Think Tank is a student-directed organization sponsored by the Levitt Center that strives to increase dialogue between professors and students outside the classroom. On Fridays, students and other members of the Hamilton community gather for lunchtime discussions, which are facilitated by a faculty member.
Ipsita Bhatia, Benjamin Hootnick, and Mikayla Irle are working together to co-director Think Tank for the 2010-11 academic year.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Presented by Prof. Alan Cafruny (Government)
During the 35-year “golden age” after World War II American society became progressively more equal, in large part as a result of government policies. Yet, since 1980, most of these policies have been abandoned. The gap between the rich and the poor has increased dramatically. Poverty levels are soaring. Social mobility among Americans is now less than that in most other advanced capitalist countries.
Given these realities, why is there so little contemporary debate over the issue of distributive justice?
Presented by Prof. C. Vasantkumar (Anthropology) and Hamilton American/Chinese Exchange
Ethnic difference probably isn't the first thing that leaps to mind when you think of China or Tibet, yet the People's Republic is formally a "unified multi-ethnic state;" linguistic and cultural diversity characterize China as much as they do the US. While the Chinese government has in recent years sought to create a "Harmonious Society" in which members of all ethnic groups share in China's economic development, in practice the fruits of modernization have been distributed less equitably; China's western hinterlands have fallen far behind its wealthy eastern seaboard. Is it a coincidence that China's most economically backward territories are home to most of its ethnic minorities? Where do Tibet and Tibetans fit in all this?
Friday, December 10, 2011
Mexico's Debate about Militarization and Democracy
What are the consequences of US-backed militarization in Mexico?
Presented By Thom Rath (History)
Since the 1980s, Mexico's political system has gradually become more open and competitive. At the same time, the state has increasingly relied on the military to rule, a trend which has climaxed in the current "war on drugs." A fierce public debate about militarization in Mexico has emerged, involving government officials, NGOs, journalists, social scientists and film-makers. Thom will analyze this debate from an historical perspective, and argue that it provides a particularly useful lens through which to view Mexico's contested and uneven democratization. On the one hand, by existing at all, the debate reveals an important opening in Mexico's public sphere. On the other hand, it alerts us to how the Mexican military's autonomy, impunity and secrecy about its past continue to shape politics and public discussion. Finally, the talk will end with a brief discussion of the role of U.S.A, and the latest developments in Mexican policy.