25 Years of McCuistion: Immigration Policy from 1990-2015

This news story first appeared on February 16, 2015 . For more information, click here.

Tower Center Senior Fellow, Pia M. Orrenius is Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Immigration policy is the subject of this McCuistion Program episode. Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to continue the Immigration question on part two of our three part series are guests:

  • Richard A. Gump Jr. PC, Owner:  Immigration Law
  • Pia Orrenius PhD, – V.P. and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
    Adjunct Professor, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University
    Author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization,
  • Hipolito Acosta- Former District Director U.S. Citizenship and Immigration, Houston
    Author of The Shadow Catcher

Immigration is part of the founding myth of the United States which has gone through several immigration waves in its short history. Its first; the founding colonial wave, which was largely English. Since, we’ve had the primarily German/Irish wave of 1820-1870 with German immigration the largest to date, comprising 15% of all our immigration. The third wave took place from the 19th century to World War I. Today we’re in our fourth wave.

Click here to watch the video

Immigration policy has become ever more complex; as a human rights issue, jobs and economic issue, welfare issue, a cultural and a national security issue. Despite the succession of laws it still remains problematic. A 1986 law gave 3 million undocumented aliens some legalized status and had provisions to fine employers who abused the system by employing undocumented aliens.

A 1990 law expanded the number of family based visas that were being issued and resulted in the highest rate of immigrants in decades- 10-11 million people. Another law in 1996 added reinforcement provisions, more benefits were granted; even more enforcement to authorities and considerably more resources along our borders. Still illegal immigration continues; the complexity increases and our policies are still deficient.

When speaking of immigration policy, our experts challenge us to  remember why so many people immigrate to the United States, in spite of the obstacles put in their way. The answer is partly opportunity – and economic and other freedoms.  Research shows that it’s high skilled immigration which has the highest payoff for our economy. Still, as always there’s demand and supply so programs that work need to be in place to bring both the highly skilled and not so skilled into the United States, albeit  legally.

Is there one solution to our immigration policy dilemma? Secure borders, enforce the law, strong interior enforcement? The U.S. needs more comprehensive laws and  better enforcement. President Obama’s executive order helps families and offers employer reforms but is that enough to resolve the growing issue?

It’s a lively discussion on immigration policy and we go back several years with excerpts from previous programs on immigration, which include comments from: Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, James F. Hollifield, PhD, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Tower Center of Political Studies at SMU and “Tom” Tancredo, former congressman, Colorado, (R).

Thanks for joining us in our 25th year of talking about things that matter with people who really care.

Click here to watch the video


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Joshua Rovner | The Foreign Policy Essay: Hidden Victories

This news story first appeared on February 8, 2015 . For more information, click here.

Joshua Rovner is the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics and National Security. He is the author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011).

DSC_7285President Obama fails all the time. That is the verdict of the op-ed pages, at least. His foreign policy is a muddle. His decisions to exit from Afghanistan and Iraq were disastrously premature. His responses to terrorism, Syria, Iran, and Russia revealed weakness. His response to the rise of China is a massive failure based on wishful thinking. America’s standing in the world is in steep decline because of all these errors.

Of course, the situation was no better in the last administration. Our summary judgment about President Bush is more or less summarized in the titles of two popular books from the time: Hubris and Fiasco. Our summary judgment of President Clinton was that he lacked any conception of grand strategy, concentrated on domestic policy at the expense of foreign affairs, and otherwise took a “holiday from history.” And we can go back much further. Indeed, read the news from any era and you may get the feeling that the United States is incapable of coherent foreign policy, that it is devoid of serious strategic thinkers, and that its whole history is a depressing catalog of blunders. Yet somehow we ended up as the world’s most prosperous and powerful country.

To be clear, the United States is certainly capable of blunders. Americans frequently misunderstand foreign crises but plow into them nonetheless. They are also capable of nationalist back-slapping and heroic myth-making that obscure the limits of American power. And sometimes they throw good money after bad in foolhardy attempts to rescue ill-conceived policies. We should not ignore these errors, however tragic and demoralizing. Exploring the causes and consequences of strategic failure is a necessary antidote to hubris.

But the United States has also done some things very well, blending activism and restraint in order to deal with present threats without getting mired in unsolvable long-term quagmires. It is historically secure and prosperous, and its position in the world is not simply a matter of geography or luck. For a number of reasons, however, we often fail to acknowledge our own triumphs. This has major implications. For analysts, the focus on failure makes it difficult to understand the sources of success. For policymakers, it encourages abandoning successful strategies and replacing them with bad ones. This leads to overreach, not because of victory fever but because of the inability to recognize victory in the first place.

