IBS Newsletter

December 1997


Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

Environment and Behavior Program

Anthony B. Bebbington attended a meeting on "Frameworks for Negotiating the Relationship between Government and Civil Society" of the Ministry of Agriculture in Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia on November 12-14. He presented an invited paper entitled "Social Capital and the State-Civil Society Relationship: Organizations, Networks, Finance." He also was the commentator for sessions on Governance and on Rural Poverty.

On October 28, Denise and Anthony Bebbington were invited by the Boulder Valley School District to give a talk to Boulder high school teachers on current issues in the Andes that might be of use and relevance for high school classes. Issues covered were: culture and development; the resurgence of ethnic identity-based political and development strategies; intellectual property rights; environmental politics; coca and the cocaine economy; fair trade; violence; and mining and oil.

Charles W. Howe and Robert K. Davis presented a research seminar in the Environment Department at the University of York in the U.K. on October 23. The topic was about the pros and cons of the privatization of public lands with an emphasis on the western U.S. but in reference to the very different public lands and national parks policies of the U.K.

Howe led a round table discussion among the faculty of the Environment Department at York on the topic of sustainability. Since the interdisciplinary faculty included economists, biologists, and ecologists, quite different points of view were presented. Many of the graduate students in attendance are working on topics related to sustainability in either an ecological or economic sense.

On November 7, Howe will be at the University of Montpellier to take part in a doctoral oral examination relating to the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. Further research on this topic will be planned for the spring of 1998 when Howe will be a visiting professor at Montpellier.

Environment and Behavior Program in Print

Bebbington, Anthony B. November 1997. "Reinventing NGOs and Rethinking Alternatives in the Andes." Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Sciences, Vol. 554, pp. 117-135. Many Latin American nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) emerged as part of a movement committed to the idea of an alternative development that would differ from the dominant exclusionary, top-down, and often repressive forms of development. Yet today, after two or three decades of work in rural development, NGO activities appear to have had relatively little impact on dominant conceptions of development. Indeed, in the current economic and policy context, many of their alternatives appear impractical or simply obsolescent, challenging them to rethink their ideas of viable forms of alternative development, and their roles in development. In addition, their own institutional crises require them to rethink the way in which they relate to other actors and the ways in which they finance themselves. This article considers how conceptions of alternative development might be refashioned and how NGOs are beginning to reinvent themselves in order to carry forward new notions of development alternatives. It closes with a discussion of the implications for foreign aid.

Cronshaw, Mark B. and Till Requate. 1997. "Population Size and Environmental Quality." Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 10, pp. 299-316. The paper considers whether environmental standards should be stricter when the population is larger. The answer is not clear, since stricter standards restrict the productive capability of the economy. Optimal environmental policy is very sensitive to people's preferences and to the available production technology. However, under a wide range of circumstances it is optimal for individuals to reduce consumption in the face of a larger population.

Cronshaw, Mark B. 1997. "Algorithms for Finding Repeated Game Equilibria." Computational Economics, Vol. 10, pp. 139-168. This paper describes computational techniques for finding all equilibria in infinitely repeated games with discounting and perfect monitoring. It illustrates the techniques with a three player Cournot game and a two-country tariff war.

Hazards Center News

On November 14, at the request of the International Joint Commission's Red River Basin Task Force, Mary Fran Myers participated in a one-day workshop on the "Social Dimensions of the Flood of the Century" in Winnipeg, Manitoba. About two dozen people attended the workshop, which was designed to identify the lessons learned from the 1997 floods on the Red River and determine short- and long-term goals for research into the social science-related issues of the flood.

From November 27-30 Myers was in Vancouver as the guest of the University of British Columbia's Disaster Preparedness Resources Centre (DPRC). DPRC sponsored and organized a "Mitigation Symposium" to write a draft national hazards mitigation strategy for Canada. Myers was one of two representatives from the U.S. invited to participate.

Gilbert F. White chaired the concluding panel at the Symposium on Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Water Resource Management, sponsored by various national agencies and the University of Colorado, at Colorado Springs on October 26-29. On October 31-November 2 in Paris, he participated in a meeting of a committee of the United Nations Environment Agency and the International Council of Scientific Unions charged with preparing a report on Emerging Environmental Problems. During November 19-21 he worked in Washington, DC on the drafting of a report by a committee representing science academies in Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and the U.S. on sustainable water supplies in the Middle East.

