HomeSubjectsResourcesE-SeminarsE-CoursesColumbia University
Browse according to your interestsClass websites, webcasts, and moreShort courses free to ColumbiaFor-credit coursesColumbia new media initiatives
Columbia InteractiveSite MapSearchHelp
Subjects: Political Science and Social Policy

Faculty Interview
Euro Represents a Positive Step in European TradeOffice of Public AffairsIn a forum held October 1, 2002, University Professor and Nobel laureate Robert Mundell and Rodrigo Rato, economic minister of Spain, discussed the role of the European monetary union in a globalized world.
Koizumi's Visit to North Korea Deemed SuccessfulOffice of Public AffairsColumbia faculty reflected on Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to North Korea in September in a panel discussion sponsored by the East Asian Institute on September 30, 2002. Koizumi is the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit the country. Calling the trip a spectacular success, Gerald Curtis, Burgess Professor of Political Science, says now Koizumi must handle the domestic fallout from the revelation that eight of the eleven Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea died.
Professor Akeel Bilgrami: Challenges to Western View of Gandhi's PhilosophyOffice of Public AffairsPhilosophy's Akeel Bilgrami argues that Gandhi, who was assassinated on January 30, 1948, believed the adoption of moral principles generated criticism of others and eventually led to violence. In contrast with Western understanding, Bilgrami argues that Gandhi believed exemplary actions, not principles, are at the root of his philosophy on nonviolence.
Professor Akeel Bilgrami: Muslim and Western States Have Allowed Extremists to Become Voice of IslamOffice of Public AffairsPhilosophy professor Akeel Bilgrami says the actions of both Muslim and western states have allowed extremists to become the voice of Islam, even though they are not representative of the Islamic population. His perspectives on this topic appear in Politics and the Moral Psychology of Identity (Harvard University Press), which is due out next year.
Professor Anne Nelson: War News: Balancing Troop Safety and the Public's Right to KnowOffice of Public AffairsAnne Nelson, former war correspondent in El Salvador and director of the International Programs at the Graduate School of Journalism, discusses the need for journalists to balance issues of protecting the troops with the public's right to know. She also suggests that there are more meaningful stories to report in a war besides soldiers firing their weapons.
Professor David Rothman: Extraordinary Demand for Organs Has Led to Worldwide TraffickingOffice of Public AffairsBecause of the shortage of organs, particularly kidneys, patients are traveling to India, China, and Eastern Europe to purchase organs, says David Rothman, Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Society and Medicine. While some economists and bioethicists defend the practice as a way for poor people to escape poverty, Rothman observes that the sellers are no better off, and often worse off, after the sale.
Professor Edward Mendelson: W.H. Auden's "Sept. 1, 1939"Office of Public AffairsW.H. Auden's "Sept. 1, 1939" was cited frequently after the September 11 terrorist attacks. English and Comparative Literature professor Edward Mendelson says the poem has historically been appropriated by presidential candidates for their own purposes.
Professor Eric Foner: Future Historians Will Disagree over Analysis of September 11Office of Public AffairsHistory Professor Eric Foner predicts that future historians will disagree in their evaluations of the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. It is still too early for historians to analyze and integrate September 11 into concepts of American history, says Foner.
Professor Eric Foner: Reconstruction Is the Least Understood Period in American HistoryOffice of Public AffairsColumbia history professor Eric Foner, who has recently published Who Owns History? (Hill and Wang, 2002), says greater public knowledge of Reconstruction is necessary to understand race relations in the United States and the consequences of the Civil War.
Professor Francisco Rivera-Batiz: Recession Devastates New York's LatinosOffice of Public AffairsFrancisco Rivera-Batiz, associate professor of economics, foresees unemployment in the 12 to 15 percent range–higher than that of the general population–for the Latino population in New York.
Professor George Saliba Rejects Common Explanations of Decline of Science in Islamic WorldOffice of Public AffairsGeorge Saliba, a professor in the Middle East Asian Languages and Cultures Department at Columbia University, rejects common explanations for the decline of science in the Islamic world, including the claim that scientific inquiry ran afoul with Islamic religious authorities.
