January 19, 2020

Gupta Publishes Piece on Indian Foreign Policy

Surupa Gupta, associate professor of Political Science and International Affairs, co-edited and wrote in a forum/special section in International Studies Perspective, a peer-reviewed journal in international studies.

The forum, on Indian Foreign Policy under Modi, began as a roundtable at the 2016 annual meeting of the International Studies Association – the premier professional organization in that field.

In addition to her piece on India’s trade policy, Gupta co-wrote the introduction and co-edited the other contributions from six authors.

UMW Political Science Professor Featured on With Good Reason

University of Mary Washington Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Emile Lester will be featured on the With Good Reason public radio program, March 28 to April 3.

Lester_Emile_11

Associate Professor Emile Lester

The show, “Secrecy in the ‘Sunshine Era,’” will include a segment regarding new history textbooks approved by the Board of Education in Texas that a commission of experts have claimed were pushing a specific ideology. Lester was one of three faculty scholars asked by a Texas watchdog agency to review the textbooks.  He discovered that the textbooks were not only misleading, but were false. The show also will feature professors from Virginia Commonwealth University and the College of William and Mary.

With Good Reason is a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The show airs weekly in Fredericksburg on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. To listen from outside of the Fredericksburg area, a complete list of air times and links to corresponding radio stations can be found at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/when-to-listen.  Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be available online March 28 at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/2015/03/secrecy-in-the-sunshine-era/.

An expert in church and state issues, Lester specializes in three key areas: controversies surrounding the teaching of religion in schools, research on tolerance of vulnerable minority groups and liberal and conservative political philosophy.

Lester is the author of Teaching About Religions: A Democratic Approach for Public Schools, which has been featured on the Washington Post’s book review website. His research on religious education has been featured by The New York Times, C-SPAN, USA Today, National Public Radio and Voice of America, in addition to With Good Reason and New York City talk radio.

In his previous teaching position at the College of William and Mary, Lester was named one of the best professors at the college by the 2005 Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s College Guide.

Lester received a bachelor’s degree in government from George Washington University, a master’s degree in political theory from the London School of Economics and a doctorate in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.

Parliamentary Predictions

Girard Bucello travels abroad to study the European Union.

America and the Paradoxes of Palestinian-Israeli Peace, April 9

Khaled Elgindy

Khaled Elgindy

UMW’s Campus Academic Resources Committee and the Department of Political Science and International Affairs invite you to a lecture by Khaled Elgindy. His talk, titled “America and the Paradoxes of Palestinian-Israeli Peace,” will be held Wednesday, April 9 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411.

Khaled Elgindy is a Fellow with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in Palestinian politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He previously served as an advisor to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004 to 2009, and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations that began in November 2007. Prior to that Elgindy spent nine years in various political and policy-related positions in Washington, D.C., both inside and outside the federal government, including as a professional staff member on the House International Relations Committee in 2002 and as a policy analyst for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) from 2000 to 2002. He has also held positions at the Arab American Institute (1998-2000) and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (1995-1997). Elgindy holds an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from Indiana University.

UMW Students & Alumnus Attend Sorensen Institute

At the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership’s College Leaders Program, party lines are set aside. Participants are not allowed to disclose their political affiliations to each other.

From left: Sean Simons, Meghan Hobbs and Brendan Oudekerk

“It bonds everybody together,” Brendan Oudekerk said. “It is really refreshing to get along with everybody…and know we are working toward common goals. Each person brings different qualities to the table.”

Oudekerk, a 2012 graduate of the University of Mary Washington, and UMW seniors Meghan Hobbs and Sean Simons are among 18 college students or recent graduates who were selected for the four-week-long summer program held at the University of Virginia.

The College Leaders Program, now in its eighth year, brings together youth leaders from across Virginia with a focus on ethics, bipartisanship, public policy and civic engagement. The Sorensen Institute was founded as the Virginia Institute of Political Leadership in 1993 in hopes it would identify and bring together Virginia’s emerging political leaders. More than 1,200 Virginian students have graduated from the Institute.

For Oudekerk, who is working toward a career in economic development, the program is a chance to network and learn more about Virginia politics.

