Tag Archive for Government Department

Government’s Dancey Teaching Course on Campaigns, Elections

Logan Dancey joined the Government Department this fall. He enjoys teaching Wesleyan’s “intellectually curious” students.

Assistant Professor of Government Logan Dancey started teaching at Wesleyan this semester—the perfect time, he says, to be teaching a course on Campaigns and Elections.

“The unfolding presidential and congressional elections continually give us new events to think about as we read and discuss broader theories about the importance and meaning of campaigns and elections,” Dancey says. And though Congress has mostly ground to a halt this election season—meaning a dearth of current events to discuss in his Congressional Policymaking class—the increasing polarization in Congress has led to many interesting and important discussions in that course nevertheless.

Dancey describes the students in his classes as “intellectually curious.”

“They ask great questions and consistently show a desire to really understand a concept or theory. The students definitely keep me on my toes, but ultimately it makes class discussion more interesting and thought-provoking,” he says.

Rutland’s Op-Ed Focuses on E.U.’s Nobel Peace Prize

On Oct. 17, Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies, had an op-ed published in The Moscow Times exploring whether the European Union deserves the recently awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

“Europe is certainly a more peaceful place today than at any time in its past, but does the E.U. deserve all the credit for this? Defenders of the committee’s decision argue that the E.U. has ended the centuries-old proclivity of European states to invade each other. It’s true that most of Europe has enjoyed six decades without war. But it was the Cold War, not the Brussels bureaucracy, that created and maintained the peace in Europe,” Rutland writes.

He goes on to argue that positive achievements in the E.U. must be balanced against the union’s failures in dealing with the bloody conflict in Yugoslavia during the late 1990s, and secessionist conflicts in Moldova, Azerbaijan and Georgia. He concludes, “The granting of the prize to the EU may be good politics, but it is bad history.”

China, American Election Roundtable to Include Fowler as Panelist

Erika Franklin Fowler is co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.

Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, will be a panelist at a roundtable discussion at Yale University on Monday, Oct. 29. The subject is China and the American Election. Fowler will be joined by James Fallows of The Atlantic, Stephen Roach of the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs and the Yale University School of Management, and Jeremy Wu of the Committee of 100, and former senior advisor to the U.S. Census Bureau. As China’s rapid development, and Sino-American relations continue to be featured in the media during the current U.S. election season, the panelists will offer their perspectives to help situate campaign appeals in the context of American attitudes toward China; Chinese perceptions of the United States; complex economic motivations; and larger campaign dynamics and electoral considerations.

The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 101 (Henry R. Luce Hall), 34 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, Conn. It is free and open to the public. RSVP to eastasian.studies@yale.edu by Oct. 26.

Rutland’s Op-Ed: Two Steps Backwards in the Caucasus

Peter Rutland, professor of government, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies, writes in a Sept. 10 op-ed published in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune about two recent symbolic events in the Caucasus region that threaten to ignite hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Rutland Lectures on Democracy, Capitalism, Comparative Politics in Russia

Peter Rutland, the Colin and Nancy Campbell Chair of Government, gave a lecture on “Democracy and Capitalism” at the Urals State University in Yekaterinburg, Russia on May 31. He published an opinion piece about the region’s new governor in the Moscow Times on June 3.

On June 9, he attended a meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian President’s State Academy for Economics and Public Administration, to discuss the curriculum and select faculty for a new B.A. in Comparative Politics.

 

Eco-Tools Map Campus Pollution, Promote Green Purchasing

The Wesleyan Eco-Map prototype shows the monthly pollution index of most wood-framed homes on campus.

To help members of the Wesleyan community be more aware of their environmental impact, the College of the Environment is developing practical and accessible Eco-Tools.

The Eco-Tools prototype, launched in April, provides links and information to Wesleyan’s current projects, the Wesleyan Eco-Map and the Wesleyan Eco-Purchasing site.

“Wesleyan is the first university in the country to create these tools,” explains project coordinator Mary Alice Haddad, associate professor of government, East Asian studies and environmental studies. “The project is just starting to bloom, but once we get it up and operating, it can act as a model for other universities.”

Wesleyan is developing en Eco-Map that shows what buildings on campus are using the most energy.

The Wesleyan Eco-Map highlights changes in energy usage in different buildings on campus over time, based solely on changes in human behavior. The prototype currently tracks the monthly pollution index for all wood-framed housing on campus, and in time, may track heat and water usage for the entire university.

“The biggest drive for pollution is who’s living in it,” says Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability. “The Eco-Map will provide a real visual for students living in these homes to see their energy use month to month, year to year, and make them think, “How can I improve?'”

The map shows that residents residing at 1 Vine Street used almost twice as much energy (hence, creating twice as much pollution) during the months of December, January and February, as they did in March, April and May. So, students who reside in the home in 2012-13 can monitor their own energy usage on the site, and compare it to the energy use in 2011-12.

Of course, there are environmental factors to take into account. Some homes are heated with gas; others are electric. Some are 4,000 square feet, others are half that size. Some homes, such as 19 and 20 Fountain Avenue and 231 Pine Street were constructed in the past 10 years, while the majority of homes are from the 1900s. And the roof of 19 Fountain Avenue is topped with solar panels.

Wesleyan’s second Eco-Tool, Wesleyan Eco-Purchasing, offers members of the Wesleyan community detailed information about the environmental impacts of the information technology products in use on campus. The site promotes responsible purchasing decisions and encourages companies to act in more environmentally and socially responsible ways.

“I.T. companies and their suppliers are among the worst polluters,

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.

McGuire Speaks at Conference Honoring Political Scientist Guillermo O’Donnell

James McGuire

James McGuire, chair and professor of government, professor of Latin American studies, spoke on “Class Structure, Distributive Conflict and Democracy: Brazil and Argentina in Comparative Perspective,” during a conference on Guillermo O’Donnell and the Study of Democracy on March 26. The conference took place in in O’Donnell’s hometown of Buenos Aires.

The conference was held in celebration of immense legacy of the eminent political scientist Guillermo O’Donnell (1936–2011), one of the pioneers of democratization studies.

More information is online here.

5 Questions With . . . Peter Rutland on the European Union

Peter Rutland

Peter Rutland

Peter Rutland has mentioned in the past that many Americans know little about the European Union (E.U.), and what they know may be more based on myth than fact. With a major debt crisis threatening the E.U.’s very existence, 5 Questions thought it might be a good time to discuss some of these misconceptions with Professor Rutland who is Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government and professor of Russian and Eastern European studies.

Q: What is one of the more significant myths many Americans believe is a “fact” about the E.U.?

A: That the European Union brought peace to Europe. Many liberals tend to idealize the European Union as an attractive alternative to the United States – a place which is peaceful rather than violent, communitarian rather than individualist, and with a strong social safety net. Many conservatives demonize the Europeans for the same reasons. When all is said and done, the bottom-line defense of the European Union is that it has ended the centuries old proclivity of European states for invading each other. It’s true that most of Europe has enjoyed six decades without war. But this was due to Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe (Stalin) physically occupying the continent and dismantling its armies in 1945. NATO and the Warsaw Pact were in place well before the emergence of European Community institutions. It was the Cold War, and not the Brussels bureaucracy, that preserved the peace in Europe.

There is also the problem of the wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. This was a conflict for which Yugoslavia’s European neighbors share some responsibility, because of their precipitate recognition of the independence of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, followed by their inability to stop the fighting until the US intervened.

Q: What about the often-heard assertion that the European Union has transcended the nation-state?

A: Another myth. European federalists have been proclaiming the end of the nation-state for decades.