Luisa del Rosal comments on Mexican tech show at SXSW

SMU Tower Center Executive Director Luisa del Rosal was quoted by the Dallas Morning News in an article about the Mexican technology showcase at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin. “Mexico is showing, look what we can do together because we have talented people, and look at the people that can come here and invest in the U.S. and in Texas,” she said.

Read the full article here.

Tower Center Experts Weigh in on Texas Primaries

Tower Center Senior Fellows Matthew Wilson and Harold Clarke commented on the record-breaking Democratic turnout in the Texas primary March 6.

“Tuesday’s results are a cautionary result for everybody,” Wilson said in the Dallas Observer. He cautioned against generalizing about the results.

“There are still more Republican voters than Democrats,” Clarke said in the Caller Times. “I think that’s sort of a reality check for the Democrats about the hill they have to climb in Texas.”

Postdoctoral Fellow Danielle Lemi Published in Du Bois Review

Our Postdoctoral Fellow in Latino Public Policy Danielle Lemi had her work “Are Asian Americans who have Interracial Relationships Politically Distinct?” coauthored with Augustine Kposowa published by the Cambridge University Press’ Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. Lemi and Kposowa found that those with interracial partners are less likely to favor co-ethnic candidates, and are more likely to be concerned about race issues.

Read their full report.

Cal Jillson on the Democratic Surge in Texas Primaries

Tower Center Associate Cal Jillson was quoted in an NPR article discussing the rise of the Democratic vote in Texas primaries this past week.

“It’s one word — enthusiasm. In a midterm election like this, what you normally expect to see is the Republicans’ primary turnout might be twice what the Democratic turnout is, so to have the Democrats even with, and even slightly ahead, of Republicans in this midterm election is really extraordinary,” Jillson said.

Read the article here.

Alexander Betts: Don’t Make African Nations Borrow Money to Support Refugees

Tower Center Fellow Alexander Betts wrote an op-ed for Foreign Policy, “Don’t Make African Nations Borrow Money to Support Refugees.”  The United Nations offered to loan Tanzania $1 million to support refugees, but Tanzania rejected the offer saying rich countries need to donate money, not lend it to be helpful. Betts argues that the West needs to find an alternative solution to support refugees than to have already poor countries borrow from the World Bank.

“Tanzania’s announcement is a reminder that if the refugee system is to be sustainable, distant donor states must listen more attentively to the concerns of host countries,” Betts wrote.

Read his argument here.

Matthew Wilson: Ted Cruz Should Run Scared

Tower Center Senior Fellow Matthew Wilson was interviewed by Fox news about the rise of Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke and his senate campaign. Wilson believes incumbent Senator Ted Cruz has a strong base in Texas, but also that Cruz is wise to be wary of O’Rourke.

“I think Cruz should run scared, because any smart incumbent should run scared and never take anything for granted,” Wilson said.

You can watch the full video highlight produced by SMU here.

Carolyn Smith-Morris discusses the Flu Epidemic on KERA

Tower Center Associate Carolyn Smith-Morris was interviewed by KERA News Radio about her upcoming talk at SMU: “The 1918 Flu Epidemic: A 2018 Perspective” Feb. 22. Smith-Morris described her interviews with those who lived in Ebola-affected neighborhoods, and argues that humans essentially respond with the same sort of fear to all epidemic threats.

Continue reading Carolyn Smith-Morris discusses the Flu Epidemic on KERA

TC Associate Directs New Center for China Studies in Manchester

TC Associate Directs New CenterThe Tower Center is happy to announce that our associate Peter H. Gries has been chosen as director of a new center for China Studies at the University of Manchester. The center, made possible by a generous donation by philanthropist Dr. Lee Kai Hung, will be accompanied by a Chinese Culture Gallery, and will focus on research and public outreach.

Read more about the Center.

Fellows and Associates Research Highlights: Fall 2017

Dominique Baker, Associate
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • “Undergraduate debt’s role in shaping students’ futures,” TG (formerly Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation), June 2017.
    • “Borrowing to get ahead: Undergraduate debt’s effect on graduate school decision-making,” Stanford University Center for Education Policy Analysis, March 2017.
    • “Beyond the incident: Institutional predictors of student collective action,” Midwest Political Science Association, April 2017. (with Richard S. L. Blissett)
  • Papers, Publications, and Other Writings
    • Baker, D. J., & Doyle, W. R. (2017). Impact of community college student debt levels on credit accumulation. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 671(1), 132-153.
    • Flores, S. M., Park, T. J., & Baker, D. J. (2017). The racial college completion gap: Evidence from Texas. The Journal of Higher Education. Published online first.

Continue reading Fellows and Associates Research Highlights: Fall 2017

James Hollifield: Why Immigration Reform is so Hard

Tower Center Academic Director James F. Hollifield wrote an essay for the Bush Institute’s The Catalyst about the difficulty of immigration reform. He argues that international migration policy is a difficult problem to solve because of politically salient entry and exit laws, as well as questions of market influence and the impact of refugee-causing disasters.

“We must resolve these issues if we are to experience a virtuous cycle of greater openness, wealth, and human development, rather than falling back into a vicious cycle that leads the world into greater anarchy, poverty, disorder and war,” Hollifield wrote.

Read his essay here.