Tag Archives: Governance / Law

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.

Scholars’ Circle – Ketanji Brown Jackson nomination for the US Supreme Court – March 27, 2022

In what ways is the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson historic? What impact will having a former criminal defense attorney on the Supreme Court have on future rulings or on dissents? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Military coup d’état – History and reasons for it’s emergence – February 20, 2022

Military coups have increased over the last year and a half. What is driving this challenge to democracy? How concerned should we be? Regional organizations and powerful states have sometimes played important roles in averting takeovers by military coups. How successful have they been? How can they improve? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – American Common Ground with Public Land Uses – History and Reform Opportunities – February 13, 2022

Over 600 million acres of land is collectively owned by the American people. What is the history of public lands and how is the contemporary discourses about public lands framed by this history? We interview the author of a new book on the history of public lands in the US. [ dur: 34mins. ]

Public lands are one of the collectively owned riches of Americans. How does this history influence our contemporary debates on public land use? How has President Joe Biden advanced the cause of public lands and how is this different from other presidents? [ dur: 24mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Politics of Eroding and Sustaining Democracy in USA – February 6, 2022

Democracy is eroding in the United States? What are the causes and what should be done? Is the erosion of democracy because of political elites and specifically the reaction of the Republican Party to the 2020 election? Or does it run deeper? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – How power of the Supreme Court fails institution of American democracy – December 19, 2021

The US Supreme Court faces a legitimacy crisis. The US faces a democracy deficit because of the power of the Court. How should the US address both concerns? Several proposals for reform of the Court have advocated change. Would these help to rebuild the Court’s image and legitimacy? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Critique on Governance in Post-Colonial Cameroon, a country with linguistic and sectarian divide and clashes – November 7, 2021

Cameroon has seen increased violence and an ongoing civil war based on its linguistic, sectarian divide. Can the nation survive? How much is this a democracy deficiency and how much is this failure of leadership? How can Cameroon overcome its governance challenges? [ dur: 36mins. ]

As civil war in Cameroon continued with clashes between the Franchophone and Anglophone populations, protests against violations of federalism agreements were met with state led violence. What were the impacts? We’ll hear from one of the organizers. [ dur: 22mins. ]

  • Fontem A. Neba was Secretary General of the Teacher’s Trade Union of the University of Buea before his arrest on the 17th of January, 2017. He was Secretary General of the now banned Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. Mr. Neba was Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Buea. Now he is in exile and serves as the Secretary General of the Southern Cameroon’s Alliance.

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

Scholars’ Circle – Capital Punishment in USA and reasons why it faces increased opposition – October 17, 2021

The death penalty in the United States has faced increased opposition based on ethical, political, and legal concerns. Several states have outlawed it, but the federal government has returned to its use with a feverish wave of state executions last year. We discuss the implications of the use of the death penalty in the US and examine additional forms of extreme sentencing, such as life without parole. [ dur: 58mins. ]

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