Problem Behavior Program in Print

Menard, Scott. 1997. "A Developmental Test of Cloward's Differential Opportunity Theory." In The Future of Anomie Theory, edited by Nikos Passas and Robert Agnew, pp. 142-186. Boston: Northeastern University Press. Richard Cloward extended Robert K. Merton's anomie theory by emphasizing the importance of illegitimate opportunity, opportunity to learn and perform illegal behaviors, as an influence on the choice between conforming and deviant modes of adaptation. Building upon an earlier test of Merton's original formulation of the theory, this chapter incorporates the extensions to the theory suggested by Cloward and tests the theory for three age groups (early, middle, and late adolescence) using longitudinal data from the National Youth Survey. The addition of illegitimate learning and performance structures to the model increases the model's explanatory power, and illegitimate learning structures emerge as one of the most important predictors of minor delinquency, serious delinquency, marijuana use, and polydrug use. The explanatory power of the model increases with the age of the respondents. The results are consistent with the differential opportunity explanation of illegal behavior proposed by Cloward.

Political and economic Change Program

Keith B. Maskus has been asked to deliver the Joseph Fisher lecture at the University of Adelaide on November 19. The Joseph Fisher lecture is an annual lecture devoted to key policy issues in the international economy and is one of the most visible annual public lectures in economics in Australia. Title of the lecture will be "Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region: Implications for Australia."

James R. Scarritt attended the 40th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association in Columbus, Ohio on November 13-16. He presented the paper "The Specification of a Population of Ethnopolitical Groups for the Analysis of Democratic Competition in Contemporary Africa," which he co-authored with Glen Galaich and Adrian Prentice Hull. The authors state that in order to systematically investigate questions about the relationship between ethnopolitics and democratization, one must be able to specify a population of ethnopolitical groups in each country. This paper presents an initial attempt to specify such a population for all African countries south of the Sahara. It describes the procedures that were utilized in developing this population, specifies the decision rules that were of necessity developed to reduce the complexity of African ethnopolitical identities, and presents a list of ethnopolitical groups that continues to evolve through further research.

Population Processes Program

On November 17-18 Jane Menken chaired a meeting in Washington, DC, of the Technical Advisory Group for Family Health International's project on the "Impact of Family Planning Programs on Women's Lives." On November 21-22 Menken attended the meeting of the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences. This is the last meeting for the current chair, Ron Lee, of Berkeley. Menken will become chair of the committee on January 1.

Population Processes Program in Print

Rogers, Richard G., Felicia B. LeClere, and Kimberley D. Peters. September 1997. "Ethnicity and Mortality in the United States: Individual and Community Correlates." Social Forces, 76(1), pp. 168-198. Ethnic gaps in mortality persist in the United States, but the specific causes remain elusive. The authors propose a broader mortality framework that includes neighborhood characteristics that are tested using data from a file that links the National Health Interview Survey from 1986 to 1990 with information from death certificates from the National Death Index and additional census tract-level data from the 1990 Census STF-3A files. The concentration of African Americans in the neighborhood of residence, in addition to individual socioeconomic status, fully accounts for differential mortality between African American and non-Hispanic white men and women. For Mexican Americans, the concentration of Hispanics in the neighborhood slightly enhances their significant mortality advantage. From additional analyses, it appears that the pathway between residential segregation and mortality is routed through poorer neighborhood economic conditions for men, and high levels of female headship in segregated neighborhoods for women. The final analysis conducted on men by age at death shows that both young and middle-aged African American men are affected by the concentration of African Americans in the community.


Profile: Sung-A Lee

Understanding the role of ensete farming as part an integrated
agroecosystem

Sung-A Lee is the recipient of the 1997-98 IBS Graduate Student Diversity Fellowship. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology and is currently working on the Ensete Project with J. Terrence McCabe in the Environment and Behavior Program.

What makes this research truly exciting is that there have been no reports of famine among the populations that cultivate ensete as their primary crop.

