Professor William Newell retires soon

By Hope Fitz

Professor William Newell is leaving us for a new phase of his life. We will miss him but we wish him well in his future endeavors and the many books which he plans to write.

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Student Matt Hicks reflects on the future of conservatism after his attendance at CPAC 2014

By Matt Hicks
Senior at Eastern Connecticut State University
Political Science Major and History and Pre-Law Minors

Republicans looking for a fresh start, hope for a future in fiscal conservatism

This was my third straight year attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I have had the honor of travelling to D.C. with the Eastern Conservative-Libertarians club since my freshman year. Through those three years I have noticed a transition amongst the attendees of CPAC, never so strongly as this year, however. This year it was clear that libertarianism was in the air. After quickly dismissing the initial thought that the Potomac River was at fault for this “crazy” atmosphere, I realized that the interests of the attendees had changed drastically. Panel discussions were centered around issues such as: the legalization of marijuana, the role of conservative females in the workforce, and the government’s role in the educational system amongst many others. It seemed that the crux of every panel came down to economic consequences. Speakers such as Rick Perry refrained from the normal onslaught of President Obama’s leadership but rather focused the majority of his efforts on the economic successes that Texas has seen; suggesting a similar fiscal model for the nation as a whole. Whether Mr. Perry ‘s argument was feasible is not the take away, rather what I took away from his speech, and from the conference as a whole is that the Republican party seems to be heading in a new direction: toward a libertarian focus. This focus was highlighted by Rand Paul dominating the straw poll, receiving 31% of the votes when attendees were asked who they’d prefer as the next presidential candidate from the Republican Party. In a distant second was Ted Cruz, with 11%. That means that 42% of the crowd favored a candidate associated with libertarian values, over other candidates such as Marco Rubio or Chris Christie. My first thought was this was just a jerk reaction to recent appeals made by these two rising stars, but upon further consideration it appears clear that libertarianism is here to stay. Over 50% of the conference attendees were students, and we have grown up seeing that economic values are crucial to the success, or failures, of a nation. Every Republican meeting, dinner, fundraiser, or door knocking campaign I have been on I hear the phrase “young people are the future of this party,” and it appears clear that young people want fiscal conservatism.  It will be interesting to see how this young and refreshing libertarianism attitude grows and spreads over the next year, but given the enthusiasm, passion, and vigor among the youngest and most active members of the Republican Party at CPAC I would say we are in for a transition that will test the way we view our political system.

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Upcoming talk with UConn Professor Luis van Isschot on the evolution of Human Rights using the case of Oil in Colombia

3-4pm, Monday, April 14, 2014
Faculty Lounge, Room 358 Webb Hall
Refreshments will be provided


Luis van Isschot is Assistant Professor of History and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut. For more than a decade he worked internationally supporting human rights advocates in Latin America and elsewhere, mainly with the NGO Peace Brigades International. Dr. Isschot’s research seeks to explain the emergence of human rights as a new paradigm of social protest during the Cold War. In 2008 he was full-time Coordinator of the Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations oral history project. His current book project, The Social Origins of Human Rights: Protesting Political Violence in Colombia’s Oil Capital, 1919-2010, examines why, how, and with what impact, people living in conflcit areas organize collectively to assert human rights. Established by Standard Oil in 1919, the oil enclave of Barrancabermeja has long been a critical battleground in Colombia’s armed conflict. Drawing on interviews, as well as social movement and legal archives, he situates the experiences of frontline activists within broader debates on the history of the international movement for human rights.

For more details contact Dr. Roland Clark (clarkrol@easternct.edu) or Dr. Bradley C. Davis (davisbrad@easternct.edu).

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Eastern students attend a highly energized Conservative Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.

By Meaghan McFall-Gorman
Freshmen at Eastern Connecticut State University
English Major and Political Science Minor

This past weekend, from March 6th to 9th, several students from Eastern Conservative-Libertarian Club went to Washington D.C. to participate in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The speakers featured included Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Governor Chris Christie, Ann Coulter, and Sarah Palin among many others. Many are notable Republican political figures, however the conference itself is not exclusive to people who identify with the Republican party, rather it is meant for those with conservative to libertarian ideologies. The panels held throughout the conference demonstrated the differences of opinion even within the conservative ideology. Panels were held on topics ranging from the legalization of marijuana, Edward Snowden, Gun legislation, economics, possible American involvement in the Ukraine, and women in politics. As a female who identifies as conservative, I greatly enjoyed these women-based and hel panels, because they analyzed the unique state that is being a woman in a party that is condemned for having a “war” against us. The other panels were just as interesting, demonstrating the dichotomy of pot legalization as the new wave of conservatives (my generation) begin to take hold in society. Overall, the experience was extremely eye-opening experience, that has furthered my interest in politics and leaves me waiting until the next political conference I can have an opportunity to attend. I would highly reccomend CPAC to any student, any individual, of any ideology, as it is an intellectually stimulating and awareness-raising event all people should experience.

