‘Voting and Power’ panel sets stage for election-related events

IU Bloomington students will have plenty of opportunities to inform themselves about and engage with the 2016 elections thanks to a series of lectures, panel discussions and other events planned on campus.

logo-allin2xThe first Hot Topics event of the 2016-17 academic year, sponsored by IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel, will set the stage. The panel discussion on “Voting and Power” will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Moot Court Room of the Maurer School of Law.

Panelists will be Bernard Fraga, assistant professor of political science; Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, professor of law; and Marjorie Hershey, professor of political science. Law professor Steve Sanders will moderate and lead a question-and-answer session. After the panel discussion, audience members will have a chance to continue the conversation in several breakout sessions.

Other upcoming election events include:

  • On Oct. 6, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, the inaugural Indiana University Poynter Chair, will speak on “False Equivalence: Is Media Balance a Trap in an Atypical Election?” His talk will be at 7 p.m. in the Moot Court Room of the Maurer School of Law.
  • Also on Oct. 6, the School of Global and International Studies will present a discussion by IU faculty experts on cybersecurity, human rights and related topics. Panelists will be Vice President for Research Fred Cate; Emma Gilligan and Clemence Pinaud in international studies; and Adam Liff in East Asian languages and cultures. WFIU radio will broadcast the discussion, which takes place from 7-8 p.m. in the Global and International Studies Building.
  • On Nov. 1, IU Bloomington political scientists will discuss issues in the presidential election. Ted Carmines and Gerald Wright will offer perspectives on the issues, and Bill Bianco will moderate. The event will be at 7:30 p.m. in Woodburn Hall Room 120.

The School of Global and International Studies sponsored a panel discussion this week featuring IU experts on refugees, global health and international law and economic relations. Audio and video of that discussion are available online.

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IU-based efforts during Liberia’s Ebola outbreak recognized

Friends of Liberia, an organization with deep connections to Indiana University, will be recognized Friday at the Peace Corps Connect Conference in Washington, D.C., for work that included activities carried out by the Liberian Collections Project at IU Bloomington.

Liberian President and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be the featured speaker at the conference.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Friends of Liberia will receive the National Peace Corps Association’s 2016 Loret Miller Ruppe Award for Outstanding Community Service in recognition of its support of Liberia during the 2014-15 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. Friends of Guinea and Friends of Sierra Leone will also receive the award.

Key to the organization’s work was the compilation and distribution by the Liberian Collections Project of Ebola e-Dispatches, a weekly news digest focused on Ebola. The newsletter was sent to 3,000 subscribers, including Liberian diaspora organizations, public health authorities and diplomatic personnel, and was a widely shared source of Ebola news.

Madea Neyor, an IU student whose family is from Liberia, was in charge of compiling and distributing the newsletter as a Liberian Collections Project intern. Verlon Stone, who directs the Liberian Collections Project, chaired a Friends of Liberia task force that raised money and awarded small grants, primarily to rural organizations in Liberia that developed education and outreach projects to counter Ebola.

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Legal scholar: ‘Hydraulic system’ constrains elections, politics

We like to think elections are clear-cut affairs in which the people choose their representatives, but the reality is much more complex, legal scholar Pamela Karlan told an IU Maurer School of Law audience in a Constitution Day lecture today.

But in fact, elections are hydraulic systems, she said. Results are “constrained and channeled” like fluid in a closed environment. Previous elections and political events limit the options that voters have today and limit their ability to influence government.

Pamela Karlan

Pamela Karlan (Photo by James Boyd)

“Law produces elections every bit as much as elections produce laws,” said Karlan, a professor at the Stanford Law School and a former deputy assistant U.S. attorney for civil rights.

And this year’s elections reflect forces that were not widely understood, she said in her talk, “The Hydraulic Election of 2016: Vote Denial, Political Parties, the Rise of Donald Trump, and the Courts.”

Some constraints are shaped by the Constitution, Karlan said. The requirement that presidents and members of Congress are elected on set dates and serve fixed terms has led to “insanely long and expensive” campaigns. The Electoral College brings inordinate attention to swing states.

But other pressures rise and ebb with the make-up of the Supreme Court and its shifting interpretation of constitutional restrictions on voting. What she called the “new vote denial” — including voter ID laws, restrictions on early voting and elimination of same-day voter registration — is a case in point.

Until recently, the court required states to show strong evidence that voting restrictions were necessary, Karlan said. But in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a 2008 Indiana case, it ruled the government’s interest in stopping fraud was grounds for requiring voter IDs, even if fraud was rare.

