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Groitl, a representative of the political school of realism, sees the transatlantic relationship as a partnership, however, according to President Trump, not an equal partnership. Europe concentrated too much on the scandals around the president. Most Europeans believed all had been all well before he took office and transatlantic relations would return to this stage once Donald Trump leaves the White House, Dr.
However, a constant estrangement had developed over decades. She backed her statement with examples such as the destitution during the Balkan Wars and the response of European politicians to George W. The rise of China divided the U.
This conflict attacked the roots of the transatlantic partnership but it was also clear that both partners could not pursue their interests apart from each other. Pertaining to this stability, Europe and the USA were used to three things: Over the course of this period differences between income and capital shrank. This changed dramatically between andwhen things returned to levels.
Society has increasingly grown apart, something even data pertaining to life expectancy and infant mortality rate attests to. The catching-up process of some countries, even if at the expense of others, could be seen as a recovery process.
Migration and technical progress walked hand in hand, the HCA-director added. Yet, the job market needed highly trained employees, and a less-qualified workforce was at a high disadvantage when exposed to globalization.
This, Professor Werner said, made its members so susceptible to populism. Following these brief statements, Dr. A member of the audience addressed the fact that if the E. Its member states had blocked each other in the past. Every country had its own perspective and problems varied; refugees in the South, Russia to the East — a strategic consensus was not in sight and security, even the military, was a neglected and difficult issue.
An exciting and informative evening came to an end, leaving the audience curious about the future of the transatlantic community. Martin Luther King Jr. Pennington Award on Professor Eddie S.
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The Pennington Award, which enables its recipients to work and interact with students and faculty of Heidelberg University for several weeks, represented values that the former slave and minister James W. Pennington and Heidelberg University shared, emphasized Prof. Pennington, who escaped from slavery, took classes at Yale University, and became an ordained minister.
InHeidelberg University bestowed an honorary doctorate on Pennington. In honor of Pennington and to celebrate African-American culture, history, and education, the Pennington Award is nowadays bestowed upon scholars whose work sheds light on African-American life past and present. Throughout his career, he worked at multiple universities, including Amherst College and Harvard University, eventually joining the Department of Religion at Princeton University in Professor Glaude then commenced his lecture with a critical assessment of the contemporary myth of progress surrounding the persona of Dr.
King, who had faced systemic racism in American society and encouraged his followers to peaceful resistance, had become a prominent symbol for the struggle to end racial discrimination.
Even though King was a prominent religious leader, who had consciously embedded his work into the American Christian tradition, his appeals and actions were also fundamentally political. Professor Glaude highlighted this since he claimed that a society was quick to regard prophetic individuals like King as externally-acknowledged authorities, effectively denying itself the ability to have a similar impact.
Yet, the trajectory of prophetic work was decidedly social, Eddie Glaude argued. Analyzing King through the philosophy of John Dewey, Professor Glaude made the case that the actions of King and other individuals were nothing more and nothing less than imagining a better world and acting upon such imaginations.
Since imagination is a universal human quality, prophetic acts stemming from it are likewise so. Following a brief welcome by the moderator, Dr. Wilfried Mausbach, Professor Junker opened the debate with sharp criticism of the prevailing discourse on the Trump administration. Professor Junker argued that American carelessness, as President Trump propagated it, would have dramatic consequences for international relations.
Hence, it was necessary to act more openly critical in opposition to such trends. Logsdon agreed that the U. After all, the need for social and political reform was by no means solely an American ailment. Hope Harrison, professor of history at George Washington University, supported this view and further argued that international dialogue was a means to address social and political divisions.
Since the Trump administration had fanned the debate about increased civic responsibilities in the U. This lack of desire to engage in transatlantic exchange, so Kornelius, should prompt contemporaries of all fields to weigh German-American relations critically and to raise the question what exactly they should aim to preserve.
Hope Harrison and Kent Logsdon then provided a deeper insight into the social and political debates in the U. Professor Junker agreed but pointed out that it was nonetheless crucial to address Trump and his policies head-on in such exchanges.
Kornelius agreed that informal channels became ever more important nowadays, since they bore the potential to slow the socio-political disengagement between the E. Here, Kent Logsdon emphasized that the Trump administration had in fact triggered new and critical discussions both in Europe and the United States.
