• Developing a Federal Flood-risk Reduction Communication Plan to Improve Flood Resilience of U.S. Communities under a Changing Climate
    By Sarah Alexander Problem Statement Floods are the most costly, deadly and frequent natural disaster. Development of flood-prone land, human modifications to river and coastal ecosystems, and declining natural infrastructure all raise the cost of floods. And, the impacts to people, livelihoods, industry, and the economy will only worsen as our climate changes. The burden…
  • Policy Proposal to Combat the Clogged Antibiotic Pipeline
    By Danielle Field Problem Statement: The Clogged Antibiotic PipelineThis past year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that current development of antibiotics is insufficient (WHO). Essentially, the lack in investment return lies at the root of the problem. Due to a lack of potential revenue, the investments being made by pharmaceutical companies have substantially declined…
  • Building a pilot biorefinery to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) in Wisconsin
    By Mingxin Zhang and Unni Kurumbail Problem Statement: Petrochemicals is a linear economy Current chemicals production stems primarily from fossil fuel feedstocks. While a breathtaking wealth of value-added chemical transformations have enabled the modern economy, the linear nature of this industry (take-make-dispose) is not sustainable in the long run. It is critical to develop circular…
  • Class Size Limits in US Elementary Schools
    by Julia Kessel Introduction Classrooms are intended to be a safe space for students where they are able to learn efficiently, successfully and comfortably. Schools have the responsibility of ensuring that their students learn as much as possible during the school year in the most efficient and comfortable way. In the classroom, teachers have the…
  • The Rise of Hate in Wisconsin
    by Julia Kessel Introducing the Problem Over the past few years, the amount of hate against minority groups in Wisconsin has been rising significantly. These incidents, that are anywhere from microaggressions to violent crimes, have been plaguing the country and do not seem to be slowing down. In Wisconsin, much of these crimes tend to…
  • Great Time to Close Bio(un)safety Labs in America
    by Sam Myszka Dr. Francis Boyle is one of the world’s top bioterrorism experts and the Illinois law professor who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989. In 2015, he stated that America was in violation of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; within this last year, he has publicly advocated for a nationwide shutdown…
  • Antifa and the Perception of Radical Activism
    by Stella D’Acquisto The first time many Americans heard the term Antifa was in the words of former President Trump.  In the past year, this word has been utilized more and more as a representation of the radical left, portrayed as a violent and chaos-loving organization set on the pillaging of working neighborhoods, ostensibly with…
  • The Importance of Passing the Equality Act
    by Rianna Mukherjee The passage The Equality Act is a proposed bill that prioritizes mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals by prohibiting discrimination in health care and employment. This bill also addresses youth by updating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to desegregate public school education based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This provision…
  • Guns versus Butter: Catering the Federal Budget to Contemporary Issues
    by Lindsey Felner Introduction Producing a federal budget has proven time and time again to be one of the most grueling and polarizing tasks of public service. Determining how best to allocate funds between defense and non-defense programs is one of the major considerations on which liberals and conservatives are fiercely divided, frequently leading to…
  • Failure to Reform: The Attempt to Americanize the Postwar Japanese Police
    by Ryan Thiele As a component of their ‘remote control’ mode of oversight, American Occupation forces depended upon traditional Japanese institutions to bring about reform in the post-World War II era; specifically, the disbanding of the Japanese military placed police in a vital role for maintaining social stability in a time of incredible political, social,…
  • The Western Hemisphere Should Integrate Its Economies
    by Jacob Laufgraben Problem: America’s Protectionism Does More Harm Than Good In recent history, the United States has adopted protectionist trade and immigration policies with the goal of safeguarding the jobs and wages of native-born Americans. However, these policies, and the reasoning behind them are founded on distortions of sound economic thinking, peddled by special…
  • A Proposal for Comprehensive Sex Education in Public High Schools
