Jack Detsch


Jack Detsch is a writer, radio journalist, and researcher in the San Francisco Bay Area.

KQED NewsFix

I contribute periodically to KQED's NewsFix blog, which covers breaking news and local events in the San Francisco Bay Area and around California. 

How the Top-Two Primary Played Out in Congressional Races

JUNE 4, 2014: Low turnout, a new primary system, and statewide contests may have dominated election night headlines in California, but congressional races taking place around the state also offered plenty of intrigue. These races in particular caught our eye.

East Bay Water District Eyes Emergency Supply From Sacramento River

MARCH 13, 2014: With the reality that rainfall and the Sierra Nevada snowpack will be far short of normal this year, the East Bay’s largest water district is getting ready to tap an emergency water source that it took decades of legal battles and engineering work to secure.

Price Tag for October Shutdown of California National Parks: More Than $22 Million

MARCH 4, 2014: The 16-day government shutdown last October was a significant economic blow to the Bay Area and communities near other California national parks. But Pinnacles National Park, the newest in the country, actually saw a slight increase in visitors.

Outgoing Official: Caltrans Should Have Reported Bay Bridge Leaks Earlier

FEBRUARY 19, 2014: A retiring official from Caltrans, the agency in charge of construction on the new span of the Bay Bridge, concedes that it should have informed the public about leaks sooner.

Attorney General Kamala Harris Declares Bid for Re-Election

FEBRUARY 13, 2014: State Attorney General Kamala Harris launched her re-election bid at San Francisco City Hall Wednesday with the prospect of an unusually comfortable race. So far, California’s first female top lawyer is running completely unopposed.

Five Northern California Olympians to Watch in Sochi

FEBRUARY 7, 2014: California is well-represented during the Winter Olympics. About a third of the 30 or so Golden State hopefuls have Bay Area ties. Five of the locals are considered podium contenders over the next two weeks of sliding, gliding, leaping, and pratfalling. 

Activists Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline Arrested in San Francisco

FEBRUARY 6, 2014: Police arrested 28 environmental activists blockading San Francisco’s Federal Building Wednesday. The group was protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline on the first day of public comment related to the State Department’s final environmental report on the project.

The Diplomat Magazine

I also serve as an Editorial Assistant for the Diplomat Magazine, a Tokyo-based online publication covering current events in the Asia-Pacific region. 

With Pricey Naval Revamp, Bangladesh Can't Afford to Fail

NOVEMBER 22, 2013: Can Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries, afford not to revamp its fledgling Navy?

Pakistan’s Oversized Submarine Ambitions

OCTOBER 9, 2013:  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised a modernized submarine fleet. It’s unlikely to materialize.

US and Chinese Interests Align in Pakistan

SEPTEMBER 24, 2013: Despite their intensifying rivalry elsewhere, Pakistan is ripe for US-China cooperation.

Asia Will Bear the Brunt of New Iran Sanctions

AUGUST 8, 2013: Renewed U.S. efforts to sanction Iran’s nuclear program could jeopardize Asia energy markets.

The "Brain Trust" Behind Iran's New President

AUGUST 3, 2013: The Center for Strategic Research will be instrumental in helping Hassan Rouhani confront Iran’s many challenges.

As the Bazaar Goes, So Goes Iran

JULY 11, 2013: Will the election of Hassan Rouhani revive Iran’s struggling mercantile community?

Iran Is Deeply Unpopular, Except Among Asia’s Muslims

JUNE 15, 2013: Muslim-majority Asian countries are some of the only places where Iran is viewed favorably. Why?

Global Risk Insights

I serve as Communications Coordinator for Global Risk Insights, a political risk-focused blog based out of the London School of Economics. 

How Al Qaeda is Losing the Battle for Hearts and Minds

OCTOBER 7, 2013: With the death of Omar Hammami, an Alabama-born Somali militant, Al Qaeda recruitment efforts in the West are a diminishing security threat.

Academic Work

Graduate Thesis: "The Archipelago State: Perceptions of State Failure and Alternative 
Systems of Governance in Somalia."

Utilizing Somalia and the ineffectiveness of nation-building efforts since 1991 as a case study, this analysis interrogates the viability of the state failure diagnosis based on four analytical lenses: geography, politics, history, and terrorism. Current analyses unjustly focus on the last 50 years, the only period in Somalia’s history in which it has resembled a nation-state. The country’s political borders are merely symbolic; in practice, sub-state actors dominate the provision of violence and political goods along clan-based lines. The lessons of Somalia are clear: it is possible to avert future failures during the process of nation building by creating realistic political goals calibrated to development.