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  • Exodus from Horn of Africa

    Political and economic conditions cause refugees from the Horn of Africa to seek asylum in Europe and North America. The exodus is occurring despite economic growth in Ethiopia and signs of slight economic revival in Somalia.

    Ken Menkhaus
  • China's Rise

    Prof. Shelley Rigger explains how China's power is increasing worldwide—in its political influence, economy, and military. And the country's rapid growth has complicated things for Taiwan.

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  • Why did the Arab Spring Begin in Tunisia?

    No one expected the Arab Spring to begin in Tunisia. Prof. Chris Alexander covers the four critical changes that have taken place in the country over the last decade which lead to the uprising.

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  • War on Drugs

    Much of the conflict in the war on drugs occurs in Latin America, challenging governmental relations and leading to some pushback. Prof. Russell Crandall says hemispheric relations are further complicated as news spreads of U.S. states legalizing marijuana, while at the same time the U.S. is demanding aggressive efforts by Latin American countries to combat drugs.

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Policy Engagement

Many political science faculty members are active in policy and bring real-world examples and experience to their classrooms. Members of our faculty have worked on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and House of Representatives, in a United Nations Peace Operation, on the staff of the National Security Council, in the Department of Defense, at the U.S. Army War College, and in consultancies with the Department of State, USAID, the World Bank, the World Wildlife Fund, Resources for the Future, UNDP, and UNICEF, among others. Department members also have testified before Congress on multiple occasions.

The department also produces and/or supports policy-oriented research and advocacy through a number of think tanks, advocacy groups, foundations, and websites, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the US-China Foundation, the Enough Project, GoodGuide, and the Rift Valley Institute.

Our editorials and short policy pieces have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, the Christian Science Monitor, Le Monde, the Chicago Tribune, and the International Herald Tribune.

And we maintain an active role in radio and TV news media–department members have appeared on CNN-International, Fareed Zacharia's GPS Show on CNN, BBC, NPR's All Things Considered, NPR's The Diane Rhem Show, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News, Al Jazeera, PBS News Hour, NPR's Charlotte Talks, Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC, and WBT radio in Charlotte, among others.