Professor Istvan Deak: Nazi Occupation PoliciesOffice of Public AffairsHistory professor Istvan Deak says the Nazis' treatment of citizens in the countries they occupied varied tremendously, reflecting Germany's differing war aims and local circumstances.
Professor James S. Liebman: Death Penalty ErrorsOffice of Public AffairsIn this webcast, James S. Liebman, Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and co-author of the recently released report "A Broken System II: Why Is There So Much Error in Capital Cases, and What Can Be Done About It," reviews why error in capital cases has persisted across decades, states, and different counties in the United States.
Professor Jean Francois Seznec: Prospects for Democracy in Saudi ArabiaOffice of Public AffairsIn spite of the authoritarian regime in Saudi Arabia, Jean Francois Seznec, adjunct professor of international and public affairs, sees a change occurring. The population is supportive of democracy, the press is freer than it was 20 years ago, and the key issue, he says, is succession. The paradox is that the only way for Saudi Arabia to democratize is for a very strong king to come to power and pressure the ruling family to open the system, says Seznec.
Professor Joseph Stiglitz: Traditional Theories of Economics Ignore Poverty and Equality IssuesOffice of Public AffairsOld economic theories ignored differences and assumed homogeneity. The new information economics calls attention to heterogeneity and takes into account problems of poverty, unemployment and governmental transitions, says Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Prize Winner of Economics, former adviser to the World Bank, and professor in Columbia's Schools of Business and of International and Public Affairs.
Professor Kenneth Waltz: Nuclear Weapons Will Deter Iraq, North KoreaOffice of Public Affairs"What is a small, weak country surrounded by enemies supposed to do other than rely on [nuclear] deterrence? It cannot possibly compete with conventional weapons," said Kenneth Waltz, adjunct professor of political science and senior research scholar in the Institute for War and Peace, in an interview January 2003.
Professor Kessler-Harris: Women Historically Limited by Restrictions on Economic OpportunitiesOffice of Public AffairsColumbia history professor Alice Kessler-Harris, whose In Pursuit of Equity (Oxford 2001), won a 2002 Bancroft Prize, says the status of women in the United States has historically been limited by restrictions on their economic opportunities.
Professor Kristine Gebbie: Is Our Public Health System Equipped to Handle a Disaster?Office of Public AffairsThe September 11 attacks and subsequent anthrax outbreaks reveal flaws in our public health system, according to Kristine Gebbie, Columbia's Standish Gill Associate Professor of Nursing and director of the Center for Health Preparedness.
Professor Lewis Gilbert: Bolder Steps Are Needed to Reduce Global WarmingOffice of Public AffairsLewis Gilbert, executive director for integration and implementation in the Columbia Earth Institute, says that to address its contribution to climate change, the United States must set more aggressive carbon dioxide reduction goals.
Professor LynNell Hancock: Americans Have Long Felt Ambivalent About Aid to PoorOffice of Public AffairsAmericans have long felt ambivalent toward those in poverty and who should qualify for government assistance. LynNell Hancock, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Journalism, discusses the various issues and shifting attitudes of both policy makers and the public in responding to the poor.
Professor Michael Purdy: The Need for a Global Perspective in Science Research and TrainingOffice of Public AffairsMichael Purdy, director of Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, describes some key research topics important for the future, including looking at natural hazards from a new global perspective.
Professor Nicole Marwell: Budget Cuts May Greatly Impact Non-ProfitsOffice of Public AffairsBudget cuts in the federal, state and local government spending for the 2002 fiscal year will have an enormous impact not only on individuals who benefit from government programs, but also on community organizations, according to Nicole Marwell, CC '90 and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Latina/o Studies Program at Columbia's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.
Professor Philip Kitcher: A Democratic Plan for Scientific ResearchOffice of Public AffairsPhilosophy's Philip Kitcher contends there is no standard for determining the pursuit of scientific research. Kitcher, also an affiliated faculty member of Columbia's Center for Science, Policy & Outcomes, offers a democratic plan to establish priorities for scientific research in his book Science, Truth and Democracy.
Professor Philip Oldenburg: Seeds for Conflict Over Kashmir Sown at Time of 1947 IndependenceOffice of Public AffairsAt the time of independence from Great Britain in 1947, it was unclear whether Kashmir would become part of India or Pakistan, which helped fuel conflict over the region that exists today, says Philip Oldenburg, associate director of the Southern Asian Institute.
