International Relations

International Relations

FSI researchers strive to understand how countries relate to one another, and what policies are needed to achieve global stability and prosperity. International relations experts focus on the challenging U.S.-Russian relationship, the alliance between the U.S. and Japan and the limitations of America’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.

Foreign aid is also examined by scholars trying to understand whether money earmarked for health improvements reaches those who need it most. And FSI’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center has published on the need for strong South Korean leadership in dealing with its northern neighbor.

FSI researchers also look at the citizens who drive international relations, studying the effects of migration and how borders shape people’s lives. Meanwhile FSI students are very much involved in this area, working with the United Nations in Ethiopia to rethink refugee communities.

Trade is also a key component of international relations, with FSI approaching the topic from a slew of angles and states. The economy of trade is rife for study, with an APARC event on the implications of more open trade policies in Japan, and FSI researchers making sense of who would benefit from a free trade zone between the European Union and the United States.

Recent Publications

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For wind and solar, big is (usually) better

September 2019

Thurber:  "Big is beautiful" for wind and solarDistributed renewables have an important niche, especially for off-grid lighting in developing countries, but almost every challenge associated with...

Coal

March 2019

By making available the almost unlimited energy stored in prehistoric plant matter, coal enabled the industrial age – and it still does.

Assessing Opportunities for Solar Lanterns to Improve Educational Outcomes in Rural Off-Grid Regions: Challenges and Lessons from a Randomized Controlled Trial

September 2018

Solar lanterns are promoted across rural Sub-Saharan Africa to improve both lighting in homes and educational outcomes.

Gas-to-Power Value Chain

September 2018

Many countries with electricity shortages - such as Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, and Tanzania - have large gas reserves but face challenges developing gas for power.The gas-to-power value chain can...

Reports of the Demise of Carbon Pricing are Greatly Exaggerated

August 2018

AbstractPoliticians in a number of jurisdictions with cap-and-trade markets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or carbon taxes have argued that the evidence is in and the conclusion is clear:...

Promoting Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies Through Consumer Education: Results From a Field Experiment in Mexico

July 2018

AbstractWe undertake a field experiment that delivers information on electricity pricing to randomly-selected households in Puebla, Mexico.

Gas-fired generation in a high-renewables world

June 2018

Are gas and renewables good for each other, or are they on a collision course?  We explored this question using a multi-player, web-based game.

The strategic effects of lack of transparency and forward contracting by generators with market power

April 2018

The ability of an electricity-generating firm with market power to influence the market price depends strongly on the volume the firm has pre-sold in the forward, or hedge, markets.

Retail Pricing to Support the 21st Century Distribution Grid

November 2017

Abstract As an increasing number of California households install solar panels, the current approach to retail electricity pricing makes it harder for the state’s utilities to recover their costs....

Rural energy access through solar home systems: Use patterns and opportunities for improvement

April 2017

Abstract Solar photovoltaic (PV) products are touted as a leading solution to long-term electrification and development problems in rural parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The costs of fossil-free development

March 2017

Climage change is a serious global threat with impacts that are already being felt.

Why Isn't Natural Gas in India's Climate Strategy?

September 2016

The Global Coal Market: Supplying the Major Fuel for Emerging Economies

August 2015

Coal has been the world's fastest-growing energy source in absolute terms for over a decade.

Simulating the interaction of a renewable portfolio standard with electricity and carbon markets

May 2015

The authors ran a game-based simulation of an electricity market with both an RPS and a cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gas emissions allowances.

‘Oorja’ in India: Assessing a large-scale commercial distribution of advanced biomass stoves to households

April 2014

Replacing traditional stoves with advanced alternatives that burn more cleanly has the potential to ameliorate major health problems associated with indoor air pollution in developing countries....

To Promote Adoption of Household Health Technologies, Think Beyond Health

October 2013

Health risks from poor malaria control, unsafe water, and indoor air pollution are responsible for an important share of the global disease burden—and they can be addressed by efficacious household...

Carbon in the classroom: Lessons from a simulation of California’s electricity market under a stringent cap and trade system

August 2013

This paper summarizes the lessons learned from implementing a realistic, game-based simulation of California’s electricity market with a cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and...

Wind, Coal, and the Cost of Environmental Externalities

April 2013

AbstractWe compare the cost of generating electricity with coal and wind in Chile’s Central Interconnected System (SIC).

Oil Scarcity Ideology in US National Security Policy, 1909‐1980

February 2013

AbstractOver the past century peak oil forecasts have had a profound influence on US national security policy.  Unquestioned acceptance of a variety of oil scarcity forecasts, all of which proved...

Cleaning Up Coal: From climate culprit to solution

July 2012

Risk Attitudes Shape National Oil Company Strategies

June 2012

AbstractMark C. Thurber, David R. HultsNational oil companies (NOCs) often behave in strikingly different ways from one another and from private, international oil companies (IOCs).

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

January 2012

National oil companies (NOCs) produce most of the world’s oil and natural gas and bankroll governments across the globe.

Rural Electrification: Strategies for Distributed Generation

December 2011

An estimated 1.6 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity. An untold number of others live with electricity that is erratic and of poor quality.

People

Frank Wolak PESD Director, Senior Fellow Professor, Economics
Mark C. Thurber Associate Director for Research at PESD, Social Science Research Scholar
Ognen Stojanovski Research Scholar at PESD
Trevor L. Davis Postdoctoral Scholar
Kevin Behan Graduate Research Assistant
Daniel Wainstock Undergraduate Research Assistant
Ryan Triolo Graduate Research Assistant
Anirudha Balasubramanian Graduate Research Assistant
Zeyu Wang Graduate Research Assistant
Rodrigo Naumann Graduate Research Assistant
Evan Magnusson Graduate Research Assistant
Leon Zhang Graduate Research Assistant