Scholars to discuss ‘mere civility,’ moderation

Political theorist Teresa Bejan, the author of the new book “Mere Civility,” will join Indiana University political scientist Aurelian Craiutu on Friday for a roundtable discussion of civility and moderation at a time when many people argue the conflict over the Trump presidency is putting both at risk.

Bejan is an associate professor of political theory and a fellow of Oriel College at the University of Oxford. Craiutu, professor of political science at IU Bloomington, is the author of “Faces of Moderation: The Art of Balance in an Age of Extremes.”

Teresa Bejan

Teresa Bejan

The discussion, a part of the Tocqueville Lecture Series, will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the President’s Room of the University Club in the Indiana Memorial Union.

“There has been a renewed interest in studying the virtues that undergird the functioning of our democratic institutions,” Craiutu said. “Without such virtues, they could not function properly. Civility and moderation are two such virtues in high demand and short supply in today’s society.

“Both my own book ‘Faces of Moderation’ and Teresa Bejan’s ‘Mere Civility,’ invite readers to take a fresh look at the twin virtues of civility and moderation and discover how they might help bring some much-needed sanity into our political discourse today,” he added.

The discussion will include responses by Allen Wood, Ruth Norman Halls Professor of Philosophy at IU Bloomington; Jeffrey Isaac, James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at IU Bloomington; and Alexander Smith, assistant professor of sociology at Warwick University in the United Kingdom.

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Ambassador Dennis Ross to speak on Middle East challenges

With a new administration in Washington raising questions about the future of U.S. Middle East policy, expect an Indiana University Bloomington lecture by Ambassador Dennis Ross to provide insight on what to expect.

Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross

Ross, a key figure in developing, implementing and analyzing U.S. policies in the Middle East for nearly three decades, will speak on “U.S. Foreign Policy: Challenge in the Middle East,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Hodge Hall Room 2075. The lecture is free and open to the public. Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will introduce Ross and offer brief remarks.

“We are honored that Ambassador Dennis Ross will be speaking at Indiana University and grateful to all the sponsors who have joined with us in making this evening possible,” said Rabbi Sue Laikin Silberberg, executive director of the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center, which is hosting the event.

“Ambassador Ross has a most distinguished career, and the depth of his skill, expertise and experience is indicated by the fact that he has served in both Democratic and Republican administrations,” she said. “It is not only a rare opportunity for students to hear someone of Ambassador Ross’ caliber and stature, but also an honor to be able to welcome to our campus someone with his depth of knowledge, passion and understanding of the Middle East peace process.”

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Lecture to explore links between Ostrom research, free-market environmentalism

Elinor Ostrom showed that groups and individuals working at the local level can manage shared resources without resorting to private ownership or government regulation. Vincent Ostrom explained polycentric governance, multiple centers of decision-making that operate independently and effectively.

Terry Anderson draws on both to explore the potential for free-market environmentalism, which applies markets and property rights to protect the environment from exploitation and neglect.

Terry Anderson

Terry Anderson

Anderson, an economist at the Hoover Institution and a widely published writer on environmental policy, will present the inaugural Ostrom Lecture on Environmental Policy Wednesday at Indiana University Bloomington. The lecture, “Who Owns the Environment? Lessons from the Legacy of Elinor Ostrom,” starts at 4:30 p.m. in Woodburn Hall 120.

The lecture is sponsored by the Ostrom Workshop, which IU Bloomington political scientists Elinor Ostrom and Vincent Ostrom established in 1973. Both Ostroms died in 2012. Video of the lecture will be streamed at the Ostrom Workshop website.

Anderson said he will contrast the dominant paradigm for environmental protection — a “command and control” approach that makes use of laws, regulations and taxes — with the argument that private ownership offers better incentives for protecting resources.

“In between those two is ‘governing the commons,’ as Elinor Ostrom described it,” he said. “That’s what I will talk about, and I will provide examples of how her ideas have manifested themselves in this area, addressing where they can be even more effective and where they may not be effective.”

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For journalists, no substitute for ‘getting out there,’ columnist says

The proliferation of online news and information, much of it of dubious quality, is creating challenges for journalists and audiences alike, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen told students and faculty today at an Indiana University Media School symposium.

“There is a tremendous cacophony out there,” Cohen said. “American citizens need to be educated in how to sift, how to distinguish real journalism from some kid in Macedonia writing a story.”

Roger Cohen

Roger Cohen

The media landscape seems topsy-turvy, he said, with the president of the United States attacking the credibility of established news media on a daily basis and “fake news” circling the globe at the speed of data thanks to gullible readers sharing on social media.

“Once it’s out there, debunking it doesn’t have much effect,” he said. “Velocity trumps veracity. Speed trumps truth.”

