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December 2021 Newsletter

The end of 2021 looks different than the start. After months of alone time and remote work, we gathered for report launches, Homecoming reunions, and study sessions on the third floor. In the fall semester, we welcomed guest speakers from near and far to GRI — keeping our promise to bring the world to William & Mary, and William & Mary to the world.

I’m excited to share how we’ll continue doing that in the coming year. GRI’s first stakeholder report documents how we grew and performed in FY2021, while also identifying areas for improvement. In particular, we identified funding to make our Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity more sustainable. We know we are better equipped to solve global challenges if we can build diverse teams. A new William & Mary News article explains how the pilot cohort of Post-Doctoral Fellows for Academic Diversity — Tanu Kumar and Julius Nyerere Odhiambo — teach through research and produce new knowledge with real-world applications.

The tiles below contain just 13 — of many — highlights from 2021. The first 12 images direct to noteworthy journal articles and publications from GRI’s labs, which exemplify our model of student-faculty collaboration. Not featured below, however, are the dozens of opinion pieces, interviews, and news articles our researchers contributed to throughout the year. From IJL Director Dr. Kelebogile Zvobgo’s Foreign Affairs piece on the ICC’s flawed Afghan investigation, to the BBC’s top-viewed story on AidData’s “Banking on the Belt and Road” report, to GRI Affiliate Sharan Grewal’s breakdown of Kais Saied’s power grab for Brookings, expertise from GRI faculty informs key debates inside and beyond the ivory tower.

Looking forward to 2022!

Best,
Mike


Read the STAKEHOLDER REPORT
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International Justice Lab

In the International Journal of Transitional Justice, IJL Director Dr. Kelebogile Zvobgo and Research Fellow Daniel Posthumus '24 examined past, present, and proposed truth commissions to address racial injustice in the U.S. — an "overlooked but significant case."

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Ignite

By considering national income level as a factor of Covid-19 outcomes, Ignite Director Carrie Dolan and Morgan Pincombe '21 concluded that poorer countries were harmed by universal closure guidelines.

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AidData

AidData's "Banking on the Belt and Road" report considers China's geo-ecconomic strategy before and after the introduction of the BRI in 2013, detailing how spending patterns, debt levels, and implementation issues have evolved over time.

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Teaching, Research & International Policy Project

TRIP worked with researchers from UNC Chapel Hill, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame to gain insights on the role of IR scholarship in policymaking by analyzing responses from US policymakers in development, national security, and trade.

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Project on International Peace and Security

Six PIPS Fellows wrote policy white papers outlining responses to critical international challenges, including youth military education programs, climate displacement, exploitative fishing, and land loss in Pacific Island countries.

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Africa Research Center

The spread of print technologies and export agriculture were dual socioeconomic revolutions whose effects “transformed ethnicity” in Africa, according to research from ARC Director Phil Roessler.

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AidData

To uncover the link between local development and environmental degradation, AidData researchers examined a Cambodian case. The team's work earned publication in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

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Digital Inclusion & Governance Lab

DIG Co-Director Phil Roessler collaborated to share findings from one of the first large-scale experimental studies on women’s mobile phone ownership. The results highlight economic benefits of closing the mobile gender gap, and the difficulty of productive asset ownership for women in low-income households.

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American Bosnian Collaboration Project

ABC Project Director Paula Pickering collaborated with GRI-affiliated scholars and research assistants supported by AidData to study how mobile updates about community public services affected electoral accountability in Uganda.

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Blockchain Lab

Integrating blockchain into risk-limiting audits can increase transparency in the electoral process, “elevating the public’s role from watcher to active participant,” Caroline Morin '22 and Ann Duke '22 explain in Georgetown University's Democracy and Society Journal.

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AidData

Insights from nearly 7,000 leaders informed AidData’s Listening to Leaders report, which tracks how global leaders review their development partners in a modern period of “contested cooperation.”

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International Justice Lab and Teaching, Research & International Policy Project

In a forum for International Studies Perspectives, researchers from the TRIP Project and the International Justice Lab consider “Did 'America First' Construct America Irrelevant?”

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GRI Stakeholder Report

In 2021, the Global Research Institute published its fist-ever stakeholder report to share successes and challenges. In addition to outlining the progress that's been made, the report shares the Institute's strategic priorities for the upcoming year.