News & Commentary - Archive All

May 29, 2013

Recent news reports make clear that the Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly is getting many of its worst ideas for how to change our state from the Washington, D.C.-based American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Every citizen needs to know more about ALEC and its stealth efforts to undermine our modern-day democracy.

As a U.S. historian, I am deeply alarmed at the growing power of this secretive body, founded by the longtime right-wing strategist Paul Weyrich in 1973 and bankrolled by some of the largest corporations in America.

May 24, 2013

In his speech at the National Defense University, President Obama made his most impassioned and compelling argument to date about the need to close the prison for wartime detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

But logic and presidential will are not enough to achieve this goal. It will take an intense effort by the administration, cooperation from international partners, bipartisan congressional support and perhaps forceful assertion of presidential prerogatives to get this done in Obama’s second term. It is difficult to see how all these pieces will fall into place.

May 24, 2013

Were all those standardized tests for nothing?

Sanford School of Public Policy Professor Jacob Vigdor, co-author Thomas Ahn and a panel of education practitioners explored this question Wednesday at an event in Washington, DC, sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute.

May 18, 2013

I suspect I'm not the only one who, as contributor to and consumer of foreign policy debates, at times wonders about our value added.

For all the urgent issues of the day, do we lose sight of deeper, more fundamental ones? And to the extent that we do address some, is it so within the bounds of conventional wisdom as to crowd out real wisdom?

We can learn a lot in both regards from the youth of the world. The questions they're asking are inspiring. The answers they're providing are humbling.

May 16, 2013

The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press reporters' phone records undoubtedly raises important First Amendment issues. But from the media's coverage of this incident, you would think that there were absolutely no countervailing interests, that the law was clearly on the media's side, and that what the Justice Department did was blatantly unethical and wrong. This just isn't the case.

May 16, 2013

In a nutshell, there are two important lessons to learn from the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

May 15, 2013

The Sanford School of Public Policy awarded degrees to 301 graduates on May 11, the largest ever for the school.  The class of 2013 included 203 undergraduates, 55 Master of Public Policy graduates, 38 Master of International Development Policy graduates from 16 countries and five PhD graduates.  Professor Bruce Kuniholm presided over the ceremonies for the last time as the founding dean of the Sanford School.   

May 8, 2013

The Department of Defense has requested $170 million to upgrade the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in next year's budget, but no amount of money will repair the government's irrational terrorism detention policy that is collapsing even more quickly than the dilapidated facility in which the hunger striking detainees are housed.

May 7, 2013

I was one of three panelists invited to speak at an American Institute seminar last week. The question we were asked to address was an intriguing one: not are banks “too big to fail,” which has become so common a term that most people recognize its TBTF acronym, but are banks “too big to tolerate.”

April 30, 2013

Duke University trustee David M. Rubenstein is giving $10 million to the Sanford School of Public Policy to endow graduate fellowships and undergraduate internships, and to create a fund that will enhance the school’s engagement with the policy world, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Tuesday.

It is the largest single gift to Sanford and supports priorities of Duke Forward, the $3.25 billion fundraising campaign across Duke's 10 schools, Duke Medicine and a range of university programs.