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Politics & Polls #30: Immigration & Border Control with Doug Massey
February 10, 2017 10:49 AM PST
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A federal appeals court has blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order issuing an immigration ban barring people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. Trump also has made moves toward building a border wall with Mexico, which recent figures suggest may cost an estimated $21 billion. If implemented, what would an immigration ban and a border wall accomplish?

In this episode, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang take a deep dive into immigration and border control with Doug Massey, one of the country’s leading experts in this field. Throughout the discussion, Massey busts many myths, including the question of whether the effect of a border wall is to keep people out of the United States - or cage them inside. Massey is the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He studies international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education, urban poverty and Latin America, especially Mexico.

Wide Data Nets: The Dilemma of Catch & Release
February 08, 2017 11:17 AM PST
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The digital revolution is generating massive amounts of information. And while this big data certainly benefits researchers and consumers, it also poses significant privacy concerns.

In this WooCast episode, Tim Lee of Vox interviews Princeton professors Prateek Mittal and Matt Salganik about the benefits, risks and concerns related to big data.

This episode is part of a series featuring moderators and panelists who will participate in the Princeton-Fung Global Forum: “Society 3.0+: Can Liberty Survive the Digital Age?” The conference, to be held March 20-21 in Berlin, is being organized by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Timothy B. Lee is a senior correspondent at Vox.com, where he covers technology and economics. He previously covered technology policy for The Washington Post and Ars Technica. He holds a master's degree in computer science from Princeton. Follow him on Twitter: @binarybits

Prateek Mittal is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, where he is also affiliated with the Center for Information Technology Policy. His research aims to build secure and privacy-preserving communication systems. His research interests include the domains of privacy enhancing technologies, trustworthy social systems and internet/network security. His work has influenced the design of several widely used anonymity systems.

Matthew Salganik is professor of sociology at Princeton University, and he is affiliated with several of Princeton's interdisciplinary research centers including the Office for Population Research, the Center for Information Technology Policy, the Center for Health and Wellbeing and the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning. His research interests include social networks and computational social science. He is the author of the forthcoming book "Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age."

Politics & Polls #29: The Trump Show
February 02, 2017 06:18 AM PST
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It seems as if America is watching two shows in parallel. On one hand, we’re seeing the political process unfold with cabinet nominees being appointed and executive orders being signed. On the other hand, the country has front-row seats to The Donald Trump Show, a gripping drama filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Are we seeing the birth cries of an authoritarian regime? Or is it the gang that couldn't shoot straight? Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang debate this and more in episode #29.

Politics & Polls #28: The Women’s March on Washington with Katha Pollitt
January 26, 2017 08:05 AM PST
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Hailed as one of the largest protests in American history, the Women’s March on Washington gathered hundreds of thousands of people both the district and millions in sister marches across the world.

Held just a day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the protest was an opportunity for Americans to bring gender and reproductive rights to the forefront, an issue many feel is under threat by a Trump administration.

In this episode of Politics & Polls, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the march and reproductive rights with Katha Pollitt, a columnist for The Nation. Pollitt’s column, “Subject to Debate” has been cited as “the best place to go for original thinking on the left.”

Pollitt is an American feminist poet, essayist and critic. In 2007 Random House published her collection of personal essays, “Learning to Drive and Other Life Stories.” Her most recent book is “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights,” which The New York Times listed as a Notable Book of 2014. Pollitt has also written essays and book reviews for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Harper’s, Ms., Glamour, Mother Jones, The New York Times and the London Review of Books.

How the Digital Cookies Crumble
January 25, 2017 08:30 AM PST
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Can liberty survive the digital age? In this episode, Princeton University professors Jennifer Rexford and Janet Vertesi discuss internet infrastructure and its effect on how people use the web as a vehicle for communication and information.
This episode is part of a series featuring panelists who will participate in the Princeton-Fung Global Forum: “Society 3.0+: Can Liberty Survive the Digital Age?” The conference, to be held March 20-21 in Berlin, is being organized by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Jennifer Rexford is the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering, professor of computer science and chair of the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University. Before joining Princeton in 2005, she worked for eight years at AT&T Labs—Research. Jennifer received her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1991 and her Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Michigan in 1996. She is co-author of the book "Web Protocols and Practice" (Addison-Wesley, May 2001). She served as the chair of ACM SIGCOMM from 2003 to 2007. Jennifer was the 2004 winner of ACM's Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young computer professional. She is an ACM fellow (2008) and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2013) and the National Academy of Engineering (2014).

