Tag Archive for CSS

Rutland’s Paper Focuses on Oil, Gas and National Identity in Russia

Peter Rutland

Peter Rutland

Professor Peter Rutland is the author of an article titled “Petronation? Oil, gas and national identity in Russia,” published in Post-Soviet Affairs, Volume 31, Issue 1, January 2015. Rutland is professor of government, the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies and tutor in the College of Social Studies.

The article was written as part of the research project “Nation-Building and Nationalism in Today’s Russia (NEORUSS),” financed by the Norwegian Research Council.

Based on survey research, elite interviews, and an analysis of media treatment, Rutland’s article explores the place of oil and gas in Russia’s national narrative and self-identity. Objectively, Russia’s economic development, political stability, and ability to project power abroad rest on its oil and gas resources. Subjectively, however, Russians are somewhat reluctant to accept that oil and gas dependency is part of their national identity. One of the unexpected findings to emerge from the survey data is the strong regional differences on the question of whether Russia should be proud of its reliance on energy.

The article concludes with an analysis of the factors constraining the role of energy in Russia’s national narrative: the prominent history of military victories and territorial expansion; a strong commitment to modernization through science and industry; and concerns over corruption, environmental degradation and foreign exploitation.

5 Questions with . . . Giulio Gallarotti on China-U.S. Relations

Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, tutor in the College of Social Studies, says all nations, even our closest allies, do things that cut against our geo-strategic interests.

In this issue of The Wesleyan Connection, we ask 5 Questions of Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government and author of several books and scholarly articles, including The Power Curse: Influence and Illusion in World Politics. Lately he has turned his attention to the U.S.-China relationship and its place in the geo-political world.

Q: Your recent work has taken you to the transition in much of the world from a Cold War stance to the coming “cold co-existence” between the U.S. and China. How would you define “cold co-existence”?

A: The future U.S. relations with China will be far different than the Cold War relationship with the U.S.S.R., even if the Chinese get closer to nuclear parity with the U.S. The two nations will be far more interdependent economically than the U.S. and Soviets; hence their fates will be far more interlocked. While we had almost no major economic ties to the Soviets during the Cold War, we are now China’s major market (we ran a $295 billion trade deficit with China in 2011) and China is our largest lender (China presently holds over $1 trillion in American assets—largely bonds). In a sense, we are each other’s principal sources of revenues: trade revenues for China and loans for the U.S. government. This economic interdependence is here to stay, however, it will be embedded in a competitive environment, which will make the two nations anything but close allies. Add to the testy economic relationship friction over human rights, Taiwan, and disagreements over territorial claims in the South China Sea; and you have enough additional negative karma to generate a very “cold” posture between the two great nations.

Q: The economic competition between the two has received heightened scrutiny in the past few years, in part because China ignores the environmental laws employed by most western nations, controls its currency and exerts wage controls on its workers. How will these behaviors affect the relationship with the U.S. and the West in the next few years?

A: The battle of ideologies between communism and capitalism is withering quickly with the depreciation of the communist ideology among both Chinese leaders and people.

Angle Participates in Book Symposium at Chinese Institute

Stephen Angle

Stephen Angle, professor of philosophy, professor of East Asian studies, tutor in the College of Social Studies, participated in a one-day Book Symposium on his book, Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy (Oxford, 2009), at the Institute for Chinese Philosophy and Culture, Academia Sinica, in Taipei, Taiwan, in early June.

Altogether, nine papers were delivered by Taiwan-based philosophers, roughly half in English and half in Chinese. Angle had an opportunity to respond and participated in a general discussion.

The symposium was timed to coincide with an intensive, two-week class that he’s been teaching at Taipei’s Soochow University, also on the subject of his book.

College of Social Studies Celebrates 50 years at Wesleyan

Cecilia Miller, associate professor of history, co-chair and tutor in the College of Social Studies; Richard Adelstein, professor of economics and tutor in the College of Social Studies; and Brian Fay, the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, tutor in the College of Social Studies and editor of History and Theory, gather at the College of Social Studies 50th Anniversary lecture Nov. 6.