    By Amanda Peterson Problem Sex education is a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, and other aspects regarding human sexual behavior. According to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, a comprehensive sex education is “developmentally and culturally responsive, science-based and medically accurate information…
  • Pharmaceutical Outsourcing in the Post Covid-19 World
    By Ziyang Wang and Longqing Chen Summary The events that unfolded in 2020 rang an alarm bell for humanity: as of now, Covid-19 has claimed 2.8 million lives worldwide (“Covid-19 Dashboard”). Major businesses across the globe found themselves in deep financial trouble: already under the great distress of debt before the pandemic, the American rental…
  • Subminimum Wage Systems for Tipped Workers
    By Emma Garrison Context and Background  Debates around poverty have long dominated public policy debates; in his seminal piece “The New American Poverty,” Harrington (1985) addressed the rising threat of poverty among working-class Americans and argued that the United States still faced the same fundamental economic issues that plagued the early 1980s. Notably, he discussed…
  • Reasonable Investing in the Common Good: Military Spending and an Economically Positive Green New Deal
    By Skylar Shafer Problem and Background: This paper seeks to address two separate circumstances simultaneously. First, U.S military spending is distinctively higher than NATO averages. Second, impending economic damage from well-documented climate change and a lack of infrastructural investment. The U.S spent 3.42% of its GDP in 2019 on defense, according to the World Bank.(2020)…
  • Advancing The Global Economy: Preserving American Hegemony By Increasing Developmental Foreign Aid
    By Julide Sengil and Tatiana Dittus Problem Statement The United States donates a lower percentage of GDP to foreign aid compared to the majority of other developed nations, yet they undeniably gain from global trade. As a major exporter of services – finance, pharmaceuticals, business administration – US consumers rely on imports from the developing…
  • Federal Government Effectiveness: A Memo for Holding the Federal Government More Accountable
    By TJ Kennedy Problem Statement The United States spends enormous amounts of taxpayer money to accomplish its goals. However, only some programs which government creates are accountable to determine if they’re actually fulfilling their purpose. Part of this is due to the nature of the Government Accountability Agency (GAO) and part of it is due…
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change Policy
    By Anika Horowitz Problem Statement In 2019, progressive congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez claimed that, unless we implement drastic climate change policies, “the world would end in 12 years.” Every day, the media bombards us with alarming messages of how rising sea levels will flood our shores, while wildfires burn our cities. As a result, tens…
  • Phasing out Employee-Sponsored Health Insurance
    By William Hegelmeyer Problem Statement There is no challenging problem in public policy quite like healthcare due to how extensively it impacts human life, as well as the complexity of the systems that exist to support it.  Health policy in the United Statesis often considered enormously complex, and for good reason.  Our system is arguably…
  • Externalism: an Efficient Economic System Prepared for AI and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
    By Xaver Davey I. Problem Statement This paper aims to bring attention to an impending economic problem and propose preliminary solutions. What remains uncertain, however, is the size and scale of the incoming predicament. The problem at hand is the vast displacing potential of advanced artificial intelligence (AI), which will dramatically change the economic landscape,…
  • The Use of Student IDs as Valid Voter IDs
    By Beth Allen and Sofia Miller Executive Summary: The use of various forms of identification as Voter identification (Voter ID) has been hotly debated in recent years. With increasing restrictions on what makes up a valid ID, many younger adults are struggling to keep up with changing rules and regulations. Many students are voting for…
  • Residential Segregation in America
    By Yiren Lu Problem Statement People like being with others who are like them, especially when it comes to immigrants or those who cannot speak English fluently. Language plays a major role in everyday life and by living in a community where others speak their native tongue, life as a whole becomes easier. Restaurants have…
  • Reimaging Mental Health Programs in Wisconsin Public Schools