Cohen, the inaugural Indiana University Poynter Chair, joined Indiana Daily Student editor-in-chief Hannah Alani and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations managing editor Sarah Neal-Estes for a mid-day discussion titled with a question: “Sinking in a Swamp of News, Lies and Social Media?”

The panelists said advances in digital and online media have given newspapers and broadcast stations new ways of sharing news, engaging with audiences and finding sources and story ideas. Audiences increasingly expect to get their news online, not via newspapers or the evening newscast, they agreed.

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Firing of acting attorney general brings ‘vivid memories’ for IU professor

References to the co-called Saturday Night Massacre of 1973 abounded this week when President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, for refusing to mount a legal defense for the president’s executive orders targeting immigrants and refugees.

For IU Bloomington law and public policy professor A. James Barnes, recollections of that night in 1973 were personal. He was at the Justice Department when the attorney general and deputy attorney general lost their jobs for refusing to fire the special prosecutor investigating President Richard Nixon.

A. James Barnes

A. James Barnes

“The event this week brought back very vivid memories,” said Barnes, a professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Maurer School of Law. “I had a front-row seat to history being made.”

Barnes was an assistant to William Ruckelshaus, the deputy attorney general. He also served as a special assistant and chief of staff to Ruckelshaus at the Environmental Protection Agency, where Ruckelshaus was the agency’s first administrator.

In the fall of 1973, special prosecutor Archibald Cox was demanding access to recordings of White House conversations as part of his investigation of the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up. Nixon refused to hand over the tapes and demanded that Eliot Richardson, the attorney general, fire Cox.

On Oct. 20, Richardson refused and resigned rather than carry out an order to undermine the special prosecutor’s independence. That made Ruckelshaus the acting attorney general, and the order to fire Cox went next to him, via Gen. Al Haig, the president’s chief of staff. Ruckelshaus also refused and resigned in protest.

The three departures — of Richardson, Ruckelshaus and Cox — came to be labeled the Saturday Night Massacre. It caused public outrage, which eventually prompted Congress to launch its own investigation. Facing likely impeachment and removal from office, Nixon stepped down in August 1974.

“The Saturday Night Massacre ultimately was the catalyst that brought the impeachment proceedings along and put pressure on Nixon to resign,” Barnes said.

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Global trade topic of discussion at IU Europe Gateway

Donald Trump is president of the United States, Great Britain is leaving the European Union, and nationalist parties are gaining support across Europe. Is the era of global free trade coming to an end, to be replaced by closed borders, tariffs and protectionism?

Scholars from Indiana University and Freie Universität Berlin will discuss the prospects Thursday at the IU Europe Gateway in Berlin. And you don’t have to fly to Berlin to hear what they have to say; you can watch online via live video stream, starting at 12:30 p.m. Bloomington time (6:30 p.m. in Berlin).

David Fidler

David Fidler

Speakers will be David P. Fidler, the James Louis Calamaras Professor of Law at the IU Maurer School of Law and an adjunct senior fellow on cybersecurity at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Steffen Hindelang, associate professor of constitutional and administrative law in the Department of Law at Freie Universität Berlin.

Stefan Maier, a member of the executive board of BDI — Federation of German Industries, will moderate the discussion, titled “The Future of Global Trade: Protectionism vs. Open Markets,” and lead a question-and-answer session.

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IU historian part of 75-year commemoration of key Holocaust event

Seventy-five years ago this Friday, German government officials met at a lakeside villa in Berlin’s Wannsee district to talk about implementing the “final solution,” Nazi Germany’s plan to kill the 11 million Jews in Europe.

Mark Roseman, director of the Borns Jewish Studies Program at IU Bloomington and Pat M. Glazer Professor of Jewish Studies and professor of history, wrote the definitive book on this event, “The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution: A Reconsideration,” published in 2003. This week, he is traveling to Germany for meetings marking the anniversary.

Mark Roseman

Mark Roseman

Roseman also authored a chapter in a new book, the German version of which will launch Sunday. The book, “The Participants: The Men of the Wannsee Conference,” looks at the 16 men who took part and the roles they played. An English version will come out this summer.

Historians didn’t learn about the conference until 1947, when a surviving copy of its minutes was discovered by a Nuremberg prosecutor in files seized from German government offices. The conference attained an almost mythic status as the point at which Germany embarked on genocide.

Roseman said the truth is more complicated, but the record of the conference provides important insight into the implementation of German policies.

“Whatever else it is,” he said, “it’s a very striking record of an important moment in the evolution of Nazism and the Holocaust.”

