Policy Perspectives

Fresh insights from UBC experts on the policy issues that are shaping our world.

We must wake up from our Western dream for China

Read Professor Yves Tieberghien's op-ed on major political changes taking place in China over the past two weeks and their broadly global context, as well as how to deal with this new reality. “Asia is more than just China – Canada needs to have a balanced and strategic approach to the entirety of the region,” he wrote.

8 Reasons Why Mongolia's Capital Ulaanbaatar Might Be The Place for a Trump-Kim Summit

MPPGA Professor Julian Dierkes and Mendee Jargalsaikhan made the case in The Diplomat for why the Trump-Kim meeting could happen in Mongolia, "8 Reasons Why Mongolia's Capital Ulaanbaatar Might Be The Place for a Trump-Kim Summit".

Professor Nadja Kunz named one of B.C.'s Most Influential Women 2018: Stem Stars

Nadja Kunz, assistant professor with UBC's School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, has been named one of "B.C.'s Most Influential Women 2018: Stem Stars" by BC Business. Her research focus is mine water management and water governance in mining regions. Nadja is driven by a passion for transitioning the private sector towards more sustainable water management practices.

Interview with Professor Paul Evans on China's expansionist policies in Southeast Asia

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MPPGA Professor Paul Evans was recently interviewed on Policy Talks about Chinese foreign policy in the Southeast Asia.

Nuclear Deterrence Policy Gathering Steam in India

MPPGA Professor M.V. Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security was recently quoted in an article about nuclear deterrence policies in India. Unlike the first three phases, the fourth phase of India’s nuclear disarmament policy, which began in 1998, has seen India making “no significant effort towards nuclear disarmament,” Ramana said. Importantly, India has avoided supporting treaties that would restrain its own weapons programs.

Centralisation not reconciliation under Najib Razak

MPPGA Professor Kai Otswald article on the 2018 Malaysian Elections season via East Asia Forum. The competitive nature of the last two general elections has fuelled widespread speculation about the possible defeat of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) for the first time in the country’s post-independence history.

What does the Manila Consensus mean for migrant workers?

MPPGA student Tommy Ko wrote a piece for East Asia Forum discussing the evolution of migrant workers’ right in ASEAN countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The Manila Consensus’s call for partnerships with domestic actors such as NGOs is critical because governments cannot act alone. Governments are broadly neutral actors who are constrained in regional negotiations by public opinion and domestic legitimation concerns. The existence of an intermediary like the Manila Consensus enables non-state actors to sustain their public influence, which in turn influences the political climate and makes broader mandates possible.

India and the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons

MPPGA Professor M.V. Ramana co-authored an article "India and the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons". One of the cornerstones of India’s official nuclear policy is No First Use of nuclear weapons, which has a long history in Indian nuclear debates and discussions.

Cabinet orders deeper security review of proposed Chinese takeover of Aecon Group

MPPGA Professor Paul Evans was interviewed on The Canadian Press in "Cabinet Orders Deeper Security Review of Proposed Chinese Takeover of Aecon Group". The story also appeared in the National Post and Times Colonist. Canadian security agencies are voicing their concern about the proposed takeover of Aecon Group Inc. by a Chinese state-owned business, prompting Ottawa to order a full national security review of the deal. The lengthened [federal security] review will not please the Chinese government but won’t sour a potential free trade deal between Canada and China. This is a "watershed moment" in how Canada will deal with Chinese investment in a variety of sectors, says Professor Evans.

It’s time to get used to a new global order with China and the U.S. at its centre

MPPGA Professor Yves Tiberghien co-authored an op-ed with Robert Muggah, Lind Initiative Visiting Fellow at UBC. The emerging global order will doubtlessly be more complicated and potentially more precarious than the present one, but that is the brave new world we face. The challenge for Canadians is to prepare for a world of tomorrow, rather than reverting to the world of yesteryear. Canada has an essential role to play as a mediator and broker, but also as a progressive hub of global governance entrepreneurship.

Federalism without Decentralization: Power Consolidation in Malaysia

MPPGA Professor Kai Ostwald wrote an article "Federalism without Decentralization: Power Consolidation in Malaysia" via Project Muse. The article examines the systematic subversion of subnational autonomy in Malaysia, which has concentrated power in the hands of UMNO's inner core. In short, Malaysia is both federal and highly centralized.

