Tag Archives: Politics and Activism

Scholars’ Circle – Attacks on the Legitimacy and Independence of State Courts in United States – January 23, 2022

The attacks on the legitimacy and independence of courts in the United States is increasing.

What are these attacks? Where are they coming from? And what might be the effect on justice in America? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This webinar was organized by UC Berkeley’s Civil Justice Research Initiative. It is part of the Berkeley Boosts program.

We would like to thank the University of California, Berkeley’s Civil Justice Research Initiative and Berkeley Law Executive Education for making this recording available.

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

Scholars’ Circle – Kazakhstan Protests and Government Violence ; Omicron Variant Rages and Global Vaccine Distribution Issues – January 9, 2022

Kazakhstan has erupted in protests and government violence this week. We explore the potential that these protests leads to greater democratization in this authoritarian government, and detail its recent human rights abuses.[ dur: 34mins. ]

  • Erica Marat is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Regional and Analytical Studies Department at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University. She is the author of The Politics of Police Reform: Society against the State in Post-Soviet Countries.
  • Robert English is Associate Professor of International Relations and Co-Director of Central European Studies Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is the author of Russia and the Idea of the West.
  • Steve Swerdlow is Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). He was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted extensive field work internationally with a particular focus on Central Asia and the Caucuses.

Vaccine hesitancy slows the effective response to Covid 19 in the Global North. Lack of vaccine distribution slows the response in the Global South. And the new omicron variant rages on. We may be fatigued of the virus, but it’s not over. We discuss vaccine inequity and distribution. [ dur: 24mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, 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 – Mainstream media getting wrong about US Inflation ; Decolonize the language around arms control – December 12, 2021

Inflation is real. But the reporting on it has been remarkably uninformed. We talk about the real issues the US economy faces, what is driving the inflation rate, and what are the long term implications of it. [ dur: 30mins. ]

Arms control discourses are centered around western notions of modernity and civilization. What does it mean to decolonize the language around arms control? How is it accomplished? [ dur: 28mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Why US Supply Chain Failed During the Pandemic and How to make it Resilient – December 5, 2021

The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the supply chain, with its emphasis on lowering cost without regard to resilience of disruptions. Can government and industry cooperate to build resilience without adding prohibitive cost to production? How responsible is the government to managing the supply chain? What are the larger issues of global supply and production models? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – What happened at COP26 in Glasgow ? – November 28, 2021

After world leaders met in Glasgow to mitigate the climate crisis, what exactly did they discuss? What was in the agreement and what does that mean for the future of the planet? We break down some of the specific agreements and the language used to confront the climate crisis. How does a promise to “phase down” the use of coal fall short of the required action to confront the crisis? What role should indigenous peoples, largely unrepresented at the meetings, play at administering these carbon reductions? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Will Carbon emission reduction goals be met with voluntary commitments by Corporations and the Nation State – November 21, 2021

Climate Change is an existential threat that demands bold action and a transformation of how humanity uses its resources. Concepts like “net zero” and “carbon offset” have done little toward decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases we emit into the atmosphere. Is the current legal and voluntary structure adequate to meet the challenge of climate change? Are we up to the challenge? [ 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 – Examining Disability and Ableism – October 10, 2021

The rights of persons with disabilities is a growing and important area of human rights. But what does it mean to ensure equal treatment under the law? What exactly is a disability, and who makes the judgment? And what do we mean by ableism? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Roe v Wade is likely to be overturned by US Supreme Court – September 19, 2021

The Supreme Court signaled with their upholding of the Texas abortion law that Roe v Wade is likely to be overturned. What does this mean for the reproductive rights of women around the country, and in particular women of color and poorer women? Is it the end of women’s rights to reproductive choice established by Roe v Wade? We look at how are many women ensuring access to abortions in light of the closure of abortion clinics. [ dur: 58mins. ]

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