The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Public Program

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

What government system is currently in place in the United States of America? Ask different groups of citizens, and you may receive very different answers. Some may answer democracy, others constitutional republic, or perhaps representative democracy. However, the Central Intelligence Agency classifies our government as federal presidential republic. This confusion may in part be due to our nation’s unwavering support of the ideals of democracy. What is the true nature of our government? How did our founding fathers come to believe this government was the most appropriate form?

The Multifaceted Nature of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Growth

Analyzing business models, we realize there are many components to profitable success. At the core of these models is innovative business growth. Such entrepreneurial advancements encourage continual growth, living standards, and dynamism. Continual innovation pushes for higher aspirations, inspiring ideas and pushing for an invaluable economic vigor. The growth that comes with entrepreneurial ideals helps our businesses, communities and the American economy. But how does this really happen? How can we make this possible?

On Tuesday, October 4th, Dean of Columbia University Graduate School of Business Glenn Hubbard spoke on the multifaceted nature of entrepreneurship and innovative growth. Focusing on the definition of an entrepreneur, Hubbard relayed the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic growth. The ways that our economy fuels innovation and market growth is also tied into public policy and monetary actions. Hubbard questioned which policies best support this entrepreneurial innovation, even taking the 2016 presidential campaign into account. Dean Hubbard also reflected on the unique role that universities can play in the entrepreneurial process.

The 1968 Election & the Disappearance of Republican Moderates

42%. It’s the percentage of the voting electorate that currently identifies as “independent,” according to a recent Gallup poll, and it’s a number that seems especially just during this polarized political season. One might portend that as this number grudges forward, both Republicans and Democrats would conduct a concerted effort to charm these election-deciding voters. However, the 2016 election and the GOP platform especially represent a complete and total departure from moderation.

Links between Financial Markets and the American Economy

Accredited as the world’s most powerful bank, the Federal Reserve’s concentration of power is positively linked to global financial markets and our own economic success or failure. An efficient financial system plays a significant role in GDP growth and American prosperity, while adverse financial setbacks can have catastrophic effects on economic activity and employment. Recent controversy has erupted over the Fed’s lack of transparency; during the primaries, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton endorsed proposals to reform the structure of the Fed. Additionally, federal reform is now included in the Democratic platform. How will these prospective changes affect our Federal Reserve, the American economy, and global financial markets?

2016 Constitution Day: Elizabeth Wydra

It is no secret that the 2016 presidential election cycle has been littered with tension, controversy, and surprises — not the least of which was the sudden passing of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. With this, a seat that once belonged to arguably the most conservative Supreme Court Justice in recent memory has opened up, heating up an already heated election cycle. With two current Justices in their 80’s, and a third trailing close behind, the president who wins the 2016 election may have an unparalleled opportunity to remake the Supreme Court in their image. Considering the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review, such an event would most certainly reverberate throughout the country, under not only the next president but also under the many presidents to come.

Public Program: “Will Obama’s America Vote for Trump?"

President Obama rode sweeping demographic changes to clear victories in the last two presidential elections. Yet Donald Trump, who seems to go out of his way to alienate Mr. Obama's diverse coalition, is competitive in the general election. How can a candidate like Mr. Trump compete in the same country that elected Mr. Obama just four years ago? And will he win?

Nate Cohn, political correspondent for "The Upshot," a policy and politics site at The New York Times, will give the keynote address of the 2016 Dartmouth Experiments Conference titled, "Will Obama's America Vote for Trump?"

The Experiments Conference is sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, the Department of Government, the Program in Quantitative Social Science, and the Politics and Law Program.

Racial Disparities in the American Prison Population

The U.S. Bureau of Justice estimates that on any given day, more than 2 million people are incarcerated in the United States. Mass incarceration affects many facets of American society, but its consequences are concentrated on racial and ethnic minority communities. Several reforms have been proposed to help reduce the scope of incarceration and the disparities in its application, but the question remains, are these politically feasible and, if so, how impactful will they really be?

Spotlight Film Screening and Q&A with Boston Globe Journalists

Religion can be an important aspect of an individual’s identity, yet across the span of space and time, religions of all kinds have come bearing not just ideology but also their fair share of controversy. One religious institution that has come under such public scrutiny in recent years is the Catholic Church, especially after numerous Catholic priests in Boston were notoriously implicated in a huge scandal involving the sexual abuse of minors. This initial investigation then opened the floodgates as thousands of other instances of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church not only in the United States but also throughout the world came to the fore, revealing a long and disturbing trend of sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic church. Pedophilia and sexual abuse are far from new concepts, but this case finally brought these issues under the magnifying lenses, importantly in the context of religious institutions.

Celebrating Law Day at Dartmouth: Alumni Attorneys Discuss Capital Punishment

Today there seems to be no shortage of divisive issues that polarize the American people and the parties that represent them, and one such issue is capital punishment. The death penalty has existed in the United States since colonial times, but opposition to it has been mounting over the centuries, with polls showing that opposition to the practice has increased by 75% in just the last 17 years. This is a multi-faceted issue, and there are many arguments that those who discuss capital punishment — whether they support or oppose it — must contend with, including moral relativism, the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Eight Amendment, and the complexities of race, class, and gender and how they intersect with crime rates and sentencing. In this way, the discussion of capital punishment covers a wide range of topics, including philosophy, ethics, and law, and with the mounting opposition to capital punishment and the rising concerns regarding its constitutionality and even morality, it is a discussion that needs to be had.

Public Program: "Should Everything Be For Sale? Or Are There Moral Limits to Markets?"

Markets are everywhere and provide us with food, clothing, computers, education, and so much more. But should everything be for sale? Are there limits to what should be commercialized? Should you be able to sell your vote or a kidney? Should childless couples be able to pay a surrogate to have a baby?

On Wednesday, May 4th 2016, Professor Douglas Irwin moderated a debate titled “Should Everything Be For Sale? Or Are There Moral Limits to Markets?” This debate, co-sponsored by Dartmouth’s Political Economy Project, brought together two leading philosophers with opposing views on these thought-provoking questions: Jason Brennan and Debra Satz.

Jason Brennan is Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair and Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He specializes in political philosophy and applied ethics, and authored Markets without Limits, with Peter Jaworkski (Routledge Press, 2015).

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences