Analysis of AfD and its Rise in German Politics and the European Parliament

This essay analyzes the rise of the far-right AfD party (Alternativ für Deutschland) in Germany. It addresses the following: key leaders and their policy positions, 2013 election results in Germany and the EU Parliament results in 2014, changes in voter preferences, controversies surrounding the party, and the responses from German leaders since AfD's emergence onto the political scene in 2013. The question remains whether the AfD represents only temporary resentment with the current political and economic climate, or if this is indicative of a sustainable move away from established EU democratic institutions and norms. This research was conducted in the Fall of 2014, before the AfD gained additional seats in state and local parliaments across Germany. [23 pages]

Doha, the BRICS, and Debt are the Main Motives for TTIP (Op Ed)

Free trade is not the central motive for TTIP. Tariffs are already relatively low within the transatlantic community. But neither is deregulation the primary goal, as is feared by some. Instead, to understand the motivating forces behind TTIP, one should examine the negotiations within the context provided by factors such as the stalling of the Doha Round of WTO negotiations, the rise of the BRIC economies, and the need to create growth without increasing public debt.

How Immigration Law Poses a Challenge to the Quality of Democracy

Germany is often regarded as one of the highest quality democracies in the world. Its institutions and laws are admired by its neighbors, with the legal system rooted in the German Rechtsstaat and civil law tradition. This academic research paper analyzes how immigration policy reflects an ongoing challenge for Germany's relatively robust system of democratic rule of law. Indicators for quality of democracy are included and based on definitions from Guillermo O'Donnell and legal scholar Joseph Raz. This essay finds that though quality of democracy in Germany is high overall, immigration policy does pose a continual practical challenge. In particular, practical security concerns compete with humanitarian goals and this may create a dissonance between application of law and its theoretical ideal. [20 pages]
MAY 2017 fête magazine

Where There's a Plan, There's a Way

“Want to get away for a weekend? Try Greenville, SC.” When pondering the rhetorical “get away from what?”, it is perhaps clear from scanning the list of daily news that whatever “it” is, it might be more than just the usual 9-5 grind at the office. One walk along downtown Greenville’s perfectly manicured and shady green main street will remind you that the idea of an oasis is not always so unattainable. If you follow the plan that is. [...] Where there’s a willingness to stick to that plan, while still remaining flexible enough to the realities of implementation, great things can happen, even if it's something that takes generations to achieve.

Alternatives to the EU Asylum System

How EU member states receive, process, and grant asylum to those seeking international protection within its borders is a matter of serious political debate. It raises some serious questions about the existing Common European Asylum System (CEAS), commonly referred to as the Dublin System. This essay analyzes three alternatives to the Dublin System which have been addressed by scholars and argues that a mixed-solution approach is best to achieving sustainable reform. The analysis concludes with short examples from Brazil and Uganda on innovative refugee policies and notes the ways in which the EU could learn from this should it decide to seriously reform its asylum policy in the future. [14 pages]
HubPages

Molycorp Minerals, Hitachi Rare Earth Recycling, and Baotou Steel China - A Race for Rare Earth Rights

Today, companies use many rare earth elements in their products. Hiroaki Nakanishi of Hitachi is one progressive when it comes to rare earth recycling. Hitachi leads in the rare earth recycling efforts as China slashes its exports to the rest of the world. Japan uses as much as 600 tons of rare earth metals every year in its products, most notably the Toyota Prius Hybrid. [published in 2011]