October 9, 2017 Newsletter


This week the US experienced another mass shooting, unrelated to actual politics.  The shooting appears unmotivated by any political agenda; was not organized or advanced by any terrorist group; and sent no political message.  The shooting was “typical,” insofar as the shooter was male, using guns acquired legally; such information tells us little.  A recent report lists 59 persons dead and 527 injured. 

References to “US exceptionalism” – usually concerning the absence of a labor party in the US party system or, jokingly, the absence of professional soccer – include the commonality of mass murder by single individuals.  Political scientists and other scholars have written about the disproportional incidence of gun deaths in the US (for examples, see herehereherehere, and here; see especially work by Kristen A. Goss and by Philip J. Cook and Kristen A. Goss). 

I offer no analysis or solutions here.  I raise the question, however, of why, in the United States, men with guns kill each other, themselves, their partners or ex-partners, and, regularly but relatively infrequently, large numbers of strangers.  This is not the practice or experience of men or women in other countries.  This is a problem in the US that needs to be addressed and that should not be beyond the scope of human agency.

In happier news, I encourage our students to review the range of events taking place today and across the weekend.  It is Homecoming, and I welcome all our alumni, former and current students, and friends back to campus.  It will be good to see you.

With all best wishes,
Flora Stone Mather Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science

 “No problem of human beings is beyond human destiny.” – John Kennedy



General Announcements


  • Represent CWRU at Propel Ohio Collegiate Leadership Summit
    Propel Ohio is a one-day statewide conference that promotes civic engagement and inspires undergraduate student leaders from across Ohio. Four students will be selected by President Snyder’s office to represent CWRU at Propel Ohio 2017 on November 17 at the University of Akron, which will feature guest speakers and workshops focusing on issues that affect childhood poverty. The application deadline is October 10.
  • The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, in coalition with Fair Districts Ohio, is collecting signatures for a citizen initiative to reform congressional redistricting. Details about the proposal can be found here. The League seeks interested persons to collect signatures. If you are interested in participating, see here.
  • 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 Budget Mess: Deficits, Tax Cuts & Health Care
October 6, 12:30-1:30p.m., Mather House 100
It’s that time of year again. The federal fiscal year began on October 1. As usual, none of the budget process deadlines have been met.  In addition, Congress did not manage to pass an “Obamacare Repeal and Replace” bill, which President Trump and congressional Republicans had insisted was absolutely vital. So what should we expect?  GOP victories?  A massive crack-up in December? Join Professor Joseph White for discussion and best guesses!

The Future of Puerto Rican Statehood
October 6, 12:00p.m., The City Club
WCPN host Tony Ganzer talks with Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez and independence activist Oscar Lopez Rivera on the future of Puerto Rico’s statehood and independence movements. Tickets for nonmembers are $35.

Sam Quinones: Author and National GeographicJournalist Discusses the Opioid Epidemic
October 7, 2:00p.m., Cleveland Public Library, Main Branch
Sam Quinones, the author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury, 2015), which won a National Book Critics Circle award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015, will discuss the far-ranging causes of our nation’s heroin and opioid epidemics. This is a free event.

Power of Diversity: Beverly Guy-Shaftall
October 9, 4:30-6:00p.m., TVUC Ballroom C
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, PhD, Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center at Spelman College will present a lecture and book signing event “Lessons from Charlottesville: Intersectionality 101.”

Iraq and Syria, 1941: Working Around Lies, Exaggerations, Distortions, and Deletions to Tell a Little-known Story of WWII
October 10, 12:00-1:00p.m., Clark Hall 206
History Professor John Broich will speak about his research uncovering the 1941 dispute between the Iraqis and Vichy French in Syria. His talk centers on the difficulty he’s encountered getting at the truth of affair when the historical sources have been obscured by wartime propaganda, colonial delusions, nationalist flimflam, and erasure. This is a free event, but registration is recommended.

Criminal Justice Forum: Federal Sentencing Under the Guidelines and After Booker: Do They Lead to Just Punishment?
October 10, 5:00-6:00p.m., Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Judge James S. Gwin for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio will address the critical question of whether the federal sentencing guidelines lead to just punishment. This is a free event.

