Democracy is in crisis. Washington is failing. Government is broken. On these counts many politicians, policy experts, and citizens agree. What is less clear is why—and what to do about it. These questions are at the heart of Dynamics of American Democracy, which goes beneath the surface of current events to explore the forces reshaping democratic politics in the United States and around the world.
Recent commentary has noted that countries run by women have done a markedly better job at containing the COVID-19 pandemic than countries run by men. Previous commentary has also suggested that the public tends to think that female leaders do a better job on issues related to health and education. But the COVID-19 pandemic is not simply a health issue; it also presents major challenges in international relations, which begs the question: how does gender influence international relations?
The COVID-19 recession has prompted states to offer vast amounts of financial support to firms and households. When combined with steps that central banks have taken in response to the financial crisis of 2008, the bailout is so large that it has ushered in what Sebastian Mallaby, writing in the July/August 2020 issue of Foreign Affairs, calls “the age of magic money.” The combination of negative interest rates and low inflation, Mallaby writes, has created a world in which “don’t tax, just spend” makes for a surprisingly sustainable fiscal policy.
Hooker, a professor of political science, will draw from the work of Ida B. Wells and Harriet Jacobs to examine how Black communities can fight for change while also finding ways to thrive in the midst of loss.
Jeff Colgan provided commentary in this article, which also cites the Climate Solutions Lab at Watson: "There's so much that a federal government can do on climate change across the various agencies, not just at the state department, or the Treasury or the Environmental Protection Agency, or the Federal Reserve, at all of them...We should not forget how powerful the president can be."
A social scientist at Brown is calling on research institutions, leading scientific journals and national professional associations to establish new ethical standards that protect human subjects from emotional, financial and political manipulation.
The impending election has the potential to bring about a tectonic shift in power in America if more Black leaders are elected to represent areas dominated by white voters. And the growing number of Black candidates in majority white areas looks like neither an accident nor a fluke to political scientists who have been watching the past few decades, said Katherine Tate, a professor of political science and author of "Black Faces in the Mirror: African Americans and Their Representatives in the U.S. Congress."
In Trump’s America, dog whistles have become bull horns. Those groups that wish to preempt a dystopia have a huge task ahead of them. How Trump’s illness will affect the emerging lines of the political battle is unpredictable at this stage.
The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University supports multidisciplinary research, teaching, and public education on international affairs. The Institute promotes the work of students, faculty, visiting scholars, and policy practitioners who analyze and develop initiatives to address contemporary global problems.
The Climate Solutions Initiative will focus on overcoming barriers to confronting climate change, through scholarship, learning and research-informed infrastructure changes on campus, in Providence and beyond.
Carl Levin, a Democrat, served as a U.S. senator from Michigan from 1979 to 2015. Richard A. Arenberg, co-author of “Defending the Filibuster,“ is interim director of the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy and a visiting professor at Brown University.
"Once a country is habituated to liars," Gore Vidal once observed, "it takes generations to bring back the truth." Many of us don't have generations left. After four years during which President Donald Trump has waged thermonuclear war on the truth, we face the depressing reality of living out our days in a country in which, thanks to Trump and the cultlike embrace of him by far too many of our countrymen, corruption has not been merely normalized but legitimized.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the preparedness of Russia’s public health system to respond to a nationwide crisis, and the ability of its broader welfare state to cushion the population against the economic impacts. This essay puts these developments in the context of recent reforms of the health care and welfare systems, showing how they affected the population’s vulnerability to the pandemic’s health and economic shocks, and the government’s ability to manage both.
After the 2008 economic collapse, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations launched a series of inquiries aimed at exposing the rot underlying the financial services industry. During one memorable hearing, then-Sen. Carl Levin grilled Goldman Sachs executives on their sale of investment products they knew to be dubious in order to increase their already eye-popping compensation. An exchange in which Levin used internal emails to show how Goldman Sachs officials sold products they knew to be "s—-ty deals" went viral.
Robert Blair: The UN is intimately involved in efforts to restore the rule of law in conflict and postconflict settings. Yet despite the importance of the rule of law for peace, good governance, and economic growth, evidence on the impact of these efforts is scant.
If political scientists’ warnings about the poisonous effects of partisanship may have seemed a bit overwrought before, they certainly don’t at present. Viewing the reality of the coronavirus pandemic through the cockeyed lens of American politics can now be lethal.
On the morning of Dec. 22, 1944, German soldiers waving white flags approached American troops defending the Belgian city of Bastogne against the Nazi counterattack known as the Battle of the Bulge. The German army had the American defenders completely surrounded and outnumbered, and the Americans were rapidly running out of supplies by five to one.
In this article, we show that domestic violence public policies are implemented inconsistently across states under federalism. Using original survey data of public defenders across 16 states, with data on domestic violence laws, we demonstrate that there are differing policies and implementation practices regarding domestic violence cases depending on where they are adjudicated. State level domestic violence laws, such as mandatory arrest and firearm access restrictions, combined with structural elements of the judicial system, and public defender personal characteristics, exert significant influence in determining the outcomes of domestic violence cases. Overall, our analysis shows that the lack of uniformity in the implementation of domestic violence policy creates inequality in the criminal justice system’s treatment of domestic violence and makes personal security for women contingent on where they live.
Waiting for John Kelly? He cannot save the Republic from what ails it.* Bonnie Honig In the New Yorker, John Cassidy refers to the story that Trump routinely refers to deceased and injured members of the US military “suckers” and “losers” as a “controversy” and calls on John Kelly, the General who served as […]
Last week the Republican Party held its national convention to nominate Donald Trump as their candidate for the 2020 presidential election. Bonnie Honig writes that the convention gave us another look at what power can look like if unchecked and unbalanced.
A top Senate Republican said Wednesday he is “more optimistic today than I have been” about Congress passing another coronavirus stimulus package before the end of the month, and he cautioned both parties could face political consequences in November if a stalemate over relief funding continues.
“Here. Don’t say I never gave you anything,” Trump sneered when he tossed a candy at Angela Merkel early in his presidency. (This was at a 2018 G-7 meeting, though Trump may have mistaken it for a Middle School lunchroom.) Last night he tossed a candy at the American people while he took everything else away. Impeach this! he all but said as he strode down a long staircase (no escalator to be had) and then strutted around a White House turned from a symbol of public government into a stage for his Republican campaign for the Presidency.
No one has ever accused Abe Foxman of being derelict in defending Israel or soft when it comes to protecting the Jewish people. A Holocaust survivor who only narrowly escaped the fate suffered by 6 million Jews, Foxman served the Anti-Defamation League for a half-century, including 28 years as its national director. A force of nature, he became the face of the endless battle against anti-Semitism, melding bluntness and fearlessness with legendary tirelessness.
Steven Calabresi is not what you'd call a "leftist." The co-founder of conservative legal group the Federalist Society worked for former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and has only voted for Republican presidential candidates, including Donald Trump. Now a law professor, Calabresi adamantly opposed last year's impeachment of President Trump on constitutional grounds.
Juliet Hooker, a professor of political science at Brown, has long conducted research at the intersection of race and politics — work now catapulted into the spotlight as Americans increasingly consider systemic racism.
What went wrong? Many books have attempted to tackle that question since 2016, when the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential victory threatened to upend the global economic order. Replies tend to fall into two broad categories. One is hand-wringing by anxious liberals, who lament the unravelling of a system that has brought so much peace and prosperity. The other is hand-waving by more conservative writers, who welcome electoral revolts as an overdue reassertion of national sovereignty.