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The Scholars’ Circle is hosted by Maria Armoudian. Listen & search our archive of interviews.

 

 

   

Below are our 10 most recent recordings.

                    



Scholars’ Circle-Water-/-Communication-Technology-Affects-State-Power-May 24th, 2015
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First, how water has shaped our past and how new water challenges are shaping the future. We talk with Charles Fishman author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. [ dur: 28 mins. ]

  • Charles Fishman, journalist and author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water

Later, on the scholars’ panel. New global developments are changing the structures and holders of power. With new technology and greater interconnectedness, states are losing power and non-state actors are gaining power. But what exactly does it mean to have power? And where exactly does power come from? [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • Giulio M. Gallarotti, Professor of Government Studies, Wesleyan University; Author of The Power Curse: Influence and Illusion in World Politics
  • Joseph S. Nye Jr., Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Author of The Future of Power
  • Erica Chenoweth, Professor of Government, Wesleyan University. Co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare)

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Scholars’ Circle-Living-off-Grid-/-Sixth-Extinction-/-Terrorism-a-Political-Violence-May 17th, 2015
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First, Living Off the Grid? A look inside the movement to live with total freedom and independence. Who is doing it? How and why? We speak with Nick Rosen.[ dur: 15 mins. ]

  • Nick Rosen. author of, Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America.

Then, planet earth is facing a sixth extinction. Can humanity rescue the planet that it has imperiled? [ dur: 25mins. ]

  • Annalee Newitz is journalist and author of Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction. She is the founding editor of the science and science fiction website i09.com.
  • Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff member at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, and her latest book The Sixth Extinction.

Finally, What exactly is terrorism? Where should it fall on the continuum of political violence? Prof. Dekmejian is the foremost expert of terrorism and genocide. He is the author of Spectrum of Terror. [ dur: 18mins. ]

  • Richard Dekmejian, is professor of Political Science, University of Southern California. He is author of Multicultural Societies in Conflict and Coexistence, Spectrum of Terror

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Scholars’ Circle-Unethical-Foreign-Policy-/-Celebrity-Industrial-Complex-May 10th, 2015
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What drives destructive or unethical foreign policies? Some point to pathological beliefs and pursuits of exceptionalism, honor and glory. Others point to systemic flaws. What are the consequences?
​ [ Time 14:00 ]​

  • Christopher Fettweis​ is a Professor of ​ Political Science​ at​ Tulane University​. He is the author of The Pathologies of Power: Fear, Honor, Glory and Hubris in U.S. Foreign Policy​​,​ Dangerous Times? The International Politics of Great Power Peace​ and Losing Hurts Twice as Bad: The Four Stages to Moving Beyond Iraq​​.​

Then, on The Scholars’ Circle panel, what is the celebrity industrial complex? How does it impact our democracy, our culture and our society?​ [Time 43:00 ]​

  • Joshua Gamson​ ​is a Professor of ​ ​Sociology​ ​at​ the​ University​ of​ San Francisco. He is the author of The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, The Music, The Seventies in San Francisco​,​ Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity​ ​and Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America.​
  • David Gilles is a Professor in Media Psychology at the University of Winchester. He is the author of Psychology of the media​, Media psychology​ and Illusions of immortality: A psychology of fame and celebrity​​​​.​
  • David Marshall is a Professor and Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University, Australia. He is the au​th​​or of Celebrity and Power: Fame in Contemporary Culture, New Media Cultures and ​T​he Celebrity Culture Reader​.​

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Scholars’ Circle-Effects-of-Human-Rights-Law-/-Mysteries-of-the-Mind-May 3rd, 2015
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First, how is international law changing human rights and for war? Our guest Ruti G. Teitel, a professor of comparative law, says we are moving from protecting state security to increasingly protecting individual security. These shifts are influenced by the human rights frame and reshaping the scope of what she calls humanities law. [ dur: 15 mins. ]

  • Ruti Teitel is a Professor of Comparative Law, Chair: Global Law and Justice Colloquium and Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Global Law, Justice and Policy at New York Law School and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. She is the author of Humanity’s Law and Transitional Justice.