More Than a Lawyer: How to Become an Internationally Renowned Attorney and Business Advisor in the Sports & Entertainment Industry
October 11, 12:00-1:00p.m., Moot Courtroom
Frederick R. Nance, Global Managing Partner and Head of the U.S. Sports & Entertainment Group of Squire Patton Boggs, will discuss his journey to become one of the most sought after business advisers and legal counsels in the nation, with clients including Lebron James and Dave Chappelle. This lecture will give attendees an inside look at the sports and entertainment field, teach the best practices for building a highly-regarded career as a commercial litigator. This is a free event.

Regulating the Movement of Muslims
October 11, 4:30-5:30p.m., Moot Courtroom
Gadeir Abbas, attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ headquarters in Washington D.C., will discuss the constitutional grounds to challenge the No Fly List in the Fifth Amendment’s substantive due process clause and a survey of international agreements, revealing a fundamental right of movement that the No Fly List regulates. This event is free for students.

Public Health Lessons from the Ebola Epidemic and Response
October 13, 12:30-1:30p.m., KSL Dampeer Room
We usually talk about Ebola outbreaks, but the events that reached international attention in late Summer of 2014 were a true epidemic. Between December 2013 and April 2016, more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths were counted – and counts were incomplete.  As the WHO’s outbreak response team reported, “the risk of human infection from animals and Ebola survivors appears to be persistent, widespread, and locally unpredictable.”  So what may have been learned about how to respond?  Did that help with the recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?  Join us as Professor Ronald E. Blanton, an eminent expert in infectious disease control, discusses the challenges of future control.

Wellman Hill 10th Anniversary Celebration
October 14, 5:00-7:00p.m., home of Professors Elliot Posner and Gillian Weiss
Please join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Wellman Hill Political Science Internship Grants Program. RSVP to Anna Conboy.


Internship and Fellowship Opportunities


Ohio Citizen Action Environment and Social Justice Internship
Ohio Citizen Action is seeking activist minded individuals to join our campaign staff. At OCA you will learn what it takes to be a community organizer. You will be joining a team of dedicated and likeminded individuals in the fight to protect our environment, public health and our communities at large. OCA provides the opportunity to make real environmental change stemming locally and reaching out globally.

Carnegie Mellon University Summer Security Boot Camp
IT Lab: Summer Security Intensive is a paid seven-week fellowship where participants can earn credit in security technology, analytics, and policy and gain real-world experience through client-based projects. The early application deadline is December 1.

Kelvin Smith Library Freedman Student Fellowship
This scholarship is designed to advance research and education in the digital scholarship field for undergraduate and graduate students at Case Western Reserve University. We are proud to announce this year’s theme, Urban Planning in Modern America, using the KSL Ernst J. Bohn collection. The application deadline is October 6.

Stanford Law Research Fellowship
Several Stanford law professors are seeking full-time Research Fellows to begin work in the summer of 2018. This is a unique opportunity for graduating seniors and recent college graduates to participate in groundbreaking empirical legal and social science research. The first round of applications are due October 30.

PPIA International Affairs Fellowship
This summer program is designed to prepare students for graduate studies in international affairs and public policy. Applications are due November 1.

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

Employment Opportunities

Ohio Citizen Action
At Ohio Citizen Action, (OCA) you will learn what it takes to be a community organizer. You will be joining a team of dedicated
and like-minded individuals in the fight to protect our environment, public health and our communities at large. As a member of our campaign team, you will
have the opportunity to influence the ever expanding environmental and social justice movement in Ohio.

Hamilton Place Strategies

Entry-level Analyst and Associate positions are open for May 2018 graduates at Hamilton Place Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm. They have posted these opportunities to the Case Western Reserve University job portal, and the link to our application is here, which closes September 30. We have also set up virtual info sessions over the next two weeks, which students can join by signing up here.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer with the Cleveland Council on World Affairs
CCWA is currently seeking volunteers to assist with their Model UN program for middle and high school students. Please contact ccwa@ccwa.org for more information.



A Little Extra…


  • Political Science Professor Joe White and Weatherhead Professor J.B. Silvers participated in a The City Club of Cleveland forum at the The Happy Dog last night about “What Can the U.S. Learn from Healthcare Models around the World.” Click this link to listen to the podcast! http://bit.ly/2hOdqBK

    Find out more about the event here.

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