5 facts you need to understand the new global order

The postwar liberal order is dying. This what you need to know to navigate the new order in formation by MPPGA Professor Yves Tiberguien and UBC Lind Initiative Fellow Robert Muggah. The article indicates a major shift of the world's power struggle as China is setting the pace and the world is changing. "The spectacular rise of China over the past two decades and the relative decline of the US mean that sparks are bound to fly".

George Hoberg on B.C. Government’s New Bitumen Restriction

MPPGA Professor George Hoberg with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs was recently interviewed on CBC about the B.C. government’s recent bitumen restriction. Any restriction on the flow of diluted bitumen would prohibit an expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.
Go to the 1:20:00 mark to hear the recent interview with MPPGA Professor Hoberg who comments that BC has declared jurisdictional war with Alberta and the federal government of Canada.
The BC government is taking a conscious approach by addressing legitimate and environmental concerns, thus recognizing that BC is serious about protecting its coasts and waters. According to Prof. Hoberg, the stark distribution of costs and benefits between Alberta and British Columbia means that almost all the economic benefits flow to Alberta while almost all the environmental risks are here in BC.

M. V. Ramana: A reminder from Hawaii Missile False Alarm

M.V. Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, and Lauren Borja, Simons Postdoctoral Research Fellow, contributed an Op-ed to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists about the recent missile false alarm in Hawaii.

Corruption is a cancer that Mongolia can’t cut out

MPPGA Professor Julian Dierkes published an op-ed in the East Asia Forum. 2017 was the year when corruption in Mongolia changed from being a taxing nuisance and moral outrage into a systemic block to political decision-making. Will its leaders choke or conquer the challenge corruption poses to its democracy?

TLEF interview: Professor Sara Shneiderman reflects on UBC Himalaya Program

MPPGA Professor Sara Shneiderman shares how her UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) project will help develop the UBC Himalaya Program, with the long-term objective of making UBC a premier centre for Himalayan Studies in Canada.

So, the liberal order is in free fall? Not so fast

 Taylor Owen
Op-ed by Prof. Taylor Owen and UBC Visiting Fellow Robert Muggah "So, the liberal order is in free fall? Not so fast" in The Globe and Mail on the fears of a democratic deficit and the decline of the global liberal order.

Canada's Global Trade Strategy at Critical Juncture

Professor Yves Tiberghien co-authored with Stewart Beck, CEO of Asia Pacific Foundation, an op-ed "Canada's Global Trade Strategy at Critical Juncture" in The Globe and Mail on Canada's trade strategy in Asia.

Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are manipulating our lives and threatening our democracy

If you care about democracy, listen to School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Professor Taylor Owen argue how Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are manipulating our lives on CBC Ideas. This interview also features a lecture that Prof. Owen gave last month, called The Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism.

Neither Populism nor Drift: Japan's October 2017 Election

Professor Yves Tiberghien published an op-ed titled "Neither Populism nor Drift: Japan's October 2017 Election" on the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada website.

The Courage to Challenge the Nuclear World Order

Professor M.V. Ramana and Zia Mian reflect on the nuclear disarmament activism work that has culminated in the Nobel Prize win of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), as well as the adopting of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Professor Kyung-Ae Park Pioneers Academic Relations with North Korea

 Professor Kyung Ae Park
Professor Kyung-Ae Park was interviewed for a special feature in alumni UBC's Trek Magazine, “North by Northwest: UBC Prof Pioneers Academic Relations with North Korea.”

Legitimacy and Longevity in Singapore’s Reserved Presidency

Professor Kai Ostwald co-authored "Legitimacy and longevity in Singapore’s reserved presidency" of the People’s Action Party (PAP) long-term staying power. While Singapore's reserved presidency aims to ensure minority candidates are represented, it may be out of step with what voters actually desire.

Professor Yves Tiberghien awarded with France’s National Order of Merit

Yves Tiberghien
We wish to congratulate Professor Yves Tiberghien on being named Knight of the National Order of Merit, a French distinction. Officially nominated by the President of France, the medal rewards "distinguished civil or military achievement." Prof. Tieberghien is Director Emeritus of the Institute of Asian Research and Executive Director of the China Council at UBC. This award recognizes his work on topics of global governance supported by both France and Canada.

Malaysia’s Electoral Process: The Methods and Costs of Perpetuating UMNO Rule

Professor Kai Ostwald evaluates Malasya's electoral process. His analysis assesses the extensively manipulated electoral process, juxtaposed against its successful developmental record and relative social stability.