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Following this remark, Dr. Mausbach opened the floor for questions and comments from the audience that engaged in a lively debate about growing Anti-American and Anti-European sentiments, the role of education as a counter-measure to contemporary populism, and the future of the Trump administration. His work there was dominated by his dedication to learn more about the present by studying the past.
Yet, it was by no means a novelty in American history.
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At the beginning of in the nineteenth century, the need to protect a young American economy from strong international competitors was a widely shared political goal. During the twentieth century, this need was rekindled following the Great Depression and the increased economic strength of Japan and China.
Regarding his leadership and diplomatic efforts, Professor Maier then pointed out that Trump had already inspired many comparisons with U. Earlier American leaders like Jackson or Franklin D. Roosevelt, who were famous for their eccentric character and volatility, had triggered similar responses among their partners. Therefore, Trump could be seen as a combination of modern arrogance stemming from military power and historical impudence.
While elections usually functioned as a democratic corrective for such tendencies, the rise of populism in U. Although disenchanted American voters shocked the world in the presidential election oftheir actions were, according to Professor Maier, not without historic precedent. Especially during the time of frontier conflicts, populist movements and their brief political manifestations had been a common theme in American society.
Professor Maier then concluded his lecture by emphasizing that the preservation of transatlantic relationships was now in the hands of a new generation, which should build upon the work done by Professor Junker and himself to maintain the dialogue between the U.
Professor Junker expressed his gratitude to Professor Meier and invited the guests to join him at the HCA where everyone enjoyed an evening of casual conversation and a reception in the back yard. The separation of these spheres is characteristic for modern society, and their relation with each other is uneven and conflicting. The civil sphere in particular, which is an idealized set of attributes necessary for democracy, stands in constant conflicts with other spheres of modern societies.
As the degree of democracy increases, he argued, the civil sphere trumps others. Not only among but also within the different spheres, strains are part of the regular condition.
However, when society is in a steady state, these strains within the spheres and are handled intra-institutionally through the culture of that particular sphere.
Based on this understanding of modern society, Professor Alexander then introduced the concept of the societalization of social problems. Societalization denotes the moment in which an intra-institutional problem produces a crisis, a new state of eventfulness.
The scandal marking the tipping point of the crisis, evokes a civil trauma that shakes the conscience of society and calls for a civil repair.
As a result, code switching evolves in societal discourse and transforms interpretations of practices from normal to evil or the other way around. One of the examples that Professor Alexander used to illustrate this transformation process is church pedophilia. Although pedophilia has been practiced in the Catholic church for a long time, the problem did not break down the boundaries of the sphere and was handled intra-institutionally.
Also in the case of the financial crisis, a moment of societalization is clearly visible. The autonomy of markets, commercialization of banks, and financialization of mortgages has increased instability in the financial industry for a long time.
These processes have produced many individual scandals over the years, but only the scandals in the subprime mortgage crisis, which lead to an international banking crisis, produced a societalization of the problems that had been handled intra-institutionally before.
As in the first example, this resulted in code switching that portrayed common practices within the industry as evil and called for regulatory interventions in the financial industry. In the final part of his talk, Professor Alexander pointed out the limits of the societalization of social problems. Strains within spheres do not always lead to societalization, and societalization can be reversed.
When in effect, societalization can create backlashes as reactions and attack the recently emerged code switching. Further, societalization can lead to increased polarization within society, particularly if only one part of society adapts the code switching.
After a civil repair of the problem, society goes back to the steady state, in which intra-institutional self-regulation dominates. However, Professor Alexander also emphasized the potential of social movements to produce societalization and its positive effects on bringing the problems of marginalized, subaltern groups to mainstream discourse.
Professor Alexander ended his talk by emphasizing the importance of social movements. By producing counter-hegemonic narratives and contributing to societalization of social problems, he argued, social movements play an important part in moving toward a more democratic society.
I love the university. The students here are every bit as good as the students I have taught at Harvard and Brandeis. We have a little house within walking distance of campus near the Gourmet Ghetto. Do you think the rest of the country appreciates Berkeley? Then, consider the reach of our authors and thinkers, and the extraordinary accomplishments of our alumni. On your website, you present short videos that explain complicated issues such as trickle-down economics and tax rates.
You manage to boil down these incredibly complex topics to five or six key points in two minutes. It is very important to tell the truth clearly and accurately, in a very short time frame. These lies need to be rebutted, or people start to believe them—particularly at a time like this, when so many people and families are frustrated and anxious and seeking answers. It is dizzying to consider that individuals in the United States have more combined wealth than the bottom million people in the country.
