Sunil Dasgupta, Political Science, Writes ISN Article on What Makes a Modern World Power

Sunil Dasgupta, director of UMBC’s political science program at the Universities of Shady Grove, recently published an article in International Relations and Security Network (ISN) News on the establishment of world powers through norms and institutions instead of superior capabilities over others.

Sunil DasguptaUsing the example of Britain, Dasgupta noted that despite its decline, its membership in international institutions ensures the country staying power on the world stage: “Britain remains a veto-carrying, permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, one of a handful of nuclear weapons states, a rich country, and one of the closest allies of the United States. Despite Prime Minister Cameron’s focus on domestic politics, there is no expectation that the British government will concede any of these positions in the future. To the contrary, Security Council membership can be seen as ensuring that Britain remains a ‘world power’ no matter what other circumstances change. Indeed, has Britain really resigned as a world power?”

Dasgupta wrote that in modern times there is more than one way to become a world power than merely having advanced economies and militaries: “Since the end of World War II, however, international norms have reduced the importance of both 1) conventional economic and military capabilities and 2) a country’s position relative to others in this regard. While the intense rivalry between the United States and the former Soviet Union overshadowed serious discussion of norms and beliefs during the Cold War, it became clear thereafter, with the rise of Japan and Germany as economic heavyweights with limited military capacity, that there were other pathways to great power status.”

Read “What Makes a Great Power?” in ISN.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Analyzes Immigration Policy in the Huffington Post, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun

Tom SchallerThomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science, along with colleagues at UCLA and Stanford, recently published a column in the Huffington Post that examined the legacy of President Obama’s Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive action that took affect three years ago. DACA directed the government to temporarily defer action on young immigrants in the United States who came to the country at an early age as undocumented immigrants with their parents. Schaller, who is political director of the polling and research firm Latino Decisions, wrote about the political significance of the action on immigration policy.

“While DACA’s primary, real-world policy legacy is the dramatic relief it provided to these young immigrants, President Obama’s DACA announcement three years ago today also reshaped the national political debate on immigration, and particularly the use of presidential executive action as a solution to legislative gridlock. For Latinos, support for DACA specifically–and the use of unilateral presidential power in immigration politics generally–was on the ballot in 2012 and will be again in 2016.”

Schaller also published an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun on June 9 and wrote about the American electoral structure and its impact on representation of women in state and national politics. To read the column titled “Our electoral structure not only shuts out third parties; it shuts out women,” click here.

Sunil Dasgupta, Political Science, Writes about World Politics in ISN Following FIFA Arrests

Sunil DasguptaFollowing the recent arrests of FIFA officials, Sunil Dasgupta, director of UMBC’s political science program at the Universities of Shady Grove, wrote an article for International Relations and Security Network (ISN) News about the arrests illustrating a key feature of American soft power.

“Rather than blaming the media or the public for paying more attention to a sporting controversy than to developments in the South China Sea, this unlikely legal move by the U.S. Department of Justice should be taken as evidence of the symbolic nature of power in contemporary international politics. On the symbolic terrain of soft power, the governance of football may indeed be more important than the geopolitics of Chinese island construction projects. If so, the FIFA arrests may indicate that the United States is more capable of shaping certain elements of the international system than reports of its decline have suggested,” Dasgupta wrote.

In the article, he also discussed what the FIFA controversy says about governing on an global scale: “…the football controversy promises to define new rules for governing non-state international organizations—a type of entity left outside the post-World War II institutional order. It also offers a new methodology for solving problems: state action on behalf of a global, rather than a national, public, which is a novel and potentially exciting model for reorganizing the international system.”

To read the full article titled “Football or Atolls? Why Football Matters More than Chinese Island Construction for World Politics,” click here.

Donald Norris (School of Public Policy) and Thomas Schaller (Political Science), Provide Analysis Ahead of Martin O’Malley’s May 30 Announcement

Donald NorrisFormer Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is scheduled to announce his presidential plans on May 30 in Baltimore. School of Public Policy Director Donald Norris was interviewed by WJZ Channel 13 and commented on what the Democratic party landscape could look like for O’Malley should he officially declare his candidacy. “There is an increasing number of voices that are saying we need an alternative to Hillary Clinton,” he said.

Tom Schaller 1Thomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science, was quoted in a Governing article about how the recent events in Baltimore could impact O’Malley’s presidential plans. “The bad news is that the country is paying attention to O’Malley and policing in Baltimore because now that’s a negative issue,” he said. But the good news is that O’Malley’s “name is in the news now in a way that never would have happened otherwise.”