Professor Philip Oldenburg: The U.S. Stake in KashmirOffice of Public AffairsIn this webcast, Philip Oldenburg, Associate Director of the Southern Asian Institute, discusses what is at stake for the United States in the India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir. Oldenburg says both countries see the United States as an avenue for coming to agreements with the other. With maps and photographs.
Professor Qingguo Jia: U.S.-China Relations After 9/11Office of Public AffairsOn the eve of the 30th anniversary of Richard Nixon's historic visit to China, Professor Qingguo Jia, Peking School of International Studies, reflects on the state of U.S.-China relations. He argues that the terrorist attacks last September have brought the two nations closer together, and that in the long term, their relationship will only improve.
Professor Richard N. Gardner: Bush's War on TerrorismOffice of Public AffairsRichard N. Gardner, professor of law and international organization and former U.S. Ambassador to Italy and Spain, gives President Bush an "A" for the War on Terrorism but doesn't grade the rest of Bush's foreign policy as highly. Gardner says Bush is more reliant than other recent presidents on his foreign policy advisors, who vary in outlook themselves, and that his "axis of evil" remark must not have been cleared by the Secretary of State. Gardner also examines the chances for peace in the Middle East.
Professor Robert Erikson: November Election to Be CloseOffice of Public AffairsPolitical Science Professor Robert Erikson expects a close election in 2002, as it was in the 1998 midterm election. Midterm elections have a more truncated and partisan electorate, he says, with only about one-third of those eligible voting. Because the politically uninvolved are less likely to vote in mid-term elections, Erikson says these elections are more predictable.
Professor Robert Erikson: Party Choice vs. National Mood in AmericaOffice of Public AffairsPolitical science professor Robert Erikson says Americans' political party preference does not frequently coincide with the national mood, leaving few historical occasions Democratic and liberal. Erikson's analysis appears in his co-authored work, The Macro Polity (Cambridge 2001).
Professors Edlund and Pande: Divorce Associated with Emergence of Political Gender GapOffice of Public AffairsResearch by Columbia economics professors Lena Edlund and Rohini Pande suggests that increased divorce among middle-class Americans is associated with the growth of the political gender gap. After divorce, research shows men's per capita income often returns to levels above the mean, while women's per capita income is more likely to drop below the mean, leading to "soccer moms'" support of Clinton in the 1990s.
Professor Seymour Melman: Reindustrializing New YorkOffice of Public AffairsSeymour Melman believes that factories can lead an economic revival in New York City. New York used to produce an abundance of manufactured goods and could do so again by seeking financing outside traditional sources such as investment banks, perhaps through labor-sponsored investment funds for small and medium-sized enterprises. Given the economic downturn, Melman thinks the task is an urgent one.
Professor Steven Schinke: Teenage Pregnancy's Long-term and Inter-generational EffectsOffice of Public AffairsSocial work professor Steven Schinke says that teenage pregnancy overshadows teenage smoking and drinking as adolescent problems because of its long-term impact and effect on future generations.
Professor Sudhir Venkatesh: The Impact of September 11 on Domestic ProgramsOffice of Public AffairsSociology Professor Sudhir Venkatesh believes the events of Sept. 11 will have a tremendous influence on a wide-range of domestic issues in ways that we can't fully anticipate now but that will become clear over the course of time.
Professor Volker Berghahn: U.S. Cold War Efforts to Bolster Image of American CultureOffice of Public AffairsVolker Berghahn, author of America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe (Princeton, 2001), notes that during the 1950s, Europeans continued to be reluctant to see the U.S. as an equal with regard to culture. He argues that to counter this perception of American cultural power, American foundations and philanthropic organizations worked to create a positive image of American culture.
Provost Jonathan Cole: Making Decisions about TechnologyOffice of Public AffairsFrom the food we eat to kind of energy we use, average Americans are constantly forced to make decisions about technology. But if we cannot think critically about the costs and benefits of technological changes, and if we have only limited conceptual skills and capabilities in using technology, we are apt to make uninformed and poor choices, says Provost Jonathan Cole.

back to top