Recent Seminars & Workshops

Spring & Fall 2015

Nov 10, 2015: Prof. Gabe Chan, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

“International Climate Policy: Where Are We Headed Next?”
Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will convene in Paris in December for the 21st time since the Convention’s establishment in 1992. International cooperation on climate change has evolved tremendously over this period and now appears headed towards a new cooperative architecture based on a patchwork of voluntary pledges, or “intended nationally determined contributions,” many of which have been negotiated (in-part) in bilateral and plurilateral contexts. This talk will draw on a major synthesis of the scholarly literature on international climate change cooperation conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which the speaker was closely involved in. Highlights from academic research are put into the context of recent developments on the run-up to the Paris conference. View the video.

Oct 27, 2015: Prof. Richard Painter, University of Minnesota Law School

 ‘Taxation only with Representation:  the Conservative Conscience and Campaign Finance Reform” 
Professor Painter argues that political conservatives should support reform of our corrupt system of campaign finance.  A principal concern is the ability of foreign governments, sovereign wealth funds, corporations, and other groups to influence our political system and undermine our national security.  Professor Painter will also propose a solution that will bring more small donors into our campaign finance system to make candidates less dependent upon large donors. View the video.

Tuesday, Oct 13: Prof. Jodi Sandfort, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

"The Global Partnerships of the Hubert Project: Using Multimedia Learning Objects to Improve Instruction"
Since 2012, the Humphrey School has served as a global hub for the development and sharing of multi-media learning objects to improve public affairs education. Professor Sandfort will explain the project and its partnership with Hong Kong University and the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (working in 12 Universities).  The talk will also highlight other international materials developed for the collection from Turkey and India, and consider ways to broaden the reach for material development and use in the future. View the video.

Sept 29: Dr. Shaimaa Magued, Cairo University

"Socio-political Movements in Egypt from 2003 until 2013"
Within the framework of Egypt's liberalization process launched in the 2000s, different social movements emerged to contest political stagnation and poor economic conditions. Asking for more political openness, a better distribution of resources, and freedom, many grass-roots movements rallied a wide array of activists and citizens from different backgrounds. This mobilization effort paved the way for the eruption of the massive public uprising of January 25, 2011 leading to Mubarak's demise. The aim of this presentation is to shed light on the role of sociopolitical movements in the pursuit of democracy before and after the revolution.

Shaimaa Magued is a Carnegie fellow at Humphrey School of Global Affairs, the University of Minnesota during the fall semester of 2015. She works as a Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University. She received a PhD degree from L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques d’Aix (SciencesPo Aix) from France in political Science, International Relations in 2012, a Master in Public policy and Administration from the American University in Cairo (AUC) in 2011 and a master in International Relations from L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (SciencesPo Paris) in 2009. She received her BA from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University in 2008.

Magued was awarded Fullbright scholarship, the Turkish Government Scholarship and the French Government Scholarship. Research interests and publications are mainly focused on Middle East Politics, International Relations and Political Islam with a special interest towards Modern Turkey and the Turkish-Arab relations. Worked as a Research Fellow at the Center of Migrations and Refugees Studies, the American University of Cairo (AUC) in 2013, at the French Institute of Anatolian Studies (IFEA) in Istanbul in 2010, the CEDEJ (The Economic, Political and Judicial Documentaries and Studies Center) in Cairo and the National Security Department at the Arab League in Cairo in 2006.

Sept 15: Prof. Paul M. Vaaler, University of Minnesota Law School & Carlson School of Management

"Slack Resources, Stakeholder Regulatory Protection, and Innovation by Firms Around the World"
More than 50 years of research on the behavioral theory of the firm (BTF) tells us that “slack resources” in firms –money, equipment and people in excess of what is needed for daily operation—are fundamental to supporting innovation effort in firms.  But when BTF researchers investigate the relationship between firm slack and innovation effort on a cross-country basis trends are mixed.  Slack increases innovation in firms from some countries, but has no effect or even negative effects on innovation in firms from other countries. How do we explain these differences? View the video.

Feb 24, 2015: Prof. Carrie Oelberger, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

"A Thousand Wildflowers or a Formal Garden? International Grantmaking and the Structuring of Transnational Civil Society"
Civil society is often a favored approach for addressing social problems due to the assumption that it enables a greater diversity of response than government directed interventions, letting the proverbial “thousand flowers bloom.” However, it has been widely demonstrated that non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs') reliance upon outside financial support renders them extremely resource dependent, with the grantee choices of funders wielding great power to shape the contours of civil society. Professor Oelberger examines the relationship between funder decisions and civil society internationally with unique access to the full population of over 31,000 grants from U.S.-based foundations to over 11,000 NGOs located in the developing world over a thirteen year period (2000 – 2012). She investigates to what extent grant choices nurture a wide diversity of NGOs, letting a thousand flowers bloom, and to what extent they provide resources to only a select few eye-catching organizations, creating instead a formal garden.

Feb 10, 2015: Prof. Deborah Levison, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

“Implications of Environmental Chores for Human Capital: Children’s Time Fetching Water and Firewood in Tanzania”
Cross-sector collaboration is a goal of governments and project funders in low-income countries, yet many connections across sectors remain to be made. Professor Levison will argue that in many poor countries a connection exists between human capital accumulation – via children’s educational success – and environmental conditions. Using a case study in rural Tanzania, she and her colleagues consider whether children’s responsibilities for fetching water and firewood are a link between human capital and environmental conditions. Using quantitative and qualitative data, they explore which children are in school; which children participate in collecting water and firewood; and whether there are systematic relationships between these two behaviors. The evidence presented here suggests tensions between children’s engagement in environmental chores and educational success, especially for girls in relation to collecting firewood, and through the schools’ reliance on children to provide water.

Jan 27, 2015: Prof. William Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City

"Why Financial Regulatory “Reform” Helped the Unprincipled Blow-Up the Global Economy"
How did we go from a situation in 1993 in which financial regulators were lauded for having defeated a raging epidemic of fraud at hundreds of savings and loans despite intense political resistance, to a situation in which the financial regulators became fraud enablers and deniers? How did this happen when finance and law and economics scholars assured us that financial markets were so efficient and honest that it wasn’t even necessary to have a rule against fraud? Bill Black contends that the “Achilles’ heel” of these theories was the implicit assumption that fraud by the people who control seemingly respectable banks (“control fraud”) could not occur. When the CEO is the crook, he can create a “Gresham’s” dynamic (bad ethics drives good ethics) that can make fraud common in an industry or profession. A series of public and private changes made the financial environment so criminogenic that it produced the three most destructive epidemics of financial fraud in history (appraisal fraud, liar’s loans, and secondary market frauds), hyper-inflated the residential real estate bubble, and drove the financial crisis.