On the Sidelines of a Nuclear Crisis

MPPGA Professor & Graduate Director Brian Job
Canada-Asia Agenda: Rocketman vs. Dotard? Read former MPPGA Graduate Director and Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada senior fellow Brian Job's research on the sidelines of the nuclear crisis.

Pyongyang's leaders consider US troops threatening. Due to economic, strategic, and ideological reasons, Pyongyang views its survival contingent on attaining a second-strike nuclear capacity – i.e., the ability to attack if provoked and to respond if attacked against targets in and across the Pacific. The proverbial nuclear clock, as measured against North Korean provocative testing, is approaching midnight. How to avoid missteps and establish a stable deterrent equilibrium among the key players, given the looming reality of a North Korean nuclear state, presents an enormous challenge.

"Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India" paperback edition

Dr. Sara Shneiderman's book, "Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India" has now released its paperback edition after its original hardback release in 2015. This version will also include an update about the Thangmi communities after the 2015 earthquakes.

Rituals of Ethnicity is a transnational study of the relationships between mobility, ethnicity, and ritual action. Through an ethnography of the Thangmi, a marginalized community who migrate between Himalayan border zones of Nepal, India, and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, Shneiderman offers a new explanation for the persistence of enduring ethnic identities today despite the increasing realities of mobile, hybrid lives. She shows that ethnicization may be understood as a process of ritualization, which brings people together around the shared sacred object of identity.

Analysis of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China

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MPPGA professor Yves Tiberghien looks at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held on October 18-24 2017.
Overall, the fact that Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party managed to unfold a massive and positive action plan leading up to 2049 and to reorganize the leadership team without a glitch is quite remarkable. Today, there is no other major country that has the ability to project a long-term vision and deliberate long-term strategy, mid-term action plans and short-term policies in such a coordinated way as China. Whether achievable or not, the projection of strategy stood out against the current period of uncertainty, fragmentation, and volatility in both the international system and the domestic politics in all systematically-important countries (except Canada). [...] Politically, what stands out, of course, is the clean sweep of elite appointments that broadly consolidate Xi Jinping’s authority.

Also noticeable is the lack of promotion of any member from the generation of leaders born in the 1960s to the Standing Committee, and thus the non-commitment of the Party on the future leadership in five years. No successor has appeared, as was the case respectively 10 years ago and 20 years ago. This does maximize Xi Jinping’s short-term authority. But it does not prevent the CCP from later holding an interim Party Congress to promote someone into the Standing Committee, say, in three years. It also does not mean yet that Xi has won the case with the Party to stay in power in five years. While we cannot predict what will happen, it is plausible to assume that a compromise will be reached. In 2022, Xi may be able to retain some positions (such as Chairman of the Military Commission, the position which controls the military) but may well have to relinquish some other titles, thus starting a process of power transition, during which Xi will be very influential but not omnipotent.
Most delicate is the fact that the enormously ambitious reform agenda presented at the 19th Party Congress increasingly relies on the competence, stamina, and judgement of one man: Xi Jinping.

Volume: Southeast Asia in an Evolving Global Landscape: Prospects for an Integrated Region and Implications for Canada.

An edited volume with contributions from MPPGA Professors Kai Ostwald, Paul Evans, and others emerged from a conference on held by Global Affairs Canada entitled Southeast Asia in an Evolving Global Landscape: Prospects for an Integrated Region and Implications for Canada in Ottawa on May 30, 2017. This high-profile event brought together a total of 200 participants, including ambassadors and diplomats from ASEAN member states, leading Canadian and international scholars on Southeast Asia, and representatives from Global Affairs and the broader government community. From these stimulating exchanges emerged a set of innovative, yet realistic recommendations on how Canada could better assert its added-value in this strategic region. An edited volume from the conference will be launched during the Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies’ Conference on October 26-28, 2017. The volume brings together contributions from the panelists, giving them the opportunity to render and further develop their assessments and recommendations. In the process, they lend important support to Canada’s endeavour to develop a sound and effective foreign policy towards Southeast Asia, one that builds on its previous, well-remembered contributions to regional peace and prosperity, but goes beyond earlier engagements. In the process, the volume also identifies what its partners could gain from Canada “being back” in the regional sphere. As Canada and ASEAN celebrate 40 years of dialogue partnership, which coincides with the golden jubilee of the grouping itself, there is growing momentum to bring the relationship to the next level.

