Volume 4, Number 2 (2010)

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    Iraq: Microfinance Strategy
    (2010-04) Busardo, Kathryn; Gavagan, Cara; Kenny, Janet; Wallace, Sarah; Roberts, Kristin
    After the 2003 invasion of Iraq by coalition forces, the United States developed a policy to rebuild the Iraqi government and economy. Part of this policy was the establishment of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. Microfinance is the practice of lending small amounts of money to entrepreneurs in developing countries in an attempt to expand the local economy. Prior to 2003, there were no MFIs in Iraq. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contracted with The Louis Berger Group, Inc., (Berger) a prominent U.S. based infrastructure engineering company, to manage the U.S.-funded microfinance initiatives in Iraq. Berger has projects across the U.S. and in 140 countries; with expertise in project planning, management, and budget administration. In addition to their work in microfinance, Berger has experience in transportation, infrastructure, communications and the development of schools, hospitals, courts, and police stations. This article analyzes the successes enjoyed and challenges faced by microfinance initiatives managed by Berger, as well as their contribution toward the U.S. strategy for victory in Iraq. This article also offers recommendations for sustaining economic growth in the region.
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    Unstable Membership: Bulgaria, Corruption, and Policy of the European Union
    (2010-04) Gawthorpe, Steven
    This paper explores both the consequences of corruption within and outside Bulgaria, as well as the domestic and external factors that contribute to it. The domestic conditions of Bulgaria are not solely responsible for the causes of corruption. Private interests of the 2 international community, neighboring countries, and members of the EU collectively shoulder the burden. As examples will prove, the overarching rules and regulations of the EU heavily restrict the ability of Bulgaria to address problems in its own way given that they are not always sympathetic to national particularities. As a result, these rules disrupt the public’s pursuit of national policy interests and debilitate the effectiveness of both the analogous and unrelated institutions that mitigate corruption. The question of how to address these concerns—from a policy standpoint—will be discussed in the concluding segment of this paper.
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    The Money Follows the Person Demonstration: Early Program Evaluation Analysis
    (2010-04) Hertz, K. J.
    This paper synthesizes findings from six evaluation studies focusing on the Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration grant program. The studies provide needs assessments of state long-term care systems and early analyses of how the MFP program has been implemented across the thirty demonstration states. The studies reveal varied levels of success and some common challenges that states have encountered in implementing their transition and rebalancing programs.
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    Corruption, Capitalists, and the Crime-State Nexus: Criminal Infiltration of the Russian Economy and Implications for the Future
    (2010-04) Willingham, Kelsey J. V.
    This paper examines the evolution of organized crime and corruption in relation to the Russian economy, focusing on examples from the banking, energy, and mineral-industrial sectors. An historical perspective of Russian organized crime's economic role during the Soviet Union is provided, followed by an examination of the factors which enabled unprecedented economic infiltration during the transition period and privatization. Next this paper provides an assessment of organized criminal influence in three crucial sectors of the Russian economy: banking, mineral-industrial, and energy. Finally, this paper examines current polices and their shortcomings, and provides a series of policy recommendations for lessening the economic influence of organized crime and ensuring the development of a properly functioning market economy in the Russian Federation and a successful integration with the global economy.
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    Mexican Drug Violence: Why the Merida Initiative, Gun Bans and Border Controls Will Fail and Drug Reform is the Solution
    (2010-04) Hoskin, Ryan
    Calderon’s military tactics, along with U.S. aid through the Merida initiative, may succeed at suppressing the current outbreak of violence. However, these policies do not address the root causes of drug cartel violence. As long as prohibitionist drug policies are in place, drug profits will remain high. To maintain these profits, cartels must acquire weapons, whether through legal channels or black markets. No gun legislation will prevent this: the financial incentive is too great. Violence will become cyclical as cartels compete for market share. Combative efforts to suppress violence only disperse and postpone the externalities associated with the drug war, never eliminating them. Meanwhile, strict border enforcement remains logistically impossible and fiscally unsustainable, especially given the integration of the U.S. and Mexican economies through NAFTA.
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    Welcome to Volume 4, No. 2
    (2010-04) Tschopp, Beth E
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    Welcome from Faculty Advisor Dr. Todd M. LaPorte
    (2010-04) LaPorte, Todd M.