Choosing a Side: Examining the Abortion Debate

Applying Systems Thinking to the abortion debate could permit discourse without the volatility of political rhetoric and the policy cycle.

Systems Thinking for Policymaking: The Case of Indigenous Women’s Rights in Mexico 

In this introductory piece of the Second Systems Thinking Special Edition, Paulina Lucio Maymon explains how to address the social injustice of indigenous peoples in Mexico using Systems Thinking – a method to analyze a diverse array of policy-relevant issues.

Introduction to the Second Systems Thinking Special Edition

Second Systems Thinking Special Edition Systems thinking is a popular lens that lends significant insights into problems, issues or situations in many different fields. This Special Edition provides a demonstration of the application of Systems Thinking to policy related issues in many areas such as resource management, race, and education. All of these papers show… Read more »

Editorial Note for the Second Systems Thinking Special Edition

In our Second Systems Thinking Special Edition, five Fellows of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) apply Systems Thinking as a policy analysis tool to facilitate a better understanding of public policies.

indigenous people mexico

Bridging the Indigenous Wage Gap in Mexico

The accumulation of human capital is a necessary condition for indigenous people to overcome poverty in Mexico, but it is not itself sufficient.

The Rise and Fall of Vermont’s Single Payer Plan

Green Mountain Care in Vermont aimed to be a paradigm for comprehensive healthcare reform at both the state and federal level. What caused its fall?


The Anatomy of New Public Transit: Opportunities and Challenges of the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) Streetcar

In two years the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) has made impressive progress but still has a number of issues to address before its completion.

alumni retention

Alumni Retention in United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas

It’s in the best interest of metropolitan areas to maintain an educated, young population, but how policy makers can secure alumni retention is tricker.

climate change native communities

Native Communities in Alaska: Vulnerabilities in Light of Climate Change

Climate change in Alaska will increase the risk of natural disasters, and due to sparsely located emergency resources, native communities are most at risk.

Rochester Inner Loop

A Geospatial Analysis of the Physical and Economic Consequences of Rochester’s Inner Loop

How Rochester’s Inner Loop became the city’s inner noose – cutting off downtown, creating policy challenges and lessons in transportation infrastructure.

  • “No Homo Promo”: American Hypocrisy and LGBT Rights in Russia

    As the images of medal winning performances in Sochi fade in to memories, the Russian Olympic team continues to celebrate their esteemed position as the winner of the most gold medals and tops the total medal count. However, this high level of athleticism during the 2014 Olympics does little to improve Russia’s image which has… Read more »

  • The Fight to Cover Georgia

    Low-income families, people of color, and youth are disproportionately affected by the decision not to expand Medicaid. On Feb. 17, I had the distinct honor of meeting several youth leaders and domestic workers in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the impact the lack of health care and insurance access has had on their families. They shared their experiences and plight in accessing healthcare, even after the implementation of the ACA.

  • Crisis in the Ukraine: Who’s Fighting Whom? And Why?

    Amid the seemingly constant cable news coverage of rioting in the capital city of Kiev, it is very easy for viewers to get caught up in the media frenzy while misunderstanding the root causes of this geopolitical struggle. Although the violence seen on television may bear striking resemblance to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt… Read more »

  • Geopolitical Ramifications of the Chinese Air Defense Zone

    On November 23, 2013, the People’s Republic of China unilaterally declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea. The zone encompasses the highly disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, to which Japan also lays claim, and South-Korean claimed Socotra Rock. China’s parameters on the defense zone were explicitly set to require aircraft to identify… Read more »

  • A New Free Trade Area of the Americas

    On December 9th, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the United States was exploring a new trade agreement for the Americas. This would be the first time the U.S. proposed a regional agreement since the unsuccessful Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). According to Secretary Kerry, the agreement would begin with the… Read more »

  • Germany Online: The road to modernizing privacy policies in a digitalized world

    German citizens hold personal privacy in high esteem, but the blurred lines of life on the Internet have made that a difficult right to uphold. In light of NSA spying, that fight for online privacy has become even more difficult.

  • State of the Union: A Year of Action without Action

    From income inequality, to early education, on down to a new era of military restraint, President Barack Obama laid out a comprehensive agenda for 2014 during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. It is a well-rounded policy blueprint that seeks to address a wide range of issues. But will this call to action work?

  • The Systemic Transparency Issue That Will Not be Discussed at The State of The Union

    The President will deliver his State of the Union address tonight and there are plenty of people already predicting what he will say and why he’ll say it – you can read about it here, here, here, or any number of places. I imagine that he will address the Congressional gridlock that has been a… Read more »

  • Roe v Wade Turns 41

    Today marks the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued a decision upholding a person’s right to privacy and abortion. In a 7-2 decision, the Court decided that under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, a person had the right to access an abortion… Read more »

  • NAFTA Turns 20

    Twenty years after it passage, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continues to be a source of tension for many within North America. Yet despite its criticism, NAFTA has transformed the continent.

  • U.S. Poverty and the Minimum Wage: Can They Be Corrected?

    It will take the work of all Americans – elected leaders and citizens alike – to act to solve “the defining challenge of our time.” If we fail, we will be failing in our duty of care to the common good.

  • District of Columbia Public Schools’ Pilot Program: Possible game changer in teacher development

    The recent release of the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — also known as “the nation’s report card” — has prompted questions about what, exactly, successful states are doing right. Hawai’i, Tennessee, and Washington, DC all posted significant gains this year; DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson cited the district’s emphasis… Read more »