Consider the conflict with Iraq during the 1990s. The decade began with the first Gulf War, which many worried would be an atrocious bloodbath. At the time, Iraq boasted the fourth-largest army in the world, battle-tested in the long war with Iran. Saddam Hussein was ruthless and aggressive, and the Iraqis had proven willing to suffer horrendous casualties rather than capitulate to their enemies. But Operation Desert Storm was a stunningly rapid victory with a historically low casualty rate for the U.S.-led coalition. In the process it destroyed the bulk of Iraq’s conventional military capabilities, and the sanctions that remained on Iraq over the next decade shattered Iraq’s economy and prevented it from rebuilding. During the 1990s, +weapons inspectors also located and destroyed Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons and caused Iraq to shelve its nuclear ambitions. Most important, Saddam Hussein’s behavior changed during that time. Before Desert Storm he harbored dreams of expanding Iraq’s regional power, but after the war he focused on holding on to power at home.

The irony was that as all this was happening, U.S. officials began to worry that Iraq was “winning the peace.” As long as Saddam remained in place, and as long as he spouted belligerent rhetoric, they feared that whatever gains they made against Iraq were temporary at best. Fears about the deterioration of the sanctions regime were overblown, and in any case even a complete collapse of sanctions would not have mattered much. Iraq’s economy was so thoroughly demolished by the end of the decade that Saddam had no chance of restoring its previous strength, regardless of whether he had unfettered access to international markets. Fears that Iraq would resuscitate its nuclear program were also exaggerated, because they downplayed the resources needed to achieve even a modest nuclear weapons capability. Nonetheless, despite abundant evidence that Iraq was a shell of its former self and that it posed no real threat to anyone, officials became increasingly convinced that stability and security in the Persian Gulf were only possible if Saddam was removed. So they removed him. What followed was a terrible civil war, which is now in its second decade.

The war on al Qaeda followed a similar pattern. The United States rapidly and decisively shattered Osama bin Laden’s original organization. This was important, because vintage al Qaeda was unique among terrorist groups: it was rich, well organized, led by a charismatic figure, and dedicated to killing large numbers of American civilians. Dismantling that group was the most important task in the aftermath of 9/11, for which the Bush administration deserves a great deal of credit. Unfortunately, that administration was unwilling to settle for a limited victory. Instead, it launched a quixotic nation-building effort and became deeply involved in the fractured politics of Afghanistan. At the same time it decided to pursue an open-ended “war on terror” rather than a straightforward war on al Qaeda. By targeting far-flung terrorists with no direct connection to the perpetrators of 9/11, it set the stage for an ambiguous conflict with no end in sight.

The tendency to ignore success also has implications for U.S. foreign policy and great power politics. Consider the Obama administration’s handling of the Ukraine crisis. Russia’s decision to annex Crimea and support separatists in Eastern Ukraine led the Obama administration to enact a series of escalating sanctions against Moscow, but it was cautious about intervening in a way that would put it squarely in the ongoing conflict. At the time, some criticized the administration for timidity and argued that Vladimir Putin was outmaneuvering the president and undoing the post-Cold War order in Europe. But the Obama administration’s approach has worked. Russia’s actions spooked investors, leading to a stock market and currency crisis and a staggering wave of capital flight. Recent estimates suggest that as much as $150 billion left the country last year, and U.S. sanctions compounded Russia’s economic pain. On top of all that was the collapse in oil prices, which has made it extremely difficult for Moscow to weather the storm. Among other things, the loss in revenue will probably force Russia to scale back its ambitious military modernization program. And while Russia’s economic and military power is eroding, its aggressiveness breathed new life into NATO and made its neighbors desperate to strengthen ties to the United States. Thus, Russia simultaneously weakened itself and united its rivals.

The Obama administration appears to have recognized Russia’s self-defeating behavior for what it was. While critics worried that Putin was “running circles” around the White House, the administration’s patient approach has exacted a huge toll from Russia at minimal cost. Of course, this means that Washington is willing to tacitly accept that Crimea will never go back to Ukraine. There is also risk involved: a desperate Putin might gamble for resurrection by lashing out against NATO allies along Russia’s western border. But the administration has clearly drawn the line in the Baltics and is working to deter Russia from going forward there. So far this combined strategy—economic sanctions against Russia plus deterrent threats to protect the alliance—has allowed Washington to avoid a costly intervention while letting Russia exhaust itself.

Limited success isn’t enough for some, however, and prominent critics continue to call for more robust U.S. efforts to assist Kiev, including providing military assistance. It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration or its successor will be able to resist this pressure.

Dealing with China may prove to be the biggest test of all. U.S. success in East Asia is one of the great underappreciated triumphs of the last half century. Successive administrations have managed to deter China from attacking Taiwan, while simultaneously restraining Taiwan from declaring independence. Such a provocation would likely shatter the framework of triangular deterrence that has sustained the peace for decades. Although each case is unique, U.S. relations with all of its Asian allies rely on this basic concept. The United States offers them protection while taking steps to discourage them from doing anything that might lead to a serious crisis with China. As a result, understanding how the United States succeeded in standing between Taiwan and China is critical for developing the United States’ diplomatic approach to the region as a whole.