Cecilia Miller, associate professor of history, co-chair and tutor in the College of Social Studies; Richard Adelstein, professor of economics and tutor in the College of Social Studies; and Brian Fay, the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, tutor in the College of Social Studies and editor of History and Theory, gather at the College of Social Studies 50th Anniversary lecture Nov. 6.

From its beginnings in 1959, Wesleyan’s College of Social Studies (CSS) has grown into a well-respected program and is celebrating its 50th year in 2009. The multidisciplinary program allows students to explore the subjects of government, history, economics and philosophy concurrently. Many attended lectures and celebrations for CSS during Homecoming/Family Weekend last weekend.

The first event of the weekend was a CSS Public Lecture by John Goldberg (CSS 1983, professor of Law, Harvard Law School) on Friday, Nov.  6. His talk was titled “John Locke on Tort Reform (Really!): A CSS Parable.”  John Goldberg was introduced by Brian Fay, the William Griffin professor of philosophy. Richard Adelstein, professor of economics, gave the response.

Peter Kilby, professor of economics, emeritus, chaired a CSS Alum Speaker Panel on CSS Entrepreneurs on Saturday, Nov. 7. The panelists included Steve Torok ’73, Donald Zilkha ’73, Lincoln Frank ’79, and Jonathan Bush ’93. A second Alum Speaker Panel, on International Affairs, was chaired by Andrew Crawford ’97, and included panelists Bob Hunter ’62, John Stremlau ’66, Carl Robichaud ’99 and Michael Brotchner ’95.

“What impressed me the most was the way in which speaker after speaker mentioned, with specific examples, how the method of study in the CSS continued to profoundly shape the way they handled their jobs in their subsequent career, whether it be a public defender or a venture capitalist,” said Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought and CSS Co-Chair, who attended the event.

“Skills such as being able to write quickly and clearly; and to see many sides of a problem, and integrate them in a single analysis served CSS students well after graduation,” he recounts.

Along with Fay, Adelstein, Kilby (who retired last year), and Rutland, core professors in the CSS within the past 20 years include Cecilia Miller, associate professor of history and CSS Co-Chair; Bill Barber, Andrews Professor of Economics, Emeritus; the late David Titus, professor of government, Emeritus; David Morgan, professor of history, Emeritus; Don Moon, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Professor in the College of Social Studies and professor of government; Nancy Schwartz, professor of government; Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government; Gil Skillman, chair and professor of economics; Joyce Jacobsen, Andrews Professor of Economics; and Erik Grimmer-Solem, associate professor of history and director of the Public Affairs Center.

According to the program description, the College of Social Studies “was created in the belief that the various social studies can best be pursed together, rather than in isolation, and that the student will better understand the subject matter and the nature of each discipline by considering it in its relation to the other disciplines, and to develop a sense of methodological criticism supported by work in philosophy.”

Former Wesleyan President Victor Butterfield crafted the plan for the CSS along with the College of Letters (also celebrating 50 years) and the College of Quantitative Studies, which disbanded in the 1960’s. Butterfield believed strongly in the importance of interdisciplinary studies.

“The curriculum stresses fundamental techniques of analysis in economics, history, and government, as well as their application in the subject matter of those fields. Precision in writing and speaking is stressed in essays and class work. A number of lectures and seminars provide a sense of community that balances the educational aspect of the College,” the program description states.

Throughout the years, CSS has produced more than 930 graduates including John Driscoll, who currently works as the University Relations Alumni Director. Driscoll graduated from Wesleyan in class of 1962 and was a member of the very first CSS class.

“In the beginning the CSS was the unstructured part of Wesleyan,” Driscoll says. “The ‘normal’ parts of Wesleyan were filled with requirements, grades, and regular tests. That may seem odd today, but then we were looked on with a mixture of curiosity, envy and resentment because while others were sweating through the regular grind, we weren’t. At least not in the same way. We were “free” of the superficial preoccupation with grades; we could focus on learning for its own sake. And for us the ability to focus on one tutorial for ten weeks along with a colloquium on epistemology each week was true liberation.”

CSS graduates have gone on to excel in a range of fields, including government service, law, business, the arts and even medicine. CSS graduates have also been well represented on the Wesleyan Board of Trustees, and in recent years the Board has included four or more CSS alumni.