Schaller was also quoted in a New York Times Magazine article discussing what the 2016 election could look like in Maryland for the seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Mikulski. “Any financial advantage by [Rep. Chris Van Hollen] will probably be evened out by the sweat equity of progressive grass-roots volunteers. So resourcewise, this is a draw. The differentiator will be policy stuff.”

In two articles focusing on what the national political scene could look like for Republicans in 2016, Schaller’s latest book The Stronghold was reviewed in Vox and America’s Voice.

To read complete media coverage, click below.

O’Malley to Announce Presidential Plans May 30 (WJZ)
Mayor Martin O’Malley Versus Governor Martin O’Malley (Governing)
The Great Democratic Crack-Up of 2016 (New York Times Magazine)
Will Republicans’ stronghold in Congress cripple their quest for the White House? (Vox)
GOP Control of the House Comes at a High Cost to Party’s Future (America’s Voice)
Four policy changes that could improve race equality in America (Baltimore Sun)

Sunil Dasgupta, Political Science, Writes Article for ISN on Failure of Foreign Aid to Pakistan

Sunil Dasgupta, director of UMBC’s political science program at the Universities of Shady Grove, recently published an article in International Relations and Security Network (ISN) Digital Library News about the impact of foreign aid on curtailing extremist violence in Pakistan.

Sunil DasguptaIn his article, Dasgupta outlined how Pakistan has been at the center of several international security concerns for years, is a source of Islamist extremism and violence, and possesses nuclear weapons.

“Those invested in transforming Pakistan—the United States and the Western world in general, overseas and liberal Pakistanis—have concluded from these facts that the solution in Pakistan lies in strengthening the state so that it can make difficult choices and undertake necessary reforms. In support of that goal, the United States has provided Pakistan with billions of dollars in foreign aid. Far from reversing the problem, Pakistani state policy has exacerbated Islamist extremism in the country. Arguably, external assistance itself has undermined the possibility of change, tainting the Pakistani state as a foreign agent,” Dasgupta wrote.

“As currently constituted, the state in Pakistan simply cannot deliver, but there is no commitment and viable pathway to reconstituting the state. Instead, there is fear that reconstituting the state at this time will strengthen Islamist groups and open the possibility of nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands. Foreign aid diplomacy, then, becomes something to do in the belief that doing nothing may be worse; and the reason a failed policy does not see the end that it deserves,” he added.

To read the full article titled “The Failure of Foreign Aid to Pakistan,” click here.

UMBC Faculty Provide Perspective and Reflect on Recent Events in Baltimore

In response to recent events that have transpired in Baltimore over the last several days, several UMBC faculty have engaged in thoughtful reflection and dialogue in the news around the complex challenges facing the Baltimore community. The substantive commentaries come from different viewpoints and add various perspectives to the ongoing conversation of the past week’s events.

John Rennie ShortIn The Conversation, School of Public Policy Professor John Rennie Short wrote about three background factors that should be considered when asking why the violence and riots took place in response to the death of one young man: the momentum of the police brutality narrative, the lack of trust between police and minority black populations, and the stifled economic opportunities and limited social mobility of many inner-city residents. “This country needs to address structural issues of poverty and economic opportunity as well as immediate concerns of how we make the streets safer for all our citizens,” Short wrote.

Kate DrabinskiKate Drabinski, lecturer of gender and women’s studies, wrote about decades of disinvestment in Baltimore and uneven development that have disadvantaged largely low-income communities. “One of the dangers of seeing the riot as an event is precisely this danger of losing historical perspective about the ways the neighborhoods burning on television are the very ones that have been cut off from the growth of the city’s downtown core,” she wrote. Drabinski was also featured in a Bicycling Magazine article about her observations of Monday’s events.

Kimberly MoffittKimberly Moffitt, an associate professor of American studies, examined Baltimore City Schools and the important element of focusing on the mental health needs and frustrations of many students. “Now we are faced with the next generation of marginalized youth who demand to be heard, even as they are seen as counterproductive by those who continue to ignore their physical, academic, and psychological needs to be successful in an educational setting,” Moffitt explained. She also participated in a roundtable discussion on Southern California Public Radio about her thoughts on this issue.

Rita TurnerRita Turner, a lecturer of American studies, wrote an article for The Conversation that focused on environmental health issues: “Environmental injustice may seem like a secondary issue in the face of massive police brutality, poverty, and civil uprising, and I don’t suggest that it should preempt conversations about other forms of systemic racism. But as we talk about the devaluing of black lives and black bodies that has taken place in Baltimore and across the country and the world, we cannot ignore the ways that this manifests in a subtle and constant disregard for the health of marginalized communities,” she wrote.

