Tony Pederson on SMU’s resolved battle with student displays

SMU Young Americans for Freedom 9/11 display on Dallas Hall Lawn.

Tower Center Fellow Tony Pederson, Dean of SMU’s School of Journalism, wrote a blog post discussing the controversy of SMU’s week-long stance banning all student displays from Dallas Hall Lawn.

“SMU has an excellent record of free speech and open intellectual inquiry, including academic freedom,” Pederson wrote. “Beyond the embarrassment of the current case, let’s hope it’s an instructive moment for the public as well as students and faculty.”

Read Pederson’s blog here.

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Cal Jillson weighs in on Democratic Party in Texas

Tower Center Senior Fellow Cal Jillson weighed in on the Democratic Party’s chances in Texas with upcoming 2018 elections.

The Young Democrats of America held their national convention in Dallas Aug. 9. Jillson thinks it’s still too soon for the Party to see much change in Texas.

Read the CBSDFW article here.

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Matthew Wilson comments on White House staff changes

Tower Center Senior Fellow Matthew Wilson was interviewed on the WBAP Morning News Podcast to discuss White House happenings after last week’s staff change-ups including General John Kelly replacing Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Tower Center Associate’s research featured in NYT Magazine

Tower Center Associate and SMU Law Professor Jenia Turner’s research was cited in an in-depth New York Times Magazine story looking at what happens when prosecutors violate the Brady rule and withhold key evidence from the defense.

Turner’s research, “Two Models of Pre-Plea Discovery in Criminal Cases: An Empirical Comparison,” published in the Washington and Lee Law Review in 2016, contrasted North Carolina’s open-file model for access to evidence presented in plea bargain cases with Virginia’s closed-file model. Turner and her coauthor Allison Redlich found that the open-file model is more efficient and promotes informed guilty pleas without endangering the safety of witnesses who testify, contrary to common arguments opposing open-file.

Read the New York Times Magazine article here.

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Jim Hollifield | Revisiting “The Emerging Migration State”

Tower Center Academic Director Jim Hollifield was interviewed by Migration Systems to revisit his 2004 essay “The Emerging Migration State.” In his essay, Hollifield advanced the idea that states could manage migration for strategic gain. Robert Westermann asks Hollifield to apply his theory to present-day politics.

“[President] Trump does not support multilateralism and efforts to build more open markets, and certainly not more open policies with respect to migration,” Hollifield said.

Read the interview here.

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Reformers and internationalists are likely partners in China

Tower Center Senior Fellow and Director of the Sun & Star Southeast Asia Program Hiroki Takeuchi reviewed Julian Gewirtz’ new book Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China (Harvard University Press, 2017).

“This book provides important insights that explore the implications of China’s rise in the twenty-first century as it reminds us that the origin of China’s current prosperity is not nationalism but internationalism,” Takeuchi wrote.

Read his full review on H-Net here.

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How subjective perceptions shape aggression between great powers

Tower Center Associate Peter H. Gries authored a report in collaboration with five other experts published on Frontiers in Psychology called “War or Peace? How the Subjective Perception of Great Power Interdependence Shapes Preemptive Defensive Aggression.”

Gries et al. look at how depictions of relations between great powers as competitive, such as relations between the U.S. and China, increase the likelihood of a country to take preemptive actions in defense.

“Spread through the mass media, such pessimistic depictions of great power relations today create a psychological context that undermines international cooperation,” Gries wrote in the introduction.

Read their full report here.

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President Trump is ignoring the lesson of two world wars

Tower Center Senior Fellow and Director of the SMU Center for Presidential History Jeffrey Engel wrote an analysis for the Washington Post on the importance of the U.S. staying engaged in Europe. He claims President Trump’s election was a victory for Russia.

“Mere months into office, he has accomplished what every Cold War leader in the Kremlin desired: a weakening of America’s transatlantic military, political and economic ties that has left Europe ripe for Moscow’s dominance,” Engel wrote.

Read his full article here.

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Can Scotland Block Brexit?

Tower Center Fellow and UK law expert Sionaidh Douglas-Scott answered the floating question: “Can Scotland Block Brexit?” in an article for Prospect. She says that even though the UK does need consent from the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Parliament to make EU law national law, it doesn’t mean that without this consent Brexit fails.

Read her analysis here.

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Michael McLendon named interim provost of Baylor

Tower Center Senior Fellow Michael McLendon was named interim provost of Baylor University, effective July 1. McLendon served has dean of Baylor’s School of Education since 2015 and was previously an associate dean at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Development.

“My experience as an undergraduate at Baylor transformed my life, putting my feet on a path toward the study of and service to universities,” McLendon said. “Some 30 years later, I’m honored to partner with President Livingstone and her senior leadership team in cultivating an environment at Baylor that supports our continued progress toward being a top-tier research institution and one that promotes academic excellence and faith development at the highest levels.”

Read the press release here.

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