In 2000, Karlan said, only 14 states required voters to present identification. But after the 2000 presidential election, decided by a razor-thin margin, some state legislators adopted voting ID laws. Read more…

Stanford legal scholar is featured Constitution Day speaker at IU Bloomington

Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford University and part of the legal team that overturned the federal ban on recognizing same-sex marriage in Windsor v. United States, will present a Constitution Day lecture Sept. 19 at the IU Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.

Karlan, the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law at the Stanford Law School, will speak on “The Hydraulic Election of 2016: Vote Denial, Political Parties, the Rise of Donald Trump, and the Courts” at noon Monday in the Baier Hall Moot Court Room.

Pamela Karlan

Pamela Karlan

The lecture will challenge the “romantic” vision of American democracy, which views elections as a process by which citizens pick leaders and determine future public policy. In reality, Karlan says, elections are constrained to certain paths by past politics and constitutional structures.

She will apply the “hydraulic” view to three features of the 2016 elections; new restrictions on voting, the rise of Donald Trump and the decline of organized political parties, and the continued vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Karlan is co-director of Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. She has been a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and a deputy assistant U.S. attorney in the Justice Department Civil Rights Division.

“Pam Karlan is one of our generation’s leading civil rights advocates and scholars on the great issues of our day: voting rights, our democratic processes, racial equality, LGBTQ equality and women’s reproductive rights,” said Dawn Johnson, the Walter W. Foskett Professor of Law in the Maurer School. “She has been a personal inspiration to me since we attended law school together.”

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Scholars to discuss race and education at IU Bloomington symposium

Four leading scholars of race and education will be at Indiana University Bloomington on Friday, Sept. 16, for a daylong symposium organized to engage graduate students, undergraduates and others in discussion of issues ranging from inequality in K-12 schools to affirmative action in college admissions.

posterThe symposium, in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana Memorial Union, is sponsored by the Department of Sociology, the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, the Asian American Studies Program and the Latino Studies Program, with support from the College of Arts and Sciences.

“This is an outstanding combination of national and internationally known scholars who take innovative but different approaches to the study of race and education,” said Brian Powell, James H. Rudy Professor and chair of the sociology department. “These differences should result in a lively, thought-provoking symposium that is especially timely given the many challenges facing education.”

Presentations will include:

  • 10 a.m.: Douglas Downey, professor of education at the Ohio State University, “Fifty Years Since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship Between Schools and Inequality.” Downey is highly regarded for his expertise on educational inequality, including the influence of non-school factors. He earned his Ph.D. from IU Bloomington.
  • 11 a.m.: Karolyn Tyson, professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, “Is Special Education Racist?” Tyson’s research examines how school processes and student attitudes affect racial inequality. She is the author of “Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students and Acting White After Brown.”
  • 2 p.m.: Ruth López Turley, professor of sociology at Rice University and director of the Houston Education Research Consortium, “Connecting Research and Policy to Reduce Racial Inequality in Education.” Turley’s work uses social science research to help educators and policymakers close achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
  • 3 p.m.: Natasha Warikoo, associate professor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, “The Diversity Bargain and Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions and Meritocracy at Elite Universities.” Warikoo’s work examines cultural processes surrounding diversity in schools, especially colleges. She is the author of “Balancing Acts: Youth Culture in the Global City.”

A panel discussion will follow the research presentations at 4 p.m. The symposium is free and open to the public.


Election series to feature party officials, IU politics experts

A series of election-related programs aimed at helping IU Bloomington students and others learn about the November 2016 election gets underway next week with a discussion featuring Indiana Democratic and Republican party representatives.

John Zody

John Zody

John Zody, chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, and Tim Berry, former chair of the Indiana Republican Party, will share a stage from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Activities Room of Briscoe Residence Center. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Zody, who lives in Bloomington, got involved with politics as an IU student. He was elected Indiana Democratic chair in March 2013. Before that, he served as Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic political director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Berry, a Fort Wayne native who lives in Indianapolis, stepped down as Republican chairman in March 2015. He served two terms as Indiana’s elected state treasurer and was in his second term as state auditor when Gov. Mike Pence selected him to become state party chairman in July 2013.

Tim Berry

Tim Berry

The nonpartisan IU election series is sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Political and Civic Engagement program, known as PACE, and the Civic Leaders Center. It is part of IU Bloomington’s participation in the All In Campus Democracy Challenge, a nationwide initiative aimed at increasing civic engagement and voting by college students.

