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Government and Legal Studies

Previous Events

The New Politics of Parenthood: Family, Citizenship and Inequality in America Today A Symposium to examine the role of family and parenthood in the nation’s current atmosphere of extreme social inequality and extreme political partisanshipThe New Politics of Parenthood: Family, Citizenship and Inequality in America Today
A Symposium to examine the role of family and parenthood in the nation’s current atmosphere of extreme social inequality and extreme political partisanship

Thursday & Friday, April 5-6, 2012
Main and Lancaster Lounges, Moulton Union
Lectures by: June Carbone, Author of Red Families v Blue Families, Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City (Thursday, 7:30 pm), and
Paul Tough, Author of Whatever it Takes Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, and editor of the New York Times Magazine. Mr. Tough is a leading author on poverty, education and the achievement gap (Friday 12:30 pm).

Today the way people parent - when they have children and how they raise them - closely correlates both to social class and to political loyalties.  Many commentators believe that that the nation is "splitting apart" into two groups with different kinds of families.  They believe that differences in parenting, especially the rise in single parenthood among low income groups, is the driving force behind this growing inequality.  They wonder how public policy might address it, and how we might agree on a strategy to adopt.
The New Politics of Parenthood examines both the premises of this debate, and the political difficulties of finding solutions.  Bringing together scholars and leaders of organizations confronting the problems of poverty, the symposium will address the fundamental questions:  What is the role of family and parenthood in creating the profound inequality that marks America today?  And do our ideas about family make it harder to find political solutions to the problems of inequality?

For more information, see the website:
bowdoin.edu/coastal-studies-center/symposia/the-new-politics-of-parenthood-2012

Thursday April 29, 2010
"Who's Afraid of Executive Power?"
Lecture by Michael M. Uhlmann
Visiting Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College
7:00 pm - Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union

A graduate of Yale, Michael M. Uhlmann received a law degree from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University. Over a long and distinguished career, he has served at the highest levels of the national government, been a partner in a major law firm, and a foundation executive.

He was appointed Assistant Attorney General in 1975, and upon Ronald Reagan's election in 1980 he was named Special Assistant to the President, serving until the end of Reagan’s first term.

After a period in private practice at the Washington office of Pepper, Hamilton and Scheetz, he was successively at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the Bradley Foundation.

Uhlmann now teaches, writes, and consults from a base at the Claremont Graduate University and Claremont McKenna College.

Sponsored by the Department of Government and Legal Studies with support from the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund. The fund was established by colleagues, friends, and members of the Donovan family, through the leadership of Shepard Lee, Bowdoin Class of 1947. Donovan served as Bowdoin's DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government and Legal Studies from 1965 until his death in 1984.

Free and open to the public.

MONDAY April 20, 2009
WILLIAMSON MURRAY ON "WORLD WAR II: A NECESSARY WAR?"
7 PM Main Lounge, Moulton Union
Free and open to the public.

Dr. Williamson Murray is considered by many to be America’s premier military historian.

With a Ph.D. from Yale, and having served five years as an officer in the United States Air Force, Dr. Murray is the author and editor of a number of influential books, including The Iraq War, A Military History (Harvard), Military Innovations in the Interwar Period (Cambridge), The Air War in the Persian Gulf (Nautical and Aviation Press), A War To Be Won, Fighting the Second World War (Harvard), The Change in the European Balance of Power, 1938-1939,The Path to Ruin (Princeton), and The Making of Strategy, Rulers, States and War (Cambridge), as well as dozens of articles and reviews.

Dr. Murray has taught at Yale, Ohio State University, the United States Military Academy, the Marine Corps University, the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, the Naval War College, the Army War College, and the London School of Economics, among others. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Defense Analysis and a member of the National Strategic Studies Group.

The lecture is sponsored by the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund, which was established at Bowdoin College in 1990 by family members, professional colleagues and friends of John C. Donovan. Donovan served as Bowdoin’s DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government from 1965 until his death in 1984. Established through the leadership of Shepard Lee, Bowdoin Class of 1947, this fund is used to support a lecture in the field of political science.

Taxi to the Dark SideWednesday, April 9, 2008 7 p.m.
Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center.
Don’t miss the only local screening of:
TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE
-
Winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature about the U.S. government’s policies on interrogation of terror suspects.

With introductory remarks before and Q&A after with John D. Hutson

Written, produced, and directed by Alex Gibney (Oscar nominated for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), Taxi to the Dark Side is an inquiry into the suspicious death of an Afghani taxi driver at Bagram air base in 2002.  Intermingling documents and records of the incident with candid testimony from eyewitnesses and participants, the film uncovers an alleged link between the tragic incidents that unfolded in Bagram and the prisoner-interrogation policies made by the United States government.

