Tower Center Associate Harold Clarke interviewed by the National Post

National Post

Originally Posted: June 24, 2016

Of all the demographics that were torn apart by the Brexit vote — old/young, rural/urban, rich/poor — one of the most dramatic was between voters who consider themselves English first, and those who identify as British.

People who see themselves as British, that is as part of a commonwealth in a single United Kingdom, were more likely to vote with the losing side to Remain in the wider European Union. Self-identified Welsh were about evenly split, leaning more Remain the further they live from Cardiff and the English border. And a majority of Scots, having already rejected secession from the U.K. in 2014, likewise voted to Remain.

But people who identify primarily as English were overwhelmingly more likely to vote to Leave, at 72%. They were the great winners of the referendum, and an analysis of voting intention surveys shows how their three main motivators — economy, security and culture — were expressed in attitudes that ranged from narrow, self-interested xenophobia to romantic, nostalgic English nationalism.

“A lot of people perceive that immigration has produced a huge cultural threat to the English traditions, way of life, Judeo-Christian religious traditions, and all those things. It’s not politically correct to talk about it, but they are really concerned. Immigration was huge in this referendum,” said Harold Clarke, author of Affluence, Austerity & Electoral Change in Britain, and professor of political economy at the University of Texas at Dallas. “Negative attitudes towards immigration were a huge driver of Leave voting. That’s something that’s been building for years.” READ MORE

Brexit De-Brief: 10 Things Learned at Tower Center ‘Populism’ Talk

Overheard @SMU

Originally Posted: June 24, 2016

European political insider Sergey Lagodinsky was guest speaker for the recent “Populism in Europe and Germany” event sponsored by SMU’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies. Lagodinsky, a Berlin-based attorney/author/political commentator who heads the EU/North America Department of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, was introduced by Tower Center Director James Hollifield. (Photo credit: Flickr)

1) “Reactive populism is on the rise in Europe and the U.S.,” Hollifield said before the talk. “Until recently Germany has escaped this trend. The bitter experience of Nazism seems to have inoculated Germany from radical-right politics. But will Germany continue to buck the trend?”

2) “Welcome to the Age of Populism.” Opening his discussion with this remark, Lagodinsky explained that while populism in America traditionally has been viewed as a positive reinforcement of democracy, “in Europe it carries a negative connotation of nationalism, distrust of government, anger over a stagnant economy and, chiefly, the growing migrant crisis.”

3) Populist parties vary, but share one “zero point”: “The European Union represents everything they dislike,” Lagodinsky said.

READ MORE

Thomas Knock, History, interviewed about his book Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern

New Books Network

Originally Posted: June 19, 2016

51luk8ax3RL._SL160_George McGovern is largely remembered today for his dramatic loss to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential campaign, yet he enjoyed a long career characterized by many remarkable achievements. In Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern (Princeton UP, 2016), the first in a projected two-volume biography of the senator and Democratic Party presidential nominee, Thomas Knock chronicles McGovern’s life and career from his Depression-era upbringing in South Dakota to his 1968 reelection campaign and emergence as a presidential contender. Knock describes McGovern’s transformation from a shy young boy into a confident debater who, after America went to war in 1941, volunteered for service in the Army Air Corps as a B-24 bomber pilot and flew 35 combat missions over Germany and Austria. Upon returning home, he embarked on a path that took him from the ministry to a Ph.D. in history and then the college classroom before he settled upon a career in politics. After serving two terms in the House of Representatives and as Director of Food for Peace in the Kennedy administration, in 1962 McGovern won a seat in the United States Senate, where he emerged as a prescient critic of America’s descent into the Vietnam War. In detailing his opposition to that expanding conflict, Knock not only shows how McGovern emerged as a national leader, but also demonstrates the relevance of his vision to the challenges our nation faces today. LISTEN

Tower Center fellow Sionaidh Douglas-Scott discusses implications of a Brexit on UK law

Financial Times

Originally Posted: June 20, 2016

Tower Center fellow Sionaidh Douglas-Scott was interviewed for the Financial Times article “Untangling Britain from Europe would cause constitutional ‘havoc’” June 20. READ MORE

Latinos see a bright economic future according to new Pew study; here’s why that’s good for Texas

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: June 9, 2016

Latinos are increasingly optimistic about their finances, a report from the Pew Research Center finds, and that’s good news for the Texas economy.