I recently conducted fieldwork in the southern highlands of Ethiopia on the management of an unique agropastoral farming system. It is unique because the primary crop, ensete, is a banana tree-like plant that is only cultivated for human consumption in Ethiopia. What makes this research truly exciting, however, is that there have been no reports of famine among the populations that cultivate ensete as their primary crop.

The Sidama people of the southern highlands of Ethiopia that I conducted my research with have survived political, socio-economic, and environmental stress in part because of the flexibility of ensete. Ensete is unusually tolerant of floods and droughts, and the fermented food products of ensete can be stored for over a year. It is for these reasons that ensete is known as "the tree against hunger."

However, ensete production requires the use of manure as fertilizer. A comparison between ensete circumference and number of livestock indicates ensete growth is significantly correlated with livestock holdings. Many farmers in the Ensete Culture Complex region of Ethiopia are experimenting with chemical fertilizers such as DAP and urea but so far have found chemical fertilizers promote fast structural growth at the expense of edible products.

Livestock production is also important in other areas of the Sidama's economy such as for plowing fields. Most Sidama people can only make large purchases by selling cattle. In short, there are important reasons why livestock production is always present in societies that cultivate ensete as their primary crop. As the story goes, the Sidama people only began using ensete as a food source when they saw it growing from the buried horn of a cow.

The integration of livestock production with ensete was mutually beneficial for both production systems and the maintenance of Sidama's farming system. Land usage and land rights have changed drastically in the last twenty years, creating conflicts in resource apportionment between households and between livestock and crop production. These conflicts are played out in the management of individual farms as well as in the management of communal resources. As the Sidama people continue to intensify their farming practices, the ways in which they manage or possibly mismanage resources and labor will have important consequences for the maintenance of the agroecosystem. My goal is to ultimately understand the key factors necessary for sustainability and sustainable agriculture through studying the management of resources as well as the coping mechanisms by which societies deal with socio-economic, environmental, and political stressors.

I can't imagine a better research opportunity for a graduate student doing her first (and hopefully, not last) fieldwork. Unlike most anthropological research, I am fortunate to be part of a larger multidisciplinary research project. Agronomists, anthropologists, soil specialists, livestock specialists, et cetera from the U.S., Japan, and Ethiopia are all contributing to the understanding of ensete farming as an integrated agroecosystem.


Funding Opportunities

The Council on Research and Creative Work: Junior Faculty Development Awards are available to junior faculty members who hold at least half-time, tenure track appointments and are within three years of the start of the probationary period. Awards are up to $5,000 as a grant or summer salary. Deadline is January 15, 1998. Contact: Pat Peterson in the Graduate School, Campus Box 26, extension 2-1069, or e-mail: petersop@spot.colorado.edu.

Resources for the Future (RfF) awards resident fellowships for an academic year in honor of Gilbert F. White, retired chairman of the RfF board, distinguished geographer, and internationally known statesman of science. The fellowships are intended for researchers who have their Ph.D.s and who wish to devote a year to scholarly work in the social or policy sciences in areas related to natural sources, energy, or the environment. Since fellows will interact closely with current RfF staff members, selection criteria will include the nature of the participant's proposed research program and how it fits with RfF work in progress. The award is open to individuals in any discipline who have completed their doctoral requirements by the beginning of the 1998-99 academic year. Fellows receive an annual stipend based upon their current salary, plus research support, office facilities at RfF, and an allowance of up to $1,000 for moving or living expenses. Deadline is February 27, 1998. Contact: Coordinator for Academic Program, Resources for the Future, 1616 P Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, phone: 202-328-5067, or email: moran@rff.org.


Research Proposals Submitted

Environment and Behavior Program

W.M. Lewis, James L. Wescoat, R.F. Reitsma, and H. Diaz
El Niño 1997-98: Effects on surface water and water resources in the interior west
NOAA, 01/01/98 - 12/31/98, $183,723, new

Political and Economic Change Program

Thomas F. Mayer
Class dynamics and the collapse of communism
NSF, 06/01/98 - 11/30/00, $206,502, new

Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.


December 1997 IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks and Christine Weeber, Newsletter Editors


Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0483

(303) 492-8147

IBS@Colorado.EDU