Tower Center Welcomes Luisa del Rosal as Executive Director

delRosalThe Tower Center and Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center have named Luisa del Rosal as their new executive director.

“I am honored to return to the Tower Center for Political Studies as its executive director and to serve as the founding executive director of the newly established Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center,” Del Rosal said in a press release. “Leading these centers enables me to contribute to the regional, national and global reach of SMU.”

Read the full press release here. Para Español oprime aquí.

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Tower Center Fellow Sionaidh Douglas-Scott interviewed by Chatham House

Tower Center Fellow and constitutional law expert Sionaidh Douglas-Scott was interviewed by Agnes Frimston for Chatham House’s publication The World Today to explain the complicated course ahead for the UK as it negotiates its exit from Europe.

Read her interview here.

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Talmage Boston Interviewed on Fox 4’s Good Day

Tower Center Board Member and historian Talmage Boston was interviewed on Fox 4’s Good Day segment “What makes a great president?”

Boston’s new book Cross-Examining History comes out in September, and he will give a talk at the Tower Center Nov. 30 at noon.

Watch his interview here.

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Tower Chair Joshua Rovner discusses U.S. strategy, Middle East in new book

Tower Chair Joshua Rovner wrote a chapter discussing U.S. strategy and the Middle East called “After America: The Flow of Persian Gulf Oil in the Absence of the U.S. Military Force” for Crude Strategy, published by Georgetown University Press, and edited by Charles Glaser and Rosemary Kelanic.

Read more >>

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Tower Center Associate Edward Rincón’s research featured in the Dallas Morning News

Tower Center Associate Edward T. Rincón was featured in the Dallas Morning News for his research company’s recent study on the affects of Latino population growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on different markets.

The Pew Research Center reported that Latino internet usage increased from 64 percent in 2009 to 84 percent in 2015. Rincón & Associates found that in the Dallas area, Latino internet usage has almost doubled since 2011, according to the Morning News.

Read the full article here:

Why the digital divide between Latinos, Whites is almost closed

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Tower Center Associate Edward T. Rincón Finds Latino Growth is Leading to Market Disruption in Dallas-Fort Worth

Tower Center Associate Edward T. Rincón found Latino growth is leading to market disruption in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in a recent study completed by Rincón & Associates LLC.

“The Dallas/Fort Worth marketplace is under-going significant changes in the choices being made by Latinos. Selected retailers are responding to these changes, but many others are relying on old data or assumptions.”

Read the full press release here.

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Dr. Jim Hollifield | Evolving Migration Crisis in Europe

The Tower Center’s very own Dr. Jim Hollifield, Director of the Tower Center and Public Policy Fellow of the Wilson Center, recently appear on Wilson Center NOW with John Milewski. See the full video discussion below or at at the Wilson Centers website.

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Click Here to Watch on the Wilson Center Website

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In Case You Missed It | Senior Fellow Dr. Pia Orrenius on Immigration in the Dallas Morning News

Tower Center Senior Fellow, Dallas Federal Reserve Vice President and Senior Economist Pia Orrenius recently published an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News Mid-April. As the Presidential campaign season ramps up, immigration remains as a hot issue for candidates to weigh in on and Pia’s article will help readers look into the facts and claims surrounding the debate.

Immigration has emerged as a top issue in the presidential campaign. The timing is odd, since immigration into the United States has slowed sharply. Issuance of green cards, or permanent resident visas, to new arrivals has been largely flat since 2008, but dipped in 2013 to a six-year low.

Illegal immigration is near record lows, with migrant apprehensions along the Southwest border at levels last seen in the 1970s. Temporary work-based visas have risen slightly in recent years but remain below their 2007 peak. Plotting visas and migrant apprehensions as a share of the nation’s working-age population, reinforces the point that immigration is slowing in both absolute and relative terms… Click Here to Read More

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Dr. Jim Hollifield | Beyond Migration: The Refugee Crisis in Europe and the Challenges of Immigrant Integration

The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Science Studies’s very own Dr. Jim Hollifield recently spoke at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s event “Beyond Migration: The Refugee Crisis in Europe and the Challenges of Immigrant Integration” alongside Dr. Henry J. Barkey, the Director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center and Dr. Riva Kastoryano.

