Scholars’ Circle – Public Corruption and Democratic Institutions – March 11, 2018

We continue our exploration of public corruption. We’ll examine the specific allegations related to U.S. President Donald Trump, his family and associates, and what their effects might be on governance and society. [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Matthew Stephenson is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. His publications include Legislation and Regulation and the book chapter Corruption and Democratic Institutions: A Review and Synthesis. He is Editor In Chief of the Global Anticorruption Blog which tracks corruption in the Trump Administration. https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/
  • Richard Gordon is Professor of Law at Case Western University. He is also Director of the Financial Integrity Institute and Associate Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center. He is the author of A Model Regulation on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and Public Corruption And Money Laundering.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Syrian Crisis – March 4, 2018

The United Nation’s Secretary General has called Syria hell on earth. How did it get this bad? What are the geopolitics? What about the rest of the Middle East? WE spend the hour answering these questions. [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Laurie A. Brand is Professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the University of Southern California. She was the past president of Middle East Studies Association of North America. Her publications include Palestinians in the Arab World: Institution Building and the Search for State, Women, the State and Political Liberalization, Citizens Abroad: States and Migration in the Middle East and North Africa and Official Stories: Politics and National Narratives in Egypt and Algeria.
  • Fred H. Lawson is a Professor of Government at Mills College and Visiting Professor National Security Affairs at the Naval PostGraduate School in Monterey. His publications include Bahrain: The Modernization of Autocracy , Constructing International Relations in the Arab World, Why Syria Goes to War: Thirty Years of Confrontation, and Global Security Watch Syria.
  • Hamoud Salhi is Professor of Political Science and Middle East, and Associate Dean of the College of Social and Natural Sciences at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
  • William Harris is a Professor of Politics at Otago University and an award winning author. His books include Lebanon: A History 600-2011, The Levant: A Fractured Mosaic, and his latest Quicksilver War: Syria, Iraq and the Spiral of Conflict.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Interpreting 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America – February 24, 2018

With the latest lethal shooting in America, we spend the hour analyzing how the second amendment came to be interpreted as a individuals’ right to bear arms, and how this change contrasts with other changes in constitutional interpretation, including the right for marriage equality and human rights protection. We speak with David Cole. His latest book is Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law. [ dur: 58 mins. ]

  • David D. Cole is the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is author of many books including Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Birmingham, Alabama -/- Cost Benefit of Homeland Security -/- Eisenhower-Nixon Relationship – February 18, 2018

First, we’ll revisit the 1920 founding of Black History Month and the pivotal civil rights campaign in Birmingham. [ dur: 12 mins. ]

  • V.P. Franklin is the Distinguished Professor of History at University of California, Riverside. He is the author of Living Our Stories, Telling Our Truths: Autobiography and the Making of the African-American Intellectual Tradition as well as the editor of Journal of African American History.

Next, our guests suggest the government may be overreacting. We are joined by John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart, authors of, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security. [ dur: 16 mins. ]

  • John Mueller is a Research Scientist and Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University and author of Retreat from Doomsday and War, Presidents and Public Opinion.
  • Mark Stewart is a Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Center for Infrastructure, Performance and Reliability at the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Finally, for President’s Day, we’ll take a peek inside the strange political marriage of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon and how their terms shaped U.S. politics and policy. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • Jeffery Frank is a journalist and the author of Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Global Arms Trade -/- Poverty, Inequality and Social Mobility – February 11, 2018

First, a look into the murky world of the global arms trade and its cost to society, democracy and security. Andrew Feinstein ( link to his wiki page ) is author of The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade and Corruption Watch [ dur: 28 mins. ]

Then on the Scholars’ Circle, we look at poverty, inequality, and social mobility – both here in the U.S. and worldwide. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • Lane Kenworthy ( wiki page ) is a Professor of Sociology & Political Science at University of Arizona. He is the author of Progress For the Poor.
  • David A. Smith is a Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine. He is the author of Third World City.
  • Gregory Clark is Professor & Chair, Department of Economics, UC Davis. He is the author of Farewell To Alms.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Water Rights, Scarcity and Water use in Perspective – February 4, 2018

While water is a basic human right, some 3 billion people face water scarcity and some countries are running out of water. We’ll explore the realities of water. [ dur: 34 mins. ]

  • Barbara Cosens is a Professor with the University of Idaho College of Law and the Waters of the West Graduate Program. She is the author of Indigenous Water Justice, The Adaptive Water Governance Project: Assessing Law, Resilience and Governance in Regional Socio-Ecological Water Systems Facing a Changing Climate, and Truth or Consequences: Settling Water Disputes in the Face of Uncertainty.
  • Rick Hogeboom is Executive Director of The Water Footprint Network. He is a Ph. D. candidate at the University of Twente in Netherland.

