IBS Newsletter

October 1997

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


Problem Behavior Program


Richard Jessor participated in the annual meeting of the International Medical Advisory Group on Alcohol-Related Problems in Bath, England, September 21-24. On September 25-26, he presented a paper (co-authored with Frances M. Costa and Mark S. Turbin) at the 14th International Symposium on Health Risk Behavior in Adolescence at the University of Bielefeld in Germany. The title of the paper is "Protective Factors in Adolescent Health Behavior."

Environment and Behavior Program

Robert Davis was guest lecturer on September 16 in the course on biological diversity in the Department of Biology-Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology. His topic was an explanation of Julian Simon's point of view on the endangered species problem. Simon believes that biologists would have us spend huge amounts of resources on species preservation with almost no justification, that the estimates of the rate of species loss are without foundation, and that the loss of species is mitigated by seed banks and genetic engineering. He also believes that species loss is a serious problem for which we deserve better information for our policy decisions.

Environment and Behavior Program in Print

Bebbington, Anthony J. "Crises and Transitions: NGOs and Political Economic Change in the Andean Region." Agricultural Research and Extension Network Paper #76. Overseas Development Institute:London. This paper discusses the challenges faced by rural development Non-Government Organizations (NGO) in the Andes and Chile within current contexts of public sector reform and economic liberalization. These changes, and the recognition that previous NGO initiatives have had limited impacts on rural poverty, have helped trigger crises of institutional identity, legitimacy, and sustainability among NGOs. Among some NGOs, these crises have begun to elicit institutional responses that might address the underlying weaknesses of the NGO sector, and identify more appropriate future roles and identities for NGOs. The paper discusses several such responses, and argues that these changes begin to remove long-standing distortions in the relationships between NGOs and their societies and economies, and thus offer the possibility of longer term institutional sustainability.

Bebbington, Anthony J. "Social Capital and Rural Intensification: Local Organizations and Islands of Sustainability in the Rural Andes," The Geographical Journal, July 1997, Vol. 163 (2), pp. 189-197. While the general image of much of the Andes is one of poverty, environmental degradation and out-migration, and of rural economies that refuse to develop self-reinforcing and inclusive forms of growth, islands of sustainable intensification of rural land use and livelihoods can be found. Analyzing how these "islands of sustainability" have emerged can help us understand how far policy and development intervention might encourage similar successes elsewhere in the Andes. This paper considers six localities in the Ecuadorian and Bolivian Andes, four of which are characterized by such success, and two, though located nearby, which are not. Common to the cases of successful intensification is the manufacture of high-value products for middle class and elite markets. Another critical factor is the existence of base and federated local organizations, and of external actors who have networks of contacts with non-local institutions. These two dimensions of local "social capital"--organizations and networks--play a critical role in helping these localities renegotiate relationships with the market, state, and other civil society actors. This renegotiation can generate new resources, entitlements and opportunities that, when linked to local social capital, facilitate local processes of socially-inclusive intensification that can ameliorate both poverty and environmental degradation. For this to be successful also requires a wider enabling context: in particular the existence of appropriate technologies, strong support institutions, and significant levels of market demand.

Hazard Center News

Gilbert F. White is serving as a member of a new committee established by the National Institute of Building Sciences on Flood Loss Estimation Modeling. It is intended to oversee the effort, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to construct and disseminate a module for estimating flood losses on a basis comparable to the HAZUS model for earthquake loses. It held its first meeting in Washington on August 26.

On September 10, Mary Fran Myers represented the Natural Hazards Center at the Strategic Planning Meeting of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) in Fairfax, Virginia. PERI is a new organization created as the result of a successful class action law suit against the insurance industry by local and state governments for collusion in setting liability insurance premium rates for public organizations. The courts ordered the establishment of PERI to assist local governments in dealing with all aspects of risk, including natural hazards. The Natural Hazards Center was one of 12 national organizations invited to participate in the meeting.

On September 22, Myers was an invited participant in the plenary session, "Expert Panel on Large Floods" which was part of the 9th annual conference of the Canadian Dam Safety Association and Canadian Congress on Large Dams convened in Montreal, Quebec. She presented a paper on "The Policy Response to the 1993 Midwest Floods."

