Michael Paris, College of Staten Island CUNY, is working on a book that will consider the problem of race consciousness/race blindness relative to the right to education. That's the same lately embattled right that rests at the heart of the federal court claim to civics education pending against the State of Rhode Island; the Government filed its motion to dismiss a scant few weeks ago. Compare A.C. v. Raimondo, No. 1:18-cv-00645 (D.R.I. complaint filed Nov. 28, 2018) with Sheff v. O'Neill, 678 A.2d 1267 (Conn. 1996) (holding, 4-3, state bound by affirmative duty to provide equal opportunity of access to education for Connecticut schoolchildren).
U.S. Supreme Court in politics. Kyle Morgan, Rutgers University, has coded, on various bases, no fewer than 11,000 U.S. congressional press releases about U.S. Supreme Court decisions. He reports that this feat has caused more than one laptop crash. Morgan is prepared to demonstrate that the way Republicans and Democrats frame disapproval of Supreme Court rulings differs fundamentally. In short, Republicans bemoan the Court as anti-majoritarian, while Democrats frown on perceived abuses of democratic process. As a result, the two sides talk about Court rulings without actually talking to each other in comparable language. Morgan promises that his subsequent work will look at how the two sides might be brought together, that is, whether they can be made to care about the other's perspective.
|This 1917 Louisiana poll tax receipt (public domain) well post-dates the 1870|
Take a second to think that over. "There are many reasons not to equate literacy tests with affirmative action," Foley conceded in her paper. Motive matters, I thought. But I admit, by the end of it, she had me. Foley's interest is not in the policy priorities, no matter whether "revered or reviled," she wrote, but in the tools of resistant compliance. Her comparison in that vein is not only apt, but illuminating. Foley's work is informed by anonymous sources within Michigan higher ed and casts an unfamiliar light on how admissions officials have used technology to approach the diversity problem. Those evidentiary revelations alone have the makings of an intriguing book.
|Protesters march on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in downtown Tunis, angry |
over unemployment, rising prices and corruption, January 14, 2011
(VOA photo by L. Bryant).
Rice law and policy. Freiner is investigating the surprisingly compelling story of rice in Japan, or, more broadly, the development and regulation of agriculture relative to priorities as far-ranging as GMOs, public health, and foreign development. She had some fantastically illustrative visual from the rice fields, and her research has been on the ground, talking with farmers. Her new book from Palgrave is Rice and Agricultural Policies in Japan: The Loss of a Traditional Lifestyle (2019). (Law school programs on food law and regulation, take note: Freiner would be a great guest to bring in from Ph.D. world, and U.S. food law and policy studies could benefit from an infusion of eastern comparativism. Freiner is a neighbor of mine from Barrington, R.I., so invite me, too, and I'll drive.)
Chinese legitimacy in Africa. In the afternoon, Drake Long, Georgetown University, talked about China in Africa. For his master's work, he's taking a deep dive into China's vigorous strategy for international legitimacy, countering a historic deficit in international communications.
|China's Belt and Road Initiative (CC BY-SA 3.0 by Tart)|
Does this mean an inevitable careening arrival at Chinese hegemony? Well, there is an enduring debate within in China, Long explains, in trying to sell African development as worthwhile relative to unmet social and economic needs at home. Whereas Americans will sign up for the foreign inculcation of democracy, no exceptionalist ethos so clearly dominates Chinese popular opinion. Recent maneuvering within Chinese party leadership and propaganda machinery suggest awareness of this domestic ideological deficit and emerging strategies to address it.