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The system wasn’t built for an era of routine shutdowns. It pits the Antideficiency Act against a key labor law.

Originally published in The Washington Post on January 11, 2019.
By Todd Dickey, Assistant Professor of Public Administration at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.

The current federal government shutdown has just tied the longest in United States history. For 21 days, more than 400,000 federal employees have worked without pay. As they will keep doing, indefinitely.

They have no choice. Their jobs are classified as vital to a basic level of government functioning. The requirement to report to work without knowing when they will be paid is both a condition and the reality of their employment. Furloughed employees might (within ethics guidelines) labor elsewhere during the shutdown so they can put food on their tables and gas in their tanks and keep the lights on. But the “excepted” workers are already occupied. Eric Young, president of the union that represents federal prison workers, told the Atlantic that this “constitutes involuntary servitude.” Continue Reading »

Louis Kriesberg and Robert A. Rubinstein prepared the statement, gathered the signers, raised funds for the  ad by GofundMe, and placed the ad in USA Today.  It was published  December 14, 2018 in USA Today, p. 2, in weekend, District of Columbia, edition.

FOR BETTER FOREIGN POLICIES

The foreign policy actions of President Donald J. Trump and his administration are damaging the United States. Abruptly and unilaterally breaking off long-standing commitments is counter-productive and picking fights with other governments, including allies, reduces U.S. bargaining power and is often self destructive. Continue Reading »

Originally posted November 30, 2017 on  BlogActiv and shared with PARCC by guest author Mark Temnycky, graduate of Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

As Ukraine celebrated its “Ukrainian Literacy and Language Day” on 9 November, controversy surrounding its education law remains.  Passed in September, the legislation stated secondary education in public schools would be taught in Ukrainian. This sparked outrage from the ethnic Russian community in eastern Ukraine, who represent nearly one-fifth of the Ukrainian populace, and the minority groups in Transcarpathia, such as the Hungarians and Romanians, who account for 0.6% of Ukraine’s population. Continue Reading »

This was originally posted on The Huffington Post on January 13, 2017.

On the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, it is worth reflecting on the similarities and differences between his and Donald J. Trump’s leadership styles. To some degree King and Trump both sought to mobilize their potential followers and defeat their adversaries as one waged a struggle for civil rights for African Americans and the other for winning a national presidential election.

The context for each one’s efforts were of course quite different. King was leading a struggle against the established legal order in the South while Trump, in seeking the Republican presidential nomination and then to win an electoral victory, was operating within a legally established institutional system. Each adopted novel leadership styles and strategies that might seem unusual in their different contexts. Nevertheless, each could claim to have had considerable success. Continue Reading »

The recent UN vote on Israeli settlements lessons the power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians.

Originally published in Foreign Policy in Focus on January 10, 2017.

President Barack Obama’s decision that the U.S. abstain on the vote at the UN Security Council regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Secretary of State John Kerry’s talk on the Israeli Palestinian conflict have been attacked too often with willful mischaracterizations. Such attacks demonstrate again how Americans are suffering from uncivil, nasty discourse, which is harmful to all parties. Continue Reading »

By Miriam F. Elman, originally posted to The Washington Post- Monkey Cage on December 29, 2016.

President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and his selection of an ambassador to Israel who heartily supports the relocation have produced a deluge of dire warnings. Critics claim the move would unleash a wave of extremism, making past clashes pale by comparison. But these warnings may be exaggerated. A careful look at conflict-resolution theory suggests that moving the embassy could be a constructive move, pushing Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations. Continue Reading »

Co-authored by Louis Kriesberg and Bruce W. Dayton
Originally posted on the Huffington Post on 12/12/16

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, it may be hard to recall the heady few years starting in 1989, when Americans could reasonably believe that the United States and the world in general were entering an enduring period of widespread peace. The Cold War had ended without violence as did Soviet domination of countries in Eastern Europe. The generally peaceful break-up of the Soviet Union coincided with a negotiated end to proxy wars in Central America and elsewhere. In South Africa, the struggle to end apartheid was successful, again without feared bloodshed between whites and blacks. Neighboring civil wars in Namibia, Mozambique, and Angola ended with negotiated agreements after protracted violence. The long-lasting fight about the status of Northern Ireland was settled. The UN became much more effectively engaged in interventions in civil wars, diplomatically and with peacekeeping forces, leading many to hope that the end of the Cold War had given way to a new era of global cooperation. Continue Reading »