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July 30, 2012 - News

BY Robert Hutchings, Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs
This article originally appeared in National Intelligence Council's blog "Global Trends 2030" on July 25, 2012.

In 1994, during a brief stint in the National Intelligence Council as director of its Analytic Group, I was involved in the first of the “Global Trends” exercises, organized by the then-chairman of the NIC, Joe Nye. (The “Global Trends 2010” report was published in early 1997 under the chairmanship of Dick Cooper.) In an essay that I wrote for the project (and later published in a book of mine called At the End of the American Century), I described a world that would remain militarily unipolar, with no power or group of powers capable of matching the global reach of the United States, but with a tripolar distribution of economic power among North America, Europe, and East Asia. Beneath the level of these familiar yardsticks of national power, moreover, I saw not the concentration of power but its diffusion among supranational, subnational and transnational actors beyond the control of any government.

July 30, 2012 - News

BY Larry O'Bryon, Master of Global Policy Studies student
This article originally appeared in National Intelligence Council's blog "Global Trends 2030" on July 25, 2012.

No patriotic American would like to admit that our country is in decline, but how does the evidence stack up? Time for a quick look in the mirror America, to assess what we see.

Economically, we are a society conditioned on too much debt and financial leverage. This conditioning, or addiction even, exists in Americans’ exposure to real estate and credit card debt, Wall Street’s excesses and now an increasingly untenable fiscal situation with our federal government.

Socially, we are concerned with the American middle class struggling with stagnant real wage growth during the past decade. Poverty levels of the population are approaching levels last seen in the 1960s. Images of the suffering in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina still reside in our collective memory, proof that our safety net isn’t what it should be. In education, the US struggles to break the top 20 nations in high school math and science scores.

July 30, 2012 - News

BY Celeste Ward Gventer, Associate Director, The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law
This article originally appeared in National Intelligence Council's blog "Global Trends 2030" on July 24, 2012.

The US has outlasted at least five previous episodes of declinism and in the last hundred years has navigated the dangerous waters of international politics with surprising adroitness. It has bested great power rivals, helped stamp out noxious ideologies, and built enduring global institutions. It has done this without sacrificing the legitimacy of its domestic system or crippling its economy by creating a garrison state. While the country suffers from a variety of pathologies today – fiscal prodigality, declining educational standards and attainment, sclerotic politics, et al – the US also possesses long term advantages compared to its challengers that may end up mattering most for national power in coming decades, as Francis Gavin has pointed out in this forum. If results are what count, America must be doing something right.

July 30, 2012 - News

BY Francis J. Gavin, Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs
This article originally appeared in National Intelligence Council's blog "Global Trends 2030" on July 23, 2012.

Assessing whether the US is in decline requires a better sense of what it is that is declining and compared to who or what. This revolves around the question of state power – what is it, how can it be measured, and how is it different from the past? From about the middle of the seventeenth century until the end of the last, we had a rough sense of how these things worked. Core state power was some combination of wealth, geography, and population that could be translated into military power, which is what really mattered in world politics. This military power was used either to conquer other states, so that the territory and population could be added to the invader’s aggregate power, or to defend or deter such an attack. There were rough measurements of these kinds of things: the soldiers, tanks, ships, sea port access, land mass, rivers, mountains, population and natural resources, etc. within a state could be counted and compared to others, and one could get a sense for which of the powers was rising and which was declining. The US was obviously endowed with great assets in this system, and was the greatest world power throughout the 20th century.

July 30, 2012 - News

BY Jason Brooks, Master of Global Policy Studies student
This article originally appeared in National Intelligence Council's blog "Global Trends 2030" on July 23, 2012.

The only thing declining in America is our own faith in our capacity for hard work, innovation and entrepreneurship. America is relatively strong and poised for another surge in ascendancy. However, this is understandably a contested position, so let us consider the notion of American decline. For a nation to be in decline, it should first be assumed that it is in economic or military decline, or both. Second, it should be assumed that said nation is in decline either relative to the rest of the world or some other nation – usually China is held to be the prime contender. Let’s review each of these propositions in turn, beginning with military decline relative to the rest of the world and then relative to China.

July 30, 2012 - News

BY Jeremi Suri, LBJ School Professor
This article originally appeared in National Intelligence Council's blog "Global Trends 2030" on July 23, 2012.

