Archive for Steven Cohen

The Beatles and the Dawn of Global Culture

In this day of anti-immigration, anti-science, ‘America First,’ and less-than-subtle racism, I found a welcome arrival recently with Ron Howard’s film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years. Like many people my age, I grew up with the Beatles, and their music, values and image are deeply ingrained in my view of how the world works. I remember the day in early 1964 when they flew into New York’s Idlewild (now JFK) airport. I was home from school with the flu, but listening to their progress on a transistor radio, and hearing the song, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, so many times that I could play each Beatles’ part. But more than hearing the pieces, I remember the sheer rush of emotion that washed over me whenever I heard the song begin and the deep sense of wellbeing I felt as the song ended. Their music was an emotional experience for a ten-year-old school boy in Brooklyn. As they evolved through the 1960s, we grew up along with them.

Growing up in Brooklyn I knew many people from other countries and I knew we weren’t alone in the world, but I suppose I saw Europe and Asia as places where people were from, not as a place we were going. Europe was where they tattooed numbers on the arms of old people I saw sitting on Brighton Beach in the summer: the survivors of the Holocaust. Or as my father once told me after one of his many business trips to Europe: “Europe is an overrated old place. New York City is the best place in the world, America is the best country, and my parents were right to leave that place.” I remember reminding him that like most Jews in the early 20th century, they were chased out of Europe, but he correctly focused on the wisdom of their leaving. There wasn’t a lot of sympathy for the “old country” when I was a kid. The point I often heard was that America was the future and nothing interesting could come from someplace else.

But the Beatles were proof that something absolutely spectacular could be grown outside of America. It turned out that the music they made was a global mix of sounds from England, Ireland, the Caribbean, Africa, Germany and America. Later on, they added the sitar and other sounds from Asia. In 1964, the Beatles’ chief musical influences were Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presley and even Brooklyn’s own Carol King. But when the Beatles covered American rock ‘n roll hits and started to write their own songs, they brought their personal history and collective memory to the sounds they made and created something new and fresh that had never been heard before.

Read the rest on HuffingtonPost.com.

[Image courtesy of US National Archives, via Giphy]

SIPA Event At A Glance: “U.S. Election 2016: What’s Next Now?”

After the election in November, SIPA began organizing various activities and events to address post-election issues and concerns. On November 29, 2016, SIPA held a high-level panel at Columbia Club in midtown, called “U.S. 2016 Election: What’s Next Now?”.

The panel was moderated by Merit E. Janow, Dean of SIPA, and featured seven panelists who are top experts in their field of studies, including economics, political science, war and peace studies, energy and environment policy, and urban planning. During the discussion, panelists shared their views on the significant domestic and international challenges that the new administration will face, from a deeply-divided nation and uncertainty around the policies to future foreign policy and international relations.

David Rothkopf, Visiting Professor of International and Public Affairs, first shared his opinion about President-Elect Trump’s strategy in foreign affairs. He pointed out that Trump’s potential policy is likely to shift the United States into a unilateralism, which might jeopardize the traditional transatlantic partnership. Professor Richard K. Betts put it that President-Elect Trump’s foreign policies could be hard to predict, and he shared his opinions on the future relation between US and Russia.

When it comes to the domestic policy, University Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and former chief economist of the World Bank, briefly analyzed Trump’s tax cut and infrastructure plan. He pointed out that to stimulate the economy with massive infrastructure construction could raise the cost of capital and may cause negative effects on the economy. Professor Richard Clarida shared his views on the post-election market reactions and the potential effect of the combination of tight monetary policy and loose fiscal policy.

Professor Ester Fuchs discussed the potential policies related with women, such as affordable birth control, abortion right, children care, and paid family leave. Michael Nutter, Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs, who was also the mayor of Philadelphia, expressed concerns on how President-Elect Trump is going to develop proper urban planning policies. While Professor Steven Cohen, Executive Director of Columbia University Earth Institute, discussed the future challenges in energy and environmental policy.

Around 70 people participated in the event, including SIPA faculty members, current students, alumni, prospective students, and journalists from major media companies. After the one-hour panel discussion, panelists responded to questions from the audience, covering terrorism, enterprise zone, and incoming elections in Europe, etc. Panelists then encouraged SIPA students and alumni to actively engage in studying and shaping the future of public policy.