 

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Pizza and Politics Night – ECSU Professor of Communication and former U.S. diplomat César Beltrán talks on the legacy of Madeleine Albright

 By César Beltrán

During the course of our separate careers Madeleine Albright and I have often crossed paths. My first encounter with her was in the mid-1980s, when I was serving as the U.S. Information Agency Desk Officer for Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. I had just completed a tumultuous three-year tour in Krakow, Poland, witnessed the rise and fall of the Solidarnosc trade union movement, and received an unprecedented two promotions in the Foreign Service, thanks to what I had just experienced and reported on in Central Europe. At this time, Professor Albright was carrying out research on Solidarnosc, pestering me for a speaker’s grant (AmPart Program) to get into Central Europe, and tutoring two political aspirants, Bill and Hillary Clinton, in matters of international relations at her Georgetown home. For her efforts, Madeleine Albright subsequently would be named by President Clinton as Ambassador to the United Nations and then as Secretary of State, a position she held from 1997 to 2001. Overall, Madeleine Albright’s approach to foreign policy—while not perfect—was well-informed, clearly intelligent, and based on a deep and wide understanding of politics and history, particularly in Europe.

Cesar D. Beltran
Career Counselor (Retired)
Senior Foreign Service
U.S. State Department

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Professor Hope Fitz heads to Romania for a philosophical discussion on Human Knowledge

Hope Fitz will  deliver a paper at the 10th Congress of the International Society of Universal Dialogue, ISUD, in Craiova, Romania, July 4-9, 2014.  The theme of the Congress is “The Human Being: Its Nature and Functions”.  This is a theme that focuses on the human as a species. Hope wrote the theme.  The paper which she will present is entitled: “Human Knowledge from a Human Perspective”.  This paper focuses on the fact that the philosophical belief that humans could have certain knowledge of reality has lost its credence over the centuries.  Also she will argue that what one must consider in seeking understanding, which is necessary for knowledge, are the means to knowledge and the methods of knowing. She will trace the line of means and methods from the Greeks through Kant, and then consider Martin Heidegger’s objection to all mind-dependent theories which he said started with Aristotle and culminated in the philosophy of Kant. Finally, Hope will adumbrate the post deconstructionist thought of Michele Foucault, and introduce the epistemology of discourse.

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Visit of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to ECSU

Madeleine Albright

At the end of March, Eastern will receive former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for a talk on the challenges the U.S. and world face in the XXI Century (click here for additional information). This is a challenging topic to be addressed by one of the most prominent high-level officials of the U.S. Government in the past decades. Her tenure in office was full of extraordinary events, and her actions influenced some of the important political outcomes of the last century, not only in terms of the overall diplomatic and objectives of the U.S. but also in terms of a larger international agenda, where the issue of international security remains a priority.

There are several biographic books about Secretary Albright, including her autobiography, that provide useful insights of this prominent figure. Including:

 

Madame Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2013) by Madeleine Albright.

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright.

Madeleine Albright: Against All Odds (2000) by Michael Dobbs.

Seasons of Her Life: A Biography of Madeleine Korbel Albright  (1999) by Ann Blackman.

But there are many other sources devoted to her work (click here).

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Debate on the Merits of ObamaCare – Pizza and Politics Night

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Gender in Public Policies – Pizza and Politics Night

An Evening on Politics – Gender in Public Policies

A comparison of approaches from Latin America and the U.S.

On Thursday October 24 Dr. Nora Nagels of the Université de Montréal and Professor Nicole Krassas of Eastern and students discussed different perspectives on social policies and gender. Part of the discussion addressed how public policies aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, such as Food Stamps in the U.S. and Cash Transfers in Latin America do not necessarily take into account a gender perspective in their design and implementation. This event was moderated by Professor Martin Mendoza-Botelho.

 

This event was co-Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Geography and Philosophy, the Program of Latin American Studies and the Program on Gender Studies.

 

 

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Gender and Social Policies in Latin America

Dr. Nora Nagels – Université de Montréal

On October 23 Dr Nagels of the Université de Montréal presented some of her work in Latin America related to the implementation of social policies aimed at improving the livelihood of citizens in this region and related feminist theory.

This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Geography and Philosophy, the Program of Latin American Studies and the Program on Gender Studies.

For Additional information contact Prof. Martín Mendoza-Botelho  mendozabotelhom@easternct.edu

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