Marjorie Hershey, professor of political science and coordinator of the series, said several groups were planning election-related programming and decided to join forces for a single series. Scheduled events include:

  • 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 19, location to be determined – A discussion on the 2016 elections featuring IU politics experts. Panelists will include Hershey; Paul Helmke, professor of practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, director of the Civic Leaders Center and former mayor of Fort Wayne; Leslie Lenkowsky, professor emeritus in SPEA; and Jill Long Thompson, visiting clinical associate in the Kelley School of Business and former U.S. congresswoman.
  • 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 4, Maurer School of Law Moot Court Room – “Voting and Power,” a Hot Topics discussion sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. Panelists will be Hershey; Bernard Fraga, assistant professor of political science; and Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, professor of law and the Harry T. Ice Fellow in the Maurer School of Law. Steve Sanders, associate professor of law, will moderate.
  • 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1, location to be determined – “Issues in the Presidential Election” discussion with IU Bloomington political scientists and other experts.

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IU Bloomington faculty, students recognized by American Sociological Association

Indiana University Bloomington sociologist Brian Powell received a Distinguished Career Award and other faculty members and graduate students in the Department of Sociology were recognized for books and articles during the recent annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Powell, James H. Rudy Professor and chair of the sociology department in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Distinguished Career Award from the ASA Sociology of the Family Section.

Brian Powell

Brian Powell

“The award recognizes Brian’s position as one of the most esteemed sociological scholars of the family,” said Jane McLeod, Provost Professor of Sociology at IU Bloomington. “His ground-breaking research into how Americans conceptualize family, and their opinions on gay marriage and adoption, place Indiana University at the center of national legal and political debates, provide unparalleled training opportunities for our students, and bring honor to our department.”

Faculty and students were recognized by the American Sociological Association and by other organizations that met in conjunction with the ASA annual meeting last month in Seattle. In other recognition of IU Bloomington faculty and students:

  • Dina Okamoto, professor, received the ASA Section on Asia and Asian America’s Best Book Award for “Redefining Race: Asian American Panethnicity and Shifting Ethnic Boundaries”; and the Section on International Migration’s Louis Wirth Best Article Award for “Legitimating Contexts, Immigrant Power and Exclusionary Actions” (co-authored with Kim Ebert).
  • Brea Perry, associate professor, received the ASA Education Section’s James Coleman Award for Best Article and the Law and Deviance Section’s James F. Short Distinguished Article Award for “Suspending Progress: Collateral Consequences of Exclusionary Punishment in Public Schools” (co-authored with Edward Morris).
  • Graduate student Matt Grace received the SAGE Teaching Innovations and Development Award.
  • Bianca Manago received the ASA Medical Sociology Section’s Howard B. Kaplan Graduate Student Award. Manago and Trenton Mize received the Society for the Study of Social Problems Sexual Behavior’s Politics and Communities Division Graduate Student Paper Award for “Stereotypes of Sexual Orientation.”
  • Roshan Pandian received the ASA Development Section Graduate Student Paper Award for “Does Manufacturing Matter for Economic Growth in the Era of Globalization?”
  • Natasha Quadlin received the ASA Sociology of Education Section David Lee Stevenson Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper for “Gender and Time Use in College: Converging of Diverging Pathways.”
  • Graduate student Landon Schnabel received the Association for the Sociology of Religion McNamara Paper Award for “Secularism and Fertility Worldwide” and the ASA Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity Section Student Paper Award for “More Religious, Less Dogmatic.” He also received the ASA Sociological Practice and Publication Section Dentler Award for Outstanding Student Achievement.
  • Orla Stapleton received the Society for the Study of Social Problems Community Research and Development Division Graduate Student Paper Award for “From Myth to Means: Place and Organizational Processes in the Gowanus Canal Superfund, New York.”
  • Tom Van Heuvelen received the ASA Section on Inequality, Poverty and Mobility Section Student Paper Award for “Recovering the Missing Middle: A Mesocomparative Analysis of Within-Group Inequality.”

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Conservation Law Clinic fights to protect Indiana bat

Post by IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

After almost four years of litigation, the Conservation Law Clinic made headway in a case being fought to protect Indiana bats from EverPower’s Buckeye Wind Project. Through semester-long internships with the clinic, Indiana University Maurer School of Law students get hands-on experience with litigation in potentially precedent-setting cases like this one, Union Neighbors United v. Sally Jewell in her Official Capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, et al Appellees.

“It took a good deal of our time for at least four years,” said W. William Weeks, director of the Conservation Law Clinic. This kind of time and attention is not uncommon for a law firm.

W. William Weeks

W. William Weeks

The Conservation Law Clinic at IU’s Maurer School of Law serves three main purposes: to represent conservation organizations free of charge; to improve conservation law and policy; and to give a hands-on introduction to the practice to second- and third-year law students.