    By Sara Kleinman Problem Statement In Wisconsin public schools today, students are struggling with mental health at increasing rates, yet due to stigma, are deterred from seeking help. Background Data reveals that students are battling difficulties with mental health at alarming and increasing rates. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recently published the 2019 Wisconsin…
  • Rising Rents and Madison’s Missing Middle
    By Luc Gudmundson Problem Statement Madison, Wisconsin is home to over 250,000, with approximately half living in some form of rental housing (Equitable Development). However, rent prices have been increasing at a rate that vastly outpaces both inflation and net worth increases. With the city’s own government predicting a population growth of 70,000 people by…
  • Increasing Voter Confidence
    By Jill Goldwasser Problem statement Americans have had a rocky past when it comes to election confidence. In the 19th century, machine party politics bought voters and stuffed ballot boxes (Matlin 92). The election of 2000 between George Bush and Al Gore shook voter trust in the electoral process (Gronke et al.). With the 2016…
  • The Land-Grant Service Corps: Reinvigorating the Land-Grant Mission in the State of Wisconsin
    By Christopher Dade Problem Statement The state of Wisconsin faces two distinct but interwoven challenges: a decades-long “brain drain” of the state’s highly educated population and growing political polarization that mirrors the geographic sorting of Wisconsinites based on educational attainment. While the brightest Wisconsonites who stay often have obtained their education from the state’s flagship…
  • Electoral Reform
    By Michael Alter Executive Summary Extreme polarization is not a new phenomenon, but accompanied by interlocking systems of voter enfranchisement, mass media and internet connectivity, and profit maximization, extreme polarization now exists in uniquely pernicious forms. This polarization filters itself through our electoral institutions, and unfortunately, they are ill equipped to handle these stresses. Failure…
  • Permanently Restoring the Summer Recess for Members of Congress
    By Christian Quilon Problem Statement Congress has effectively eliminated the legally-mandated congressional summer recess through cancellations or pro forma sessions in order to subvert executive power and to diminish the campaigning power of their political opponents. Background Every year, both the Senate and the House of Representatives are mandated to take a scheduled recess during…
  • In-State Tuition for Undocumented Residents: Constitutionally Necessary, Socially Advantageous
    By Lucie Kneip and Patrick Aimone Executive Summary: Undocumented residents in twenty-eight states are ineligible for in-state tuition to attend public institutions of higher education. This is a significant roadblock to undocumented residents pursuing their desired career, educational, and life plans. Additionally, it causes severe economic inefficiency by arbitrarily restricting human capital investment among undocumented…
  • Implementing Automatic Voter Registration to Reduce Burdens on Voters
    By Hope Karnopp Problem Statement As states pass restrictive voting laws in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Wisconsin’s divided government faces two policy proposals: either to tighten restrictions on absentee voting and ID requirements, or to implement automatic voter registration (AVR). State policymakers who wish to decrease administrative burden and pursue equitable voter…
  • Optimizing Government Assistance Programs for Communities Disintegrated by Poverty
    By Makayla Harris Background ﹣ How prevalent is this issue? In America, the quality of living based on income varies from state to state. Most of this can be contributed to the fact that aside from federal government aid, states and municipalities enact their own legislation in order to dictate how aid from public welfare…
  • Comprehensive Antisemitism Education Required to Combat Rising Hate
    By Rachel Hale Background: Antisemitism is on the rise Sometimes referred to as “the world’s oldest hate,” antisemitism, hostility toward Jews, is a form of discrimination present in America’s political right and left wings, manifesting in the form of physical attacks and vandalization, dangerous Holocaust erasure, the conflation of Jews and the Israeli government, and…
  • “Gay Panic Defense” and “Trans Panic Defense” in Wisconsin State Statute
    By Alanna Goldstein Problem  Hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community in the United States continue to be an ongoing problem. Even after the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed by Congress in 2009, a gap exists specifically for “gay panic defense” and “trans panic defense” hate crime legislation to be…
  • Improving LGBTQ+ Hate Crime Data Collection in the U.S.