Mary Fran Myers and Jacquelyn Monday, at the invitation of the United Nations' International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) secretariat, presented a keynote address to the IDNDR's Internet conference on "Floods, Droughts: Issues for the 21st Century." The conference is being held from September 22-October 24, and Myers and Monday's paper, "Floods in the US: Where Do We Go From Here?" appeared in cyberspace on September 25.

Dennis Mileti participated in the Workshop on Ethics and Earthquakes, presented by the Earthquake Engineering Institute on August 15-17 in Palo Alto, California. The purpose of the workshop was to develop broader thinking about the earthquake community's roles and responsibilities in promoting action regarding ethical issues.
On September 8, Mileti presented a speech at the National Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council Forum hosted by Building Seismic Safety Council in Denver, Colorado. Mileti's speech was titled, "A Researcher's Perspective About Current Mitigation Activities." The theme of the presentation was how bringing broader interdisciplinary perspectives to natural hazards mitigation would benefit future national mitigation activities.

Mileti presented the keynote luncheon address titled, "Public Private Partnership 2000" at a meeting on natural hazards mitigation hosted by the Sub-Community on Natural Hazard Reduction, the Committee on the Environment, the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The meeting was held in the White House Conference Center on September 10. The presentation was on a Sustainable Hazards Mitigation Paradigm and issues related to the project titled: "Assessment of Research and Applications of Natural Hazards."

On September 15, Mileti presented the keynote dinner address at the annual conference of the National Coordinating Council on Emergency Management in Phoenix, Arizona. His speech recognized the accomplishments of the evening's graduating class of Certified Emergency Managers and reflected on the increase professionalization of emergency managers in the U.S. over the last two decades.

Natural Hazards Center

In Print

White, Gilbert F. 1997. "Watersheds and Streams of Thought" in H.N. Barakat and A.K. Hegazy (eds.) Reviews in Ecology: Desert Conservation and Development, Cairo: UNESCO, pp. 89-98. An appraisal of how decisions as to watershed management have been influenced by the early choices of data to be considered in soil and landscape classification, planning upstream and downstream flood measures, distinguishing point and non-point sources of water pollution, and in distinguishing between responsible individuals and communities.

Population Processes Program

The Population Program convened the Third Colorado Conference on Elderly Migration on September 19-21 at Aspen Lodge, near Estes Park. Supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging and the National Center for Child Health and Human Development, the conference brought together scholars from Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United States to discuss how immigration patterns are affecting the growth, internal migration, and population redistribution of the elderly population.

Richard G. Rogers served as Program Chair and President-elect for this year's Southern Demographic Association Meeting, held in Orlando, Florida, from September 25-27. The association, which just marked its 28th annual meeting, draws demographers from the south as well as the rest of the country to its meetings. Furthermore, it publishes the journal Population Research and Policy Review.


Profile: James Bell


James Bell is the 1997-98 recipient of the Kenneth Boulding Post-Doctoral Fellowship, sponsored by the Research Program on Political and Economic Change. He spent last spring as a visiting lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Washington (Seattle), where he received his Ph.D. (1997). This fall he joined the IBS staff to participate in the Globalization and Democracy graduate training program.

I am an urban and political geographer by training. Currently, my primary research focus is on the possibility of "democracy from below" and the redefinition of citizenship at the local scale. My approach to urban and political analysis pays explicit attention to the way in which local phenomena are embedded in processes which extend across regional, national, and international scales. The context for my investigation of urban and political change is the former Soviet Union, with particular emphasis on modern Russian society.

In my dissertation, I investigated the struggle by Moscow-based urban social movements (KOS, in Russian) to forge territorialized senses of social and political identity. In particular, I examined the role of community space as a forum for public participation. My preliminary conclusion was that in the shorter term community spaces--such as those carved by the Moscow KOS--will remain "weak publics:" allowing for public agitation and protest, but not providing citizens with a consistently influential voice in formal politics. Nevertheless, I held out the possibility that in the longer term community spaces may diffuse democracy beyond the sphere of formal politics, enabling a democratic political culture to take root in the lived spaces of everyday existence, and, in turn, creating a more flexible and resilient public space for Russian citizens.

