124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Karam Dana, Harvard Kennedy School Dr. Matt Barreto, University of Washington
About the Seminar Previous scholars have argued that Islam as a religion and a culture is incompatible with liberal, democratic American values. Not only is Islam inconsistent with the West, but it poses a direct conflict according to some scholars. This viewpoint has been popularized in American and European media and by government officials who declare fundamentalist Muslims as enemies of freedom and democracy. However, there is no evidence that the grounds of conflict are based on religious ideology. Are the most devout Muslims really opposed to political incorporation in the U.S., or are other traditional non-religious factors such as socioeconomic status and acculturation more important in understanding political alienation? To date, nearly every study of Islam and Western values has been qualitative, anecdotal, or philosophical in nature, leaving most questions unanswered, at least empirically. Using a unique national survey of Muslim Americans, we find that more religiously devout Muslims are significantly more likely to support political participation in America – in contrast to prevailing wisdom. We conclude that there is nothing inconsistent with Islam and American democracy, and in fact, religiosity fosters support for American democratic values.... Read more about Muslim and American? How Religiosity and Mosques Foster Incorporation into American Politics
About the Seminar In 2010 Republicans received a swell of support that gave them a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, however they fell short of taking the Senate. Beyond the 60 seat GOP pickup in the House, the big news story of Election 2010 was the Democrats holding on to the Senate, against all odds, and to the bewilderment of most pollsters.
What explains the Democrats’ success, and the polls failure in multiple U.S. Senate contests? Quite simply: the Latino vote. Research from Latino Decisions shows very clearly that the extreme anti-immigrant stance taken by many Republicans drove down their share among Latino voters to historic lows, and that further, traditional pre-election and exit polls failed to accurately predict or capture this pattern.... Read more about The Anti-Immigrant Right & the Future of Political Polling
Taubman 301, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA
Professor Robert Olshansky, University of Illinois
About the Seminar More than five years ago, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, flood waters overtook the city of New Orleans, causing catastrophic property damage and taking the lives of hundreds of area residents. As the water receded and as rescue and relief drew to a close, New Orleanians faced yet another daunting challenge: recovering from one of America’s worst urban disasters.
In this talk, Robert Olshanksy, professor and associate head of urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will discuss his and co-author Laurie Johnson's recently published book, Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans, which explores the complex and oftentimes contentious planning efforts to rebuild the historic city. A specialist in urban planning with extensive experience studying disaster recovery in both the U.S. and abroad, Olshansky will highlight some of the key issues political leaders and policy makers must grapple with in planning for and executing post-disaster recovery.... Read more about Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans
124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Room 226, Cambridge, MA
William Overholt, Ash Center
About the Seminar Case studies of democracy and economic development indicate that, in the earliest stages of economic and social development, democratic institutions modeled on the U.S. and western Europe empower an elite at the expense of weaker groups, exacerbate income and educational inequality, and inhibit efficient management of the economy. India and the Philippines have produced horrible social outcomes to date – morally unacceptable poverty, disease, inequality, and violence – although India’s efforts to emulate Chinese development strategies have borne considerable fruit. India could teach the world new lessons about combining development and democracy or it could fail at globalization and be crippled by social unrest.... Read more about Democracy and Development: Lessons from China, India, and Others
CGIS South, Tsai Auditorium (S010), 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA
Wang Jin-pyng, Speaker of the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China Moderator: Anthony Saich, Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School
About the Guest Lecturer Wang Jin-pyng was elected as a legislator of the Republic of China in 1975 and was re-elected for another ten terms. He became deputy speaker of the Legislative Yuan in 1993 and then speaker of the Legislative Yuan in 1999. Since then, Taiwan has undergone two ruling party transitions. The Kuomintang (KMT), the ruling party in Taiwan for half a century, became an opposition party in 2000 and regained power in 2008. Speaker Wang has personally witnessed the deepening and consolidation of Taiwan’s democracy. He has played a role in the legislative process of many laws that have greatly contributed to Taiwan’s national development, such as the Taiwan Province and County Autonomy Law, the National Health Insurance Law, the Statute of Handling Compensation for the Victims in the 2/28 Incident, and the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law. These laws have tremendously influenced national policy and parliamentary reform.