The meeting was organized and chaired by Reinhard Heydrich, a top German security official, and included officials from government ministries responsible for the treatment of Jews inside and outside of Germany. Adolf Eichmann, whose trial in 1961 and execution in 1962 increased attention to the Holocaust in the post-war generation, made arrangements and prepared the minutes.

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Series to examine public education

Students and faculty in the Program in Social Foundations of Education at IU’s School of Education were planning a spring 2017 symposium that would highlight their field and make the case for its relevance to teacher education.

“And then the election happened,” said Caitlin Howlett, a doctoral student in philosophy of education.

The election of Donald Trump as president and his selection of Michigan school-choice advocate Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education added a sense of urgency for those planning the initiative. Almost overnight, their vision expanded to include a semester-long series that will examine education policy and issues related to children, youth and social justice.

'What is Public Education' posterThe series is titled “What Is Public Education and Why Does It Matter?” It kicks off Wednesday with a teach-in and discussion on “Federal Education Under the New Regime.” The series is hosted by the Program in Social Foundations of Education with the School of Education.

Actually there will two teach-ins and discussions Wednesday: one at noon in the School of Education Atrium and the other at 7 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union Oak Room. The idea is to engage IU education students in the daytime event and reach out to the broader community in the evening.

A second set of teach-ins and discussions, this time on state education policy in Indiana, will take place Feb. 16 — at noon in the School of Education Atrium and at 7 p.m. at the Monroe County Public Library. The discussions will examine issues such as education funding, policymaking, legislation and the role of charter schools, private school vouchers and home-schooling.

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Ostrom Workshop adds program on internet governance and cybersecurity

A new Program on Governance of the Internet and Cybersecurity at Indiana University’s Ostrom Workshop is launching this semester with a range of activities, including a speaker series and an academic conference featuring invited papers and talks.

The program will build a network of scholars at IU and around the world to address timely questions regarding the security of cyber networks and effective governance of the internet, said Scott Shackelford, associate professor in the Kelley School of Business and director of the program.

The interdisciplinary program will organize presentations integrated into the weekly symposia series at the Ostrom Workshop. It will bring together experts from computing, law, business, economics, ethics, public policy, media, education, psychology, political science, international relations and other fields.

Scott Shackelford

Scott Shackelford

The academic conference, the inaugural Ostrom Workshop Colloquium on Cybersecurity and Internet Governance, will take place April 27-29 at the workshop, 513 N. Park Ave.

Shackelford said it makes sense to house such a center at the Ostrom Workshop because of the groundbreaking work conducted by the workshop’s founders, Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom, on questions of governance, institutions and public economics.

“The Ostrom Workshop is a great place to do this, because they have a long history of pushing the boundaries on governance research,” he said. “We’re trying to use some of the same theories and concepts that were developed by the Ostroms and their colleagues and apply them to internet governance and cybersecurity.”

The program gets underway as cybersecurity and the internet have gained urgent attention, from concerns about Russian hacking of U.S. campaign emails to the proliferation of fake or unreliable news. Issues of net neutrality and access to online information also create challenges for policymakers.

In addition to the Program on Governance of the Internet and Cybersecurity, the Ostrom Workshop recently added a Program on Governance of Natural Resources and is developing a Program on Political, Economic and Legal Institutions and Organizations.

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Ostrom’s legacy remains strong seven years after Nobel

Indiana University’s Elinor Ostrom received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in December 2009, becoming the first — and still the only — woman to receive the award.

Seven years later, there are nearly constant reminders of her influence, including academic studies that build on her theories, symposia that celebrate her work and policy analyses that credit her thinking.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie, right, inspects a display at the Ostrom Symposium in Beijing with Wang Jianxun, professor in the China University of Political Science and Law, who earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University with Vincent and Elinor Ostrom as thesis advisors.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie, right, inspects a display at the Ostrom Symposium in Beijing with Wang Jianxun, professor in the China University of Political Science and Law, who earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University with Vincent and Elinor Ostrom as thesis advisors.

“Professor Ostrom had a profound impact on development studies through her work on public choice, institutionalism and the commons,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said this month in Beijing at the “Ostrom Symposium on the Study of the Commons, Governance and Collective Decision.”  “Her work had — and continues to have — a major influence on scholars from around the world.”

Elinor “Lin” Ostrom and her husband, Vincent Ostrom, established the Ostrom Workshop at IU Bloomington in 1973 and mentored generations of scholars who study institutional governance, natural resource management and other topics. Both Ostroms died in June 2012.

She was a Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and both held the position of Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science. She received the 2009 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, also known as the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, for her work on the economic governance.

The Ostrom Symposium in Beijing, organized by the university’s Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business and held at the IU China Gateway, highlighted the extraordinary influence the Ostroms had and continue to have among a group of Chinese scholars.

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