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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.

Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center
The Freeman Center has sponsored a bi-weekly workshop on global economic and other policy issues since 1991.


Unless otherwise noted, sessions are held every other Tuesday from 12:45 to 2 p.m. in the Stassen Room (Room 170) of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs during the fall and spring semesters.

This Week's Workshop

RonGoldenVideoSeptember 9, 2014 Shannon Golden and James Ron, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, on "Human Rights Cynics: Negative Perceptions of Human Rights in Mexico." Human rights scholars, practitioners, and policymakers often argue that the spread of human rights ideas to the grassroots is blocked by negative public opinion, such as perceptions that human rights: 1) protect criminals, 2) promote urban interests, and 3) promote foreign values and ideas. Indeed, in interviewing human rights professionals in Mexico—a hotbed of local human rights organizing—we found such ideas touted as major challenges to local rights work. To provide an empirical test of these assertions, we surveyed a nationally representative sample of Mexicans (n=2400), measuring their associations with the term “human rights.” We model their negative associations, focusing particularly on the impacts of religious participation, political participation, conservatism, global connectivity, local crime rates, exposure to human rights language, and participation in human rights activities. We find some factors matter less than expected (such as conservatism and connectivity), some matter more (such as Church participation and crime rates), and some matter much differently than we anticipated (such as familiarity with human rights).

Recent Workshops

Ukraine event March 11 2014 pt 1 videoMarch 11, 2014 Freeman Center Special Event Discussion: Crisis in UkrainePanelists: J. Brian Atwood Professor and Global Policy Area Chair, Humphrey School; Kathleen Collins, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science; Alexey Khlebnikov, Master of Public Policy Candidate and Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellow from Russia; and Olga Reshetova, Head Specialist on International Connections, International Relations Department, National Academy for Public Administration, Ukraine. Moderator: Robert Kudrle, Freeman Chair, Humphrey School

Kathleen Collins at Freeman Seminar

February 25, 2014, Professor Kathleen Collins, Department of Political Sciencespeaking on: “Islam and Popular Support for Democracy: Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan in Comparative Perspective.” What kind of political system do Muslims prefer? Is there support for democracy in the Muslim world, and if so, what kind of democracy? Do ordinary Muslims prefer an Islamic regime? These questions have been a source of debate among policymakers, academics, and citizens of many Muslim countries, especially since the Arab Spring. Professor Collins will present findings from her field research and surveys in Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan.

Singh presentation Feb 11 2014February 11, 2014, Professor Gurneeta Singh, Carlson School of Management, will speak on:"Does a Government’s International Investments Help or Hurt Its Firms? Evidence from Norway?" The emergence of governments as global investors via Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) extends governments’ spheres of influence beyond the home country.Professor Singh’s research suggests that sovereign investments are politicized in host countries because they presage the control of domestic assets by a foreign government, and this bears important implications for the strategic choices that the sovereign’s home country firms make in host countries. Empirical analyses of cross-border acquisitions undertaken by Norway’s SWF and firms during 1984-2011 show that firms are less likely to undertake majority ownership in targets as the SWF’s investments in a host country increase. The findings, which vary by industry, highlight an emergent role of government affecting the international activity of home country firms. By eliciting an institutional change in terms of the norms and regulations concerning foreign investments and bringing about a deviation from the status quo in host countries, government investments via SWFs increase the risk of politicization and policy uncertainty for home country firms, thereby modifying their strategic choices.

Atwood videoJanuary 28, 2014: J. Brian Atwood, Professor and former dean, Humphrey School speaking on: “The Foreign Policy Process: The Role of Institutions.”
The politics of the policy process in Washington garners great media
coverage as individual leaders seek public support for positions that
often reflect ideological rather than pragmatic orientations. Less
attention is paid to the institutions that house the expertise and
theoretically command the authority to persuade political leaders and
the public. These include the departments of government, the
legislative branch, traditional media outlets, think tanks and
international organizations. Are these institutions substantial enough
to prevail over an increasingly ideological debate? Do they still
possess the rational and moral authority to influence the policy
process? Professor Atwood who has served in many of these institutions
offers his analysis and his concerns.

Past Workshop videos and PowerPoint presentations:

View past workshops





The Freemans

Orville L. Freeman served as the 29th governor of Minnesota between January 5, 1955 to January 2, 1961. Read more...

Contact Freeman Center for International Economic Policy

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University of Minnesota
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