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FSI's research on the origins, character and consequences of government institutions spans continents and academic disciplines. The institute’s senior fellows and their colleagues across Stanford examine the principles of public administration and implementation. Their work focuses on how maternal health care is delivered in rural China, how public action can create wealth and eliminate poverty, and why U.S. immigration reform keeps stalling. Looking more broadly at these issues, FSI’s Governance Project works on measuring the quality of governance and assessing a country’s ability to deliver public services.

FSI’s work includes comparative studies of how institutions help resolve policy and societal issues. Scholars aim to clearly define and make sense of the rule of law, examining how it is invoked and applied around the world. One project explores how authoritarian and democratic regimes can encourage or suppress economic development. Meanwhile, the European Governance project looks at governance issues on a single continent.

FSI researchers also investigate government services – trying to understand and measure how they work, whom they serve and how good they are. They assess energy services aimed at helping the poorest people around the world and explore public opinion on torture policies. The Children in Crisis project addresses how child health interventions interact with political reform. Specific research on governance, organizations and security capitalizes on FSI's longstanding interests and looks at how governance and organizational issues affect a nation’s ability to address security and international cooperation.

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Ognen Stojanovski

Ognen Stojanovski is a Visiting Scholar at PESD. His current research focuses on measuring and quantifying the economic impacts of solar PV products on end-users in developing countries, and identifying innovations in the solar sector that can improve business performance and maximize customer benefits. Ognen has also been extensively involved in PESD's research on National Oil Companies, including authoring a chapter in the book Oil and Governance: State-owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply.

Ognen's background is in law and engineering and he has deep professional and personal interests in the intersection of energy and the developing world. He spent the four years between 2007 and 2011 working, living, and traveling through over 20 emerging economies in central and eastern Europe, South America, and Africa.

Ognen received his J.D. from Stanford (with distinction) and also holds masters and bachelors degrees from UC Berkeley in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (with highest honors). He is an active member of the State Bar of California, advising clients on a wide range of corporate legal issues and currently serves as the manager of a Berkeley-based start-up company.

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Risk Attitudes Shape National Oil Company Strategies


Mark C. Thurber, David R. Hults

National oil companies can cause pain at pump, research shows

State-owned oil companies dominate the world's oil supplies, and politicians often cannot resist getting involved. When they do, the result is often excessive pollution, poor company performance and volatile oil prices. PESD's Mark Thurber makes the case in a new book.

Oil and Governance: State-owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply

National oil companies (NOCs) produce most of the world’s oil and natural gas and bankroll governments across the globe. Although NOCs superficially resemble private-sector companies, they often behave in very different ways. To understand these pivotal state-owned enterprises and the long shadow they cast on world energy markets, the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) at Stanford University commissioned Oil and Governance: State-owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply.

Wolak testifies before Little Hoover Commission of the California State Legislature

PESD director Frank A. Wolak accepted an invitation to participate in the first public hearing The Little Hoover Commission (a bipartisan independent state oversight agency) has scheduled to examine the coordination among the state's related organizations and federal agencies with energy-related activities.

Improved stoves in India: A study of sustainable business models


Burning of biomass for cooking is associated with health problems and climate change impacts. Many previous efforts to disseminate improved stoves – primarily by governments and NGOs – have not been successful. Based on interviews with 12 organizations selling improved biomass stoves, we assess the results to date and future prospects of commercial stove operations in India.

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