As we moved through the semester toward publishing our first journal as co-editors-in-chief, it was amidst challenging and engaging policy debates in local, national, and international arenas. California saw a functioning carbon emissions auction, inviting questions on how to best tackle climate change. The budget sequestration brought questions of national debt and economic growth to the forefront of public discourse. The tragedies in Newtown sparked heated discussions—amongst friends, colleagues, and legislators alike—on how to redesign gun control in this country. A deadly fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh brought international labor issues home and reminded us of our deep connection to the world at large. Easy answers to policy questions are hard to come by. The PolicyMatters Journal serves as one platform for meaningful engagement with these types of issues, both for students at the Goldman School and beyond.
The editorial board of the PolicyMatters Journal is proud to present our Eleventh Edition. This edition presents policy issues being debated in California and around the world. We open with two articles on energy and environment in California. Jean Spencer looks at how adjacent water districts in California are dealing with saltwater intrusion as a result of excessive freshwater pumping. Next, Daniel Sanchez investigates the potential of and barriers to biogas development in California, ultimately providing several recommendations for policymakers and biogas developers. In an article on interstate competition and business tax incentives, Daniel Baker provides an economic framework that sheds light on present inefficiencies as states compete for economic development projects through business tax incentives.
The second half of the Journal focuses on global issues. We start with an interview on global food access and production with Congressman Bereuter. Congressman Bereuter speaks to what is working in international food aid and offers unique insights into our political system. Next, Estelle Raimondo discusses gender equality as a global public good and looks at leveraging the global public good framework as a tool to highlight the benefits of realizing gender equality at a global scale. The Journal closes with two articles on security. Alexandra Seltzer examines traditional and current approaches to DDR— disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration—as a strategy to contain armed non-state actors in post conflict environments. And finally, a commentary on violent drug trafficking organizations in Mexico. Author Ann Gilligan examines whether counterinsurgency efforts can be used to combat violent drug cartels south of the border.
The PolicyMatters Journal would like to thank all of the Goldman School students that made this issue possible through their work on the article selection committee, as editors, and in layout. Special thanks also goes to our Faculty Advisory Board and Martha Chavez for helping us make a smooth transition and for their continued support and dedication to the Journal. The journal would not be possible without the skill and effort of our fellow Editorial Board members. Our very special thanks to Emily Vaughan, Rachel West, Leo Covis, Chelsea Kelleher, Charu Gupta, and Kate Daniel for their hard work and commitment to the journal this semester. Lastly, we are extremely grateful to the previous leadership team for their candid advice, direction, and support: Jeff Bellisario, Editor-in-Chief; Andrew Abordonado, Executive Editor; Mary Fitzpatrick and Jason Perkins, Senior Editors; Katie Fleming, Outreach Manager; Matt Fidanque and Eileen Hays, Publishing Managers; and Mathias Jaime, Blog Manager.
Anna Scodel Shirin Panahandeh