William & Mary’s new strategic planstarts with these words: “William & Mary aims to address global challenges, forge dynamic partnerships to fuel positive change and model democratic ideals to extend its influence in the world.” The first bullet point below this goal emphasizes the need for “research of consequence” — a goal that GRI advances across ten multidisciplinary labs and robust programming that puts our researchers in touch with partners beyond the ivory tower.
How do we create research of consequence? The items in the newsletter below provide numerous examples of research that matters to specific GRI partners — among them, a mobile technology company providing health information to its customers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation deciding how to allocate its resources, and the U.S. Department of State making decisions about how and where to compete or cooperate with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
But what ecosystem makes such applied research possible? I am struck by the entries in this newsletter because they are so firmly grounded in basic research, which is published by and for specialists in peer-reviewed journals and books. This is how new knowledge is shared by scholars. It turns out, the people who have the bleeding-edge skills to publish in the top scholarly outlets are ideal collaborators for external partners and are the people we want to inform public and policy debates!
Steve Hanson’s essay in The Hill, a widely-read daily in DC policy circles, is based on his analysis of the global populist wave published in Perspectives on Politics. Phil Roessler’s explanation for inequality in Africa was published in the American Political Science Review, the top journal in his field. Ammar Malik, Brad Parks, and their AidData co-authors have just published a new data set and report,Banking on the Belt and Road, that has generated hundreds of media stories raising W&M’s profile as a research powerhouse — but that is grounded in four years of basic research that will shape the production of knowledge in multiple disciplines for years to come.
All this talk of research too serious? See photos of our homecoming BBQ. We still have fun, and it was great to see so many of you at 427 Scotland Street.
New analysis from AidData explores China’s geo-economic strategy before and after the introduction of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, detailing how spending patterns, debt levels, and implementation issues have evolved over time. The Banking on the Belt and Roadreport captures 13,427 Chinese development projects worth $843 billion across 165 countries from 2000-2017. Leveraging insights from the most comprehensive dataset of its kind, the report generated widespread media coverage, as highlighted below.