There are reasons to believe that Washington will change course, however. For instance, U.S. officials might conclude that the past offers little guidance given China’s growing economic and military strength. New circumstances might require an unequivocal declaration of U.S. support in order to reassure increasingly nervous allies. While this is not an unreasonable argument, it risks overstating the degree to which China is actually catching up to the United States. China has clearly made important gains, but it also faces gigantic economic and demographic problems, and there is evidence that the United States is actually increasing its overall lead. If this is true, than the Obama administration and its successors need not abandon the approach that has served it so well for so long. But as with the other cases, everything depends on whether they are able to recognize success in the first place.

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Ambassador Jordan | New Saudi ruler King Salman bin Abdulaziz

Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Tower Center Senior Fellow, Robert Jordan, comments on the succession of Arab King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

This news story first appeared on January 22, 2015. For more information, click here.

(Reuters) – The death on Friday of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah means Salman bin Abdulaziz has become the country’s new ruler and the last to be born before the discovery of oil in the world’s top crude exporter.

As king, Salman, thought to be 79, will have to navigate regional turmoil caused by wars in Iraq and Syria, as well as a bitter rivalry with Shi’ite Muslim power Iran and a lingering threat from an al Qaeda wing in neighboring Yemen.

His crown prince will be his youngest half brother Prince Muqrin, a former intelligence chief who was appointed as deputy crown prince in March.

A reputed moderate with a deft understanding of the competing demands of conservative clerics, powerful tribes and an increasingly youthful population, Salman will also have the final say on social and economic reforms started under Abdullah.

“It appeared to me he had a good handle on the delicate balancing act he had to do to move society forward while being respectful of its traditions and conservative ways,” said Robert Jordan who was U.S. ambassador in Riyadh from 2001-03.

A physically imposing figure, Salman controls one of the Arab world’s largest media groups. He believes that democracy is ill-suited to the conservative kingdom and advocates caution on social and cultural reform, according to a 2007 U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

For nearly 50 years Salman was governor of Riyadh Province, a role that involved working closely with both conservative traditionalists and liberal technocrats as he oversaw the development of the Saudi capital from a small desert town to a major metropolis.

However, when two elder full-brothers, crown princes Sultan and Nayef died within a year of each other, Salman was appointed first Defense Minister and then heir apparent.

The defense portfolio involved running the kingdom’s top-spending ministry, which used massive arms purchases to bolster ties with allies such as the United States, Britain and France.

He has been part of the inner circle of the al-Saud ruling family, which founded and still dominates the desert kingdom in alliance with conservative religious clerics, for decades.

In a royal family that bases its right to rule on its guardianship of Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, Salman is reputed to be devout and relatively outward-looking.

“He’s intelligent, political, in touch with the conservative base but also quite modern-minded,” said a former diplomat in Riyadh interviewed about the kingdom’s succession process.


As governor of Riyadh from 1962 until 2011, Salman had more to do with foreign governments than many senior royals.

The role also meant he was responsible for arbitrating disputes between quarreling members of the ruling family, putting him at the center of the kingdom’s most important power structure.

The governor’s office overlooks Riyadh’s most appealing square where, if he worked on Fridays, he would have been able to watch as an executioner publicly beheaded malefactors.

In a meeting with the U.S. ambassador in March 2007, described in a cable released by WikiLeaks, Salman said the social and cultural reforms instigated by King Abdullah had to move slowly for fear of a conservative backlash.

He also argued against the introduction of democracy in the kingdom, citing regional and tribal divisions, and told the ambassador that a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was necessary for Middle East stability.

Jordan said Prince Salman had initially refused to believe Saudis participated in the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, but his attitude changed in the face of increasingly solid evidence that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

“He doesn’t blindly accept everything the United States says, but at the same time he understands the importance of the relationship, which goes beyond oil,” Jordan said.


With his strong, bearded features, Salman is the prince who is said to resemble his father, King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, more closely than do any of his brothers.

Ibn Saud recaptured his family’s old stronghold of Riyadh in 1902 with a small group of followers fired by an austere vision of Islam, setting off a three-decade campaign of conquest that carved out the modern borders of a kingdom founded in 1932.

As one of the so-called “Sudairi seven” – the brothers born to Ibn Saud by his favorite wife Hassa bint Ahmed al-Sudairi – Salman has been at the center of royal power for decades.

His full brothers in a family of more than 30 half-brothers include the late King Fahd and Crown Princes Sultan and Nayef, and former interior minister Prince Ahmed.

Salman was born in 1936 in Riyadh, then a mud-brick oasis town deep in the interior of a new kingdom that had not yet discovered oil, depending instead on revenue from pilgrims to Mecca and Medina, date farming and camel herding.

Yet one son, Prince Sultan bin Salman, became the first Arab astronaut, flying on the U.S. space shuttle Discovery in 1985.

Prince Sultan is now the kingdom’s tourism minister while another son, Prince Abdulaziz, is the deputy oil minister.

In his five decades administering Riyadh and its surroundings, Salman oversaw the development of the capital from a large desert town into a metropolis of 4.6 million people.

Prince Salman was taught in the “princes’ school” set up in Ibn Saud’s palace by the imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca, signaling the importance that Ibn Saud attached to the centrality of pure Islamic belief in the kingdom he created.

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Tower Center Director, James Hollifield has been appointed as a Public Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center

rez-jholliWe are pleased to announce that Dr. James F. Hollifield, Director of the Tower Center, has been appointed as a Public Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. for 2015-2016.

During his sabbatical at the Wilson Center, Professor Hollifield will be completing a book entitled THE MIGRATION STATE, a study of how states manage migration for strategic gains.

Dr. Joshua Rovner, Tower Chair and Director of Studies will serve as interim director in Professor Hollifield’s absence.

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Dallas Morning News Interviews Tower Center Program Director Luisa del Rosal


Tower Center Programs and External Relations Director, Luisa del Rosal (center), is featured in a Dallas Morning News series about young professionals from Mexico starting new ventures. Read article here and view video interview here .

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John A. Booth, Associate

  • Papers and Publications
    • Book, Latin American Political Culture: Public Opinion and Democracy. John A. Booth & Patricia Bayer Richard, Congressional-Sage Publications, 2015.
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • “Central America, 2014” Houston Seminar, Houston, TX, November 24, 2014.
    • “Latin American Political Culture” and “Central America’s Current Crisis” SOUTHCOM Theater Course, United States Air Force, Cannon AFB, Clovis, NM, December 2, 2014.

Caroline B. Brettell, Fellow

  • Papers and Publications
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • “Perspectives on Nation Unbound: The Transnational Migration Paradigm in the Current Conjuncture” Vrije University, Amsterdam, October 2014.

Karisa Cloward, Associate

  • Papers and Publications
    • “False Commitments: Local Misrepresentation and the International Norms Against Female Genital Mutilation and Early Marriage.” International Organization 68(3): 495-526, 2014.
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • Presentation, “The NGO Life Cycle: Organizational Birth and Death in the Kenyan Development Sector” The annual meeting of the African Studies Association, Indianapolis, IN, November 21, 2014.
    • Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute Fellows Seminar, Co-organizer, “Global Africa: Between Intervention and Engagement” 2014-2015.

Christopher Jenks, Associate

Robert Jordan, Senior Fellow

  • Papers and Publications
    • Book, Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11. Accepted for publication by Potomac Books.

Jeffrey D. Kahn, Fellow

  • Papers and Publications
    • The Law is a Causeway: Metaphor & the Rule of Law in Russia, in The Legal Doctrines of the Rule of Law & the Legal State (Rechtsstaat)(Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law & Justice, Vol. 38) 229-250 (Silkenat, Hickey, & Barenboim, eds., Springer, 2014).
    • How Federal Is The Russian Federation? (with Trochev & Balayan) in Federalism & Legal Unification: A Comparative Empirical Investigation of Twenty Systems (Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law & Justice, Vol. 28) 355-390 (Halberstam & Reimann, eds., 2014).
  • Additional Writings
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • Presentation on “Robert Bolt, Vaclav Havel, and the Rule of Law in Russia,” in the roundtable “The Rule of Law, Business, and Crime: Law and Politics in Russia and Kazakhstan,” 46th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, San Antonio, Texas, November 22, 2014.
    • Presentation on “The Khodorkovsky Case, Collateral Attacks, and the Rule of Law,” 14th Annual Aleksanteri Conference on Restructuring State and Society in Russia, University of Helsinki, Finland, October 24, 2014.
    • Chair and panelist, “Citizenship and the Right to Travel: A Legal History of the Relationship from before the Passport to after the No Fly List,” 8th Annual European Consortium for Political Research, University of Glasgow, Sept. 4, 2014.
    • Invited Lecture entitled “The Khodorkovsky Saga, Power Politics and Legal Reform in Russia,” International Institute for Strategic Studies, Arundel House, London, Sept. 3, 2014.
    • Invited Panelist, 22nd Annual Teaching Effective Symposium, SMU, August 21, 2014.
    • 30-minute radio interview, “Lawsuit Over Federal Watch List,” Bloomberg Law, August 18, 2014.
    • Keynote Speaker, “The Past, Present, & Future of the No Fly List,” Weil Gotshal, Dallas, Aug. 13, 2014.
    • Public lecture entitled, “Liberty and Security at 30,000 Feet: Freedom of Movement and the No Fly List,” Dallas Public Library Preston-Royal Branch, August 7, 2014.
    • Invited Panelist, Fugh Symposium on Law and Military Operations, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Department of the Army, Charlottesville, VA, May 14, 2014.