Weeks said the case began with filing a comment on the Buckeye Wind Project’s environmental impact statement. Originally, the project was granted an incidental take permit, which allowed for injuries of the endangered Indiana bat at a rate of about five bats per year.

Weeks said he and the Conservation Law Clinic took an interest in the case because they felt the government was allowing more incidental deaths than the law permits and that in awarding the permit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t seek a practical operating plan for the wind facility that would kill fewer bats. Based on the clinic’s interpretation of the Endangered Species Act, it wasn’t a matter of whether the number of bats killed affected the population. Instead, it was about doing the least harm to the population and finding reasonable alternatives to avoid potential harm.

This month, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., reversed and remanded the case in part and affirmed it in part, which means the people challenging the permit got some of what they wanted. Now the government and EverPower have about a month to appeal, Weeks said. If they don’t appeal, the case will return to the District Court, where a new order will be issued that is consistent with the findings of the appeals court decision. The Fish and Wildlife Service will be required to consider a full range of reasonable alternatives before issuing an incidental take permit that will allow the EverPower project to cause the death of any Indiana bats.

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Journal links Ostrom research to study of nonprofits and voluntary action

A special August 2016 issue of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly celebrates the legacy of the late Indiana University scholar Elinor Ostrom and applies her insights and theories to new research in the area of nonprofit organizations and voluntary action.

Edited by three researchers who studied with Ostrom while earning Ph.D. degrees at IU Bloomington, the journal features theoretical articles as well as studies on such varied topics as neighborhood dog parks, voluntary support of U.S. national parks and Brazilian microfinance programs.

Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom

The issue brings together the body of scholarship produced by Elinor Ostrom and her collaborator and husband, Vincent Ostrom, with the academic study of nonprofit and voluntary action, known as NVA. Both areas of research, the editors say, are concerned with similar problems: How institutions are governed and how people organize for collective action.

“The Ostroms were really effective at creating a toolbox of methods and theories that they were able to test in interesting settings,” said Brent Never, associate professor of nonprofit leadership at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and one of the editors. “We felt strongly that the toolbox had a lot of value for scholars in our area, and that it had been underused.”

Other editors of the issue are Brenda K. Bushouse, an associate professor of political science and public policy at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Robert K. Christensen, associate professor of management at Brigham Young University.

Among the authors of the articles are IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs faculty members Beth Gazley of IU Bloomington, and Douglas Noonan, Saba Siddiki and Suzann Lupton of IUPUI, as well as researchers at other institutions who earned doctorates at IU.

Elinor Ostrom, a distinguished professor of political science at IU Bloomington, received the 2009 Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, commonly known as the Nobel Prize in Economics, for her analysis of economic governance, especially of the commons. She is the only woman who has received the award.

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IU professor’s book: Brazil may be making ‘critical transition’

The world’s attention is focused on Brazil with the start of the Rio Olympic Games. And according to Indiana University economic historian Lee Alston, the country is worth watching – and not just for the world-class athletic competitions taking place there this summer.

In the new book “Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change,” Alston and his co-authors argue that Brazil has the potential to make a critical transition to become one of the relatively few nations with a strong, sustainable economy and a stable system of governance. They attribute this to Brazil’s embrace of “fiscally sound social inclusion” and a resulting change in institutions.

Lee Alston

Lee Alston

“Very few countries make that transition,” Alston said. “If we look at the countries that were wealthy and successful in 2000, they are pretty much the same countries as in 1900.”

Alston is Ostrom Chair and professor of economics and law at IU Bloomington, where he directs the Ostrom Workshop. Co-authors of “Brazil in Transition” are Marcus André Melo of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, Bernardo Mueller of the University of Brasilia and Carlos Pereira of the Brazilian School of Administration at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro.

The question of why nations so rarely manage to break into the exclusive club of successful and sustainable states has long challenged political scientists, economists and other scholars. Alston and his co-authors address the question with a new way of thinking about the process of national development, focusing on the role of beliefs, institutions, leadership and windows of opportunity.

They apply their framework to the example of Brazil, following its history for the past 50 years as it transitioned from a military dictatorship through a populist system plagued by hyperinflation to its current state: a stable nation that may have the resilience to withstand political and economic shocks.

It’s significant that this transition has been accomplished by Brazil, one of the world’s largest nations with a population of over 200 million, Alston said.

“Brazil is half of South America,” he said. “It’s the same size as the continental U.S. By GDP, it’s the world’s fifth or sixth largest country. We think of China and India, but Brazil is right up there.”

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