Collecting Our Thoughts: Selected Insights from Recent Schar School Op-Eds (June 2018)

From USA Today:

Amend the Constitution on Pardon Power

If President Trump were to pardon everyone involved in his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia, including himself, the only remedy would be impeachment. Impeachment, however, is no real check on the pardon power. When President Clinton issued a pardon for fugitive billionaire Marc Rich, it was so egregious that even liberal Democrats called it “outrageous” and “a real betrayal.” But with just days left in his presidency, Clinton knew that impeachment would not touch him.

Associate Professor Jeremy Mayer

From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

Ebola Vaccine: What Took So Long?

The illnesses and deaths associated with the current Ebola outbreak, and potentially with the 2014–2016 epidemic, might have been prevented if a vaccine for the disease had been deployed sooner. After all, a promising vaccine candidate had been discovered years earlier. Today’s approach to vaccine discovery—market-driven, just-in-time—is inherently problematic, as the current Ebola outbreak highlights. It is time to re-examine how resources are allocated for research into and development of medical countermeasures.

Biodefense PhD Christopher K. Brown (with Associate Professor Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley)

From the Roanoke Times:

A Modest Proposal on Gun Violence. Let’s Get the Facts.

Absent rational, reliable and comprehensive research into the causes of, and possible solutions, for gun violence, we are stuck with a perpetual ideological quarrel which solves nothing.

Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell

From World Politics Review:

The Danger, and Irrelevance, of the Libya and Iran Analogies to Korea Diplomacy

In any event, referring to the denuclearization of Libya is analytically quite unhelpful because the cases are so different, and doing so could well have the opposite effect on the North Korean leader than intended by those who love to mention it. Libya in 2003 was at the early stages of procuring the inputs to a nuclear program that it unconditionally agreed to dismantle. And for an insecure leader like Kim, the long-term outcome of that decision for former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi only underscores the folly of giving up a strategic asset when the great powers are taunting you with threats of regime change.

How South Koreans Are Coping With the Chaos of Trump’s High-Risk Diplomacy

With their own deep insight into the peculiar political culture of the North, [South Korean] experts are generally of the view that the regime in Pyongyang cannot afford to unilaterally denuclearize without threatening its own survival. Promises made by the mercurial Trump administration are also not seen as permanent or reliable American positions. This symmetry of assumptions—that the North will most likely expect to keep its nuclear weapons, and that the U.S. will offer something short of the needed security assurances—makes the Singapore summit more theater than strategic breakthrough.

Ellen Laipson, Director of the Master’s in International Security Program

From Sanford Social Innovation Review:

Today’s Charitable Sector and Its Roots and Challenges

Next, there are worries about philanthropy, which has been stuck for many decades at 2 percent of GDP. While many would like giving to grow above this level, philanthropy may now actually shrink due to recent tax law changes that reduce tax incentives to give. Nonprofit leaders are already wrestling with how to restore tax incentives for philanthropy while also considering other approaches to increasing giving above previous levels.

Alan Abramson, Professor, Founding Director of the Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy