The Gap From Parchment to Practice: Ambivalent Effects of Constitutions in Democratizing Countries
May 28-29, 2013: American University
GOVT Professor Todd Eisenstadt and School of International Service Professor Carl LeVan have received a grant from the Mellon Foundation and the Latin American Studies Association to sponsor a conference in May, where experts on some 15 political systems worldwide will present research on the relationship between new constitutions and continued political opening in nations which achieved intermediate levels of democratization before promulgating their new constitutions. Eisenstadt and LeVan will present their findings, that constitutions fail to improve levels of political opening more often than not in their 130-plus cases from the 1970s to the present, as an opening to subsequent presenters, who will address a range of cases, including Bolivia, Kenya, Malawi, and Venezuela. Faculty from several US East Coast universities, including Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as from Latin America - as far away as Bolivia - will be among the dozen paper presenters at the conference.
Several American University professors and graduate students will present papers at the May 28 and 29 conference. Among them, GOVT doctoral students Tofigh Maboudi and Ghazal Nadi Poshtkouhian will present original findings, that after political parties and groups in Egypt agreed to boycott the constitutional assembly, acceptance by framers of citizen-proposed changes to the draft constitution dropped significantly. The conference "The Gap From Parchment to Practice: Ambivalent Effects of Constitutions in Democratizing Countries," to be held at AU on May 28 and 29, is also being sponsored by the School for International Service and the Department of Government of the School of Public Affairs. The conference co-coordinators expect an edited book and a couple of journal articles will result from their collaboration.
For more information on the conference, please visit www.american.edu/spa/gov/democratization-conference-2013.cfm
America and Global Capitalism
October 17, 2012 : 12-2pm, Mary Graydon Center Room 4
Authors Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin will discuss their new book, The Making of Global Capitalism, joined in a panel discussion by Comparative & Regional Studies Professors Dr. Randolph Persaud, Dr. James Mittelman, Dr. Steve Silvia, and Dr. Carl LeVan. The panel will address the historical significance of the rise of capitalism and the American role in that process, including its status as an "informal empire" in the global political economy.
Third Annual Ron Walters Memorial & Symposium: "The Global Impact of African American Culture and Politics"
November 13, 2012 : 9am-1pm, School of International Service Abramson Family Founders Room
Speakers: Dr. Elsie Scott, Dr. Sujatha Fernandes, Dr. Theresa Runstedtler, Mr. Willard Jenkins, Dr. Clarence Lusane, Ms. Camee Maddox, and Dr. Gisele-Audrey Mills.
Dr. Ronald Walters (1938-2010) left a legacy of scholarship that examined the relationship between race and politics both domestically and internationally. Dr. Walters (SIS/MA, '66, Ph.D. '71) was the former chairman of Howard University's Political Science Department and director of the African American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland. As an advisor to political leaders from Jesse Jackson to activists in South Africa, Brazil, Australia, and the United Kingdom, he wrote extensively on the politics of the African Diaspora, as captured in his award-winning book, Pan-Africanism in the African Diaspora: An Analysis of Modern Afrocentric Political Movements.
This year's symposium will focus on the influence of African American culture and politics around the world, from music to sports to political campaigns. The event will be organized in two panel discussions, focusing first on Hip-Hop and Jazz Music, then on Sports and the Global Obama Culture. Lunch for attendees is also included in the event.