In the context of the fourth anniversary of Libya’s February 17 revolution, Distinguished Scholar Alan Kuperman has written an article on the failures of NATO’s intervention in Libya for the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. Kuperman argues that this intervention did not lead to a successful democratic transition. Instead, it transformed the country into a failed state and a safe haven for radical militias with ties to al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The Libyan government is now split between two factions that control limited areas of the country’s territory, and the human rights situation has deteriorated to levels not experienced even during the Qaddafi regime.

New research from Strauss Center Distinguished Scholars in the fall addressed a range of pressing global issues, from the rise of ISIS and Russian aggression in Ukraine to U.S. energy independence and surveillance practices in the wake of the Snowden revelations. Strauss Center Distinguished Scholars come from departments across UT Austin's campus, comprising legal experts, historians, political scientists, business experts, and energy specialists. Below are find highlights of some of their recent research, spanning a wide range of topics and touching on some of the most pressing international events of the day.

A new series published by CCAPS and UT's Innovations for Peace and Development program explores food security vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa. The four briefs delve into the implications of food vulnerability, analyze measures of resilience, and provide policy recommendations for increasing food security on the continent.

CCAPS researchers Ashley Moran and Clionadh Raleigh, with co-author Yacob Mulugetta, published a new paper with the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate ChangeĀ (GMACCC), exploring how local-level conflict and environmental data can assist policymakers and researchers in assessing links between environmental patterns and violence.

In CCAPS Research Brief No. 24, researcher Cullen Hendrix analyses water security in the Sahel region by examining a specific case study: Niger. Hendrix argues that Niger illustrates how strained water resources in a country can be "a source both of conflict and cooperation."

In the most recent issue of Political Geography, CCAPS researchers Joshua Busby, Todd Smith, and Nisha Krishnan explore which regions of Africa are most vulnerable to climate change. To answer this question, they map a number of indicators, including hazards, community resilience, and governance capacity to locate the areas that are most vulnerable to climate stresses. The model, which uses new methods of normalizing data to retain higher levels of detail, finds Somalia, South Sudan, the eastern coasts of Madagascar and Mozambique, northern Nigeria, southern Mali, Burundi, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to be some of the most vulnerable regions on the continent. The full article can be accessed here.

Two new course modules from researchers with the Strauss Center's Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program seek to understand how climate change will impact two important sectors: urban environments and development aid.

In an article in the fall issue of Issues in Science and Technology, Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar and LBJ Professor Eugene Gholz examines whether or not the military's capacity for innovation is applicable to energy technology. In the article, "Military Innovation and the Prospects for Defense-Led Energy Innovation," Gholz provides a historical overview of the defense sector experience with technological innovation and explains the difficulties inherent in translating the Defense Department's (DoD) edge in military technology to energy innovation.

This month, Strauss Center Distinguished Scholars Dr. Catherine Weaver and Dr. Michael Findley published the first annual report of Innovations for Peace and Development (IPD), the research program they co-founded in January 2013 housed at the University of Texas at Austin. IPD's objective is to empower undergraduate and graduate students through research, internships, and fellowship opportunities that promote innovations in global peace and development. Thus far, 47 graduate and 87 undergraduate students have benefitted from the program. The complete report can be found here.

In a report published this month by the Council on Foreign Relations, LBJ Professor and Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar Eugene Gholz analyzes the case of China and Rare Earth Elements (REEs) and identifies lessons for policymakers in instances of raw materials imports. In his report, Rare Earth Elements and National Security, Gholz explains that while Chinese dominance in production of REEs should serve as an example of a "most-dangerous case," the risk to global markets and national security posed by alleged Chinese dominance is far lower than many fear.

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