Study by Prof. Paul Evans finds that Canadians want deeper economic connections with China

 MPPGA Professor Paul Evans
UBC professors Paul Evans and Xiaojun Li designed a survey that asked 1,519 Canadians about their views on trade and investment issues, policy priorities, human rights in China, and factors that shape views of China, among other topics.  Despite concerns about China’s human rights record, military modernization and the impact on domestic Canadian values, Canadians are keen to see the federal government support expanded economic connections and increased partnerships with the Asian economic powerhouse. About 70% of Canadians support a free trade agreement with China. In this Q&A, Professor Evans discusses the significance of the survey’s findings and how it can help better inform government policy.

Op-ed by MPPGA Professor Taylor Owen on whether Facebook is a threat to democracy

 Taylor Owen OpEd
The Globe and Mail published an op-ed by Taylor Owen, a UBC Policy School professor of digital media and global affairs, about the role of technology in democracies.
"The unfolding drama surrounding Silicon Valley and the 2016 U.S. presidential election has brought much needed attention to the role that technology plays in democracies. On Thursday, Facebook announced the Canadian Election Integrity Initiative, the very premise of which invites the question: Does Facebook threaten the integrity of Canadian democracy? [...] Bloomberg reported that in the final weeks of the U.S. election, Facebook and Google employees collaborated with extreme activist groups to help them microtarget divisive ads to swing-state voters. [...] We are heading into new and immensely challenging public policy terrain, but what is certain is that the easy and politically expedient relationship between Silicon Valley and government must come to an end” he wrote.

MPPGA professor Rashid Sumaila wins Volvo Environment Prize

Dr. Rashid Sumaila, Professor with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, has won the 2017 Volvo Environment Prize for his innovative work in fisheries economics and sustainable governance of ocean resources. His research covers all aspects of the future health of the oceans: overfishing, oil spills, plastics pollution, ocean acidification, and climate change.

Professor Julian Dierkes co-wrote an op-ed for The Diplomat, "A New Cabinet for Mongolia"

 Julian Dierkes
The revolt against Enkhbold has been led by U Khurelsukh who now serves as prime minister. His political origins in the MPP’s youth organization and personal popularity suggested that he might be able to gather reformist forces that are demanding a generational change in the party [...] Despite his vocal call for reform, Khurelsukh seems to be more concerned with the upcoming party’s congress, which will elect a new party leadership and plenum members. If he had resisted pressure from Enkhbold’s faction in the formation of his cabinet, he would face much stronger opposition at the party congress in November. They could even demand his resignation.
His research focuses on the political development and mining policy in Mongolia.

Professor Philippe Le Billon investigates white collar crime in post-war natural resource sectors

Post-war situations can present an opportune context for white-collar crime in resource sectors – including corruption, tax evasion, land dispossession, and illegal resource exploitation. This paper investigates various forms of white-collar crime and associated human rights abuses, and points at biased processes of ‘criminalization’. Whereas white-collar crime is frequently legitimated under the guise of reconstruction and economic growth strategies, the victims of corruption and resource grabs often become ‘criminalised’. Such selective forms of criminalisation reflect a securitisation of resource sectors characterised by repressive forms of resource enclosures and increased socio-economic inequalities; putting resource-related white-collar crime at the core of negative peace economies.

M.V. Ramana contributed to the latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report

Ramana (cropped)
The report is produced by an international group of energy analysts who study the nuclear industry in multiple countries, and offers an overview of nuclear power around the world, including information on operation, production and construction, as well as plans by countries to build new nuclear plants. The report also includes an update on the status of the multiple impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

IAR faculty member Dr. Sara Shneiderman receives SSHRC award to study Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction

IAR faculty member Sara Shneiderman has been awarded a three-year Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to assemble an international network of scholars, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations that are currently engaged with Nepal's reconstruction after its devastating 2015 earthquakes.

Professor Yves Tiberghien’s on the dangerous road ahead for North Korea

Co-Director Yves Tiberghien, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
Opinion: " In the past three months alone, Mr. Kim has tested the new Hwasong-12 advanced intermediate range missile (IRBM) several times, flying the last one right over Japanese territory [...] The energy and frustration unleashed in Washington is now such that Mr. Trump cannot accept such provocation without a counterpunch and remain credible as the leader of 'America the Great.'"