    By Sarah Cheney Background Hate Crimes against the LGBTQ+ community have continued to be a serious problem in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has done monumental work to fight for equality for all. However, there are issues the HRC has yet to tackle which could change the way the United States combats…
  • Evaluating Sexual Education in the State of Wisconsin and Pushing for its Reform
    By Carly Silver Problem Statement and Background Wisconsin’s sexual education system has regressed over the past decade. Since education is controlled by states, there is no clear way to implement a sexual education curriculum for the country. However, Wisconsin can take the correct steps to ensure that they are moving forward efficiently and effectively.  Wisconsin…
  • Wilderness Adventure Therapy: Alternative to Incarceration for Youth to Reduce Recidivism in Wisconsin
    By Parker Jorenby Problem Statement: Wisconsin youth offenders recidivate at a significantly higher rate than the national average with over half of offenders returning to the Juvenile Justice System after three years. A change in the institution can help reduce this severe recidivism rate and the racial disparities experienced with the Wisconsin JJS. I advocate…
  • The Importance of Outlawing Faithless Electors
    By Ethan Johnson BACKGROUND Distrust in Democratic Institutions: History has told us that no regime is invincible. Only two years after the end of the First World War, the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), also known as the Nazi Party, was created. Slowly, the leaders of NSDAP created distrust in the democratic institutions that governed their…
  • Childhood Experiences and Fostering Resilience in Wisconsin
    Gabby Henshue PROBLEM STATEMENT Adverse Childhood Experiences are situations or conditions during formative years resulting in toxic stress and are also referred to as ACEs. Up to 60% of adults in Wisconsin report having experienced at least one ACE while growing up. (Resilient Wisconsin: Adverse Childhood Experiences). Examples of ACEs include witnessing domestic violence, physical…
  • Rethinking Pre-Trial Detention Through the Elimination of Cash Bail
    By Brennan Gallagher Problem Statement Over the past 40 years the United States jail population has exploded.  From 1970 to 2016, the number of people jailed after an arrest grew from 70 for every 100 to 99 for every 100 (Reducing the Use of Jails).  Today, jails admit almost 20 times more people than prisons…
  • Answering the Call to Defund the Police
    By Ananda Deacon While many major cities experience a shortage of resources and funding for infrastructure, transportation, education, and other societal necessities, police budgets across the board remain fully funded. On the surface, this does not strike one as an issue, as investing into police and investing into public safety have become synonymous in public…
  • Reforming Civil Asset Forfeiture at the State Level
    By Dana Craig Background: Defining Civil Asset Forfeiture Civil asset forfeiture is a law enforcement practice that allows officers to seize money and property suspected of having ties to crime. Unlike its counterpart criminal forfeiture, civil forfeiture is an in rem proceeding against the property instead of its owner (“In rem”). Therefore, it does not…
  • Juvenile Justice Reform: Shift Toward Restorative Justice
    Hazel Behling and Hannah Sohn Problem Statement As a nation created in the image of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the United States was founded on the principles of “liberty and justice for all.” While these ideals intend to transcend beyond parchment, the promises are meant to embody the life prospects for all…
  • Reducing Prison Overpopulation and Racial Disparities in Prisons by Reducing Non-Violent Drug Incarcerations
    By Will Aldana Problem Statement – Prison Overpopulation’s Many Ramifications Prison overpopulation, in the history of the United States, is a relatively new issue. With the recent explosion in convictions that lead to incarcerations, the number of new prisoners and detainees far exceeds the possible capacity of the existing prisons. Because of this, the federal…
  • A Cohesive Strategy for Combating Russian Subversion and Disinformation
    By Jesse Shufro-Zletz Executive Summary: Russia has a long history of exploiting disinformation and subversion in service to its geopolitical goals. As it did during the Cold War, the Kremlin has developed a cohesive strategy for undermining Western interests and bolstering Russia’s power regionally and beyond through the use of nefarious actions, sometimes in concert…
  • Improving United States Federal Interdepartmental Cyber Hacking Responses
    By Nils Peterson Problem and Background In the late 1980s and early 1990s cyber hacking gained prominence in policy circles as a wide-ranging phenomenon including teenage and state sponsored hackers (Cavelty and Mauer, 181). In the early 2000s it became clear that every cyberattack did not constitute an act of war, analogous to how every…
  • The Flaws of Modern Cybersecurity: Recommendations for a More Cyber-Aware Populace
