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Mark Cassell - Associate Professor of Political Science at Kent State University

Friday September 25, 2009
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Inamori Center
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues,

This coming Sunday, German voters will go to the polls for one of the nation’s least predictable, and perhaps most significant, elections. Since 2005 Germany has been governed by a “grand coalition” of the Christian Democratic Union party with the Social Democratic Party. This coalition has prevented the CDU from pursuing some of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s preferred policies, but satisfied few SDP constituencies. So dissatisfied voters have been moving towards the three smaller parties: the market-oriented Free Democratic Party, the Green Party, and the “Left,” a mix of former Communists and disaffected SDP members. Polls show the CDU/FDP coalition between them at just below half of the vote, with about five percent undecided. But the SDP is campaigning against the “threat” of a market-favoring government. ”It would be a gross irony of history,” the head of Germany’s largest union proclaims, “if those who profit from the financial crisis were the ones who wanted more, not less, shareholder-value capitalism.”

As usual, we will gather in Room 9 of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, on the lower level of Crawford Hall, for free cookies, beverages, and brown bag lunch.

Best regards,
Joe White

About Our Guests

Mark Cassell is Associate Professor of Political Science at Kent State University where he teaches courses in comparative public administration, comparative public policy, and urban politics. He holds a Ph.D., MPA, and MA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His scholarship is mainly concerned with understanding public sector transformations cross-nationally.

His book, How Governments Privatize: The Politics of Divestment in the United States and Germany (Georgetown University Press, 2003) received the 2003 Charles H. Levine Award for the best book in public policy and administration. It compares the bureaucratic experiences of two unique public agencies: Germany’s Treuhandanstalt, charged with privatizing the industrial firms of the former East Germany in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall; and the United States’ Resolution Trust Corporation, an agency charged with transferring to the private sector the assets taken over by the federal government in the wake of the savings and loan crisis. More recently, Cassell has done research on the adoption of new technologies by governments in Germany and the United States including publishing several pieces on the adoption and implementation of open source technology by government in Germany and Austria. Other work has appeared in Public Administration Review, International Public Management Journal, Social Science Quarterly, and Governance: An International Journal of Policy. He currently has a book forthcoming from SUNY Press (with Susan M. Hoffmann) on mission expansion in the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

Professor Cassell was born in Frankfurt Germany and spent much of his childhood with his grandfather, a long time county executive and member of the German parliament. In 1993, Cassell attended the Philips University in Marburg for one year. He also worked for a year as a researcher at the Social Science Research Center in Berlin, Germany – a highly respected interdisciplinary think tank similar to the Brookings Institution. In 2007, Cassell worked in Geneva, Switzerland for six months managing an undergraduate program in international relations. He has received grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Association, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

REVISED Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

October 2: Burning River Reborn? The State of the Cuyahoga. With Michael Scott, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

October 9: ***Special Location - Clark Hall Room 206, the Baker-Nord Center Seminar Room*** Bush, Barack, and the Meltdown. With Kathryn C. Lavelle, Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs. Room to be determined

October 16: Virtue, Vice, and Contraband: The History of Contraception in America. With James M. Edmonson, Curator, Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum

October 23: Reforming Cuyahoga County Government. Speakers TBA

October 30: The University’s “Internationalization” Initiative. With David Fleshler, Associate Provost for International Affairs

November 6: Unhealthy Claims About “Healthy” Foods. With Hope Barkoukis, Associate Professor of Nutrition

November 13: What Should the Common Reading for New Students Do? With Mano Singham, Director, University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education and Mayo Bulloch, Director, Educational Enhancement Programs at Case Western Reserve University

November 20: Chesapeake Bay and the Need for Dark Green Environmentalism. With Howard R. Ernst, Associate Professor of Political Science, U.S. Naval Academy

November 27: Thanksgiving Break

December 4: What the Health Care Reform Legislation Will Do, or Why Health Care Reform Failed, or Health Care Reform: What Next? or All of the Above. With Joe White, Professor of Political Science

The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of Crawford Hall. Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made. On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion. 

Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building. The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch. On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

September 21, 2009

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Upcoming Events

Cease-Fire: the Case for Ending War

Wednesday September 23, 2009, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Moot Court Room, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

A Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Conflict and Dispute Resolution program featuring Gordon Fellman, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University

Professor Fellman will examine the standard justifications for war and show how each is lacking. War is a social invention and can be succeeded by peace, which is another social invention. He will discuss three reasons—two of them structural and one social psychological—that war persists in this era.

Somebody's Watching Me: Surveillance and Privacy in an Age of National Insecurity

Thursday October 22, 2009, a film entitled, "The Lives of Others" (Das Leben der Anderen)" will be shown in the Moot Court Room at the Case Western Reserve School of Law from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A full day symposium will follow on Friday October 23, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m in the Moot Court Room.

A Two-Day National Security Symposium: presented by the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy wil feature Mary Ann Stein, Associate Professor of German and International Studies at George Washington University and several panel discussions featuring numerous distinguished guests.

We live in an age of pervasive surveillance that tests traditional understandings of the right to privacy and of Fourth Amendment limitations on government intrusion into our private lives. One obvious impetus for this trend is the heightened sense of insecurity that we feel since September 11, 2001, which has caused us to rethink the proper balance between liberty and security.

National security concerns are not the only forces that have driven increased surveillance. For example, government oversight of eligibility for such entitlements as Medicaid, food stamps, and student loans has produced more efficient and pervasive data collection in recent years. Law enforcement has also availed itself of new surveillance technologies and techniques. Coupled with the growing demand for information, technological innovation at an ever increasing pace greatly enhances the ability of governments and private actors to collect, store, and use personal information in ways that were not contemplated by the framers.

This multi-disciplinary symposium brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore a number of issues that arise for lawyers and policy makers out of the increasing impetus toward surveillance. Panels will examine: surveillance in public spaces and CCTV (closed circuit television); FISA and FISA reform; the globalization of surveillance; and legal and extralegal resistance to surveillance.

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