Professor Tsering Shakya provides insight on the current China-India border dispute in the region of Doklam, and its links to the past

Professor Tsering Shakya, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
In a recent article published by the South China Morning Post, Professor Tsering Shakya delves into the unresolved China-India border dispute in the region of Doklam. The article, “Doklam Then and Now: From British to Chinese Interests, Follow the Money”, details the long history of stalemates in the Himalayas; reflecting on the regions experience with three-way territorial struggles, fears of foreign hegemony, and dreams of a commercial invasion involving the center of world manufacturing.

Designed Leadership - Interview with Moura Quayle on Roundhouse Radio

UBC Policy School Director Moura Quayle, author of the new book Designed Leadership, speaks with Kirk LaPointe on Roundhouse Radio regarding the need for leaders to adopt design in order to succeed.

Professor Kyung-Ae Park wins an Alumni UBC 2017 Achievement Award

Professor Kyung Ae Park, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
Congratulations to Professor Kyung-Ae Park for winning the Faculty Community Service Award, recognizing her for her efforts in initiating the Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program (KPP). The KPP is designed to facilitate academic exchanges with North Korea for human capacity building through knowledge sharing. It was established with the belief that the right to education and access to knowledge is a universal human right. The KPP is the first and only North American program to educate North Korean university professors for long-term periods in the fields of economics, finance, trade, and business. The program also seeks to facilitate knowledge sharing with North Korea through conferences and study tours abroad. These opportunities bring together North Korean and international scholars to participate in meaningful and constructive exchanges of ideas and views. Since its inception in 2011, the KPP has hosted 40 North Korean scholars at UBC through its Visiting Professor Program (VPP).

Insights on BC joining legal fights against Trans Mountain Pipeline

Professor George Hoberg, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
The BC government has joined the fight against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, and is seeking intervenor status in court challenges filed by First Nations and cities. Professor George Hoberg joins CTV News to discuss how the additional support of the BC Government, in both federal and BC court cases, can be effective. He provides insight on how these efforts could effectively postpone the pipeline project, and how it might affect the provinces relationship with both the federal and Alberta provincial governments.

Politician Family Networks and Electoral Outcomes: Evidence from the Philippines

A recently published paper in the American Economic Association by MPPGA Professor Cesi Cruz, in collaboration with Julien Labonne and Pablo Querubin, analyzes the importance of politician social networks and it's impact on the electoral outcome. Using large-scale data on family networks from over 20 million individuals in 15,000 villages in the Philippines, they show that candidates for public office are disproportionately drawn from more central families, and that the family network centrality contributes to higher vote shares during the elections. Their analysis provides evidence to support their theory of political intermediation, and that these familial networks exercise an effect independent of wealth, historical elite status, or previous electoral success.”

Canada 150: week-long focus on Canada-Asia

Featured on CBC|ICI Radio (in French), Professor Yves Tiberghien takes the lead on Canada's 150 theme week: Canada-Asia. Revolving around British Columbians working in booming industries, the week-long series explores whether they believe the next 150 years will be led by Western Canada.

Cesi Cruz Wins Award from the American Political Science Association

MPPGA Professor Cesi Cruz has won the Best Conference Paper Award from the American Political Science Association – Political Networks section for her paper, “Village Social Network Structures and Electoral Competition,” written with two co-authors. This award is given annually to the best paper on political networks presented by a faculty person delivered at a political science conference in the previous year.

The jury wrote: “We found your paper to be an excellent use of network theory, data and analysis to shed light on an important substantive problem in political science. Additionally, it was well written and interesting to read.”

Old Plans, Ongoing Handouts, New Spin: Deciphering the Nuclear Construction Announcement

Last month, the union cabinet of India announced their approval for the construction of 10 additional 700 megawatt (MW) pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs). Authors, M. V. Ramana and Suvrat Raju delve into the complexities and challenges such a decision presents in their article published by Economic and Political Weekly.

Kai Ostwald wins Best Paper Award from the American Political Science Association

Assistant Professor Kai Ostwald, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBCCongratulations to MPPGA Assistant Professor, Kai Ostwald, for his recent work explaining party durability in Singapore. Co-authored by Dr. Steven Oliver, their paper titled “Explaining Elections in Singapore: Party Credibility and Valence Politics” was awarded the Best Paper Award from the American Political Science Association – Southeast Asia Politics.

Nuclear power: Expensive, hazardous and inequitable

Published in The Hindu, authors Suvrat Raju and M.V. Ramana question the Indian government’s recent approval of ten new nuclear reactors. This op-ed piece brings economic, environmental, and social concerns to the forefront, challenging “India’s commitment to sustainable development” and the viability of nuclear power as a whole.

Report: Nuclear Power and Small Modular Reactors in Indonesia

M. V. Ramana with the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC and his collaborators from the Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics, the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability, and Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security have published a report titled “Nuclear Power and Small Modular Reactors in Indonesia: Potential and Challenges”, which surveys and synthesizes the historical and contemporary factors affecting nuclear power in Indonesia. The report specifically explores the class of designs called small modular reactors (SMRs) that some have promoted as particularly appropriate for developing countries.

UBC Establishes School of Public Policy and Global Affairs

Moura Quayle has been appointed Director pro tem of the newly established School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at UBC. The Policy School seeks to be an essential centre for innovation in global affairs and public policy. The UBC Policy School will catalyze a network of accomplished scholars from across both campuses who will collaborate with students, community, government, business leaders, and civil society through research, teaching, and practice. The goal of the Policy School is to contribute to solving problems of local importance and global consequence at the nexus of governance and scholarship.

As a unit within the Faculty of Arts, the Policy School will evolve with a campus-wide mandate and build upon UBC’s strengths in the study of economic and development policy, Asia, global affairs, and sustainability, with many opportunities for growth.

Vision20 Report 2017 Release

Vision20 is an annual global summit addressing the G20 role in global governance and sustainable development goals. Vision20 has released a report, "Empower, Include, and Inspire: G20 Public Leadership to Advance Responsibility, Resilience and Sustainability for a Fair Global Economy,” that features views from a V20 Workshop on “Opportunities and Risks of Globalization.” The report includes insights from Professor Yves Tiberghien, Director of the Institute of Asian Research and Coordinator for V20.

Five Takeaways from the French Election: Between Anger and Transformative Hope

The French Presidential election, especially its first Round on April 23, has shaped up as one of those truly seminal world events that will resonate for decades. Professor Yves Tiberghien sees five major takeaways from this dramatic election.

Westinghouse bankruptcy: What does it mean for US nuclear power?

Recently featured in the Christian Science Monitor, MPPGA Professor M. V. Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security, explores the uncertain fate faced by nuclear players as they tackle the struggles of competing economically in the electricity marketplace.

The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley reengineered journalism

Featured in Columbia Journalism Review's Tow Center Report, MPPGA Professor Taylor Owen and Emily Bell, Director of Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia J School, analyze how journalism is being transformed by big tech companies as a result of the switch from analog to digital, the rise of the social web, and the dominance of mobile.

Dutch pragmatism: A positive outlook in the Netherlands’ elections

Featured on CBC's On The Coast, MPPGA Professor Dr. Yves Tiberghien gives insight on the state of elections in the Netherlands, touching upon the pragmatism of the Dutch voters while also looking ahead at the expectations of France's upcoming elections.

Many shades of gray: The context-dependent performance of organic agriculture

Many people choose organic thinking it’s better for humans and the planet, but a new UBC study by Liu postdoctoral fellow Verena Seufert and MPPGA Professor Navin Ramankutty published today in Science Advances finds that might not always be the case.

View the study in Science Advances.
Read the UBC Media Release.

How does climate change shape our behaviour?

Featured on the latest episode of Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM, UBC MPPGA Professor Dr. Jiaying Zhao addresses what shapes our behaviour around climate change through the perspectives of ecopsychology.

The Fate of US-Canada Relations

Can Trump and Trudeau find a shared future? What will be the fate of NAFTA? MPPGA Professor Yves Tiberghien and John McArthur, Senior Fellow at the Global Economy and Development program with Brookings, weigh in on the recent Trudeau - Trump Summit on China Global TV.

Congratulations to Dr. Rashid Sumaila, 2016 Killam Research Prize Recipient

Earlier this month, MPPGA Professor Rashid Sumaila was awarded the University of British Columbia’s 2016 Killam Faculty Research Prize in the Applied Science, Sciences Senior Category. Winners were selected by UBC’s Faculty Research Award Committee, which spans arts and humanities, applied science, science, and medicine.

China Nuclear Push Stalled by Next-Generation Reactors

MPPGA Professor M. V. Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Affairs at the Liu Institute for Global Issues shares his insights on the nuclear aims of China’s policy makers.

The tumultuous revival of Keystone XL

Professor George Hoberg, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
Featured in the most recent episode of CBC's Early Edition, MPPGA Professor George Hoberg discusses the straining relationship between the environment and economy, as Trump's decision to revive the Keystone XL pipeline brings uncertainty to both the Canadian and American populous.

Symbolic Canada-China free-trade talks to begin

Professor Paul Evans, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
With the descent of the TPP and rocky US-China relations, Canada and China's emerging relationship is prompted with the beginning of exploratory talks on the potential of a free-trade agreement. Featured in a recent Globe and Mail article, MPPGA Professor Dr. Paul Evans explains the significance of this development.

Davos Forum: all talk, little action

Professor Yves Tiberghien, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
With the surfacing discontent of globalization comes the rising power of populist movements seen around the globe today. But are the Davos elites willing to adjust their philosophies and make changes? MPPGA Professor Yves Tiberghien provides insight in the latest Christian Science Monitor article.

What is this thing called organic? How organic farming is codified in regulations

Professor Navin Ramankutty, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
Published in Food Policy (vol. 68), a new paper led by UBC Postdoctoral Fellow Verena Seufert and co-authored by MPPGA Professor Navin Ramankutty and Tabea Mayerhofer examines why organic regulations need to better incorporate environmental best practices.

Pipeline politics: the battle of Kinder Morgan

Professor George Hoberg, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
In a recent Vancouver Sun article, MPPGA Professor George Hoberg provided insight on BC's Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, noting on the ultimate uncertainty of the project when considering the involvement of First Nations and opposing parties.

Dr. Rashid Sumaila wins Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Science

Professor Rashid Sumaila, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
MPPGA Professor Rashid Sumaila has won the prestigious Peter Benchley Ocean Award in recognition of his work on sustainable fisheries around the world. Dr. Sumaila is the recipient in the 2017 “Excellence in Science” category, which is given to an individual who “has advanced the cause of understanding ocean processes, marine ecology and conservation biology.”

Upgraded relationships: Canada posts new Ambassador to China

Professor Yves Tiberghien, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
In the CBC's Early Edition , MPPGA Professor Yves Tiberghien discusses the potential of China and Canada's relationship and it's impact on the US, following the new posting of Hon. John McCallum as Ambassador to China. Interview begins at 51:35.

The power and polarization of the rural vote

Assistant Professor Kai Ostwald, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
Featured in The Atlantic, MPPGA Assistant Professor Kai Ostwald provides a comparison of America's rural voting power to that of Malaysia's in 2013, where urban voters were unable to unseat the ruling party despite garnering the popular vote.

Loyalty and uncertainty in a post-Ghorka earthquake Nepal

Professor Sara Shneiderman, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
Having studied the region of Dolakha for years, Dr. Sara Shneiderman was featured in Catch News after speaking at Tribhuvan University's second annual conference of the Central Department of Anthropology regarding the potential of disaster management for the gain of political power and legitimacy in Nepal.

A year of challenges: Dr. Tiberghien on the EU's state of affairs

Professor Yves Tiberghien, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
Speaking to Roundhouse Radio's Business in Vancouver, Dr. Yves Tiberghien surveys the new year's political climate in the European Union as it tackles the question of Brexit, the unresolved Eurocrisis, immigration, CETA, and the French elections. Dr. Tiberghien's interview begins at 23:30.

MPPGA and UBC Journalism professor Taylor Owen named a top 100 Foreign Policy influencer by OpenCanada

As global interest in Canada continues, and new voices from academia and politics emerge on social media, this year OpenCanada shines a light on Canadian foreign policy Twitterati, including UBC’s own Taylor Owen.

Dr. Rashid Sumaila named a Hokkaido University Ambassador

Professor Rashid Sumaila, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC
Dr. Rashid Sumaila has been appointed as a Hokkaido University Ambassador. He will hold this appointment from 2016-2019. Dr. Sumaila has an international reputation in the economics, environmental and fisheries fields. A prolific scholar, he is at the forefront of producing knowledge and data about the status and trends in global fisheries, and has made a number of fundamental contributions to understanding the economics of global fisheries. The Hokkaido University Ambassador program was created so that the university could connect and partner with eminent scholars and researchers from across the globe, as well as to raise the university’s profile. This appointment underscores the global reach of his research.