    By Peter Mitchell Problem Statement For much of the 20th century the United States was considered to be a giant of world-security. Unmatched military technology along with strong tenets of discipline created a very effective fighting machine. What this machine failed to account for was the rise of the World Wide Web in the 1990s.…
  • Ending Presidential Sole Authority over Nuclear Weapons
    By Michel Justen & Lennart Justen The Problem In the U.S., the authority to launch nuclear weapons is delegated to the president alone. The president has no obligation to consult with his or her advisors or follow their advice when making one the most consequential decisions possible. This power, known as presidential sole authority, is…
  • Reinvigorating The United State’s Domestic Terrorism Strategy: The Need for a Federal Statute
    By Macie Daley The Issue: The United States has historically taken a hard-handed, no-concessions strategy when dealing with international terrorism when it has occurred.  The same cannot be said for domestic terrorism. Take, for example, the most infamous transnational terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. …
  • Shifting Scopes: Refocusing our Counterterrorism Efforts Abroad to Address the Growing Domestic Terror Threats at Home
    By Pablo Cook Problem Statement In the Post 9/11 Era, terrorism has been at the forefront of the American consciousness. However, much of the perceptions of who is committing terrorism seem to be misplaced, with polling showing that Americans are far more likelier to call an act “terrorism” if it is committed by someone who…
  • The American Road to Recovery is Green
    By John Klym Problem Statement The U.S. is in decline. It currently suffers from partisan gridlock, crumbling infrastructure, a pandemic, racial injustice, economic inequality, and more. In fact, by some economic measures, China has even replaced the U.S. as the world’s premier economic power. Yet, all hope is not lost. Historical research suggests that 40%…
  • An Analysis on the First Phase of Civil Disobedience
    by Sydney Schwantes Civil disobedience can be defined as “a public, non-violent and conscientious breach of law undertaken with the aim of bringing about a change in laws or government policies” (Brownlee). Throughout American history, the practice of civil disobedience is largely (but not entirely) attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. and his leadership of…
  • Analyzing and Improving Additional Education for Incarcerated Women
    by Sarah Cheney Introduction Academic works about incarcerated women and additional education (education including and beyond the GED) in prison have made massive advances in the last two decades. However, there is still much work to be done in understanding how the marriage of the two: incarcerated women’s experience with additional education, can truly better…
  • Evaluating Multilateral Counterterrorism Strategy in the Lake Chad Basin
    by Benjamin Keeler Since its inception, Nigeria has seen insurgencies by non-state political actors. Beginning with the Maitatsine crisis in 1980-1982 and moving into the 21st century with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and the Ombatse cult group. Beginning in 2009, a new insurgent group appeared, Boko Haram, threatening the…
  • Argentina’s Ley de Cupos: Machismo in Disguise?
    by Valerie Soley In November of 1991, Argentina became the first country in the world to put into law a mandatory quota regarding women in politics (Craske Chapter 4). This law, named Ley de Cupos (translation: quota law), states that women must represent 30 percent of the candidates on each party’s ballot in legislative elections…
  • Video Calling as an Effective Alternative to In-Person Visitation for Children with Incarcerated Parents
    by Parker Jorenby The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded struggles for children with incarcerated parents, leading to even greater suffering within these families. Children with incarcerated parents tend to live in marginalized communities facing poverty, severe mental disorders, and stigmatization by their society. Despite the relationship strain that results from a parent’s incarceration, children previously have…
  • The Effect of A Personal Interest in Politics and the Value of Tolerance on Left-Right Political Affiliation in American Individuals
    by Emmy Pagel Abstract The following research demonstrates the effects of a personal interest in politics and the value of tolerance on left-right political affiliation in American individuals. The relevance of this question lies in the increased party polarization and moral division between ideologies in the United States. While determining the effects of the value…
  • Racial Disparities in Policing and a Call for Change
    by Hannah Sohn As a nation founded upon the words of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the United States promises “liberty and justice for all.”  These ideals intended to transcend beyond parchment are meant to apply as a way of life for all American people. Yet because of certain public policy decisions,, practices…
  • American Attitudes Towards Income Inequality