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Beyond Migration: The Refugee Crisis in Europe and the Challenges of Immigrant Integration

Despite decades of immigration, even the most multicultural countries in Europe are struggling with the scale of the current refugee crisis, and the challenge of integrating the newcomers. This crisis, one of Europe’s biggest of the past century, has the potential to alter the political fabric of the continent and undermine the foundation of post-WWII transnational institutions. The political and humanitarian consequences of the EU’s deal with Turkey have drawn much attention. But what about those refugees who have already made the trip and are now settling in Europe, if only temporarily? Looking back, what lessons can European governments learn from successes and failures in integrating earlier generations of immigrants? Join us for a discussion of the dilemmas of immigration control in Europe, as well as the longer-term issues of immigrant integration, identity, and belonging.

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Student Matthew Reitz interviewed Karisa Cloward about her first book, “When Norms Collide”

9780190274917Karisa Cloward, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Associate of the Tower Center, recently published her first book “When Norms Collide: Local Responses to Activism Against Female Genital Mutilation and Early Marriage.” In her groundbreaking research, Cloward explores the clash between international norms that respect women’s rights and local norms that favor female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage as cultural norms. For activist groups and NGOs seeking to change the behavior of these African and Middle Eastern communities, Cloward identifies several important trends and key findings.

One trend focuses on the diversity of the communities involved. In heterogeneous communities, it is much easier to bring change due to the melding of different cultures and beliefs, while homogenous societies were much more resistant to change due to the cultural factor. One of the central forces opposing change in homogenous cultures is that it’s hard for uncircumcised women to get married. Homogenous cultures have many varying beliefs about uncircumcised women, which are untested, that create social pressures for women to undergo FGM. No single activist strategy will match every culture, and activist strategies should account for this. Some cultures see FGM as a rite of passage to womanhood while others see religious significance in it, and many NGOs unfortunately lump these different viewpoints together.

Thus, according to Cloward, local elites should be included in anti-FGM and anti-early marriage efforts alongside current efforts. Convincing the women who undergo FGM raises awareness, but getting the support of local elites helps speed up the cultural change. If the elites of the society, the leaders plus prominent cultural and religious figures, are convinced, it is far easier for the culture to shift in a direction that matches international norms of women’s rights. Many NGOs focus solely on the women directly affected, but the women are not the decision-makers.

Additionally, while there is a lot of public awareness on the international stage surrounding FGM, Cloward points out the need for more awareness of the harm of early marriage. Whereas FGM conjures a shocking, visceral image of immediate harm, early marriage does more harm to women on the long-term. Women subjected to early marriage typically have earlier pregnancies which is dangerous due to the body not being fully developed and the lack of adequate healthcare. Early marriage is typically undertaken for economic reasons, as dowries are seen as a method of settling debts or exchanging goods. For this reason, conditions like drought or poor harvests are correlated with increases in early marriages. International attention only recently began to pay attention to early marriage and more is needed to be done to address the issue.

In sum, Cloward’s book explores responses to activism surrounding female genital mutilation and early marriage. Both FGM and early marriage have international attention surrounding them but more needs to be done to truly make change. NGOs should divert their efforts towards the community elites and customize their message to the community rather than attempt a one-size-fits-all solution. FGM, while the more immediate and visceral of the two in terms of harm, is equally as important to combat as early marriage. Basing activist factors on community-factors will ultimately do more to combat FGM and early marriage and help spread international norms of women’s rights to communities throughout Africa and the Middle East.


Matthew Reitz is from Colleyville, Texas and is majoring in political science and financial consulting. Matthew is in the University Honors program and the Mustang 11 spirit group. He is also a Hilltop Scholar and has served as an inaugural member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps. He serves as the President of Cockrell-McIntosh Commons and is an active member of the Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity. His key interest is researching and developing policy for US international affairs in the East-Asia region that correspond to US national security and economic interests. He plans to pursue a career in the US government after completing graduate school.

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