Location: Bowdoin / Government and Legal Studies / Calendar / Spring 2013

Government and Legal Studies

Spring 2013

Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

September 26, 2013 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Searles Science Building, Room 315

Kate Brown is a leading historian of the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia, specializing in environmental history, the history of science and technology, and spatial history. In her latest book, Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, she provides the first definitive account of the great plutonium disasters of the United States and the Soviet Union.

Kate Brown lives in Washington, DC and is an Associate Professor of History at UMBC. She is the author of A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004) which won among a handful of prizes including the American Historical Association's George Louis Beer Prize for the Best Book in International European History. Brown has published articles in the American Historical Review, Slate, Aeon, Chronicle of Higher Education, Harper's on-line edition, Kritika, and the TLS. She is a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, and has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the National Council for East European and Eurasian Research, the International Research and Exchange Board, the Eurasia Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, Harvard University's Davis Center, and the Kennan Institute in Washington, DC. Currently Brown is working on a collection of essays called Being There, about the hapless adventures of an historian trying to recover the lost histories of modernist wastelands.

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Applications of Network Science to Environmental Policy (Mark Lubell)

Applications of Network Science to Environmental Policy (Mark Lubell)

September 17, 2013 7:30 PM  – 8:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Mark Lubell is Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, and Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Lubell's research focuses on human behavior and the role of governance institutions in solving collective action problems and facilitating cooperation. For more information, see the webpage.

Co-sponsored by the Government Department, the McKeen Center for the Common Good, and Environmental Studies Program. For more information call 725-3396.

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Domestic and International Marine Sanctuaries: Stellwagen Bank as a case study

Domestic and International Marine Sanctuaries: Stellwagen Bank as a case study

May 8, 2013 4:30 PM  – 5:30 PM
Adams Hall, Room 111 (Common Room)

Join Bowdoin seniors Sarah Johnson and Matt Gamache as they present their research on domestic and international marine sanctuaries and their legal and political structures. Their research focuses on Stellwagen Bank, MA and also investigates international attempts to create and monitor marine sanctuaries, comparing the tactics and outcomes of various strategies. The presentation will feature Ben Cowie-Haskell, Assistant Superintendent of the management team at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Ben will present some of his research and be able to answer more technical questions.

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'Sustainable' businesses: good partners for environmentalists?

'Sustainable' businesses: good partners for environmentalists?

April 10, 2013 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Four years ago Walmart organized The Sustainability Consortium in cooperation with the Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation International and other environmental groups, plus 80 companies including Stonyfield and 7th Generation.

Their goal is to develop an Index to measure the sustainability of all their products, so customers can be certain they are buying green, and companies can measure progress in meeting their environmental and social goals. Bob Kerr of Pure Strategies helps manage the negotiations.

Is this a promising new way to save the planet?

Robert L. Kerr, is Co-founder and Principal of Pure Strategies, a company that works with organizations to reduce the environmental footprints of their operations and products, and to integrate environmental and social sustainability into their planning and strategic positioning.

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Sanjeev Kulkarni on Machine Learning and Democracy: Some Problems in Collective Decision-Making

Sanjeev Kulkarni on Machine Learning and Democracy: Some Problems in Collective Decision-Making

April 4, 2013 4:30 PM  – 5:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

The Classics Department presents:

Sanjeev Kulkarni
Professor of Electrical Engineering 
Director of the Keller Center for Technology and Society
Princeton University
"Machine Learning and Democracy: Some Problems in Collective Decision-Making"
A recent area of interest in machine learning involves drawing inferences from a large number of agents, each with some partial information.  These problems in collective decision-making are closely related to a fundamental problem of democracy--that of inferring the collective will of the people.  This talk will give a brief overview of machine learning and voting theory, followed by a discussion of some of our recent work in these areas.
Underwritten by: the Charles F. Adams Lectureship Fund, the Jasper Jacob Stahl lectureship fund.  Co-sponsored by the Classics Department and Computer Science with additional support from the Government Department and Computational Studies.