[Photo by Weiming Shu | Left to right: Richard Clarida, C. Lowell Harriss Professor of Economics and Professor of International and Public; Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor and Nobel Laureate; Ester Fuchs, Professor of International and Public Affairs and Political Science; Michael Nutter, David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs; Merit E. Janow, Dean of SIPA; Steven Cohen, Executive Director, Columbia University Earth Institute and Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs; Richard K. Betts, Leo A. Shifrin Professor of War and Peace Studies and Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies; David Rothkopf, Visiting Professor of International and Public Affairs]

 

 

Summer Reading

You will find many distinguished authors among the SIPA faculty.  Here are just a few books written by SIPA professors.  Many of these Professors have written several books, but I just wanted to give you a taste of the breadth of scholarship here at the SIP.  (All book descriptions are abridged from Amazon.com)

Richard K. Betts is the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies in the political science department, Director of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and Director of the International Security Policy program in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He was Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations for four years and is now an adjunct Senior Fellow there.

Book Description: Combining academic research with personal experience, Betts outlines strategies for better intelligence gathering and assessment. He describes how fixing one malfunction can create another; in what ways expertise can be both a vital tool and a source of error and misjudgment; the pitfalls of always striving for accuracy in intelligence, which in some cases can render it worthless; the danger, though unavoidable, of “politicizing” intelligence; and the issue of secrecy—when it is excessive, when it is insufficient, and how limiting privacy can in fact protect civil liberties.

 

Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs and the Vice-President for Global Centers. He taught Political Science at the University of Chicago from 1965-1982, and for shorter stints was on the faculty of Stanford University, Washington University, the University of Nairobi, Makerere University and the Graduate Faculty at the New School University (where he was also Dean). Prewitt’s professional career also includes, Director of the United States Census Bureau.

He is currently completing Counting the Races of America: Do We Still Need To? Do We Still Want To?  (Nancy’s note: He has not published this one yet. I included this because I contributed some research for it.  We’ll see if it actually makes it in! If you have the chance, definitely take a class with Prof. Prewitt.)

Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia and Co-Chair of the University’s Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia.In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2011, Time named Stiglitz one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Book Description: America currently has the most inequality, and the least equality of opportunity, among the advanced countries. While market forces play a role in this stark picture, politics has shaped those market forces. In this best-selling book, Stiglitz exposes the efforts of well-heeled interests to compound their wealth in ways that have stifled true, dynamic capitalism. Along the way he examines the effect of inequality on our economy, our democracy, and our system of justice. Stiglitz explains how inequality affects and is affected by every aspect of national policy, and with characteristic insight he offers a vision for a more just and prosperous future, supported by a concrete program to achieve that vision.

Merit E. Janow Merit E. Janow is an internationally recognized expert in international trade and investment, with extensive experience in academia, government, international organizations and business and incoming SIPA Dean.  For the past 18 years, Merit E. Janow has been a Professor of Practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and affiliated faculty at Columbia Law School. Currently she is Director of the International Finance and Economic Policy concentration at SIPA, Co-Director of the APEC Study Center, and Chair of the Faculty Oversight Committee of Columbia’s Global Center East Asia. Previously, she was Director of the Masters Program in International Affairs and Chair of Columbia University’s Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing. While at Columbia University, Professor Janow was elected in December 2003 for a four year term as one of the seven Members of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body, which is the court of final appeal for adjudicating trade disputes between the 153 member nations of the WTO.

From 1997 to 2000, Professor Janow served as the Executive Director of the first international antitrust advisory committee of the U.S. Department of Justice that reported to the Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust.

Book Description: This volume brings together essays by world-renown leaders in the field of international trade examining the operation of the WTO and its dispute settlement system. The experts who have contributed to this book include policy makers, scholars, lawyers and diplomats. Two major areas of inquiry are undertaken. The first half of this volume examines the governance and operation of the WTO and the international trading system. It pays particular attention to issues that affect developing country Members of the WTO. The second half of this volume contains a detailed examination of the performance, operation, and challenges of the WTO’s dispute settlement system.

Dipali Mukhopadhyay joined the SIPA faculty as an assistant professor in July 2012.  She studies modern state formation in conflict and post-conflict settings.  Her research interests lie, in particular, with the challenges weak political centers face as they attempt to grow their authority in the midst of formidable competitors. She is currently finishing a forthcoming book manuscript with Cambridge University Press entitled Warlords, Strongman Governors and State Building in Afghanistan.  She has been conducting research in eastern and northern Afghanistan, as well as Kabul, since 2007 and made her first trip to the country  for a project with the Aga Khan Development Network in 2004. Her book, Warlords As Bureaucrats, is forthcoming

 

Book Description: Afghanistan’s weak central government and limited resources make the informal networks employed by local warlords a viable option for governance. The country’s former warlords, made powerful governors by President Hamid Karzai, use both formal and informal powers to achieve security objectives and deliver development in their provinces. Based on substantial in-country research and interviews, Dipali Mukhopadhyay examines the performance of two such governors, Atta Mohammed Noor and Gul Agha Sherzai, who govern the northern province of Balkh, and the eastern province of Nangarhar, respectively.

