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Strauss Distinguished Scholar Joshua Eisenman’s book, Red China’s Green Revolution: Technological Innovation, Institutional Change and Economic Development Under the Commune, was recently reviewed in Foreign Affairs and the Wall Street Journal. Columbia Professor Andrew Nathan captures Eisenman’s argument in this month’s Foreign Affairs, noting that “after the famine, and especially in the early 1970s, the reorganized communes fostered a green revolution that laid the basis for the rapid economic growth of the post-Mao era.” In the Wall Street Journal, Gerard Gayou called the book “a bold second look at one of history’s most infamous institutions.” Nathan highlights that Eisenman marshals previously inaccessible data to show how Mao’s communes modernized agriculture, increased productivity, and spurred and agricultural green revolution that laid the foundation for China’s future raid growth. Households’ meager surpluses were extracted, pooled, and reinvested in productive seeds, fertilizers and tractors via an agricultural research and extension system nested into each rural commune. Gayou also highlights Eisenman’s argument that “far from being doomed to low productivity and poor accountability, the Mao-era communes…paralleled a period of great productivity in China,” and were abandoned by Deng Xiaoping’s reform faction for primarily political reasons.  

In a recent article for Lawfare, Strauss Senior Fellow and Mexico Security Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow Jake Dizard analyzes the future of Mexican national security under new president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or, as he is known by the public and in the media, AMLO. Dizard suggests that although AMLO was elected by a “public that yearns for a dramatic change of direction,” AMLO’s plan for addressing ongoing violence in Mexico only deepens the state’s commitment to the militarized strategy that has proved unsuccessful since 2006.

In a recent article for The Global Post, the Intelligence Studies Project's Research Fellow Dr. Kiril Avramov analyzes Iranian influence operations and “stealth presence” in the Balkans. “Under the Radar: Iran’s ‘Stealth’ Presence on the Balkans” suggests that Iran’s quiet presence on the Balkans is not simply about strengthening political ties, expanding business interests, and facilitating trade. Rather, Tehran’s operations take advantage of the region’s lax security, weak institutions, corruption, and the absence of global intelligence or security agencies, successfully turning the Balkans into a logistical hub and geopolitical bridge to Central and Western Europe.

In her article, “A Commanding Problem: Historical Insight for Military Organizational Reform,” Strauss Distinguished Scholar Celeste Gventer highlights the importance of General Thomas’ speech at the Texas National Security Forum. General Thomas “questioned the suitability of the American system of geographical combatant commands for meeting the nation’s current and future security challenges.”

Steve Slick recently posted an essay in the Intelligence Studies series on the Lawfare national security website.  The ISP Director argued that "it is not too early to begin planning a turnaround for U.S. intelligence under a new chief executive who appreciates the IC’s unique capabilities, its fragile assets and essential contributions to America’s national security.”  The full text of the essay is here.

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