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Reaching Day Zero: Living Sustainably at Bowdoin and Beyond

Reaching Day Zero: Living Sustainably at Bowdoin and Beyond

April 2, 2013 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

An interdisciplinary faculty-facilitated conversation on what Bowdoin students can do about climate change and how different fields can contribute to the conversation. Moderated by President Barry Mills and led by a panel featuring Casey Meehan (Education), David Collings (English, Gay and Lesbian Studies), Emily Peterman (EOS), Laura Henry (Government), Mary Lou Zeeman (Math), Barbara Putnam (Visual Arts), and Katy Longley (Bowdoin's Chief Financial and Administrative Officer).

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The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food

The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food

March 29, 2013 12:30 PM  – 1:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Events with Janisse Ray:

Thursday, March 28th
11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Lunch at the Outing Club
12:30 pm -2:00 pm Shuttle and tours of Milkweed Farm, Brunswick
7:00 pm: Dinner with Students and Faculty at Ladd House (limited seating)

Friday, March 29th
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lecture: The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food (Kresge Auditorium), book signing to follow in the Kresge Lobby. The lecture is open to the public free of charge

Janisse Ray is writer, naturalist and activist, and the author of four books of literary nonfiction and a collection of nature poetry. She is on the faculty of Chatham University's low-residency MFA program and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana.
In her most recent book The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, Ray writes about the renaissance of local food, farming, and place-based culinary traditions taking hold across the country and of something small, critically important, and profoundly at risk that is being overlooked in this local food resurgence: seeds. We are losing our seeds. Of the thousands of seed varieties available at the turn of the 20th century, 94 percent have been lost-forever.

Copies of the book are available at Hatch Science Library and H & L Library, along with free electronic versions on library Kindles.

Join a Book Discussion over lunch or dinner:
Monday, March 25 Dinner with Ian Kline, Mitchell South, Thorne, 5:30-7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 26 Lunch with Sara Cawthon, North Dining Room, Moulton Union, 11:30 am-1:00 pm
Wednesday, March 27 Dinner with Andrew Cushing, North Dining Room, Moulton Union, 5:30- 7:00 pm


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Islam and State Sovereignty in Central Asia

Islam and State Sovereignty in Central Asia

February 28, 2013 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Hubbard Hall, Room 208 Thomas F. Shannon Room

Central Asian countries have had mixed success negotiating the borders of Islam andstate sovereignty. In some cases this negotiation assumes immediate form, as in the delicate dialogue between secular government officials and Islamic elites. In other cases this negotiation involves not real borders but imagined identities: should the state remain secular or embrace religion; should local Islam be defended against or opened to practices from outside the region? And in still other cases this negotiation centers on hard currency and, specifically, the influence Islamic financial institutions should have in economic and human development. McGlinchey's presentation explores evolving state practices toward imams, identities and international financial institutions as Central Asian countries attempt to solidify sovereignty two decades after the Soviet collapse. Eric McGlinchey is an Associate Professor of Politics and Government at George Mason University. He is the author of Chaos, Violence, Dynasty: Politics and Islam in Central Asia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). McGlinchey's areas of research include comparativepolitics, Central Asian regime change, political Islam, and the effects of Information Communication Technology (ICT) on state and society. His most recent article, "Central Asia Grows Wobbly," appears in the October 2012 issue of Current History. McGlinchey received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2003.

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"China's New Leaders" Joseph Fewsmith Talk

February 15, 2013 4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM
Searles Science Building, Room 315

Professor Joseph Fewsmith (Boston University) is a renowned scholar of Chinese elite politics.
His most recent book, The Logic and Limits of Political Reform in China, examines the evolution of post-Tiananmen reforms to local governance.  Prof. Fewsmith's talk will explain the significance of the 2012 Chinese leadership transition.

Recognizing 25 Years of the Asian Studies Program at Bowdoin.

Co-sponsored by the Asian Studies Program and the Department of Government and Legal Studies with support from the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund.

Free and open to the public.

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Why the Political Homophobia of the 1950s?

Why the Political Homophobia of the 1950s?

