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The “Year of Return” and the unintended consequences for Ghanaians


Ghana’s “Year of Return”, by its very nature, was bound to gain a considerable amount of positive press in the United States. The campaign encouraged descendants of the African diaspora to visit and invest in Ghana. For African Americans who struggle to locate their ancestral roots, the “Year of Return” provided a fresh opportunity to […]

Development and Economic Growth

Referendums Are Dangerous for Democracy


On 23 June 2016, 33.6 million people and I stepped into polling booths to answer a yes-or-no question that would define the United Kingdom for generations.[1] According to the “Vote Leave” campaign, this was our opportunity to “take back control” and release the country from the unrelenting grip of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.[2] God forbid, […]

The legacy of microfinance: does it live up to its hype?


The origin story of microfinance began with Muhammad Yunus, a Professor of Economics who returned from the US to teach in his native Bangladesh. Amid high poverty rates, he found himself questioning how economic theory could address the immediate needs of the poor around him. He started experimenting with lending small sums of money to […]

Not So Plum: The Shortcomings of the Plum Book and Tracking Political Appointments


Introduction “Personnel is policy” was a popular motto in the Reagan administration. Today, the phrase continues to ring true as political appointments remain vacant and appointees are hired to run agencies that they once wanted to dismantle.[1],[2] Presidents have immense power to influence the policy-making process through their personnel choices. Most of the federal government’s […]

Democracy and Governance

Why a Traditional Austerity Plan Would Exacerbate Lebanon’s Woes – upcoming preview of JMEPP’s spring edition, Arab Uprisings: The Second Wave


“Why a Traditional Austerity Plan Would Exacerbate Lebanon’s Woes” is a piece from and first preview of JMEPP’s Spring 2020 Edition, Arab Uprisings: The Second Wave, written by our Managing Editor for Political Economy and Security, Mounir Mahmalat.   ABSTRACT Following the eruption of mass protests in autumn 2019, Lebanon’s economy sled into a deep financial and economic […]

Past the Pilot Stage: Policy Makers Must Consider Impacts of Police Body-Worn Cameras beyond Accountability


In September 2013, attorney Scott Greenwood of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said of police use of body-worn cameras, “You don’t want to give officers a list and say, ‘Only record the following 10 types of situations.’ You want officers to record all the situations, so when a situation does go south, there’s an […]

The Invisible Work of Girls: Inside the Life of Female Child Labor in Ghana


  *The names of the subjects in this article have been changed to protect their identity. A heavy stench of sewage permeates the air where 11-year-old Amina roams in search of change. With tattered sandals and stained clothing nearly sliding off her frail frame, she entertains herself by kicking dust on a busy, trash-filled street […]

Groundbreaking D.C. Statehood Congressional Hearing


For the first time in 25 years, the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on D.C. statehood.[1] Though over 700,000 people live in our nation’s capital, D.C. is represented by just one non-voting delegate in the House and no one in the Senate.[2][3] On September 19, 2019, months after the Democratic Party gained control […]

Revamping the jury duty system: updating jury duty for a modern, diverse America


An exception for students “freed” me from jury duty last year. Before my exception was confirmed though, I did some research in preparation of fulfilling this so-called civic duty. I learned three key lessons: (1) the jury wheel (list of all potential jurors) has as many representative gaps as a block of swiss cheese; (2) […]

Using Blockchain for Immutable Mediation and Autonomous Governance


Introduction Blockchain is the decentralized system that underpins cryptocurrencies. It offers a secure and impartial platform that can store vast amounts of transactional data for any asset that can be digitized. It cannot be manipulated or hacked due to its complex security features and the legacy of transactions that promote continuity, much like real objects […]

Government as a Platform: How Policy Makers Should Think about the Foundations of Digital Public Infrastructure


For all the promise of digital government, it has done very little in the Western world to fundamentally alter the structure or processes of the state. Through much of its history, the primary goal of modernization and digitization has been to automate repetitive work or back-office tasks. The paper form became an electronic survey; the […]

The Management of Threats in Singapore: Civil-Military Integration


In this paper, Isaac Neo explores why Singapore’s historical experience with high levels of internal and external threat have not resulted in degraded civilian control over the military, despite existing Civil-Military Relations models predicting such an outcome. He argues this is due to the effective demarcation of responsibility between civilian institutions and the Singapore Armed Forces, along the lines of internal and external threat management. This is reinforced by the subordination of the military to a broader notion of security through the Total Defence framework. Lastly, there is a sustained effort to civilianise the military sphere, through National Service and other administrative structures.

International Relations and Security

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