Janet Vertesi is a sociologist of science and technology at Princeton University, where she is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology. At Princeton, she teaches classes on the sociology of science and technology, technology in organizations and human-computer interaction. Vertesi has spent the past decade as an ethnographer of spacecraft missions at NASA, and is the author of "Seeing Like a Rover: How Robots, Teams and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars." In addition to her research on complex technical organizations, she nurtures a passion for public understanding about the intersection of technology and society, especially with respect to online privacy. Best known publicly for her “opt out” experiments that reveal underlying assumptions embedded in computing technologies, she is an advisory board member of the Data & Society Institute in New York City, has blogged extensively on the topic at Time.com and is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Information Technology Policy. 

Politics & Polls #27: Rebuilding the Democratic Party
January 19, 2017 10:11 AM PST
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The Democratic Party may be in a “crisis,” many argue, and not only because of a Donald Trump presidency but also due to continued Republican control of Congress. Given these challenges, will the Democrats be able to rebuild their strength?

In episode #27 of Politics & Polls, professsors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview leading political scientist Theda Skocpol about her recent article in Vox: “A Guide to Rebuilding the Democratic Party from the Ground Up.” In the piece, Skocpol outlines how the Democratic Party can be rebuilt from the ground up, beginning at the state and local levels.

Skocpol’s work covers an unusually broad spectrum of topics including comparative politics and American politics. In particular, her research focuses on U.S. social policy and civic engagement in American democracy, including changes since the 1960s. She has recently launched new projects on the transformations of U.S. federal policies in the Obama era. Her books and articles have been widely cited in political science literature and have won numerous awards.

Politics & Polls #26: “Indivisible” Featuring Ezra Levin & Angel Padilla
January 12, 2017 05:49 AM PST
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Since the election, Democrats have struggled with how to respond to a Donald Trump presidency. But one group is starting to get some traction - the authors of an online guide that is going viral: “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.”

Originally posted as a Google document, the guide was co-written by former Congressional staffers Ezra Levin and Angel Padilla, who both received their Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, Leah Greenberg, and others.

At the heart of the publication are two ideas: presidential power is not unlimited, and Congress responds to pressure when applied the right way. Levin and Padilla use their real-world experience with the Tea Party as a model for how citizens can keep the pressure on Congress and get results.

In episode #26 of Politics & Polls, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the Indivisible guide in depth with Levin and Padilla.

Levin is D.C.-based domestic poverty policy wonk. He's served as associate director of government affairs at the Corporation for Enterprise Development, deputy policy director for Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and at AmeriCorps VISTA in the Homeless Services Division of the San Jose Department of Housing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College and a Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Padilla works for an immigrant rights nonprofit on federal health care advocacy. Padilla previously worked as an immigration policy consultant at National Council of La Raza. From 2009 until 2011, he worked for Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), advising on issues related to health care and the Affordable Care Act, among others. Padilla also has interned with the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council and the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House. He is a graduate of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Politics & Polls #25: What Does the Declaration of Independence Really Tell Us Today?
December 22, 2016 07:15 AM PST
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Should the government play a major or minor role in the lives of American citizens? This core question resurfaces during each election and continues to divide the political parties. It turns out that this argument is not new.

In his newest book, Yale historian Steve Pincus challenges those who argue that the Declaration of Independence should be used for political guidance today, saying it’s in favor of limited government. Pincus shows that the Declaration of Independence actually gives the government more power, primarily to promote and protect citizens’ welfare.
What was the original intent of the founding fathers? And is the document still applicable today? In episode #25, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Pincus, who examines these issues in his new book: “Heart of the Declaration: The Founders’ Case for an Activist Government.”
Pincus, Bradford Durfee Professor of History at Yale University, studies Atlantic history, the history of Britain, the British empire, global history and early American history. He also is the author of “Protestantism and Patriotism: Ideologies and the Making of English Foreign Policy, 1650-1668,” “England’s Glorious Revolution 1688-89” and “1688: The First Modern Revolution.”

Politics & Polls #24: Draining the Swamp?
December 15, 2016 06:25 AM PST
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Polarization was a strong undercurrent to the 2016 presidential election, powerfully affecting the electorate and politics. Looking toward President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments, those same divisions remain clear. As Trump builds his team, the nation is beginning to see the outlines of a Trump administration - one that fits well with congressional Republicans.

In their first live recording of Politics & Polls, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss Trump’s recent appointments, the state of polarization today and how the polls got it wrong.

Politics & Polls #23: Democrats in Trump’s America
December 08, 2016 06:08 AM PST
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Since Donald Trump’s election, there has been considerable debate about what the Democratic party should do next. While some Democrats argue for an openness to cooperation, others insist there isn’t room for compromise given Trump’s views on race and individual rights.

In this episode of Politics & Polls, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview one of the most powerful voices in this debate: Jamelle Bouie.

In his writing, Bouie — who serves as Slate’s chief political correspondent — has tackled a host of issues from white nationalism to minority voters to Trump’s vision of Black America. His work has appeared either online or in print at The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Nation and other publications. He also serves as a political analyst for CBS News.

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