February 5, 2013 8:00 PM  – 9:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Why the anti-gay repression of the 1950s? One leading answer points to the social impact of the Second World War and post-war demobilization. Far-reaching shifts in gender roles created opportunities for political elites to promote gender conformity. But if society was already deeply homophobic, why were there no gay rights groups before the repression of the 1950s? No such groups emerged in fact until the federal government promoted anti-gay stigma. This talk will describe how and why anti-gay repression broke out within the federal government, creating an era of "straight government" that has taken until the Obama presidency to completely dismantle.

The principal speaker will be Rick Valelly, Claude C. Smith '14 Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College, where he has taught since 1993. Professor Valelly is the author of American Politics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2013), The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement (University of Chicago Press, 2004), and Radicalism in the States: The American Political Economy and the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party (University of Chicago Press, 1989). In 2009 he published Princeton Readings in American Politics. Professor Valelly is currently researching the political development of LGBT rights in the U.S. with a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Commenting upon Professor Valelly's talk will be Steve Engel, an Assistant Professor of Politics at Bates College. He is the author of two books, The Unfinished Revolution: Social Movement Theory and the Gay and Lesbian Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and American Politicians Confront the Court: Opposition Politics and Changing Responses to Judicial Power (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Professor Engel is currently working on a new book which examines sexuality from a developmental perspective and which aims to shed light on how US governing institutions define the parameters of sexual citizenship and how that process reflexively affects the development of the state.

Sponsored by the Department of Government & Legal Studies with support from the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund. Co-sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Studies Program, and The Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

Free and open to the public.

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Lecture: Iyad Burnat, Chairman, Popular Resistance Committee, Bil'in

November 9, 2012 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Iyad Burnat will speak on non-violence and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from his experience organizing non-violent protests in Bil'in (in the West Bank).

Iyad Burnat, Chairman of the Popular Resistance Committee in Bil'in, is in the United States on a lecture circuit discussing the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian land and non-violent resistance. Since 2005, citizens of Bil'in have held weekly demonstrations against the building of the Israeli separation wall through the community?s agricultural lands and the steady encroachment of illegal settlements. The demonstrators are joined by Israeli and international peace activists, and have maintained a commitment to non-violent methods of resistance in spite of armed, military opposition that had resulted in many injuries and some deaths.

This event is cosponsored by Bowdoin Amnesty International Club, the Government Department, and Howell House.

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Lecture: "Radioactive Heritage: The Legacy of Chernobyl" Oct. 22

October 22, 2012 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Room 208 Thomas F. Shannon Room

Nicholas Hryhorczuk from the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will give the talk "Radioactive Heritage: The Legacy of Chernobyl."

The Chernobyl reactor accident of 1986 contaminated large areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia with radiation and produced a 30 km exclusion zone around the reactor. The accident displaced large numbers of people from their ancestral homes and devastated the local economy.

The exclusion zone has been intermittently open to limited tourism. The designation of Chernobyl as a UNESCO heritage site, similar to the UNESCO designation of the Hiroshima atomic bomb site, has the potential to not only preserve the legacy of this manmade disaster but also to revive the local economy through the responsible promotion of ecotourism.

However, the plans also raise issues related to "disaster tourism" or "blighted tourism" and initiate contentious debates about the official interpretation of Chernobyl--who is to blame, who was affected and how, and what the site means now. These are important questions as we think about the Fukushima disaster in Japan and the future of nuclear power more broadly.

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"The Transnational Politics of Energy and Climate" by Robert Keohane

October 3, 2012 7:30 PM  – 8:45 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Lecture Title: "The Transnational Politics of Energy and Climate"

Robert Keohane is professor at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential scholars of international affairs.

With a Ph.D. from Harvard, Professor Keohane is best known for his path-breaking book, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy, along with Power and Interdependence, co-authored with Joseph Nye Jr. and now in its third edition. He has written or edited more than 20 books and numerous articles, and virtually every undergraduate student of international relations will have read at least one of them. He has served as president of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association, and has taught at Swarthmore, Brandeis, Harvard and Duke University.

Professor Keohane's talk is sponsored by the Department of Government through the Donovan Lecture Fund. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 207-725-3295.

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