​Next, science is now taking us inside the mysteries of the mind. Can the brain now interface with computers to move matter? Will scientists be able to download our memories and then reload them? [ dur: 41 mins. ]

  • Dr. Michio Kaku is​ ​a Professor of Physics at​ ​City College of New York (CUNY)​ ​and​ ​the co-creator of string field theory, a branch of string theory.​ ​He is the author o​f ​Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100​,​ Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Explorations into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation and Time Travel​ ​and The Future of the Mind:​ ​The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind​.​

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Scholars’ Circle-Rwanda-Genocide-Anniversary-/-How-to-Stop-Cruelty-of-Armed-Conflict-April 19th, 2015
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First, in remembrance of the 21st Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, we revisit the tragedy with retired Lieutenant-General and Senator​ ​Roméo Dallaire who witnessed the atrocities first-hand.

  • Roméo Dallaire is a retired lieutenant-general and senator. In 1993, LGen Dallaire was appointed Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans.

Since his retirement, he has become an outspoken advocate for human rights, genocide prevention, mental health and war-affected children. He founded The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization committed to ending the use of child soldiers worldwide. He is the author of Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda and They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers.

Next, war and armed conflict are declining on the global level, however atrocities, cruelty and lethal violence continue in many parts of the world. What justifies human cruelty? What is driving people to commit lethal violence and what can bystanders and others do to prevent their continuation?

  • Ervin Staub is a Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Founding Director of its ​Ph.D. concentration in the Psychology of Peace and Violence. He i​​s the author of The ​R​oots of ​E​vil: The ​O​rigins of ​G​enocide and ​O​ther ​G​roup ​Violence, The ​Psychology of ​G​ood and ​E​vil: Why ​Children, ​Adu​​lts and ​G​r​​oups ​H​el​p​ and ​H​arm ​O​ther​s and his recently published book The ​R​oots of ​G​ood​nes​s​ and ​R​e​s​ist​ance to ​Evil: Inclusive ​C​aring, ​M​oral ​C​ou​r​age, ​Altruism ​B​o​r​n of ​S​uffering, ​A​c​t​ive ​B​ystandership and ​H​e​r​oism.
  • David Livingstone Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. He is the author of Less Than Human: Why we Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others.
  • John Kaag is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is the author of Neoconservative Images of the United Nations: American Domestic Politics and International Cooperation.

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Scholars’ Circle-The-Presidents-Club-/-Truth-about-Lying-April 12th, 2015
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First, we speak with Nancy Gibbs about one of the worlds most exclusive and influential clubs. Nancy Gibbs is Time magazine’s managing editor, and co-author of The Presidents Club: Inside the Worlds Most Exclusive Fraternity.[ dur: 29 mins. ]

  • Nancy Gibbs is the managing editor of TIME. She is the co-author of The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.

Next, on The Scholars’ Circle we look at deception and lying. Some scholars say that deception is ubiquitous and normal in all human interactions, that lying is useful and possibly even biological. Others suggest that there is a cost to lying even for white lies. What is the truth about lying? [ dur: 29 mins. ]

  • Sissela Bok is a Sr. Fellow at Harvard University and formerly a Professor of Philosophy at Brandeis University. She is the author of Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life.
  • David Livingstone Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. He is the author of Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind.
  • Charles V. Ford is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author of Lies! Lies!! Lies!!!: The Psychology of Deceit.

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Scholars’ Circle-Rapid-Climate-Change-in-effect-/-Mass-Ocean-Life-Extinction-in-progress-April 5th, 2015
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First, scientists say the earth is changing more rapidly than we have expected. Ecosystems are shifting and some species are dying out. What does this mean for humanity? Joining us is Larry Schweiger, he is the author of Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth. [ dur: 23 mins. ]

  • Larry Schweiger is a former president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation.​ ​He is the author of​ Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth​.​

Next, on The Scholars’ Circle panel, scientists warn of a possible mass extinction in our oceans with far reaching consequences for human life, as well. But, they add that it is not too late to address it. What exactly is happening to life in the oceans and what can be done to avert a mass die off? [ dur: 35 mins. ]

  • Stephen R. Palumbi is a Professor of Marine Sciences and Director at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station. He is the author of The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change​,​ The Extreme Life of the Sea​ and​ co-author of the groundbreaking study Marine Defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean​.​
  • Robert Warner is a Professor of Marine Biology at the University of California​,​ Santa Barbara. He is the co-author​ of the ​ ground-breaking study Marine Defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean​.​
  • Mary A Sewell is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland.

