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Daniel Galvin, Josh Vincent | Democratic presidents have traditionally hurt their parties. Joe Biden may be different.

January 21, 2021 – from The Washington Post
Today, Jaime Harrison will be elected chair of the Democratic National Committee. Harrison is an institution builder. By choosing him, President Biden suggests he may be willing to become modern history’s first Democratic presidential party-builder — that is, the first Democratic president who prioritizes building up his party as well as enacting policy.

Loubna El Amine | In Beirut

January 21, 2021 – from London Review of Books
Nothing changed and everything did. In Mar Mikhael, one of the areas of Beirut most damaged by the explosion last August, there were more signs of reconstruction than destruction when I visited last month. New glass storefronts were being mounted; inside pubs, furniture was set up for reopening. Across the highway, the remains of the 48-metre-high silos at the port stood charred and desolate.

Wendy Pearlman, John Bullock, Ricardo Galliano Court, Laurel Harbridge-Yong & Jeffrey Winters | Northwestern Political Science Faculty Forecast Future Republican Strength in Panel on Trump Presidency

January 20, 2021 – from The Daily Northwestern
Northwestern Political Science Faculty reflected on the Trump presidency and its implications on future U.S. politics in a Tuesday event. The virtual event, moderated by political science Prof. Wendy Pearlman, featured fellow political science Profs. John Bullock, Ricardo Galliano Court, Laurel Harbridge-Yong and Jeffrey Winters to offer reflections and answer questions on the last four years. The event was held on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, marking the end of a fraught transition period.

Alvin B. Tillery Jr | 'I Solemnly Swear': 5 Things Biden Needs to do as He Takes Office Amid Historic Turmoil

January 19, 2021 – from USA TODAY
"It's more like a wartime inauguration than a normal inauguration," said Alvin Tillery Jr., director of Northwestern University's Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy. "It's going to look a lot more like FDR and the economic crisis of the Great Depression or Lyndon Johnson and the crisis of the civil rights movement." As a result, he said, Biden's speech needs to be "a much more stirring defense of the institution of democracy" than the typical inauguration address – or the typical speech by Biden, usually a plain-spoken person.

Alvin B. Tillery | Trump Leaves America at its Most Divided Since the Civil War

January 19, 2021 – from Erie News Now
Seen against that history, the upsurge in White nationalist violence under Trump seems less like a new phenomenon than the resurgence of an old one -- a determination to use force to maintain a clear racial hierarchy. Political scientist Alvin Tillery, director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, says Trump's success at mobilizing an electoral coalition resistant to demographic change underscores the country's imperfect progress toward creating a true multiracial democracy. While America has formally been a democracy since its birth in the 1700s, he notes, for most of our history those democratic rights were limited solely to White men.

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (WCAS '08) | Ending At-Will Employment: A Guide for Just Cause Reform

January 19, 2021 – from Ending At-Will Employment: A Guide for Just Cause Reform
American exceptionalism in at-will employment has pernicious consequences for workers and US workplaces. As we explain in this brief, at-will employment corrodes enforcement of workers’ labor, employment, and civil rights (e.g., Blades 1967; McGinley 1996). At-will employment also leaves workers vulnerable to arbitrary and unfair treatment by managers and supervisors. Workers already likely to experience discrimination or illegal treatment from their employer—for example, Black and brown workers, workers with lower levels of formal education, and low-wage workers—are especially vulnerable under at-will employment. On a more fundamental level, at-will employment erodes workers’ dignity and diminishes the possibility of real workplace democracy.

Rachel Xanttopoulos (WCAS '11) | How I Got Here Podcast: Episode #3

January 19, 2021 – from The Garage
Nothing changed and everything did. In Mar Mikhael, one of the areas of Beirut most damaged by the explosion last August, there were more signs of reconstruction than destruction when I visited last month. New glass storefronts were being mounted; inside pubs, furniture was set up for reopening. Across the highway, the remains of the 48-metre-high silos at the port stood charred and desolate.

Dan Galvin | Labor’s legacy

January 14, 2021 – from Work in Progress
At the same time that union density in the United States has declined and labor law has withered, employment law has flourished, proliferating at the subnational level and expanding into new substantive domains (see Figures 1 and 2 below). As a result, for the vast majority of 21st century workers, what rights and protections remain come not from labor law and the mechanism of collective bargaining, but from employment laws and the mechanisms of regulation and litigation.

Rebecca Kolins Givans, Alex Hertel-Fernandez (WCAS '08) | What the Teacher Strikes Taught Us — And What We Still Need to Learn

January 14, 2021 – from The Forge
Arizona teachers’ victories and setbacks raise broader questions about the causes and long-term consequences of the upsurge in teacher labor activism over the past two years. Where did these protests come from — and what role did individual teachers, activists, and formal union organizations play in them? Why did the wave of activism appear in some states and not others? Why did it take varying forms, and which of these forms was most effective? How should we think about the current wave against the longer historical arc of mass public sector strikes? And what is likely to be the effect of the strikes on education politics as well as the labor movement? These are some of the timely questions tackled by Strike for the Common Good:

Tulia Falleti | Mellon Just Futures Grant for “Dispossessions in the Americas: The Extraction of Bodies, Land, and Heritage from La Conquista to the Present”

January 13, 2021 – from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest funder of the arts and humanities in the US, announced today that grants totaling more than $72 million have been awarded to winners of its Just Futures Initiative—supporting teams of scholars who are studying past periods of crisis and disruption in order to lead us to cultural and social transformation. The 16 projects will receive grants of up to $5 million to be used over a three-year period to support multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaborative teams producing solutions-based work that contributes to public understanding of the nation’s racist past and can lead to the creation of socially just futures.
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