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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Staffing and Organizing the Trump Presidency

David B. Cohen, Ph.D. - Professor of Political Science at the University of Akron
Friday March 3, 2017
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

The internal organization of President Trump's White House has received a bit of criticism. Major media outlets run headlines like, "Inside Donald Trump's White House Chaos" (TIME), "Trump's White House Struggles With Messaging," (The Hill), and, "For Trump, Chaotic White House Becomes the Norm" (CNN). The president counters that, "this administration is running like a fine-tuned machine." But if these media outlets are "lying," they sure are finding a lot of experienced Washington hands to quote for their stories.

Strife and organizational problems within a White House are not, however, unprecedented.
In his first year President Carter had to dump his closest adviser, OMB Director Bert Lance. President George W. Bush granted unprecedented power to Vice President Cheney, in ways many scholars say badly skewed the flow of information to the President. So, based on events to date, how unusual is the Trump White House? Is it uncommonly "dysfunctional?"

David Cohen has published extensively about White House organization, especially the role of the Chief of Staff. That seems particularly relevant as observers wonder about the role of Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, which might generously be called "low profile," in the Trump White House. Join us as Professor Cohen provides his analysis and perspective on what the Trump White House is doing and what might come next.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

David B. Cohen is a professor of political science and fellow in the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron. Professor Cohen earned a B.A. in political science and international relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in political science at the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. in political science at the University of South Carolina.

Among others, he teaches courses on the American presidency, Congress, and homeland security. He is co-author of Buckeye Battleground: Ohio, Campaigns, and Elections in the Twenty-First Century (2011) and is currently co-authoring a manuscript to be published by University Press of Kansas titled The President’s Chief of Staff: Evolution of a White House Institution. Professor Cohen’s primary areas of research specialization are the American presidency, Congress, and homeland security.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Professor Cohen is a frequent media contributor and guest speaker on national and Ohio politics. Professor Cohen has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Akron Press Club since 2007.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library.

* Kelvin Smith Library requires all entrants to show identification when entering the building, unless they have a university i.d. that they can magnetically scan. We are sorry if that seems like a hassle, but it has been Library policy for a while in response to security concerns. Please do not complain to the library staff at the entrance, who are just doing their jobs.

The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Schedule of Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

March 10: Nuclear Weapons. With William J. Fickinger, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Physics.

March 17: No program, Spring Break.

March 24: Energy Storage: A Key to Sustainability. With Daniel A. Scherson, Ph.D., Frank Hovorka Professor of Chemistry and Director, Ernest B. Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences.

March 31: Merkel’s Challenge: Managing Trump, Putin, and a Million Syrians. With Mark K. Cassell, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Kent State University.

April 7: Program to be Determined

April 14: Brazil’s Political Crises. With Juscelino F. Colares, Ph.D., Schott-Van den Eyden Professor of Business Law and Associate Director, Frederick K. Cox International Law Center.

April 21: Program to be Determined

April 28: Putin’s Russia. With Kelly M. McMann, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, International Studies Program.

February 27, 2017

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

Israeli Politics from Soup to Nuts

A Global Currents Discussion With Nadav Shelef Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science and Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Israel Studies at The University of Wisconsin, Madison, Monday, March 6, 2017, 4:45 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., Ford Auditorium in the Allen Memorial Medical Library, 11000 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. This program is made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin.

American voters may worry that they have only two parties from which to choose. Israelis do not have that problem.

Depending on how you count, the current Knesset (parliament) includes members of at least ten parties, representing a wide range of cleavages within the country.

As the number of parties hints, Israeli politics can be rather confusing. So the Center for Policy Studies is pleased to host Professor Nadav Shelef for an overview of the diversity and dynamics of Israel’s politics.

There are so many questions involving so many cleavages, such as Jews vs. non-Jews; ethnic cleavages within the Jewish population; how new and more recent immigrants have been incorporated into political competition; the relative weight of economic issues as opposed to identity and security issues; and the role of religion.

This lecture will explain how Israeli politics work and explore the ways in which Israel’s political institutions , especially the election rules and the party system, interact with the two main axes of Israeli politics – territory and identity – to produce the vibrant and turbulent character of the Israeli political sphere.

Nadav Shelef is the author of Evolving Nationalism: Homeland, Identity, and Religion in Israel, 1925-2005 (Cornell University Press, 2010). In this book he traces changes in how Zionism and Israeli nationalism were defined, focusing on questions such as where the “land of Israel” should be; the place of the state within the Zionist project, relationships with diaspora (especially American) Jews, and the place of religion within the state. He shows how these views evolved over time within the three major types of Zionism - Labor, Revisionist, and Religious – as each group responded both to changes in the environment and their competition with each other. Professor Shelef has also published articles in a wide range of journals, including International Organization, Security Studies, Political Science Quarterly, Middle East Journal, and Israel Studies. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.A. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

Making Practical Progress on Human Rights: An Essential Element of Sustainable Business

The Bruce J. Klatsky Seminar in Human Rights. A Discussion With Michael H. Posner, J.D., Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance, Professor of Business and Society, Center for Business and Human Rights, NYU Stern School of Business, Thursday, March 9, 2017, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., CWRU School of Law, Moot Courtroom (A59), 11075 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106.

Three decades of economic globalization have generated significant growth and job creation in less developed countries, helping lift more than two billion people out of extreme poverty, but these gains are being undermined by the jarring inequalities in wealth and economic opportunity. A governance gap allows powerful global companies to manufacture, farm, fish and extract natural resources in countries where labor and environmental protections are weak, and enforcement weaker still. This lecture will discuss the case for stronger international rules that can maximize the benefits of globalization while protecting the most vulnerable populations and ensuring greater economic equality and opportunity.

Michael H. Posner is the Founding Executive Director and President of Human Rights First, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) of the United States, currently a Co-Director for the Center of Business and Human Rights, and Professor of Business and Society at NYU Stern School of Business, and a Board member of the International Service for Human Rights.

March 2017







































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