderate Islam” to justify repression of Islamist opponents and seek out aid and support from Western governments. In a study of the Islah party in Yemen, Stacey Philbrick Yadav highlights the internal fracturing of the diverse party and questions western governments’ continued reliance on it. Marc Lynch recognizes the difference between U.S. policy makers who readily “lump” all Islamists into one category and those who more carefully distinguish and operationalize differences among groups. Is the latter necessarily less dangerous? Sharing insightful new research and posing key questions for future scholarship, POMEPS Studies 26 provides an excellent primer into the diverse adaptation strategies of Islamist actors in the Middle East and North Africa.
    Keywords: POMEPS Studies, Middle East, North Africa, Political science, International relations, Islam, Arab Spring
    Date Uploaded: 04/07/2018
  9. Refugees and Migration Movements in the Middle East, POMEPS Studies 25 [Download]

    Title: Refugees and Migration Movements in the Middle East, POMEPS Studies 25
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: The Middle East has experienced a dramatic flood of refugees and forced migration over the last fifteen years. The UN High Commission on Refugees reports more than 16 million refugees and 60 million displaced persons around the world today, including asylum seekers and the internally displaced. The wars in Syria and Iraq have produced the greatest share of the Middle East’s refugees in recent years, but many more have fled wars and failed states in Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Neighboring states have faced severe challenges in absorbing millions of refugees, while North African states and Turkey have emerged as key transit hubs for refugee flows into Europe. To examine the situation of current refugees and exiles in and from the region, the Project on Middle East Political Science and the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Southern California with support from its Center for International Studies convened a workshop in February 2017 bringing together a dozen scholars from multiple disciplines. These scholars represent a new wave of scholars conducting original field research from refugee camps and communities in the Middle East, primarily in states bordering Syria and Iraq. Their research demonstrates the transformative impact on every aspect of politics, economies, societies and states of these massive forced population movements, both within and across borders.
    Keywords: POMEPS Studies, Middle East, North Africa, Political science, International relations, Refugees, Forced migration
    Date Uploaded: 04/07/2018
  10. Politics, Governance, and Reconstruction in Yemen, POMEPS Studies 29 [Download]

    Title: Politics, Governance, and Reconstruction in Yemen, POMEPS Studies 29
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: Yemen’s war has become one of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophes. The preventable consequences of the war have been well-documented and the military conflict is now at a stalemate. For Yemenis, 2018 promises a sustained downward spiral. The war and humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen has received relatively little analytical or scholarly attention compared to the conflicts elsewhere in the region, such as Syria and Iraq. Both the Houthis and the Saudi-UAE coalition tightly control access for journalists and researchers, making up-to-date, on the ground research difficult. Media coverage is dominated by propaganda, reinforcing prevailing narratives of either Iranian encroachment or Saudi adventurism. These conditions have not been conducive to sustained, rigorous, empirically and theoretically informed analysis of Yemen. How have political coalitions and movements adapted to more than two years of war and economic devastation? How does governance actually work under the Houthis, the coalition, and in other areas of the country? How has the intervention changed the prospects of the southern secessionist movement? What prospects exist for a political agreement which might end the war? On November 10, the Project on Middle East Political Science convened a workshop on these questions with participants from Yemen, Europe, and the United States. The invited scholars and analysts all have longstanding research ties to the country, and most have been able to carry out very recent research inside the country. It is worth noting that assembling the workshop proved exceptionally challenging. The highly polarized political situation in Yemen extends to the analytical community, making publishing analysis a potential problem for Yemenis who live – or aspire to return – to Yemen. More directly, changing American travel regulations ultimately deterred numerous invited participants from attempting to reach Washington D.C., including several Yemeni scholars and several European scholars with deep experience in the region. While some participated virtually, the loss of a number of critically important Yemeni and European scholars from the workshop tangibly represents the broader cost to academia of these travel restrictions. Despite these obstacles, the workshop brought together a remarkable group of American, European, and Yemeni scholars. Their papers and workshop discussions offered insightful analysis into the central actors, alliances, and war dynamics, and how these are likely to shape whatever future agreement may arise in Yemen. This collection offers no clear path forward for policymakers. But it does draw on the depth of knowledge and detailed research conducted by an interdisciplinary group of scholars who have committed themselves to the study of Yemen and who doubtless hope that this research can help to inform policies that promote a peaceful resolution to this devastating war and an inclusive and sustainable process of rebuilding.
    Keywords: Middle East, North Africa, Political science, International relations, POMEPS Studies, Yemen
    Date Uploaded: 04/07/2018