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Scholars’ Circle-US-Senate-/-US-Consitution-Mar. 29th, 2015
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Is the U.S. Senate simply too weak to govern? Our next guest suggests it is. Peter Hanson joins us, he is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver. His book is Too Weak to Govern: Majority Party Power and Appropriations in the U.S. Senate. [ dur: 28 mins. ]

  • Peter Hanson is a Professor i​n the ​Political Science Department at the University of Denver. He is the author of Too Weak to Govern: Majority Party Power and Appropriations in the U.S. Senate.

Later on the scholars’ panel we examine the politics of the U.S. Constitution. For decades the U.S. Constitution has been treated as a sacred document that should not be criticized, but some scholars say that many of the provisions within the constitution are at the root of the problems in the U.S.: in governance, in policy making and in political discourse. What are the problematic provisions and how can they be addressed? ​ [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • David S. Law is a Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis and the Martin & Kathleen Crane Fellow in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He is the co-author of The Declining Influence of the United States Constitution New York University Law Review.

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Scholars’ Circle-Danny Schechter-/-Children-of-Uganda-/-Bullies-Victims-Trauma-Mar. 22nd, 2015
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First, the world has lost another strong voice for ethical journalism. Last week Danny Schechter, often called “the News Dissector,” lost his battle to pancreatic cancer.

Danny Schechter is an award winning investigative journalist, documentarian, author and activist. He has produced a long list of important works with wide ranging topics, from Apartheid to economic scandals. In honor of Danny Schechter’s life we are re-airing an interview that we did with him, here on the Scholars’ Circle in 2010. We discussed the state of the media, media culture and its role, response and impact on the financial crisis, war and WikiLeaks. Danny Schechter’s kind heart, dedication and commitment to human rights and dignity can be heard in his voice, truly an honor to air this segment. Our hearts go out to Danny Schechter’s Family, Loved Ones and Friends.

  • Danny Schechter is an award winning investigative journalist, documentarian, author and activist. He is the author of When South Africa Called, We Answered: How the Media and International Solidarity Helped Topple Apartheid, Madiba A to Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela, and The Crime Of Our Time: Why Wall Street is Not Too Big To Jail.

Later, what becomes of the children who are abducted and forced into sex slavery and child soldiering? Our guest Jane Ekayu, a child trauma therapist, is helping children heal and rebuild their lives.

  • Jane Ekayu is a child trauma therapist and Founder and Executive Director of Children of Peace Uganda

Finally, on the scholars’ panel we take a close look at bullying. Bullies and victims of bullies are much more likely to develop psychological disorders such as agoraphobia, panic disorder, suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior, as adults. In both adult and adolescent settings bullying cultures can emerge when bystanders and others disengage and allow the behavior to continue, ultimately creating abusive organizations. What is the long term effect on individuals and by extension on societies at large, resulting from bulling behaviors?

  • Joyce T. Heames is Chair and Professor of Management and Industrial Relations in the College of Business & Economics at West Virginia University. She is the author of A bully as an archetypal destructive leader.: An article from: Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies [HTML] [Digital], Bullying: From the Playground to the Boardroom.
  • Catherine Bradshaw is a Professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins School of Education. She is the Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence and the Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention and Early Intervention. Catherine Bradshaw is the co-author of Bullies, gangs, drugs, and school: Understanding the overlap and the role of ethnicity and urbanity.
  • Jaana Juvonen is Professor of Developmental Psychology in the Department of Psychology at UCLA. She co-authored Peer harassment in school: The plight of the vulnerable and victimized and Focus on the wonder years: Challenges facing the American middle school.

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Scholars’ Circle-Trans-Pacific-Trade-Partnership-Status-Mar. 15th, 2015
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We spend the hour exploring what could become the world’s largest trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). What could it mean for the countries that are considering signing onto it? Can it be democratic, humanitarian and transparent?

  • Raj Bhala is the Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law and Rice Distinguished Professor at The University of Kansas School of Law. He is the author of International Trade Law: Interdisciplinary Theory and Practice Documents Supplement and Trade, Development, and Social Justice.
  • Meredith Kolsky Lewis is a Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and at Victoria University of Wellington Law School. She is the co-editor of Trade Agreements At The Crossroads and co-author of International Business Law.

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