LaiYee Leong, Fellow

  • Appointments
    • Fellow at the SMU Center for Presidential History to work on its Collective Memory Project (lead researcher and interviewer for US “Post-9/11 Policy in East and Southeast Asia).

Michael McLendon, Fellow

  • Papers and Publications
    • McLendon, M. K., D. Tandberg, & N. Hillman. (2014). Financing college opportunity: Factors influencing state spending on student financial aid and campus appropriations from 1990 to 2012. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 655, 143-162.
    • McLendon, M. K., & L. W. Perna. (2014). State policies and higher education attainment. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 655, 6-15.
    • Perna, L. W., M. Klein, & M. K. McLendon. (2014). State Policies and higher education attainment: Insights and implications for state policymakers. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 655, 209-230.
    • McLendon, M. K., L. Cohen-Vogel, & J. Wachen. (2014). Understanding education policymaking and policy change in the American states: Learning from contemporary policy theory. In L. Fusarelli, J. Cibulka, & B. Cooper (Eds.). Handbook of Education Politics and Policy (2nd ed.).
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • Presenter, “The Rhetoric and the Reality of State Performance Funding in U.S. Higher Education.” Association for the Study of Higher Education, Washington, D.C.
    • Presenter,“Financing American Higher Education: Revolution, Evolution, or More of the Same?” SMU Faculty Club 2014 Distinguished Lecture, SMU.
    • Presenter, “Lessons in Leadership from the Summer of 1940.” Faculty keynote to the Hart Global Leaders Forum, SMU.
    • Presenter, “What Will the College Student Experience Look Like in the 21st Century?” Education Writers Association’s Annual Higher Education Seminar, SMU.

Edward T. Rincón, Associate

  • Papers and Publications
    • “Texas:  Quality of Life at the Crossroads.” Public policy paper co-authored by Marcos G. Ronquillo and Edward T. Rincón.  August 18, 2014.
    • “Raising the bar in health-related research.”  Viewpoint article, HispanicAd.com, May 20, 2014.
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • Presenter, “Marketing and Demographic Trends of the U.S. Latino Population,”  Universidad Autonoma del Estado de México,  October 2014.
    • Presenter, “Designing Survey for Diverse U.S. Audiences,”  workshop presented to Parametro Research staff in Tuluca México, October 2014.
    • “D-FW law firms employ few Hispanic lawyers, study finds.” Media coverage regarding our Legal Watch Dallas study, Dallas Morning News, Natalie Postgate and Mark Curriden, 2014.
  • Media Appearances
    • “Shortsighted Business Law Firms Ignoring Hispanic Business Growth.” Media coverage regarding the Legal Watch Dallas study, www.Texaslawbook.net, Natalie Postgate and Mark Curriden, 2014.

Carolyn Smith-Morris, Associate

  • Papers and Publications
    • Smith-Morris, Carolyn, Gilberto Lopez, Lisa Ottomanelli, Lance Goetz, and Kim Dixon-Lawson. “Ethnography, Fidelity, and the Evidence that Anthropology Adds: Supplementing the Fidelity Process in a Clinical Trial of Supported Employment”. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 28(2): 141-161.
    • Smith-Morris, Carolyn and Jenny Epstein. “Beyond Cultural Competency: Skill, Reflexivity, and Structure in Successful Tribal Health Care”. In Special Issue Cultural Capital and Health in Native American Communities, Jennie Joe and Robert Young (Eds). American Indian Culture & Research Journal 38(1): 29-48.
  • Grants, Fellowships, Awards
    • PI. National Science Foundation #1502792 ($28,500). “Cultural Patterns in Crisis-Induced Stigma: Ebola in two Dallas Neighborhoods”.
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • Community Action Research Track (CART) lecture for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern.  “Social Determinants of Health”.  May 14, 2014.  UTSW Campus, Dallas, TX.

Mary Spector, Associate

  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • Panelist,  Credit Reporting Issues Among Limited English Proficiency Latinos, Federal Trade Commission/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Roundtable on Debt Collection and the Latino Community, Long Beach, CA, October 23, 2014.
    • Presenter, Bellow Scholar Workshop, University of Notre Dame Law School, Fort Bend, IN, October 17-18, 2014.
    • Panelist, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Credit Cards (but Were Afraid to Ask,) American Bankruptcy Institute, CARE Financial Literacy Conference, Dallas, TX, September 12, 2014.
    • Panelist,  Making the Most of Consumer Clinics, Teaching Consumer Law Conference, Santa Fe, NM, May 30, 2014.
    • Presenter, Can Empirical Research in our Clinics Help us Become Better Clinicians? (with Judith Fox and Michael Gregory), American Association of Law Schools, 37th Annual Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Chicago, IL,  April 29, 2014.

Hiroki Takeuchi, Senior Fellow

Bernard L. Weinstein, Associate

  • Papers and Publications
    • The Keystone/Gulf Coast Pipeline System: A Catalyst for American Jobs and Energy Security, Maguire Energy Institute, May 2014.
    • The Financial Outlook for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority: Challenges and Opportunities, Maguire Energy Institute, November 2014.
    • “Can the U.S. Government Revive Nuclear Power?” Wall St. Journal, November 24, 2014.
    • “Corporate Inversions a Symptom of Dysfunctional Tax System,” The Hill, October 28, 2014.
    • “Ban on Oil Exports Has Outlived its Usefulness,” Houston Chronicle, October 24, 2014.
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • Congressional Testimony, U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, July 24, 2014.
    • Invited participant, Workshop on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), sponsored by Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Atlanta, November 20-21, 2014.
  • Appointments
    • Named Fellow of Goodenough College, London (UK), November 2014.

Mark A. Wynne, Fellow

  • Conference organizer, The Federal Reserve’s Role in the Global Economy: A Historical Perspective, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, September 2014.
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Tower Center Fellow Tyler Moore Co-edited New Oxford Journal of Cybersecurity

Tower Center Fellow, Tyler Moore is an assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering at SMU.

Tower Center Fellow Tyler Moore Co-edited New Oxford Journal of Cybersecurity

coverJournal of Cybersecurity publishes accessible articles describing original research in the inherently interdisciplinary cyber domain. Journal of Cybersecurity is premised on the belief that computer science-based approaches, while necessary, are not sufficient to tackle cybersecurity challenges. Instead, scholarly contributions from a range of disciplines are needed to understand the human aspects of cybersecurity. Journal of Cybersecurity provides a hub around which the interdisciplinary cybersecurity community can form. Journal of Cybersecurity is committed to providing quality empirical research, as well as scholarship, that is grounded in real-world implications and solutions.

twmooreTyler Moore serves as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at SMU. His research focuses on the economics of information security, the study of electronic crime, and the development of policy for strengthening security. Dr. Moore directs the Security Economics Lab within HACNet (High Assurance Computing and Networking Labs), a research group of faculty and students working in different areas related to security. He also serves as Director of the Economics and Social Sciences program at the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security.

From 2011-2014, he served as a Director and Vice President of the International Financial Cryptography Association (IFCA), which organizes the annual Financial Crypto conference. He is also Vice Chair of the IFIP 11.10 Working Group on Critical Infrastructure Protection.

Prior to joining SMU, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS) at Harvard University. He has also been the Norma Wilentz Hess Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Wellesley College. Dr. Moore completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, supervised by Prof. Ross Anderson.

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Tower Center Associate Brian Stump named AAAS Fellow

This news story first appeared on November 24, 2014. For more information, click here.

Tower Center Associate, Brian W. Stump is a Albritton Professor of Earth Sciences, SMU.

SMU seismologist Brian Stump named AAAS Fellow

Brian-Stump-lgDALLAS (SMU) – SMU seismologist Brian Stump has been named an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow for distinguished contributions to his field, particularly in the area of seismic monitoring in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Stump, Albritton Chair of Geological Sciences in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College, is the fifth professor at SMU (Southern Methodist University) to be recognized as an AAAS Fellow.

“Dr. Stump is a scientist of the first rank and brings the results of his outstanding research into the classroom, where his students benefit from his example and insights as a scholar,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He richly deserves the AAAS recognition by his peers and we are proud that he calls SMU home.”

“Brian’s work has been seminal in scientists’ ability to rapidly and accurately discern the difference between an earthquake, a conventional explosion (such as might occur in a mining accident) and a nuclear test,” said James Quick, SMU vice president for research and dean of graduate studies.  “His research is tremendously important to all of us, and yet he is equally committed to teaching and serving as a mentor to young faculty.”

Stump is well known regionally for his continued work researching the increase of small earthquakes that have been occurring in North Texas since 2008.    But his work in detecting ground motion from explosions has for more than 20 years proved invaluable to the United States government in ensuring that the world’s nuclear powers abide by their agreements related to underground nuclear testing. He served as scientific adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Disarmament from 1994 through 1996 and continues to be called upon frequently to assist the U.S. government in the interpretation of seismic and acoustic data.

“I’m humbled by the recognition by the AAAS that science impacts the society in which we live,” Stump said. “I really believe that.  And the work we’ve done at SMU on inducted seismicity in North Texas has that same blend of real science and societal impact.”

For the last five years Stump has chaired the Air Force Technical Applications Center Seismic Review Panel, which provides a review of federally funded efforts in nuclear monitoring.  He served as a committee member on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Seismology and Continental Dynamics from 2007 through 2012, and recently completed a term as board chair for Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), a consortium of more than 100 universities funded by the National Science Foundation.

