Cognitive Dissonance and The Post-Election Blues

Travels in a Polarized Country In the lead-up to the U.S. election, I had the opportunity to travel through several states along the East Coast, visiting friends and university campuses. Even before the final, surprising twist on election night, the polarization amongst Americans was palpable. In Boston – perhaps America’s most educated city – I tuned into the…

Viewpoint: Talkin ‘Bout a Revolution, Part I

Coffee and Politics As I was sitting across the table from my university friend, nearly 10 years later, I couldn’t help noticing the salt and pepper that started sprinkling his hair. We had been roommates for two years while going to school in Los Angeles. Shortly after graduation, he left for graduate studies on the…

EWB xChange Conference: Four Questions for Global Development

One of the first things I look forward to in every new year is the latest installment of international development conferences hosted by Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Canada, a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to addressing global poverty through systems change. Every January, EWB convenes roughly 700 student and professional delegates from across Canada (and increasingly, around…

Viewpoint: Four Elements of a Root-Cause-Based Counterterrorism Strategy

In a previous post, I examined three trends in global terrorism statistics that should give pause to policymakers proposing the typical policy package in response to terrorist incidents, including more bombing of terrorist groups, restricted immigration, and increased government surveillance. Specifically, these statistics demonstrated that (1) terrorist incidents in Western countries have actually declined since the…