Post from Brady ’15, based on her thesis research

From Aleta Brady (Wesleyan ’15):

“Midriver states have an important position and role to play in transboundary river basins as they intimately understand the needs and concerns of both their upriver and downriver neighbors. Midriver states also have a more complex perspective of their “rights” based on their combined upstream/downstream interests. This aspect is being ignored under contemporary analyses.”

Source: International Water Law Project Blog » Blog Archive » Midriver States: An Overlooked Perspective in the Nile River Basin

Legislative Gender Quotas… Argentina and Mexico… Talk on Sept 22

From the Government Department:

Prof. Jennifer Piscopo (Occidental College) to speak this Thursday, September 22, on “Legislative Gender Quotas and Feminist Policymaking in Argentina and Mexico.” The talk is in PAC 002 at 4:30 PM.

Please join us, and please announce the talk in your classes.

Talk description: Legislative Gender Quotas and Feminist Policymaking in Argentina and Mexico

Does women’s presence in elected office lead to policies that advance women’s equality? Women hold 40 percent of seats in the lower houses of Argentina and Mexico, but progress on feminist reforms has stalled. Paradoxically, the more female lawmakers collaborate, the less the resultant legislation transforms women’s traditional roles.

Speaker Bio:

Jennifer M. Piscopo, Assistant Professor of Politics at Occidental College, is the 2016-2017 Peggy Rockefeller Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Her research on representation, gender quotas and legislative institutions in Latin America has appeared in ten peer-reviewed journals and several edited volumes. With Susan Franceschet and Mona Lena Krook, she is editor of The Impact of Gender Quotas (Oxford University Press, 2012). Prof. Piscopo received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and her M.Phil. in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge.

A Quick Look at Gabon’s Electoral Crisis

By CIA – CIA World Factbook, Public Domain,

For the past week, Gabon has been facing a major political crisis, sparked by disputed poll results. According to Reuters, incumbent President Ali Bongo was reported to have won with 49.80 percent of the vote. Challenger Jean Ping, in those official polls, had just missed the mark with 48.23 percent. Ping and his allies immediately began to protest the results, and Ping declared himself President last Friday (Reuters). They argue the result was rigged (Frontera News). The European Union’s election observers also have noted anomalies (La Jeune Afrique). Bongo has served as President since 2009, when he came into power following the death of his father, the previous President. The opposition candidate, Ping, once represented Gabon as a diplomat, including service as Chair of the African Union Commission (an interesting piece on his background is online at The Star). The week’s protests have been violent, resulting in a number of deaths (estimates vary widely, but most are well under 100) and over 1000 arrests (Reuters). The National Assembly building was set on fire last week (BBC) and there were reports of looting (Reuters). Global Voices has a useful roundup of some of these events and early reactions.

The seriousness of the crisis has attracted the attention of the international community. The US, EU, France (which has economic interests in this former colony) and others have urged transparency with the election results (Reuters). Today (September 6), the African Union announced its intention to act as mediator. Chad’s President Idriss Deby is expected to lead talks (Reuters).

Election Year Opportunities

Students! It is an election year, which means it can be a great time to get involved in politics. Some possibilities:

General Election Participation

Connecticut League of Women’s Voters
Help inform voters!
General Website

Connecticut Citizen Election Audit
Help protect the integrity of the electoral process!
General Website

Common Cause Connecticut
Help promote voter registration and political accountability.
General Website
General election volunteer ideas

Political Parties

Connecticut Democratic Party
Fall Fellows Program
Apply by September 14 (new deadline)

Connecticut Republican Party
General Volunteer Form

Connecticut Green Party
General Volunteer Information

Connecticut Libertarian Party
General Volunteer Form

Connecticut Independent Party
General Website

Connecticut Working Families Party
General Website

My new book, now available in Hardback AND Kindle.

African Coalitions and Global Economic Governance

Cambridge University Press, 2016

[Cambridge] [Amazon] [Barnes and Noble]

African Coalitions and Global Economic Governance


The proliferation of international institutions with overlapping scope and authority over issue areas creates strategic dilemmas for all states. While African states are often considered marginalised in world politics and global markets, Michael Byron Nelson shows how coalitions can form a crucial part of African strategies to influence international institutions and achieve results. Building a bottom-up analysis of global governance, through legal analysis, content analysis, and in-depth interviews, Nelson illuminates institutional and coalition dynamics through case studies of three key areas – food safety, intellectual property, and agricultural trade. He highlights the difficulties encountered by coalitions attempting to navigate institutional systems, emerging from institutional thickness (increasing the number of institutions involved) and integration (increasing the formal linkages between those institutions). Finally, Nelson shows how increasing the hierarchy of an institutional system, by creating a focal point on a single institution, can make coordination easier for coalitions