Well, how do you think [those individuals] got their wealth? Are they smarter than half the population or did they work harder than million people? They got their wealth because the dice are loaded in their favor. The deck is stacked.
At the same time, most Americans are working harder than they have ever worked, with less security than ever, barely getting by.
The average American has little stake in this economy. So, we are not talking about redistribution or theft. We really need to ask, What are the rules of the game? How can we make the rules fair enough that a much larger percentage of the population has a shot?
Prosperity was broadly shared. Now, a tiny percentage of Americans are getting almost all the gains. You responded that the last time it was 4 percent was when you were secretary of labor, and we got there by raising taxes on the rich and investing in education and infrastructure. Is that the secret to fixing the economy in ? Broadly speaking, there are two economic theories.
Republicans have spent 40 years putting forth trickle-down economics: Cut taxes at the top, put this massive concentration of wealth at the top, and the benefits trickle down to the rest of us. Since the s, when Reagan cut taxes on the wealthy, the median wage has not budged.
Since Bush cut taxes on the wealthy even more, it resulted in even lower wages and fewer jobs. The other philosophy is to invest in people, and then let the benefits percolate up. That puts money in their pockets, and not only can they buy things, but there is enough money to have good schools, better infrastructure, and safety nets for people who fall out of the system.
You end up with a virtuous cycle where everyone does better, a rising tide that lifts all boats. The rich would do better with a smaller share in a society that is united and capable of making bipartisan decisions than a large share of a society that is bitterly divided. What do you say to people who feel that Washington is broken beyond repair? The biggest enemy to our democracy is cynicism. People do have time to be engaged, if you think about how much time they spend watching television, on their iPads.
Every progressive social movement in this country started with a few people and succeeded because of their tenacity. People have got to become engaged and mobilized.
Politics should not be considered a dirty word. Even if we elect good people to go to Washington, nothing good comes out of Washington unless good people outside Washington are effectively organized and mobilized to effect good things. Election day is not the end of the fight; it is just the beginning.
This is well-known and well understood, but we seem to have forgotten. What is your take on these new Super PACs? Are they toxic to democracy? Particularly the ones that are misnamed social welfare organizations.
It means that big corporations have no limit on giving, for example, to the U. Chamber of Commerce, which then turns around and runs ads against any progressive running anywhere, convincing the public that up is down and down is up; right is left and left is right. I am chairman of a national organization called Common Cause, which was started by a Republican, John Gardner. Common Cause is dedicated to getting big money out of politics. The importance is much larger now than ever in my lifetime.
So, how important is this presidential election? It is a critically important election. Again, we have never seen such a massive concentration of income and wealth; at the same time, we have an economy suffering from a lack of demand from the middle.
We have a democracy teetering on the edge of being dysfunctional because of it. On top of it, you have a more extreme right wing than we have seen in 60 years, some would say since before the New Deal.
The extreme right has just booted out Dick Lugar from Indiana; he was the last moderate Republican.
The Republican Party has not been this extreme in my lifetime. If you had a crystal ball, who do you see winning the election in November? If the economy continues to improve even slightly, Obama will be OK. Romney is not a good candidate. And people can smell it. If the economy really sinks, Obama is in trouble. The other factor is the Super PACs.
Think of a giant swift boat. How do you think President Obama has done in his first term? I think he compromised too much. Giving up on the public option in health care. Not tying the bank bailout to the banks, not insisting that the Glass-Steagall act be resurrected to control Wall Street, and not stimulating the economy nearly enough when he had the chance.
Having said that, he faced the most right-wing Republican Congress we have seen in recent history. How often does the president call asking you for advice? He asked me to come to Washington to consult generally about the economy. Looking back at your own contributions in Washington, which achievements are you most proud of? The two things in terms of being secretary of labor, legislatively, are implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act and raising the minimum wage for the first time in many years.
Those are hard jobs, being in the cabinet—hour workdays, six and seven days a week. I did that for five years, and you never know at any given time how you are doing. You just do the best you can. Even if you can shift the ship four degrees in the direction it should be heading, you will affect the lives of tens of millions of people.
In the Loop Cutting-edge music star. A few years ago, Merrill Garbus was making bedroom recordings on cassettes.