Vienna was the center of European creativity in the years between 1780 and 1914. It was the city of Mozart and Beethoven. No place could rival its music. It was also the city of Klimt and Kokoschka. Vienna pioneered modern art as we know it. In addition, the Austro-Hungarian capital led the new science of psychoanalysis with the work of Sigmund Freud and his many followers in medicine, philosophy and literature. The mix of ethnicities and cultures in this uniquely cosmopolitan nineteenth century city made it a true crucible of innovation and creativity. You can still see and hear the remnants of that long-gone golden age today in the music, the art and the libraries that have outlasted their political masters.

July 30, 2012 - News

BY William C. Inboden, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs

Following last week’s fascinating contributions from Drew Erdmann and his colleagues on urbanization, I will be moderating this week’s blog discussion and its focus on the question of “American decline.” The current draft of Global Trends 2030 describes three possible future scenarios for the state of the world in 2030. As varied as the scenarios are from each other, what all share in common is the assumption that the power of the United States will decline relative to the rest of the globe. These diverse declinist scenarios project a reduction in American power across several domains, including economic and military strength, and diplomatic and cultural influence. They also posit an array of potential actors accruing a greater share of the global power distribution at the expense of the United States, whether from a new superpower hegemon such as China, or the diffusion of power across a broader spectrum of middle powers around the world, or even the transformation of power as non-state and transnational actors take on greater influence in the international arena.

July 27, 2012 - Event

Event Date: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Annual Alumni Reception in Washington, D.C.

July 27, 2012 - News

Use #GLI2012 to Follow on Twitter

LBJ School Professor Jeremi Suri will lead a weeklong seminar for K-12 teachers and library educators taking place on The University of Texas at Austin campus beginning July 29.

July 25, 2012 - News

LBJ School faculty members delve into the greater ramifications of the recent Supreme Court rulings on the Affordable Health Care Act, immigration and mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders. For state lawmakers and policymakers, the rulings mark just the beginning of what, in some cases, represent major, sweeping changes to state laws and policies.

July 25, 2012 - News

BY Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, LBJ School Adjunct Professor

The political implications of the Supreme Court’s SB 1070 ruling are a wash as far as the November election is concerned. On the one hand, the President can point to three out of the four provisions being blocked. On the other hand, Romney and the GOP can point to the heart of SB 1070, the “show me your papers” clause, standing intact.

July 25, 2012 - News

BY David Warner, Wilbur J. Cohen Professor in Health and Social Policy

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act means that changes already implemented will remain and projected changes in availability of insurance, penalties for those who do not obtain coverage, changes in taxes and fees and optional expansion of state Medicaid programs will all proceed as legislated in 2010.

July 25, 2012 - News

BY Michele Deitch, LBJ School Senior Lecturer

The Supreme Court’s welcome decision in Miller v. Alabama, the case dealing with juvenile life without parole, was no surprise to anyone who has been following the Court’s jurisprudence in recent years. Miller is the latest in a line of cases that have ruled, essentially, that children are different from adults and that the criminal justice system must take account of these differences.

July 23, 2012 - News

Sherri Greenberg, Director of the Center for Politics and Governance and a former Texas state representative, shares her thoughts on what voters can expect from the Texas primary election run-offs.

July 23, 2012 - News

The Climate Change and African Political Stability program has offered 82 students over three years the opportunity for field research in Africa, focusing on the role climate change may play in political stability in African countries. Three students share their experiences with the program.

July 16, 2012 - Event

Event Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm

A networking event for LBJ School alumni and students in Washington, D.C.

July 9, 2012 - News

In June 2012, Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) and Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy, delivered a speech at a colloquium on Chinese-U.S. Relations at an event sponsored by the China Energy Fund Committee in Hong Kong.

July 2, 2012 - News

For more than a year, LBJ School Lecturer Sherri Greenberg and 17 of her students researched exactly how and why members of Congress use social media and examined its policy implications and best practices.

To their surprise, they found that the elected officials use social media most often to stake out their positions on issues and not necessarily to campaign or tout their media appearances. Their research, funded by the Library of Congress, will be shared with members of Congress as they try to use new media as effectively as possible.

June 28, 2012 - News

BY:  Sherri Greenberg, Director of the LBJ School's Center for Politics and Governance

In the Olympic trial that was the June 28 Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, health care reform won this heat. Just as sports enthusiasts have been waiting with eager anticipation for the 2012 Summer Olympics, many Americans have been waiting for this Supreme Court ruling. Crowds assembled in Washington and across the nation, as the Supreme Court ruled in a momentous 5-4 decision that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.

June 27, 2012 - News

In a project designed to expose students to real-world policymaking, LBJ School students produced sample briefings for the next presidential transition. The project was part of a course on strategy and decision-making in global policy, which showcased the blending of scholarly study and policy relevant exercises that are the hallmark of education at the LBJ School.

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