John D. HutsonIntroducing the film and entertaining questions afterwards is John D. Hutson, President and Dean of the Franklin Pierce Law Center.  Dean Hutson is a retired Rear Admiral and former Judge Advocate General of the Navy who was featured in the film as an expert on torture and interrogation techniques.

The film is rated R.
Tickets will be required and are currently available at the Smith Union Info Desk.
The event is free and open to the public, so we expect tickets to go fast. 

Sponsored by the Government Department and the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund

 

Wednesday February 6, 2008
7:30 pm
“The Other as Enigma: How Can Dialogue Make a Difference?”
John RensenbrinkLecture by John Rensenbrink, Professor Emeritus of Government and Legal Studies
Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union
A reception will follow in Main Lounge
Free and open to the public

Professor Rensenbrink's talk is based partly on the presidential address he made at the Seventh Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue in Hiroshima, Japan, on June 1, 2007.

The central question posed by Rensenbrink will be, "Why is it so hard for people to work together?" He will describe an intellectual journey that propelled him beyond the many iterations of identity politics, as well as beyond the polarity of competition and cooperation. The journey eventually centered on the relationship between the being of the one and the being of the other, finding in that relationship the source and foundation of dialogue. Such dialogue, he will argue, is at the core of both philosophy and politics.

John Rensenbrink retired in 1995 after teaching at Bowdoin, mainly in political theory, since 1961 (with a hiatus of three years in Kenya and Tanzania, 1962 to 1965). He helped found the Green Party of the United States in 1984 and the Maine Green Independent Party in 1984. He is a member of the Green Party's National Committee and its International Committee. Among his published works are a book on Poland's Solidarity movement, Poland Challenges a Divided World (1988); and The Green Transformation of American Politics (1999). He lives in Topsham with his wife Carla Rensenbrink.

Sponsored by the Department of Government and Legal Studies, the Department of Philosophy, and the Environmental Studies Program

Monday March 5, 2007
Winning the Weapons War
Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Proces

Lecture by Andrew Sens
Andrew Sens has served on the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning since 1999. A career diplomat, Sens' last assignment was as executive secretary to the National Security Council in Washington. A senior foreign and defense policy aide to President Clinton and his national security advisor, Sens has had postings in Kampala, Tehran, Washington, Islamabad, and Buenos Aires.

Sponsored by the Mellon Fund, the Government Department, College Democrats, College Republicans, and Democratic Left

Free and open to the public. 7:30 pm Quinby House

Thursday November 16th, 2006
Who Was Leo Strauss, and Why Do They Keep Saying Such Terrible Things About Him?
Steven SmithSteven Smith is Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science and Master of Branford College at Yale University. Since he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1981, Smith has been one of the leading political theorists in the United States. His work has focused on the history of liberalism in European political thought and especially on the relationship between religion and politics in the liberal tradition. His many books include Hegel's Critique of Liberalism (1989), Spinoza, Liberalism, and the Question of Jewish Identity (1997), and Spinoza's Book of Life: Freedom and Redemption in the Ethics (2003). Most recently, Smith has written a critically acclaimed book on the controversial twentieth-century thinker Leo Strauss, whom some have seen as providing the philosophical underpinnings of the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration. Smith's book is entitled Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism, and the title of his lecture is "Who Was Leo Strauss and Why Do They Keep Saying Such Terrible Things About Him?"

8:00 pm Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union
Lecture sponsored by the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund
The John C. Donovan Lecture Fund was established at Bowdoin College in 1990 by colleagues, friends, and members of the Donovan family, through the leadership of Shepard Lee, Bowdoin Class of 1947. This fund is used to support a lecture in the field of political science.

Lecture Series: 'Polls, Paramilitaries and Peace'

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
Dr. Khalil Shikaki Dr. Khalil Shikaki
'Palestinian Politics, Peace and Hamas'
Dr. Shikaki is the Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah and is currently a senior research fellow at Brandeis's Crown Center for Middle East Studies. He is author of 'The Future of Palestine' (Foreign Affairs Nov/Dec 2004) and 'Palestinians Divided' (Foreign Affairs Jan/Feb 2002).
Sponsored by the Government Department, Bowdoin Democrats, and the Middle Eastern Students Association
7:00 pm, Beam Classroom, Visual Art Center

The Secret History of the IRAMonday, November 6th
ED MALONEY
author of 'The Secret History of the IRA' will speak on 'The Lessons of the Irish Peace Process for the White House'.
Ed Moloney has been Northern editor of the Irish Times and the Sunday Tribune. He has written for the Washington Post, The Economist, and The Guardian, and in 1999 he was elected Irish Journalist of the Year.
7:00 pm, Cleaveland 151


Friday, December 8th
DR. AMI PEDAHZURDR. AMI PEDAHZUR,
author of 'The Root Causes of Suicide Terrorism' will address the topic of 'Suicide Terrorism: Israel's Security Challenges'.
12:30 pm, Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center