Although other measures still show that Latinos have lagged behind Americans overall since the recession, economists say those who see their financial situations as promising are more likely to make big purchases, invest in their education or start new businesses.

“This sense of optimism, while it might not quite match other economic indicators, means people are feeling confident enough to purchase a car, save money for their children’s college education,” said Mark Lopez, the study’s author and Pew’s director of Hispanic research.

In other words, your attitude makes a difference in money matters. READ MORE

Anonymous donor establishes Brad E. Cheves Endowed Tower Center Scholars Program fund

SMU News

Originally Posted: June 8, 2016

SMU Vice President Brad Cheves honored with scholars’ fund

DALLAS (SMU) – An anonymous donor has established The Brad E. Cheves Endowed Tower Center Scholars Program fund in honor of the University’s vice president for Development and External Affairs. SMU President R. Gerald Turner surprised Cheves with the announcement at the April 27 meeting of the Tower Center Executive Board of Directors.

The fund will support the Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars – a select group of students who are chosen every year to combine academic studies with experience in the real world of public policy and international affairs. Tower Scholars are enrolled in an exclusive minor in Public Policy and International Affairs, which pairs policy practitioners with SMU faculty to combine critical thinking and analytical skills within a rigorous academic framework.

The application-only minor is open to all majors across the schools, with admission based on a competitive application process. The first cohort of scholars will graduate in 2017. READ MORE

James Hollifield speaks on Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis

KERA Think

Originally Aired: June 6, 2016

James HollifieldJames Hollifield, public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center and director of the Tower Center for Political Studies at SMU, talked June 6, 2016, with KERA Think host Krys Boyd about the current state of the migrant crisis in Europe – and about how these asylum seekers can be better served. LISTEN

Tower Center director Jim Hollifield speaks on Europe’s migrant crisis

KERA

Originally Posted: June 6, 2016

Tower Center director and Wilson Center public policy fellow Jim Hollifield appeared on KERA Think to discuss Europe’s migrant crisis June 6.

Link for more information: http://www.kera.org/2016/06/06/the-migrant-crisis/

 

Joshua Rovner, Tower Center, Politics and the Current Battle for Fallujah

BBC

Originally Posted: June 1, 2016

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Joshua Rovner of SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies talks about the military and political implications in the latest battle for the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Rovner is the John G. Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security, as well as the Director of Studies at the Center. He has written extensively on strategy and security, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of the prize-winning “Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence” (Cornell University Press, 2011). WATCH

Tower Center Forum: Populism in Europe and Germany

Event Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall

Dr. Sergey Lagodinsky is currently Head of the EU/North America Department of the Heinrich Böll Foundation based in Berlin. He is an attorney and author, also working as consultant on strategy and leadership. Sergey’s areas of expertise include transatlantic relations, international and constitutional law as well law and politics of diversity and integration. He is a Member of the Assembly of Representatives of the Jewish Community of Berlin and was a founding chairman of the Jewish Working Group in the Social Democratic Party in Germany (SPD). He ran for the German Bundestag for the German Green Party in 2013.

Sergey is a regular guest and contributor to major German and international media outlets. He has appeared among others on Deutschlandfunk, DeutschlandradioKultur, the BBC World Service, Radio Liberty and various other radio stations. For many years he was a regular guest on Deutsche Welle TV and a political host and commentator on the global Russian channel RTVi. His commentaries have been published by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, ZEIT, Handelsblatt, taz and Tagesspiegel, among others. His recent book Contexts of Antisemitism (Metropol Publishing, 2014) explores the relationship between freedom of speech and protection against anti-Semitism in German and international law. Sergey holds a PhD degree in law from the Berlin’s Humboldt University, a law degree from the University of Göttingen and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. From 2008-2009, he was a fellow with the stiftung neue verantwortung in Berlin and in 2010 – a Yale World Fellow in residence at Yale University in New Haven. READ MORE

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.