    by Tangy Sarazin Abstract Does an individual’s political party affiliation or income level influence their views regarding the importance of reducing income inequality? Structural position and social identity theory suggest that individuals who are disadvantaged by a system will be more likely to oppose said system than those who benefit from it. However, system-justification theory…
  • The Humanitarian Shift: How the UBI Debate Has Fundamentally Reshaped Welfare
    by Dimitrije Jovanovich In the eyes of many Americans, 2020’s most overarching achievement (if you could even call it that) is somewhat unrelated to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19. Instead, it has to do with the fundamental restructuring of the discussion surrounding welfare in the United States, specifically in conversations concerning the fiscal…
  • Bilingualism in the US Education System
    by Julia Kessel Summary In many elementary school classrooms across the United States, students are only allowed to speak English, whether or not that is their native language. These “English-only” classrooms are detrimental to children’s ability to learn and properly express themselves if English is not their first language. Since these policies tend to affect…
  • De-escalation of Tensions Between the United States and The Islamic Republic of Iran
    By Sarah Catherine Niemann Background: U.S Iranian Relations Concerning Oil Sanctions On January 16, 2016 the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was implemented triggering the removal of crippling U.S, E.U, and UN sanctions on Iran’s economy that were restricting Iran’s oil exports, in return for the termination of Iran’s nuclear program. Oil is the main…
  • A Hybrid Option for Ensuring Groundwater Quality in Wisconsin
    In a policy memo for Political Science 272, Introduction to Public Policy (UW), Ryan Thiele writes to the Wisconsin State Legislature a proposal for adopting a set of programs in protecting groundwater quality in the state. Summary In response to a growing concern over groundwater contamination in Wisconsin, a bipartisan Task Force on Water Quality…
  • Nitrate Contamination of Well Water
    In a paper for Political Science 272: Introduction to Public Policy (UW), Julia Kessel wrote a hypothetical memo to the Wisconsin State Legislature that was advocating for reform in response to nitrate contamination of well water in the state. Summary The well water in Wisconsin is heavily contaminated by nitrate. This is dangerous for residents…
  • Illinois State Board of Education Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program
    In this memo for Public Affairs 520: Inequality, Race and Public Policy (UW), Julia Kessel evaluates the success of the Illinois State Board of Education Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program on participating student’s achievement, both academically and social-emotionally. Summary The Illinois State Board of Education Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community…
  • Enver Pasha’s Ghost: Viewing the Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis Through a Historical Understanding of the Caucasus
    As tensions boil over in the Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the global community is searching for a quick and simple solution to a conflict in a region where ethnic tensions and religious strife oftentimes lead to deadly wars. In this paper by Dimitrije Jovanovich, the ethnic history of the Caucasus and the Middle East…
  • Redeemer University v. State Bar of California
    In this end of semester paper for Political Science 470: First Amendment (UW), Ryan Thiele plays the role of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice attempting to answer the question of whether a state bar can refuse accreditation to a university’s law school because of a state interest in eliminating discrimination in the law practice despite…
  • Why the United States Fails to Curtail the Actions of Islamist Terrorist Groups
    by Gabrielle Toonen Abstract Islamist terrorist groups have remained a salient threat to the United States since the deadliest terror attack in history, 9/11. Since then, many extremist groups have engaged in terrorism primarily in the Middle East and Northern Africa with a goal of reaching Western societies. To counter these menaces, the United States…
  • Lesser of Two Evils: The Importance of Third Parties
    by Jack Galliart Throughout the recent history of American elections, the idea of the “third-party” has been fading out of existence. This ideal has been used by some Americans as a way to break the societal norms placed by the Republican and Democratic parties. When the United States of America first received the sovereignty that…
  • Sasse Gets Seventeenth Amendment Reform
    by Blake Weiner In a September op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse proposed a refashioning of several Senate norms that, he argues, would help to bring about “dramatic change aimed at promoting debate, not ending it.”  Most of the proposals were slight in effect; in one, Sasse advocates for the removal…
  • Israel’s Separate Peace with the Arab World: How We Got Here and Where We Go Now