Stump joined SMU in 1983 from the Seismology Section of the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.  He graduated summa cum laude from Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. with a bachelor of arts in physics in 1974, received a master of arts from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975 and received his Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979 after completing a thesis titled Investigation of Seismic Sources by the Linear Inversion of Seismograms.

SMU faculty previously named as AAAS Fellows are volcanologist and research dean Quick, who was named a Fellow in 2013; environmental biochemistry scholar Paul W. Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs and a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, who was named a Fellow in 2003; anthropologist David J. Meltzer, Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory in the Department of Anthropology who was named a Fellow in 1998; and James E. Brooks, provost emeritus and professor emeritus in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, who was named a Fellow in 1966.

The AAAS Fellows program began in 1874. AAAS members may be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections, by three fellows, or by the association’s chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and forwards a final list to the AAAS Council, which votes on the final list of fellows.

The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

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2014-2015 Tower Center Faculty Fellowships Awarded to Dr. Wegren and Dr. Manzetti

The John G. Tower Center for Political Studies has awarded two faculty fellowships for the 2014-2015 academic year: Dr. Stephen K. Wegren, Professor of Political Science, has been awarded a Colin Powell Global Order and Foreign Policy Fellowship to analyze Russian food policy. Dr. Luigi Manzetti, Associate Professor of Political Science has been awarded a Tower Center Faculty Fellowship to study Re-Nationalization in Argentina from 2005-2013.

Through these faculty fellowships, the Tower Center supports tenured SMU faculty members in research that reflects the mission of the Center. In addition to receiving financial support for their work, recipients are expected to produce original and quality research, acknowledge the Tower Center’s support of their work and to present their findings at a seminar once the project is complete.

Learn more about the Tower Center Faculty Fellowships:

Ray Rafidi | Associate Director for Administrative and Academic Affairs | rrafidi@smu.edu | 214-768-3665

Research Synopsis

Dr. Stephen Wegren, Professor of Political Science & Director of International and Area Studies, SMU

WegrenThe Arab Spring teaches us that authoritarian regimes that are unjust, unequal, and corrupt are ripe for instability, and food policy may act as the tipping point to collective action. The purpose of this project is to analyze Russian food policy in order to increase our understanding of regime stability and regime efficacy. Food is important to the population and the political leadership. The population, as consumers, is fundamentally interested in the price of food and access to it. In addition, food as a policy issue has experienced a dramatic rise in Russian political discourse. In recent years, Russian leaders have equated food security with national security. The project entails a cross-sectional survey of 10-15 regions and 1,000-1,500 respondents.

Dr. Luigi Manzetti, Associate Professor of Political Science, SMU

Nationalization is a topic that over the decades has attracted a large number of theoretical and empirical analyses from different disciplines, including law, economics, and political science. However, the nationalization trend that we have witnessed in South America in recent years is different from private asset takeovers in previous decades. We will analyze the nationalization-privatization nexus through the new institutional economics (NIE) framework.

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Sionaidh Douglas-Scott | Els catalans continuareu essent europeus passi el que passi

This news story first appeared on October 31, 2014.

Tower Center Fellow, Sionaidh Douglas-Scott is a Professor of European and Human Rights Law, University of Oxford.

Els catalans continuareu essent europeus passi el que passi

By Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, El Temps; November, 2014


Per descomptat, i la seva interven- ció conduiria a una negociació entre Catalunya, Espanya i la UE per a la recomposició del paper que tindria el nou Estat dins de la UE.

La democràcia ha estat un ele- ment clau en la creació i el funciona- ment de la Unió Europea. Seria un error greu castigar els catalans pel fet d’haver decidit democràticament

En cas que Catalunya declarés unilateralment la independèn- cia, seria expulsada de la UE automàticament? En aquest cas el seu reingrés seria ràpid, tal com vau explicar que hauria passat en el cas d’Escòcia, o seria un procés més feixuc sense un final determinat?

No hi ha res clar, perquè els trac- tats europeus no preveuen una situació de secessió interna d’una part d’un Estat membre, i Catalunya seria, en principi, el primer territori a generar una situació nova en el marc legal eu- ropeu. Però la legislació de la UE sí que parla de l’ingrés de nous Estats i de les condicions que han de complir els que vulguin ingressar en aquest club, com ha estat el cas de Sèrbia i Croàcia, per exemple. Però, per descomptat, és una situació molt diferent respecte d’Escò- cia i Catalunya, que ja han estat mem- bres de la UE durant molt de temps. I és per aquesta raó que el procediment per a Escòcia i Catalunya hauria de ser especial, no són nous Estats que hagin de demostrar que poden satisfer els requisits legals per pertànyer a la Unió. Lògicament, ni Catalunya ni Escòcia no haurien de seguir aquest camí llarg i complex. Hi ha arguments legals per sostenir que ni Escòcia ni Catalunya no haurien de sol·licitar l’ingrés a la UE com a tercer Estat, i de fet, ni tan sols haurien d’abandonar la UE.