Redrawing Canada's political map through energy policies

Featured in Business in Vancouver, MPPGA Professor George Hoberg provides an insight into the government's redrawing of Canada's political map through the power of energy policies, as seen with the recent federal approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Post-2006 Nepal: Surveying the state’s transformation after the end of decade-long civil conflict

Featured in Cambridge University's Journal of Modern Asian Studies, MPPGA Professor Sara Shneiderman contributes to a review of literature surveying the ongoing transformation of Nepal since 2006, following the end of a decade-long civil conflict between Maoist and state forces.

Trump's climate stance

Listen to this CBC interview with George Hoberg, Professor, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy at UBC's Liu Institute for Global Issues on what Donald Trump's climate policies could mean.

What Hong Kong's 'watershed' political moment means for Vancouver

Yves Tiberghien, MPPGA Professor and Director of UBC’s Institute of Asian Research comments on the recent display of uneasy political undercurrents that have dominated Hong Kong for the past few years.

Canada, China at dawn of golden decade

Paul Evans
MPPGA Professor Paul Evans explored with Global Times the status of bilateral relations between Canada and China: Are the two countries having a new golden decade? What can be expected from the bilateral relationship? To learn more, follow the link to the article.

$11.4-billion PNW LNG project in B.C. approved by federal government

The Liu Institute's George Hoberg, Professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, UBC
The federal government approved the $11.4-billion LNG project in B.C. on September 27th. The Liu Institute's George Hoberg, professor of environmental and natural resource policy, spoke to The Province, saying that the approval is “a major step backward for the Trudeau government’s commitment to meet its Paris climate target." To learn more, follow the link to the article.

China’s New Quantum Satellite: The Start of an Arms Race?

Co-authored by MPPGA Assistant Professor Taylor Owen and recent International Relations graduate Robert Gorwa, a new article in Foreign Affairs explores the exciting and terrifying possibilities that the new generation of quantum science brings. Could China’s new quantum satellite mean the start of an Arms Race? Follow the link to learn more about the conflicts related to emerging quantum technology and Project Q: an ambitious research project, symposium series, and documentary that explore these issue.

High seas fisheries management could recoup losses due to climate change

Professor Rashid Sumaila, Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs professional program, UBC

Research by Rashid Sumaila, MPPGA Professor and Director of OceanCanada with UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, explores how the high seas can help us mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems if they are closed to fishing.

Indonesia's Decentralization Experiment: Motivations, Successes, and Unintended Consequences


MPPGA Professor Kai Ostwald published an article, "Indonesia's Decentralization Experiment: Motivations, Successes, and Unintended Consequences", co-authored with Yuhki Tajima and Krislert Samphantharak, in the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. Since 2001, Indonesia has undergone a rapid and extensive programme of decentralization of governance and resources from the centre to local level. Learn more in this publication.

CCTV-4 Documentary: Foreigners in China

MPPGA Co-Director Yves Tiberghien was featured in a documentary on CCTV-4 on his work in China and his coordination of the Vision 20 summit in Hangzhou. The documentary tells the story of how Tiberghien became so involved in Asian politics and diplomacy by focusing on his personal life as well as his career.

Tough Decisions Ahead on Canada’s GHG Emissions Strategy

According to Professor George Hoberg, a meaningful climate plan needs to have, at minimum, a measurable target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions over a specified time period. Hoberg further argues that there is a need for enforceable policies that can reasonably be expected to achieve that climate target.

Communication needed before THAAD deployment

MPPGA Co-Director Yves Tiberghien was quoted in the Chinese Radio International article discussing a suggested line of communication between China and the US that is connected to the deployment of THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea. Tiberghien suggests that this can be done on a non-political level.

B.C.’s foreign-buyer tax could help China fight corruption: ex-envoy

Paul Evans
Professor Paul Evans was quoted in this Globe and Mail article discussing BC's new foreign-buyer tax and its effect on relations between Canada and China. Professor Evans believes the new levy will have no impact on relations between Ottawa and Beijing since it is structured in a way that does not single out Chinese nationals.

Why Would a Pirate Ship Want Insurance?

MPPGA Professor Rashid Sumaila, Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at UBC Fisheries Centre, argues that reducing poachers’ access to insurance might be one way to combat illegal fishing. Furthermore, he estimates that losing their insurance would cause perhaps 40 percent of the ships that regularly fish illegally to stop doing so.