Sue-Goodney-Lea__2013-239x300In a Baltimore Sun op-ed, Suzanne Lea, an adjunct professor of sociology, wrote about an in-depth study she conducted with her students to examine trends in police deadly force incidents that have occurred in the Baltimore/DC area over the last 25 years. The column outlined five key findings from the research, including the vast majority of incidents occurred early in an officer’s career. “Too often, without a video, police officers are exonerated via internal investigations based on rules that prioritize officers’ accounts. Let’s start collecting the data we need to track and systematically examine such incidents and use it to challenge and improve upon our policing until it fully reflects the integrity of our American ideal of equality under the law,” Lea wrote.

Amy BhattIn the Huffington PostAmy Bhatt, an assistant professor of gender and women’s studies, examined the question “what does it mean to be safe?” In her article, Bhatt discussed her experience living in the Federal Hill neighborhood and provided a closer look at discussions of property, race, and resources in light of recent events. “When we talk about safety, we need to look beyond our neighborhoods and ask how we decide who stays safe and who does not,” she wrote.

Tom SchallerIn his column in the Baltimore Sun, Thomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science, discussed the impact of inequality on the past week’s events. “Rather, the fact of social protest is prima facie evidence of political disgruntlement, and of an extant imbalance between those who wield power and those subjected to it. When these inequities persist and have no other form of expression, there will be unrest. And in this case, those suffering from Baltimore’s power imbalances are disproportionately black.”

Chris CorbettChristopher Corbett, professor of the practice of English, wrote a column in Reuters in which he discussed his observations and experience living in Baltimore for 35 years after moving from Maine. In his article, “Baltimore’s truth in Freddie Gray’s life and death,” Corbett examined the history and current state of many of the city’s neighborhoods in the context of the events of the last several days.

Jana Kopelentova Rehak, a visiting professor of anthropology, recently published an article on her applied anthropology collaborative project in Baltimore in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to address urban inequality, poverty, and health in relation to housing.

To read the complete news coverage, click below:

Baltimore riots: the fire this time and the fire last time and the time between (The Conversation)
Why Baltimore burns for Freddie Gray (Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore’s truth in Freddie Gray’s life and death (Reuters)
Baltimore cyclist catches riots in action (Bicycling Magazine)
Keeping ‘Us’ Safe in Baltimore (Huffington Post) 
Freddie Gray: death by legal intervention (Baltimore Sun)
The slow poisoning of Freddie Gray and the hidden violence against black communities (The Conversation)
Baltimore could become key election issue (The Philadelphia Tribune)
Black and young in Baltimore: a roundtable discussion (KPCC Radio)
With little choice, O’Malley defends Baltimore tenure (Washington Post)
Mayor Martin O’Malley Versus Governor Martin O’Malley (Governing)
Riots invoked as lobbying tool (Baltimore Sun)
Media coverage and politics (Midday with Dan Rodricks) 
Practicing urban anthropology in Baltimore

Lipitz Lecture: India, Pakistan, and Nuclear Weapons: Deterrence Stability in South Asia (5/7)

Devin Hagerty Humanities/Social Sciences Forum
Thursday, May 7 | 4:00 p.m.
Lipitz Lecture
Devin Hagerty, Professor of Political Science and Director, Global Studies, UMBC 
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery 

Recent events and scholarly analysis suggest that South Asia may be trending toward yet another nuclear-tinged Indo-Pakistani crisis. Meaningful dialogue between Pakistan and India has stalled, the disputed territory of Kashmir has seen regular exchanges of fire across the Line of Control (LOC), and Indian strategic elites worry about the possibility of another Mumbai-style terrorist attack. This talk assesses the robustness of Indo-Pakistani deterrence stability. More specifically, it analyzes the likelihood that another mass-casualty attack on Indian soil, carried out by terrorists sponsored by elements of the Pakistani state, would escalate to conventional – and perhaps nuclear – war between Pakistan and India. This question is considered in the context of previous Indo-Pakistani crises in 1999, 2001-02, and 2008; recent quantitative and qualitative improvements in Pakistani and Indian nuclear forces; the growing superiority of India’s conventional military forces over Pakistan’s; and the more muscular foreign policy adopted by the new government of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Devin T. Hagerty is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Global Studies program at UMBC. He teaches on international relations, national security policy, and South Asia. Hagerty is the author of The Consequences of Nuclear Proliferation: Lessons from South Asia (MIT Press, 1998) and co-author (with Sumit Ganguly) of Fearful Symmetry: India-Pakistan Crises in the Shadow of Nuclear Weapons (University of Washington Press, 2005). He edited South Asia in World Politics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005). Hagerty has published in International Security, Security Studies, Current History,Asian Survey, the Australian Journal of International Affairs, and other journals. He co-edits the journalAsian Security. Hagerty has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. from Rutgers University.

Sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; and the Social Sciences Forum.