Category Archives: Scholars’ Circle Interviews

Information and recordings from Schloars’ Circle radio show is posted here.

Scholars’ Circle – Book Author Interview – Exit Wounds : How Americas Guns Fuel Violence Across the Border – May 5, 2024

Beyond asylum seekers heading north, the problems of US/Mexico Border are also about the flow of guns and drugs. How can we understand the totality of problems related to the US southern border? What are the solutions?

We speak with Ieva Jusionyte the author of a new book Exit Wounds: How America’s Guns Fuel Violence Across the Border. [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Ieva Jusionyte is a legal and medical anthropologist and associate professor at Brown University. She is also the author of award-winning ethnography Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border. She has been studying borders, violence, and security in Latin America and the United States for over fifteen years.

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Origins of War and Resolving violent conflicts – April 28, 2024

With wars still raging in Gaza, Sudan, and Ukraine, we return to an earlier interview on the origins of war. When and how did war begin?

While some have argued it evolved in early human behavior within forging bands societies, our guests say, that’s not true. Forger bands did not wage war. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

We continue this conversation by exploring how war and violent conflict might be resolved. [ dur: 28 mins. ]

Websites mentioned : University of North Calorina Greensboro studies of Peaceful Societies and an example of building a Peaceful society organization.

This recording was produced Nov. 2013.

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Determining genocide and other human rights violations of the law ; Dark side of democracy – April 21, 2024

April is Genocide Awareness month. Two of the worst genocides in history, the Hutu killing of Tutsis in Rwanda and the Ottoman genocide against Armenians, began in April. We explore genocide with two specific questions: Who internationally makes a determination that violence and atrocities are in fact genocide? And what if anything changes when there is a finding that atrocities are genocide?

We explore whether a legal approach is the best way to determine whether political violence and atrocities are genocide or is a political or social approach more effective. And does discourse on genocide crowd out discussions of other crimes, such as war crimes? We draw insights from history and contemporary issues. [ dur: 42mins. ]

When does democracy have a dark side? Our guest says that majorities can and do oppress minorities in the name of majoritarian democracy. [ dur: 16mins. ]

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War – April 14, 2024

The expansion of the vote to women throughout the 20th Century has had an impact on the discourses and politics of war and peace. What is the relationship between women voting, electing women leaders, and women-lead groups in civil society on the issue of war and peace?
Does the expansion of the vote to women lead to the election of women as leaders? And are these leaders more committed to peace than their male counterparts? We explore a new book, The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War..[ dur: 58mins. ]

Book cover of The Suffragist Peace, classic painting with woman in center against war and suffering

Together they have authored The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Urban Flooding its causes and mitigation explored; Book author interview on Land Back Movement in Indonesia – April 7, 2024

We look at how to sustainably mitigate urban flooding in the mist of climate crisis.
Altering how we think of hardscape in urban design to manage water drainage. [ dur: 30mins. ]

Then we look at Land Back movement to repossess land by local farmers taken by corporations and state. Book author David E. Gilbert interview of his book Countering Dispossession, Reclaiming Land – A Social Movement Ethnography. Specifically, looking at Land Back effort in Casiavera village on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. This is one of many Land Back movements in the world. [ dur:28mins. ]

You can find other land back movements at La Via Campesina website, which supports Food Sovereignty among Pheasant Farmers.

  • David Gilbert is postdoctoral research fellow in the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelonais. He is an environmental anthropologist with a special interest in social movements, ecological change, and post-development theory.

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Title IX history and compliance struggle for Women’s equality in higher education – March 31, 2024

Title IX, the landmark legislation on women’s equality in higher education, was passed to equalize funding between men’s and women’s athletics. What has it achieved? Where does it fall short?

When some schools failed to implement Title IX for athletics, activists sued. We look at the landmark cases and what they have achieved. [ dur: 58mins. ]

Link to report on Title IX compliance by Champion Women Advocacy:  https://titleixschools.com/

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – The dangerous political rhetoric of Donald Trump – March 24, 2024

Donald Trump’s political rhetoric is becoming more apocalyptic, more dehumanizing, and more violent. What does this mean for the future of American politics and its institutions? Will Trump-ism die with Donald Trump or will it survive after he passes on? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Book Author interview: Reputational Security, with insight into its importance in public diplomacy today – March 17, 2024

What is reputational security for states? And what exactly do officials do to protect states’ reputations? How has social media and other communication technologies affected states and efforts to protect their reputations? This discussion is centered around Nickolas J. Cull’s book Reputational Security: Refocusing Public Diplomacy for a Dangerous World. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – SCOTUS overturns Colorado State Supreme Court decision to bar insurrectionists from its state ballot – March 10, 2024

The US Supreme Court overturned Colorado’s State Supreme Court decision to remove Donald Trump from its ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s prohibition on insurrectionists holding office. What might this signal about the court and its role in the 2024 election and in electoral politics more generally?

Polls suggest that voters want to know if Donald Trump is a criminal before voting in November. But the Supreme Court’s decisions make it less likely that this occurs before the election. What does this mean for the future of the US and for democracy and the constitution? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Death of Navalny and other autocratic tactics to disrupt democracy – March 3, 2024

What does the death of Russia’s high profile dissident, Alexi Navalny, mean for the future of the country? Who was Alexi Navalny and what exactly did he stand for? Navalny was not the only political dissident in Russia. Who else is resisting the government and what are their causes?

And what does Alexei Navalny’s death portend for Russian leader, Vladimir Putin? Does it suggest he’s a strongman or that he is, instead, weaker than he appears? [ dur:58mins ]

  • Steve Swerdlow, esq. is Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Uzbekistan’s Religious and Political Prisoners and Uzbekistan’s Ethnic Minorities: Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind. He writes extensively as a human rights monitor for Human Right Watch.
  • Robert English is Associate Professor of International Relations and Co-Director of the Central European Studies Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is the author of Russia and the Idea of the West.

This program is produced by Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Maria Armoudian and Sudd Dongre.