    by Jacob Laufgraben With a raging pandemic, severe economic downturn, intense racial strife, and a tumultuous presidential election all captivating the attention of the American public, they might have been remiss in some of the most consequential agreements to come out of the Middle East in decades. For better or worse, America has played a…
  • Macron’s Response to Islamic Fundamentalism Highlights the Differences Between French and American Secularism
    by Jacob Laufgraben France is in the midst of a streak of violent attacks that authorities are attributing to Islamist terrorism. Over the course of October 2020, the European nation saw two beheadings: one of a teacher who showed his students a caricature of the prophet Muhammad, and one of a woman in a church.…
  • The Supreme Court is Right on Executive Power
    by Ryan Thiele This past summer, the U.S. Supreme Court released their opinion in Seila Law LLC. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The case turned on arguably some of the most difficult questions found under our Constitution: how far does presidential power extend? What opportunities, if any, are available for other political actors to check…
  • How LIFO Acts as a Tax Loophole for American Corporations
    By Jeff Wang Information concerning inventory and its related accounts are required items that need to be reported on financial statements at the end of each financial period. In the United States, governing accounting boards allow corporations to use three different methods of accounting for the cost of inventory. Each different method produces varying information…
  • Accountability over the Government’s Language
    By Hannah Sohn Statement of the problem: America renders a message of apparent contradiction — a nation founded by immigrants yet simmering with discourse concerning whether or not they belong. The immigration narrative continues to evolve as new policies are put in place. The issue of immigration transcends politics and shifts discussion regarding immigrants, discrimination…
  • Reducing the Shortage of Affordable Housing in the State of Wisconsin
    By Amy Shircel Executive Summary:  This policy memo addresses problems and solutions surrounding Wisconsin’s workforce housing crisis. A background on the state of Wisconsin’s population and housing market will lay out the scope of the issue, followed by an issue analysis of how a lack of workforce housing ultimately inhibits Wisconsin’s economic competitiveness. Lack of…
  • Adapting the TSCTP to Mali’s Needs
    By Anitha Quintin The U.S War on Terror in the Sahara-Sahel The Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) was created in 2005 as a successor to the Pan-Sahel Initiative (Kieh and Kalu 2013, 89). The TSCTP seeks to continue the mission of its predecessor and defeat terrorist organizations through a combination of military and diplomatic support…
  • Explanatory Economic Factors in Femicides
    By Montserrat Ponce-Parra Problem Gender violence is categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a major public health problem. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated that in 2017, 87 thousand women were murdered and that 58% of the homicides were perpetuated by an intimate partner or family member. Homicide is…
  • How Inadequate American Responses to Cyber Attacks Impair Foreign Policy
    By Nils Peterson Problem In the modern era, warfare goes beyond air, land, and sea to include cyberspace. This new realm of war forms a central part of American military force because computers undergird the United States’ ability to wage war. The ability to use cyberspace to launch attacks against America from a distance also…
  • De-escalation of Tensions Between the United States and The Islamic Republic of Iran
    By Sarah Niemann Background: U.S Iranian Relations Concerning Oil Sanctions On January 16, 2016 the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was implemented triggering the removal of crippling U.S, E.U, and UN sanctions on Iran’s economy that were restricting Iran’s oil exports, in return for the termination of Iran’s nuclear program. Oil is the main driver…
  • Make Housing Affordable Before Students Are Priced Out
    By Matthew Mitnick SUMMARY This policy memo offers recommendations for student affordable housing to the Madison Common Council. The challenge of affordability for University of Wisconsin – Madison students on campus is outlined, with an explanation of what types of projects qualify as affordable housing. Solutions that have been implemented across the country, as well…
  • Implications for National Security and UK/USA with Huawei’s Role in UK 5G
    By Kelly MacGarrigle Executive Summary Unless the UK halts the rollout of the 5G telecommunications network provided by the Chinese company Huawei, the US intelligence community cannot continue to share SIGINT within the UKUSA alliance safely. It is difficult to trust and share information in a network partially built by a company with compromising ties…
  • Wisconsin Redistricting: A case for switching to “Iowa Model”
