Will Moore, a visiting research fellow at the Kroc Institute and Florida State University professor of political science, addressed the shortcomings of popular perspectives on the events of the Arab Spring. He revisited the dissent and revolutions in the Middle East on Tuesday during the lecture “Dissent, Repression and Outcomes of the Arab Spring.” “Conventional Arab Spring narratives are unpersuasive because they don’t focus on outcomes,” he said. “These narratives also have a very strong ‘blame the victim’ approach, which is ahistorical.” Moore said there should be a focus on the behavior and interactions of dissidents and states. He discussed 24 instances of mass protests in four different countries — Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Syria — since 1990 and said it was significant that only one of those protests resulted in a victory for the dissidents. “Unless you start paying attention to the interaction of states and dissidents, you can’t understand the outcomes,” he said. Moore outlined the research methodology and theoretical approach for his current project, which will supply the content for an eventual book on the subject. “I don’t yet have the answers to the questions I’m addressing. I’m going to be laying out how I’ve designed a research project,” he said. Eventually, the project will include case studies for every country in the entire Middle East and North Africa, as well as further analyses for the period of 1990 to 2011, Moore said. Currently, he is focused on 10 countries in particular and only has access to data from 1990 to 2004. “During this time and in all of these countries, dissidents and states are interacting. In every single one of these 10 nations, there is a long history of people challenging government and government responding in kind,” Moore said. During the lecture, Moore displayed a graph of dissident and state activity in each of the 10 countries and pointed out that some, such as Tunisia, stood out as having less dissident activity. The data came from a database of news reports, he said. “Something I have to consider is whether there is less news coverage or actually less dissident activity,” he said. Moore said he intends to evaluate the behavior of two actors, the state and the dissidents, along a Hostility-Cooperation Continuum. He said the continuum shows how one side responds to the behavior of the other and how both the desire to stay in power and the influence of constituents are important in determining this behavior. “If you’re halfway up the hostility scale, my people want me slightly … more hostile than you,” Moore said. Moore said the continuum allows him to estimate the average behavior when the other actor does nothing. For example, the state will be very cooperative on average when the dissidents do nothing. He said he can also estimate the average responsiveness to surprise for each actor, though his calculations do not differentiate between hostile and cooperative responses to surprises. Moore said his current data reveals interesting patterns, but he has not analyzed the set thoroughly enough to draw any conclusions. “I haven’t delved into how much I can trust these particular estimates,” he said. “I’m showing you a flavor of what I’m going to be able to do,” Moore said his project might not lead to the kind of results he hopes for, but he believes it addresses something existing literature is missing. “Does this project that I’ve launched give me any leverage? It’s possible I’ll strike out,” he said. “I’ve argued existing scholarship ignores behavior and limits our ability to understand and answer important questions. The missing objective of inquiry is the behavior of dissidents and states.”
Jaime and Harry Foster, owners of Georgia Grinders Nut Butters, walked away with the grand prize from the University of Georgia’s 2017 Flavor of Georgia Contest for their Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter.The annual contest, conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is a chance for food businesses to showcase their new products.A team of food industry experts and grocery buyers chose Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter as the best of 33 finalists. They rated the products on qualities including innovation, use of Georgia theme, market potential and flavor.In addition to the grand prize, Georgia Grinders also won first place in the Miscellaneous Products category.Governor Nathan Deal, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Sam Pardue congratulated the category and grand prize winners at UGA’s Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest’s grand finale at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.“We had 117 products submitted this year and some of the toughest competition we’ve seen in the contest’s 11-year history. These 33 products represented are truly the best of the best,” said Sharon P. Kane, Flavor of Georgia contest coordinator. “The legacy of excellence and camaraderie that our Flavor of Georgia finalists and winners have achieved continues to be remarkable.”For more information about Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter, visit www.naturalmond.com.The winners are listed below by prize name, product name, company name, company representatives and town.Grand Prize Winner: Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter, Georgia Grinders Premium Nut Butters, ChambleePeople’s Choice Award: Carroll’s Vidalia Onion and Cheese Smoked Sausage, Carroll’s Sausage & Meats Inc., AshburnBarbecue Sauces: Wicked Que Georgia Vinegar Sauce, Neptune Industries Inc., WatkinsvilleBeverages: Worryfree Tea, Biron Herbal Teas, MaconCondiments and Sauces: Midland Ghost White Pepper Sauce, 4Saucerers, ColumbusConfections: Chocolate Covered Fried Peanut Cluster, West Foods Inc., EdisonDairy or Related Products: Revolution Gelato Chocolate Fantasy, Revolution Gelato LLC, AtlantaHoney and Related: Honey Pecan Crunch, Hahira Honey House, StocktonJams and Jellies: Satsuma Orange Pepper Marmalade, Fairywood Thicket Farm, FairburnMeat and Seafood: Carroll’s Vidalia Onion and Cheese Smoked Sausage, Carroll’s Sausage & Meats Inc., AshburnMiscellaneous: Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter, Georgia Grinders Premium Nut Butters, ChambleeSauces and Seasonings: Campfire Salt, Beautiful Briny Sea, AtlantaSnack Foods: Toasted Sriracha Pecans, Goodson Pecans LLC, LeesburgShowcase events like the 2017 Flavor of Georgia competition help entrepreneurs spread the word about their products. Many participants have landed spots in regional and national grocery chains like Whole Foods, Ingles, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Kroger and Harvey’s.Category winners received an award and membership in the state Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program, statewide notoriety and bragging rights. All winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the 2016 Flavor of Georgia logo. They also gain exposure to grocery buyers and food industry professionals who judge the final round of the contest.The Flavor of Georgia food product contest is sponsored by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in partnership with Gourmet Foods International, Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, the Office of the Governor, Walton EMC, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council.More information about this year’s contest can be found at flavorofga.com or by following @FlavorofGA on Twitter. For photos of the event, visit www.flickr.com/photos/ugacommunications.