Tag Archives: Politics and Activism

Scholars’ Circle – The Human Rights issues in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – March 6, 2022

We discuss the situation on the ground in Ukraine, human rights violations, such as war crimes, and what is needed to end the war. [ dur: 29mins. ]

  • Sasha Romantsova is the Executive Director of the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine. She joins us from Kiev, Ukraine.
  • 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.

Ukrainian refugees are fleeing the war by the hundreds of thousands. Poland is their most common destination. How is Poland responding and what does this mean for its refugee policies? We explore the refugee crisis and its impact on Poland. [ dur: 29mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Russia Attacks Ukraine – February 27, 2022

Russia attacked Ukraine this week. What does this mean for the region and the world? What are the international reactions to this invasion? What should be the international response? [ 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 – Conflict hot spots: Ukraine and Yemen – January 30, 2022

Conflict hot spots are popping up all around the world. We discuss two of them.

Is Russia acting out of aggression or self-defense in its threats against Ukraine? [ dur: 28mins. ]

  • 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.

The Houthis in Yemen launched drone strikes against the United Arab Emirates this week. Is this a new round of escalation in that ongoing and devastating war?

We will explore the new escalations in the civil war in Yemen. [ dur: 30mins. ]

  • Hamoud Salhi is Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of International Education at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is commentator for Arabic media.
  • Charles Schmitz is Professor of Geography at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an Affiliated Scholar with the Middle East Institute in Washington DC. He is the author of the publications Historical Dictionary of Yemen, “Huthi Visions of the State: A Huthi Republic with an Unofficial Imam,” in Hamidaddin, Abdullah (ed). The Huthi Movement in Yemen: Ideology, Ambition and Security in the Arab Gulf and “A Parasitic Political Economy,” in Amat Alsoswa and Noel Brehony (eds.), Building a New Yemen: Transition and International Community.

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

Scholars’ Circle – Attacks on the Legitimacy and Independence of 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.