    By Spencer Lindsay Statement of the Problem The Constitution of the United States guarantees a right to an attorney in all criminal proceedings which may result in imprisonment. The Sixth Amendment reads: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to…have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence (U. S. Const. amend. IV).”…
  • Improving Attorney Access in Wisconsin through Investment in the Public Defender’s Office
    By Kati Kons Problem ― Why the current redistricting process needs reform For decades, the problem of partisan gerrymandering has been a point of contention involving state legislatures, governors, the supreme court and voters. Created and practiced as a ploy for political parties to hold on to power, gerrymandering fits into a category of political…
  • Making Election Day Accessible
    By Julia Kessel Problem: Presidential Elections are not easily accessible or available to all eligible voters of the United States. Currently, our election process is not easily accessible to all citizens of the United States. Voting is a right, not a privilege and US policy needs to properly reflect that. My proposal is to make…
  • Enhancing and Integrating Army Civil Affairs Capability
    By Benjamin Keeler Background – What is Civil Affairs? Modern conflict is viewed within the land, sea, air, and cyber domains. The collection of these factors is referred to in Army doctrine as Multi-Domain Operations (MDO). An increasingly important part of Army MDO practice is engagement and competition in the civil domain. U.S. Army Civil…
  • Improving Coastal Disaster Response Capabilities Without Diminishing Military Readiness
    By Jamey Kane Introduction The United States faces a growing threat from Coastal Disasters (CDs). CDs, which include tropical cyclones (hurricanes) and tsunamis, are also an increasing threat to other countries. Research indicates climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones (IPCC 2018). In addition, a trend of growing population density means…
  • How a Lack of Reentry Resources Contributes to Recidivism
    By Ali Jackson Background – Past Policy and the Current State of Recidivism As of 2011, Wisconsin had an average of 31.3% of ex-convicts reoffending and being sentenced a second or third time. Still, the state spending on corrections has increased significantly. On February 28th, 200219 Governor Tony Evers and the State of Wisconsin Department…
  • Disabled Students of Color Are Facing Disparate Treatment in Chicago Public School
    By Alanna Goldstein Problem Given the standard policy to segregate school classrooms by ability, disabled students of color in Chicago public schools are not receiving equal access to public education. Thus, recommendations to improve the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the context of racial segregation in the Chicago public school district are necessary.…
  • A Proposal To End Gerrymandering via Independent Commissions
    By Simon Fischer The practice of gerrymandering has become a growing issue in our electoral politics. The concept itself has existed for centuries, but given the United States’ winner-take-all system and the polarization in Congress, gerrymandering has had a profound, yet understated effect on the political landscape of our country. It has drastically reduced the…
  • Campaign Methods and Government Allocation
    By Cody Byers Problem – Competing political candidates offer opposing views, leading to confusion, fatigue, and misallocation The issue of interventionist government spending is nothing new to policy discussion. An intense topic of debate in the current presidential race is whether to implement a number of government programs spanning from universal health care, nationwide minimum…
  • Nuclear Energy and Its Role in Clean Energy
    By Seap Bhardwaj Problem – Nuclear Energy is Not Given Enough Credit Nuclear energy, when compared to other nonrenewable sources of energy, is a clean and sustainable source. Compared to coal, oil, and gas, nuclear energy cuts out harmful negative externalities such as carbon dioxide and pollution, making it a source of energy that can…
  • American Transparency and Accountability with Military Decisions
    By Nilay Bhadra Why are the decisions we are taking incorrect? The United States’ role in foreign matters has increased so much since the framing of the constitution that the method through which decisions are taken is ineffective. One of the biggest drawbacks of our present system is the principal-agent problem, which occurs when the…
  • Improving and Sustaining the Health of American Communities
    Promoting Investment and Innovation in Social Determinants of Health Interventions through State Medicaid Programs By Noel Martin D. Rubio Problem – A public goods problem leads to underinvestment in critical social, economic, and environmental supports to health The social determinants of health (SDoH)—defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as…
  • Reforming Eminent Domain in the State of Wisconsin
    In this policy memo, Ryan Thiele outlines the issues of Wisconsin’s vague eminent domain law, using the Village of Mt. Pleasant’s deal with the Foxconn corporation as an example of badly needed reform. Eminent Domain’s Revolution and Effects Kelo v. City of New London Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private…