Tag Archives: Governance / Law

Scholars’ Circle – Puerto Rico considers statehood or independence ; Peru Riots challenge removal of democratically elected president – January 22, 2023

The island of Puerto Rico has a complex relationship with the federal government in the United States. Should it seek statehood or independence? Or is the status quo the best option for the nation.  [ dur: 30mins. ]

Then, Peru has faced ongoing protests and violence since the removal of its president at the hands of the Congress. What socioeconomic divisions in the nation have lead to this deepened political crisis? [ dur: 28mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Executive powers use and abuse of the “Deep State” – December 4, 2022

Donald Trump versus the “Deep State.” A new book examines this political struggle and the tension between the Presidency and the Administrative State. We explore the implications of this struggle with the authors of Phantoms of a Beleaguered Republic: Deep State and the Unitary Executive. Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 58mins. ]

Book cover of Phantoms of a Beleagured Republic, image of the White House with pillars of administrative building above it

Together they are the author of Phantoms of a Beleaguered Republic: The Deep State and the Unitary Executive.

“This insightful new book explains how and why the Trump presidency became entangled in conflicts with administrators in both the executive branch and the U.S. Congress, while also showing how we might re-imagine presidential power, administrative independence, and our system of checks and balances.” —Oxford University Press

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Financing US Political Campaigns by Super Rich ; Civil War by Other Means, unresolved politics continues today – November 20, 2022

Americans in polls consistently cite the nature of campaign financing as perhaps the greatest threat to democracy. And increasingly, candidates self-finance. In the LA Mayor’s race alone, billionaire developer Rick Caruso spent at least $100 million of his own fortune. What legal issues does this sort of financing raise? What does it mean for candidate quality? In what ways does it challenge and potentially undermine democracy? [ dur: 28 mins. ]

While the US Civil War ended slavery, it didn’t end the political issues that caused the war. What exactly happened in the immediate aftermath of the war?

Book Cover of Civil War by Other Means has an red X on the title of the book

The political divide in the US from the Civil War persists today. We discuss the history of the period and its impact on contemporary politics with the author of the new book by Jeremi Suri, Civil War by Other Means: America’s Long and Unfinished Fight For Democracy . [ dur: 30 mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Voter Suppression acts on marginalized communities ; In the name of Majoritarian democracy – November 13, 2022

Since 2020 many states have passed legislation, making it more difficult to vote. Fears of voter suppression in the disenfranchisement of marginalized communities proliferated the 2022 midterms. But were these fears realized? [ 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. ]

On this post election week, from our archives we bring you this discussion on the dark side of democracy.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Biography of Judge Frank M. Coffin ; History of 3rd party politics in US – October 30, 2022

Some say that we have entered a new era in Supreme Court jurisprudence in the wake of the Court’s recent Dobbs decision, reversing nearly 50 years of law recognizing a woman’s right to choose, and that this has ushered in a far more confrontational and political court. But are both political and legal considerations baked into America’s judiciary by design? We speak with the author of a new biography of former First Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge, Frank M. Coffin, a former member of congress, former USAID official and jurist renowned for his deep understanding of the politics of judging but was able to do so in a manner that privileged comity, cooperation and respect, even in times of profound political disagreement. Hosted by Tim Fadgen. [ dur: 23mins. ]

On this election week, we bring you from our archives this panel discussion on third parties in the United States.

Throughout US history third parties have had a profound impact on policy, governance and voter turnout. So why are we still in a two-party system? [ dur: 35min. ]

This interview was first broadcast in July 2017.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Comments from Latino LA city council members threaten years of Black-Latino Coalition ; Many ways Privatization is an attack on Civil Service roles in the Government – October 23, 2022

Los Angeles is embroiled in a city governance crisis, due to leaked audio highlighting the racism of elected city council members. It has demonstrated that race is still a fundamental problem in the city. We explore race in Los Angeles. Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 34mins. ]

Privatization may undermine safeguards of our constitutional republic. How does privatization amount to what our guest calls a Constitutional Coup? Hosted by Maria Armoudian. [ dur: 24mins. ]

This interview was first broadcast July 2018.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Conflict Resolution in Post Communist Eurasia and Power of ideas to shape Nation States – October 2, 2022

Regions have the resilience to manage conflicts and ensure they do not spread to other countries. Our guest Anna Ohanyan examines the factors that help build this resilience. She is the author of The Neighborhood Effect: The Imperial Roots of Regional Fracture in Post-Communist Eurasia. [ dur: 30mins. ]

Then, our panel looks at the power of ideas to shape countries, foreign policies, international power structures and the world. [ dur: 28mins. ]

From our archive, originally recorded in December 2012:

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Regulatory challenges for EPA after West Virginia v. EPA Decision of 2022 – July 17, 2022

The Supreme Court has weakened executive agencies and their ability to regulate and make policy. No agency has been more affected than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). What is next for environmental protection? [ dur: 58mins. ]

Traditionally, the US Supreme Court has given executive branch agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency quite a bit of latitude at enforcing Congressional legislation. This principle is called Chevron deference. But in this term, the Supreme Court weakened this principle significantly, in particular in the area of environmental protection. In West Virginia v EPA, the Court signaled that the EPA can only enforce on areas specifically outlined by Congress. Specifically, it weakened the agency’s ability to take regulatory steps to combat climate change. We will discuss what this means for the EPA, for public policy, and for the US’s ability to make international commitments on the environment.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Sri Lankans Protest as they experience Economic Crisis – May 29, 2022

On May 9 of this year, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was forced to resign his position. This is despite the fact this his brother, Gotabaya, is the President of the nation. He is part of a quasi-dynastic Rajapaksa family, which has dominated Sri Lankan politics for 20 years. The nation is in economic turmoil and that day was one of the most violent of its history. Sri Lanka has less than $1 million in foreign reserves, dwindling medical supplies and almost no fuel. President Gotobaya Rajapaksa is attempting to hold onto power as the nation continues to deteriorate. And the protests continue.

We will explore the political and economic crisis that roils the island nation. What role do outside powers and lenders play at exacerbating Sri Lanka’s economic crisis? [ dur: 58 mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Philippines Presidential Election – May 22, 2022

On May 9, the Philippines held their Presidential elections. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won the election, bringing back the infamous family toppled in 1986 in a popular revolution. What does this say about the memory and the political climate of the nation? How will Marcos govern the country? What policies do we expect of this new Marcos regime and how might they differ from the current policies of Rodrigo Duterte? We explore the historical significance of the return of Marcos to power in the nation. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.