Immigration, energy, politics, and education affect every American almost everyday. Our speakers will help to clarify key concerns on each of these domestic pressure points and provide insights into what the future may hold.
February 22: Judith Gans, “Immigration: A Complex Balancing Act”
Immigration has become one of the most contentious and complicated issues for the United States, particularly in states along the U.S.–Mexico border. Judith Gans will look at immigration in the context of current law and global political and economic realities. What tradeoffs are involved in formulating an enforceable immigration policy? How can we promote a reasoned dialogue that avoids simplistic formulations?
Judith Gans is program manager for immigration policy at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Her areas of expertise include U.S. immigration policy, economics, and Latin American development policy. She holds an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and an M.B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles.
March 8: Tyler Priest, “Peak Oil Prophesies: Cassandras, Cornucopians, and the Struggle to Define Our Energy Future”
The United States faces increasing competition for energy resources in today’s global economy. What policies should be considered to guarantee our supply? Where are our greatest vulnerabilities? Tyler Priest will discuss the impending peak in world oil production and its policy implications for the United States.
Tyler Priest is director of global studies in the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. He is a specialist in modern business, globalization, and the history of U.S. foreign relations. His current research focuses on the history of offshore petroleum. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
March 15: Sean Theriault, “Political Polarization”
In the 2006 elections, voters sent a sharp message to Congress: end the political polarization that was undercutting hopes for progress on major issues. Has voter retribution changed the way Congress behaves? Are we seeing a more centrist and cooperative approach to legislation? Or is the majority party continuing to use patronage and procedural techniques as weapons against its political opponents?
Sean Theriault is an assistant professor in the department of government at the University of Texas, Austin, where he holds a fellowship appointment to the J. J. “Jake” Pickle Regents Chair in Congressional Studies. His current research focuses on party polarization in the modern Congress. He received the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award in spring 2006. Dr.Theriault is the author of The Power of the People: Congressional Competition, Public Attention, and Voter Retribution and numerous journal articles and book chapters.
March 22: Linda McNeil, “From ‘Savage Inequalities’ to Unimagined Possibilities: Educating Our Children for a Global Age”
Without an educated populace, no nation can thrive. But all too often, we are failing to educate our children adequately. We have never had more that we could teach our children, and we know more now about how they learn than ever before. The time is right to re-imagine the education that our children need. What should be done?
Linda McSpadden McNeil is professor of education and co-director of the Rice University Center for Education, an organization for research and teacher enhancement in urban schools. She has written extensively on educational equity, policy, and the growing dropout crisis and is the author of Contradictions of School Reform: Educational Costs of Standardized Testing (Routledge, 2000).