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On June 22, 2007, members of the National Security working group met to discuss U.S. Iraq policy. With seven discussion pieces to ground their conversation, the scholars considered politics inside Iraq, U.S. force posture in the Mideast, managing al-Qaeda, the humanitarian mission in Iraq, preventing the spread of conflict, and the response from Washington.

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On June 23, 2007, the Institutions of Democracy working group met to chart a path forward for the initiative. Participants grounded their discussion with a collection of short, idea-generating pieces prepared by members of the group. Conversation transitioned to a focus on the main obstacles of reform of the election system and the types of policies and institutions that would enable the election system to run better.

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In May 2007, the Risk working group met to consider "Managing Risk in the 21st Century" and to develop a research for the group going forward. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) attended the meeting and offered on-the-ground perspective, highlighting the challenges that policymakers face in proposing new policy.

The scholars contributed short papers for discussion at the meeting:

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In the Spring of 2007, three new Tobin Project working groups came together to discuss fundamental unanswered questions in their field and set an agenda for future research and engagement. These early working group meetings included Macroeconomics (with Representative John Spratt, Chair of the House Budget Committee), Health, and Retirement Security.

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On April 21, 2007, the National Security working group convened to explore a series of questions that will drive the initiative forward:

  • What should the national security research agenda be?
  • What theories are missing from the field?
  • What are concrete steps or projects the group can undertake?

To ground the discussion, a group of scholars presented short, idea-generating papers.

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The Institutions of Democracy working group published a series of essays, "Six Ways to Reform Democracy" in the Boston Review’s September/October 2006 issue, “Seeds of Change.” With an introduction from Heather Gerken (Yale Law School), the essays offer six ideas to improve democratic governance in the United States.

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In 2006, the National Security working group published How to Make America Safe (The Tobin Project), a compilation of scholars' papers on the topic. The papers advocate a broad strategy that combats terrorism on all fronts - not only on the battlefield - and that directs our resources toward the unique threats of the post-9/11 era. Such a strategy would, at a minimum, accomplish five key objectives:

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In June 2006, the Tobin Project piloted its working group model during two full-day sessions. Eleven scholars from the National Security working group met in Cambridge with Congressman Ike Skelton (Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee), Congresswoman Jane Harman (Ranking Member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence), and Rear Admiral Mark Ferguson (Chief of Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Navy). Ten members of the Institutions of Democracy working group met in Washington, D.C.

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In 2006, the Tobin project opened offices in Harvard Square as a place for staff to support scholars and for scholars to meet to exchange ideas. Three full-time staff were recruited and hired. The project engaged an editor and policy advisor part-time to provide additional support. The summer research assistant program began and brought in four research assistants from Harvard University, Brown University and Amherst College to assist in recruiting and supporting professors in their research.

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