“As a graduate, I’m using it to be more well-rounded,” he said. “It helps to come together with people from different backgrounds.”

The 18 program participants are divided into three groups – economics, higher education or transportation – to develop policy proposals. The groups will present their findings at the end of the program, in hopes a Virginia legislator will want to adopt the proposal.

One of last year’s groups actually got a bill passed, Hobbs explained.

“That’s everyone’s aspiration,” she said.

Hobbs, an international affairs and political science major, plans to attend law school after graduation, but also is interested in politics.

“I have been wanting to get a look into state politics,” she said, “so this program is really helping me with that.”

On Tuesday, June 12, the students met with Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Jim Webb at the U.S. Capitol Building.

Simons, chair of UMW’s Legislative Action Committee and an intern in President Richard V. Hurley’s office, got to introduce the senators to the group: “It was an honor to have that privilege,” he said.

When the program ends on June 23, Simons says the experience of a respectful, bipartisan atmosphere will stick with him.

“A lot of issues are played in the media as being very polarizing, but people, especially my age, are much more willing to compromise and come together to find solutions,” he said. “I have a greater appreciation for what I think our generation can do.”

Jason Davidson

Jason Davidson, associate professor of political science and international affairs, will discuss his new book, “America’s Allies and War: Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq,” during a book forum at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 10 at 4 p.m.

The book forum is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required for all Cato events. Seating is limited. The forum also will be streamed live over the Internet. For more information, visit http://www.cato.org/event.php?eventid=7943.

The website says, “The United States pledges to defend our NATO allies under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty. Why, and in what ways, do the allies reciprocate? Jason Davidson will present evidence from his unique analysis of transatlantic burden-sharing to explain why Britain, France, and Italy provide or refuse military support for U.S.-led uses of force. Sixty original interviews with top policymakers and analysts provide insight into allies’ decisions regarding the Kosovo War (1999), Afghanistan (2001), and the Iraq War (2003). Davidson shows that such decisions reflect a combination of factors such as alliance value, threat, prestige, and electoral politics. Join us for a discussion that will include recommendations for how U.S. policymakers can increase the allies’ contributions to global security, and shift some of the burdens of defense off the shoulders of American taxpayers.”

Jason Davidson

Jason W. Davidson, associate professor of political science and international affairs, had the column “America’s Allies and Libya: Why Coalitions Make Sense” published March 30 in the Aspen Institute Italia’s foreign affairs journal.

Read the column at http://www.aspeninstitute.it/aspenia-online/article/america%E2%80%99s-allies-and-libya-why-coalitions-make-sense.

In addition, Davidson has the book ”America’s Allies and War: Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq” scheduled for release in April by Palgrave Macmillan. 

Visit http://us.macmillan.com/americasalliesandwar to learn more about the book, which is especially relevant in light of the unrest and war in Libya.

The publisher’s summary says, “Why do Britain, France, and Italy provide or refuse military support for U.S.-led uses of force? This book provides a unique, multiple-case study analysis of transatlantic burden-sharing. Sixty original interviews with top policymakers and analysts provide insight into allies’ decisions regarding the Kosovo War (1999), Afghanistan (2001), and the Iraq War (2003). The cases show that neoclassical realist factors–alliance value, threat, prestige, and electoral politics–explain allies’ decisions better than constructivist factors–identity and norms. The book briefly covers additional cases (Vietnam, Lebanon, the Persian Gulf War, Somalia) and concludes with recommendations for increasing future allied military support.”

In Patricia A. Weitsman’s endorsement, the Ohio University political science professor writes, “Jason W. Davidson’s exceptional book is a must read for scholars and policy makers interested in knowing why states put troops in harm’s way for the benefit of their allies.  Davidson’s masterful explanation of burden sharing is essential knowledge for students of history and politics, as well as decision makers crafting strategy for the future.”

Elizabeth Larus

Elizabeth Freund Larus, professor of political science and international affairs, presented the paper “Taiwan after the Global Financial Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here?” at the 52nd meeting of the American Association for Chinese Studies in Winston-Salem, N.C., in October. She also presented the paper “Taiwan’s Reaction to the Global Financial Crisis” at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in Philadelphia in September.