January 16, 2017 Newsletter

We begin a New Year in the United States with a change of government.  Our outgoing President Barack Obama said his farewells to the country in a speech in Chicago on Tuesday.  Yesterday, in his final time as President, Barack Obama awarded Vice President Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Distinction.  Both men leave office on Friday, January 20, the day that President-Elect Donald Trump is sworn into office (Vice-President Elect Mike Pence will be sworn into his office shortly before).
Anthony Downs, in An Economic Theory of Democracy, sets conditions for democratic political systems.  These conditions include that the party winning the most votes governs until the next election, and the party losing the election vacates office.  Losers must accept their loss, and winners cannot legislate themselves into permanent victory.  The governing party “cannot hamper the operations of other political parties in society.  It cannot restrict their freedom of speech, or their ability to campaign vigorously, or the freedom of any citizen to speak out against any party [or] alter the timings of elections” (1957, 12).  The transition of political power, where the loser stands down (or makes no attempt to seize power), and where the winner comes into full empowerment, is a fraught process in many political systems.  For the US, the first such transfer of power – from George Washington’s administration to that of John Adams (with Vice President Thomas Jefferson) – was a major democratic accomplishment, although the outgoing Adams administration instituted a number of last-minute policies and appointments in an attempt to constrain the power of incoming President Jefferson.  Similar attempts were made this year, at the state level, when the North Carolina legislature attempted to rewrite the powers of the newly elected governor (see also work by Professor Andrew Reynolds here). 
At the start of the new year, the new semester, and a new administration, you can watch the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another.  The inaugural events begin at 11:30am, with the new president’s swearing in at noon.  Welcome back!


Karen Beckwith, Flora Stone Mather Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University


General Announcements


  • Stay up to date with the department by following our Twitter feed! Check it for day to day opportunities and information!
  • Like us on Facebook! Our department will be regularly posting events, opportunities, and general information to our page!




Friday Lunch: The Future of Financial Regulation
January 20, 12:30-1:30p.m., KSL Room LL06A-C (lower level, opposite elevators)
The 2016 Republican party platform proclaims that the 2010 “Dodd-Frank” financial services legislation was “an excuse to establish unprecedented government control over the nation’s financial markets… by creating new unaccountable bureaucracies.” The platform goes on to promise “legislation that brings transparency and accountability to the Federal Reserve.” With President Trump’s inauguration, will this agenda be enacted? If not, what may happen instead? Join Professor Kathryn Lavelle in discussing the prospects.

Trump, Security, and Muslim Civil Liberties
January 18, 4:30-5:30p.m., Moot Courtroom
The panel will discuss, in particular, the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a program implemented after the 9/11 attacks, but suspended in 2011, and just recently terminated by President Obama. NSEERS focused almost entirely on citizens of Muslim countries and required individuals to check in and report to government officials. Many experts speculate that Trump plans to reinstate the program.

International Economic Policy Under the Trump Administration
January 19, 4:30-5:30p.m., Moot Courtroom
On the campaign trail, Candidate Trump promised to shred NAFTA, impose tariffs on Chinese goods, and withdraw from the World Trade Organization. Since the election, President-Elect Trump has filled cabinet posts with billionaires, steel and oil magnates, and advocates of protectionism. This panel, featuring Professor Elliot Posner, will explore the ramifications of Trump’s statements and policies from interdisciplinary perspectives.

The First 100 Days: A Panel Discussion
January 20, 10:30a.m.
Join this panel discussion on the historical nature of the President’s first 100 days followed by the chance to watch the Inauguration Ceremony. Tickets for nonmembers are $35.


Career Opportunities


Director of Development, Facing History and Ourselves
This position will play an integral role in strategically building the Cleveland development effort to meet and exceed our ambitious fundraising goals. This position will work with development leadership, the Cleveland Office Director, Advisory Board members, and other staff to initiate, plan, and manage fundraising efforts, including donor research and cultivation, gift solicitation, stewardship, Advisory Board activities, fundraising events including our signature spring benefit, and partnership management with the Corporate and Foundations team.


Internship and Fellowship Opportunities


Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship
The Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship program offers emerging young leaders
from across the country the skills and networks needed to create the community they envision and
jumpstart a career in public service.

A select group of Fellows will be embedded in public sector agencies in Cleveland working on
the frontlines of civic innovation. If you are a recent college graduate considering a public service
career, choose the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship and continue the reinvention
of a rustbelt city on the rise. The online application will be available January 23-February 22.

Rep. Jim Renacci District Office Intern
This internship provides an introduction into the varied duties and responsibilities of a Congressional district office. The primary role of the district office is to assist constituents with Federal agencies. The staff intern must have an interest in helping others with a wide variety of issues.

Rep. Jim Renacci District Office Externship Experience
The Externship Experience provides a snapshot view into the varied duties and responsibilities of a Congressional district office. Each extern must have an interest to learn about the role of the district office and a desire to better understand the mechanics of how Congress assists constituents with Federal agencies.

“Protect Our Parks” Campaign Organizing Intern
The Wilderness Society’s “Protect Our Parks” campaign is looking for motivated students to help us protect the Wilderness and Antiquities Acts. These important programs have protected valuable pieces of our natural and cultural heritage, including Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Wayne National Forests. However, there are frequent attempts to weaken or repeal these programs in Congress, so it is important to show elected officials that Americans care deeply about protecting public lands. Over the next several months, we will be organizing community events, working with the media, collecting petition signatures, and building a broad coalition of local groups to protect public lands.

Interns will lead and assist with a wide variety of campaign tasks. Good verbal and writing skills are important as interns will recruit and train volunteers, lead meetings, and communicate with media outlets. Applicants should be willing to devote 10-15 hours per week to campaign work, but schedules can be adjusted to accommodate class, work, and personal preferences.

Cleveland Foundation Summer Internships
This internship program provides talented and diverse undergraduate students and recent college graduates an opportunity to work with Cleveland-area nonprofit and public sector organizations in an 11-week paid internship. Interns also participate in and coordinate weekly seminars highlighting key organizations and programs. Application deadline is January 23.

Cleveland Hillel Foundation Summer Internship Program
This is a paid summer internship program open to Jewish students who will be going into their junior or senior year in the fall. Interns work for ten weeks and participate in innovative programming including exclusive excursions around Cleveland, professional development seminars and opportunities to interact with civic and community leaders. Application deadline is January 30.

James H. Dunn Jr. Memorial Fellowship
This Fellowship Program provides bright, highly motivated recent college graduates a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the operations of state government for one year. Applicants must have a bachelor’s or higher graduate degree. Application deadline is January 31.

Previously posted opportunities can be found on the department webpage. Please make sure to check regularly as to not miss approaching deadlines!

Scholarship Opportunities


American Public Works Association Scholarship
The Ohio Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) is issuing two $1,000 scholarships to Graduate Students majoring in Civil Engineering, Public Administration, or a closely related field. The application deadline is February 24. See here for the further details.


Volunteer Opportunities


Volunteer in Ghana
Spend the summer volunteering with local health and education programs in Ghana.



A Little Extra…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *