October 16, 2017 Newsletter


Celebrate!  Many of us are looking forward to celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Department’s Wellman Hill Public Service Internship Program, generously funded by our double alumna Elizabeth Hill (CWR POSC BA ’97, GRS POSC MA ’97).  The celebration party, on Saturday, October 14, is being hosted by Professor Elliot Posner, Chair of the Department’s Wellman Hill Committee, and by the Department of Political Science.  All POSC majors and minors are welcome to attend.  If you would like to join us, respond, if you please, to Ms. Anna Conboy at axc702@case.edu, for details about time and place.

As reported in art/sci, Ms. Hill “is a superior court judge in San Mateo, California, where she hears criminal cases and sits as supervising judge in the South San Francisco branch courthouse. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science at Case Western Reserve and a JD from Stanford Law School.

“Hill served as a deputy district attorney in San Mateo County from 2000 to 2010, holding specialty assignments in environmental protection, mental health cases and domestic violence prosecution. From 2010 to 2014, she served as a court commissioner, first in San Mateo County and then in Santa Clara County.

“Hill was a member of the board of directors of Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse from 2005 to 2010. She mentors local high school students and volunteers as a mock trial judge. A member of the visiting committee for the College of Arts and Sciences, she created the Wellman Hill Political Science Internship Program in 2007. The program awards grants to political science majors pursuing unpaid summer internships in public service.”

In 2015, Judge Hill was awarded the CWRU College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Service Alumna Prize.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the celebration on the Wellman Hill Internship Program on Saturday.

Thinking about US Politics and Democracy.  Because I’m teaching POSC109 The US Political System this term (to a wonderful group of students), I’ve been thinking a lot about the US political system in terms of its democratic development and transformation across time.  In particular, I’m reflecting about how a state and a government are constructed in regard to the current political context in which many norms and practices, including those long established and generally agreed to, are being violated and/or transformed.  Because I’m also part of an international research team analyzing the gendered processes involved in cabinet formation in several long-standing democracies, I’ve been particularly attentive to US democratic practices in comparative political perspective.  Two articles recently came across my desk, both calling into question the state of US democracy, and I share them here.

The first is a scholarly article by five political scientists: “Trumpism and American Democracy: History, Comparison, and the Predicament of Liberal Democracy in the United States.” They write, “[U]nderstanding what is uniquely threatening to democracy at the present moment … demands a historical and comparative perspective on American politics. We argue that President Trump’s election in 2016 represents the intersection of three streams in American politics; polarized two-party presidentialism; a polity fundamentally divided over membership and status in the political community, in ways structured by race and economic inequality; and the erosion of democratic norms at the elite and mass levels. These three streams in American politics interact, meaning they jointly produce the current moment in ways that are distinct from past crisis moments in American politics” (3).

The second is a draft position statement of eleven foreign policy experts on German-US relations, published yesterday in the New York Times.  Reflecting on the changed context for West European democracies and the Trump administration, and offering policy recommendations, the authors conclude, “The United States has proved its capacity for self-correction repeatedly. America remains the indispensable power for those countries that stand for freedom and democracy and strive for an open world order.”
I hope you will find these two articles thought-provoking.
Flora Stone Mather Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.



General Announcements


  • 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: 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.

Choices Fair
October 13, 12:45-2:00p.m., Veale Convocation, Recreation, and Athletic Center
The Choices Fair provides information about majors, minors and co-curricular opportunities for first-year students and those exploring their educational options. Stop by the POSC table to say hi!

Cleveland Council on World Affairs Volunteer Meet & Greet
October 16, 9:00a.m., CCWA Offices, 812 Huron Rd. E., Suite 620
Learn about a variety of volunteer opportunities, with CCWA’s Model UN program, community events, and international visitor programs. Please contact deanna@ccwa.org for more information.

Decolonizing Cleveland Charette
October 14, 10:30a.m.-2:00p.m., Clark Hall 309
Kyle Powys Whyte, several elders from the Cleveland indigenous community, and an SJI representative will lead an open discussion of whether decolonization has a place in the Cleveland area, what decolonization might look like, and how it might be achieved. This is a free event and lunch will be served.

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.

Power of Diversity Lecture Series: Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, Ph.D.
October 17, 3:00p.m., TVUC Senior Classroom
Join Philosophy Professor Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, Ph.D. for his lecture, “Poverty & Depression, the Power of Imagination, and One Still Secret of Justice.”

Home Rule for Northeast Ohio Communities
October 17, 6:30-8:00p.m., Lakewood Public Library
This forum will cover the pros and cons of Home Rule laws in Northeast Ohio communities. This is a free event, but registration is recommended.

What Clowns Can Teach Us About Intellectual Property
October 18, 8:30-9:30a.m., The City Club
Aaron Perzanowski, who teaches courses in intellectual property, telecommunications and innovation, will explore the contours and enforcement of the rules governing uniqueness of clown personae. This is a free event, but registration is recommended.

Diversity in Clinical Trials: Why it is Especially Crucial Today
October 18, 4:30-5:30p.m., Moot Courtroom
Paula Taylor Whitfield (’83) recently retired from Eli Lilly as the general counsel for Europe, the functional leader of the European Legal group, and a member of the Corporate Law Division’s Executive Committee, will discuss why increasing diversity in clinical research is important to enable better patient care and improve customer’s overall satisfaction with therapy. This is a free event, but registration is recommended.

2017 Cleveland Mayoral Debate
October 19, 12:00p.m., The City Club
Frank G. Jackson and Zack Reed explain their platforms and differences and why they deserve your vote in a debate moderated by ideastream® senior host/producer Rick Jackson. Tickets are $35 for nonmembers.

America’s Immigration Policy Fiasco
October 19, 4:30-5:30p.m., Moot Courtroom
Professor Douglas Massey of Princeton University, the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and Director of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, explains how militarizing the border has failed to address our real immigration issues and explores more promising policy alternatives. This is a free event, but registration is recommended.

Friday Lunch: Students, Stress and Sickness: Are There More Problems, and, If So, Why?
October 20, 12:30-1:30p.m., KSL Dampeer Room
Join Judith Olson-Hammer MS, Director of Educational Services for Students, and Richard B. Pazol Psy.D., Director of Counseling and Coordinator Assessment Services, University Health and Counseling Services for this discussion.


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.

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.

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.


A Little Extra…


  • Ideastream recently posted an article detailing “Who’s Giving to Frank Jackson and Zack Reed Campaigns.” Find out more here.

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