Penseu que Espanya podria ve- tar el reingrés o la permanència de Catalunya, o si la separació hagués estat fruit d’un procés democràtic la UE pressionaria?

De fet, altres Estats podrien vetar Catalunya, no només Espanya, perquè la secessió de Catalunya o d’Escòcia podria avivar el desig independentista en d’altres territoris d’estats membre. I això genera por. Però la qüestió més important no és el veto que proba- blement vindria d’Espanya de forma més bel·ligerant, sinó què passaria en el temps intermedi fins que no es prengués una decisió amb els drets que tenen els catalans pel fet de ser ciutadans europeus. Continuarien es- sent ciutadans europeus que viurien a Catalunya! Si Catalunya fos automàti- cament expulsada de la UE, què passa- ria amb els drets d’aquests ciutadans? Al meu entendre, suspendre els drets dels catalans com a ciutadans europeus representaria una crisi democràtica a la UE. De fet, diverses sentències de la Cort Europea de Justícia han deixat clar que els drets vinculats a la ciutada- nia europea són drets adquirits que no es podrien retirar.

Si es donava el cas, la Cort Euro- pea de Justícia hi intervindria? el seu futur polític.

Preguntem-nos com podria una institució com la UE justificar un càstig a uns ciutadans que han pres una deci- sió de manera democràtica i totalment pacífica. És difícil, perquè qüestionaria greument la seva credibilitat com a agent promotor de la democràcia a tots els nivells.

Està convençuda que els catalans seguirien sent ciutadans europeus en una Catalunya independent?

Sí, els catalans continuareu sent europeus passi el que passi. La llei i els valors fundacionals de la UE us empa- ren. Suprimir els vostres drets com a ciutadans europeus seria un cop molt dur per a la democràcia, que la Unió no es podria permetre sense que la seva imatge i essència quedessin greument afectades.

La UE s’hi ha pronunciat, en aquest sentit?

No directament. En el procés del referèndum escocès alguns portaveus oficials de la UE van fer declaraci- ons incendiàries en aquest sentit, com l’aleshores president de la Comissió, Durão Barroso. Però, en general, no es van qüestionar els drets dels ciutadans europeus visquin on visquin.

Penseu que la UE podria forçar Espanya a negociar amb Catalunya una sortida política si els catalans expressen a les urnes, sigui en una consulta o en unes eleccions, una vo- luntat majoritària d’independència?

La UE no pot forçar Espanya a ne- gociar. Però, d’altra banda, els tractats de la UE contemplen eines per a la ne- gociació i l’acord polític, i la Comissió Europea també pot fer d’intermediària en la negociació entre una Catalunya independent i Espanya. Però ara, el procés pel qual Catalunya podria ser independent, és, a ulls de la UE, una qüestió que només té a veure amb l’or- denament jurídic espanyol i no pas amb la legislació internacional, que afecta els Estats de forma global. La norma- tiva europea no pot forçar cap procés intern però sí que pot crear les condi- cions necessàries per a una negociació. Ara bé, si Madrid no vol ni asseure’s a la taula, serà complicat.

L’experiència escocesa, encara que hagi guanyat el “no”, pot bene- ficiar una Catalunya independent davant de la UE?

Sens dubte, perquè l’experiència del referèndum ha estat molt positiva per a la democràcia. La gent ha pogut gaudir dels seus drets democràtics en llibertat i sense coaccions, la gent ha anat a votar sabent que tant Edimburg com Londres no van qüestionar en cap moment els drets dels seus ciutadans, i això va contrarestar la desafecció gene- ralitzada envers els polítics. L’exercici del dret d’autodeterminació és positiu guanyi el “sí” o el “no”, i amb el refe- rèndum escocès també hi ha guanyat la UE.

Com penseu que realment la UE observa la negativa d’Espanya a un procés democràtic a Catalunya?

És molt difícil saber què pensa constitució. Si Espanya no reconeix el dret a fer un referèndum, és difícil que la comunitat internacional s’hi posi.

Els escocesos han votat continu- ar formant part del Regne Unit en un referèndum democràtic. Enteneu que la independència d’Escòcia és una qüestió tancada?

No hi ha res tancat, però dependrà de les circumstàncies polítiques i socials que els escocesos tornin a opinar a les urnes sobre aquesta qüestió. Però com a demòcrates que som, hem d’acceptar que els escocesos d’aquesta generació han dit que volen seguir al Regne Unit, i ara no seria just plantejar un altre refe- rèndum en els propers anys. La gent ha parlat en llibertat i ho hem de respectar. El Regne Unit no és Espanya, les regles de joc han estat diferents.

En realitat, el debat és polític i no pas jurídic?

És una qüestió estrictament po- lítica, de voluntat i de respecte pels principis democràtics. I això vol dir necessàriament negociació.

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