Then, how much water is in the jeans we wear or the meals we eat? How our everyday decisions can alleviate the water crisis. Thomas Kostigan discusses his book, the Green Blue Book. [ dur: 22 mins. ]

  • Thomas Kostigen is an author, journalist, and environmentalist. He is the author of The Green Blue Book: The Simple Water-Savings Guide to Everything in Your Life, The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time and The Big Handout

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Outcome from Investigating the President of USA -/- Parasites affect human behavior – January 28, 2018

First, what might be next in U.S. politics in light of the latest developments?  Last week, we discussed where the U.S. is headed under the Trump presidency, and whether it might begin to resemble authoritarian states. In this hour, in light of the latest revelations in the special investigation by Robert Mueller, we continue our conversation with our experts. What are the consequences should the investigation come to a head? [ dur: 42 mins. ]

  • Louis Michael Seidman is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law School. He is the author of Silence and Freedom, On Constitutional Disobedience and Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review.
  • Sanford Levinson is a Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) and Constitutional Faith.
  • Mark Peterson is Professor of Public Policy, Political Science Law at UCLA. He is the author of Legislating Together: The White House and Capital Hill from Eisenhower to Reagan and the editor of Healthy Markets? The New Competition in Medical Care.

Then, we end with the question, is our behavior free will or is it partly due to parasites? New science shows how parasites change behaviors throughout the animal kingdom. What does that mean for human behavior? [ dur: 14 mins. ]

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Constitution and Unprecedented Political Power in USA -/- Science of Sleep – January 21, 2018

First, Unprecedented times in the U.S.A. Is the country facing an existential crisis? And if so, what might effect the outcome? [ dur: 24 mins. ]

  • Louis Michael Seidman is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law School. He is the author of Silence and Freedom, On Constitutional Disobedience and Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review.
  • Sanford Levinson is a Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) and Constitutional Faith.
  • Mark Peterson is Professor of Public Policy, Political Science Law at UCLA. He is the author of Legislating Together: The White House and Capital Hill from Eisenhower to Reagan and the editor of Healthy Markets? The New Competition in Medical Care.

Then, Why do we sleep? What is its purpose? And what actually happens during sleep? [ dur: 34 mins. ]

  • Marcos G. Frank is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Washington State University-Spokane. He is the author of The mystery of sleep function: current perspectives and future directions, The role of sleep in memory consolidation and brain plasticity: dream or reality? and Sleep enhances plasticity in the developing visual cortex
  • Graham H. Diering is Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He is the co-author of Homer1a drives homeostatic scaling-down of excitatory synapses during sleep, and Regulation of dendritic spine growth through activity-dependent recruitment of the brain-enriched Na+/H+ exchanger NHE5

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – History, Law and the Trump Presidency – January 14, 2018

In this hour, the showdown between Robert Mueller’s independent investigation and the President in historic and legal context.

The year 2018 may be one of the most important years in American history, says one of our next guests. Constitutional law professor Louis Michael Seidman argues that what happens in 2018 may determine whether or not we still have a coherent country in the U.S.A. What are those determinants? And what might actually happen? What are the constitutional issues—good and bad—that are contributing to the crisis that the USA seems to find itself in. We spend the hour with three experts on American history and law. [ dur: 58 mins. ]

  • Louis Michael Seidman is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law School. He is the author of Silence and Freedom, On Constitutional Disobedience and Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review.
  • Sanford Levinson is a Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) and Constitutional Faith.
  • Jennifer Frost is Professor of American History at University of Auckland, NZ. She is the author of An Interracial Movement of the Poor: Community Organizing and the New Left in the 1960s and Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism (American History and Culture).

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Propaganda in democratic society -/- Post-Truth Society – January 7, 2018

First, how does propaganda work, particularly in democratic settings? How does propaganda in a democratic state differ from propaganda in an authoritarian state? This is part two of our two part interview with Professor Jason Stanley. Part one can be found here. [ dur: 29 mins. ]

  • Jason Stanley is Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He is the author of How Propaganda Works , Know How and Knowledge and Practical Interests (Lines of Thought)

Then, some call it post-truth society. With increased media consolidation, fake news and plummeting trust in media, what needs to be done? [ dur: 29 mins. ]

  • Victor Pickard is Professor or Communication at the Annenberg School of Communication at Pennsylvania State University. He is the co-editor of Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights (with Robert McChesney), The Future of Internet Policy (with Peter Decherney), America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and The Future of Media Reform
  • Robert Entman is Professor of Media and Public Affairs and Professor of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He is the author of The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America (with Andrew Rojecki), Projections of Power and Scandal and Silence: Media Responses to Presidential Misconduct

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

By Maria Armoudian