Following from the dissertation, my current research is directed toward an examination of the global structuring of local democracy in Russia. It is generally acceded that the prospects for democratization in Russia hinge in large measure on the assimilation of Russian society into the global, capitalist economy. This argument is usually applied at the macro-scale of the nation-state. However, my research suggests that at more localized scales there actually may be contradictions between the globalization of Russian society and the nurturing of democratic forms of citizenship. In the case of Moscow, my dissertation already suggests important tensions between the reconstruction of the capital city, mobilization of community interests and the local, and national, state's competition for large-scale investment. Answering the question, "For whom is Moscow being rebuilt?" could help reveal how free-market and democratic institutions at different scales are intersecting in post-Soviet Russia.

Along these lines John O'Loughlin and I plan to collaborate on a new research proposal that will integrate his previous research on electoral behavior and social cleavages in Moscow with my own work. Our aim is to design a project which will address the impacts of social and economic restructuring on both formal and informal political behavior, in order to establish a more comprehensive, and nuanced, picture of the emerging political culture in post-Soviet Russia.


Dean's Small Grants are competitive awards, sponsored by the CU Graduate School, that support the research, scholarship, and creative work of graduate students. The grants are for a maximum of $750. Any full-time graduate student in good standing and making adequate progress toward a degree on the Boulder campus may apply for an award. Almost any type of research or creative project may be funded. Projects directly related to work on a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation generally receive priority, although other projects also receive funding. Contact Marcy Aldacushion or Barbara Kraus in the Graduate School, Regent 308, 492-7401. The next application deadline is mid-February 1998. This is the time to apply for grants for summer research.

The National Institutes of Health invites submission for the Fogarty International Center: Foreign Funded Fellowship. This program provides opportunities for US postdoctoral scientists who are in the formative stages of their career to extend their research experience in foreign laboratories. Deadlines are December 5, April 5, and August 5. Contact: Fogarty International Center, 301-496-1653; Email: M3p@cu.nih.gov; WEB: http://www.nih.gov/fic/res/res/ffbro.htm.

The National Science Foundation is inviting applications for minority postdoctoral research fellowships. This program is an effort by the National Science Foundation to increase the number of research scientists from under-represented minority groups. The goal is to prepare minority scientists for positions of scientific leadership in academia and industry. Deadline is December 5. Contact: Carter Kimsey, Biological Infrastructure Division, 703-306-1469; Email: ckimsey@nsf.gov; WEB: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov.

The Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson Center East European Studies - Research Scholarships are offered to scholars having particular need for the library, archival, and other specialized resources in the Washington, DC area. This is a residential program limited to the advanced graduate and postdoctoral level for academic participants and to an equivalent degree of professional achievement for those from other fields. Deadline is November 1. For further information contact: East European Studies Woodrow Wilson International Center, 202-287-3000; WEB: http://wwics.si.edu/PROGRAMS/REGION/EWES/EWESSPEC/EWESSPEC.HTM

For further information on any of the grants, fellowships, and/or scholarships listed above please see the bulletin board at IBS #1.


Problem Behavior Program

Richard Jessor
International workshop to plan a collaborative cross-national study of adolescent health behavior and development in Puerto Rico, China, Italy, Poland, and the U.S.
Johann Jacobs Foundation 01/01/98 - 06/30/98 $27,825 new

David Huizinga, Scott Menard, J. DeFries, and J.K. Hewitt
NYS family study: problem alcohol rise and problem behavior
NIAAA 07/01/98 - 06/30/03 $6,424,669 new

Political and Economic Change and Population Processes Programs

John V. O'Loughlin, Charles M. Becker, Edward S. Greenberg , Jane E. Menken , and Lynn A. Staeheli
IGERI: Globalization and the dynamics of opportunity
 NSF 04/01/98 - 03/31/03 $2,060,535 new


Environment and Behavior Program

Dennis S. Mileti
A clearinghouse on natural hazards research and applications
NSF - 11/30/97 $617,165 supplement

Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.

October 1997 IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks and Christine Weeber, Newsletter Editors

Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Director

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

(303) 492-8147