Ester R. Fuchs is Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science and Director of the Urban and Social Policy Program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.  She served as Special Advisor to the Mayor for Governance and Strategic Planning under New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg from 2001 to 2005. Prof. Fuchs was chair of the Urban Studies Program at Barnard and Columbia Colleges and founding director of the Columbia University Center for Urban Research and Policy.  Prof. Fuchs recently received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Queens College; Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs Award for Outstanding Teaching; and NYC’s Excellence in Technology Award for Best IT Collaboration among Agencies for Access New York.

 

Book Description: Chicago and New York share similar backgrounds but have had strikingly different fates. Tracing their fortunes from the 1930s to the present day, Ester R. Fuchs examines key policy decisions which have influenced the political structures of these cities and guided them into, or clear of, periods of economic crisis.

Lincoln Mitchell is an Associate at the Harriman Institute and an Affiliate at the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.  Prior to joining the Harriman Institute, Mitchell was Arnold A. Saltzman Assistant Professor in the Practice of International Politics at Columbia University.  In addition to serving as Chief of Party for the National Democratic Institute in Georgia from 2002-2004, he has worked on political development issues in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.  Mitchell also worked for years as a political consultant in New York City advising and managing domestic political campaigns.

 

Book Description: In November of 2003, a stolen election in the former Soviet republic of Georgia led to protests and the eventual resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze was replaced by a democratically elected government led by President Mikheil Saakashvili, who pledged to rebuild Georgia, orient it toward the West, and develop a European-style democracy. Known as the Rose Revolution, this early twenty-first-century democratic movement was only one of the so-called color revolutions (Orange in Ukraine, Tulip in Kyrgyzstan, and Cedar in Lebanon). What made democratic revolution in Georgia thrive when so many similar movements in the early part of the decade dissolved?

 

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development.

 Book Description: The last great campaign of John F. Kennedy’s life was not the battle for reelection he did not live to wage, but the struggle for a sustainable peace with the Soviet Union. To Move the World recalls the extraordinary days from October 1962 to September 1963, when JFK marshaled the power of oratory and his remarkable political skills to establish more peaceful relations with the Soviet Union and a dramatic slowdown in the proliferation of nuclear arms.Jeffrey D. Sachs shows how Kennedy emerged from the Missile crisis with the determination and prodigious skills to forge a new and less threatening direction for the world. Together, he and Khrushchev would pull the world away from the nuclear precipice, charting a path for future peacemakers to follow.

Liza Featherstone is the author of Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart (Basic Books, 2004), which was praised by publications ranging from the New York Review of Books to Bitch magazine. Since that book’s publication, she has continued to write about Wal-Mart’s employment practices.  Featherstone is also a co-author of Students Against Sweatshops (Verso, 2002).She has been a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economic Journalism at Columbia University, as well as a Hoover Institution Media Fellow.Featherstone, has written for Slate, Salon, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, Babble, Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, The American Prospect, CNN.com, New Labor Forum and many other publications.  She is best known for her work in The Nation magazine, where she is a contributing writer.

 

Book Description: In 2000, Betty Dukes, a fifty-two-year-old black woman in Pittsburg, California, became the lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, a class action, representing 1.6 million women. In her explosive investigation of this historic lawsuit, journalist Liza Featherstone reveals how Wal-Mart, a self-styled “family-oriented,” Christian company: Deprives women (but not men) of the training they need to advance. Relegates women to lower-paying jobs like selling baby clothes, reserving the more lucrative positions for men. Inflicts punitive demotions on employees who object to discrimination. Exploits Asian women in its sweatshops in Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth. Featherstone goes on to reveal the creative solutions that Wal-Mart workers around the country have found, like fighting for unions, living-wage ordinances, and childcare options.

Steven Cohen is the Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science. Dr. Cohen served as a policy analyst in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1977 through 1978 and 1980-81, and as consultant to the agency from 1981 through 1991, from 1994 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2010. From 2001 to 2004, he served on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology. He serves on the Board of Directors of Homes for the Homeless.

Book Description: Can we grow our world economy and create opportunities for the poor while keeping the planet intact? Can we maintain our vibrant, dynamic lifestyles while ensuring the Earth stays productive and viable? Aimed at managers, students, scholars, and policymakers, Sustainability Management answers these questions in the affirmative, arguing it is possible for environmentally sustainable business practices and policies to foster economic and long-term growth.

 

 

 

 

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

Boiler Image
×

The Spring/Fall 2018 MIA, MPA, MPA-DP application period is now live! Apply Today.