When Politicians Get Rich and Voters Pay the Price

Voters have long suspected that politicians are corrupt, so much so that they’ve demanded a long list of ethics rules and anti-bribery regulations over the years. But it turns out there are still plenty of tricks left up their sleeves. The question is, do they use those tricks? Do they really have the power to enrich themselves at our expense? Today, we have a wealth of new evidence that finally answers those questions…

In this episode, Jordan Carr Peterson unveils the concerning conclusions of a series of research papers that pull back the veil on the financial interests of our policymakers—and the power they wield in their own favor.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

The Fact of a Body

The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is a true crime memoir. After encountering the child murderer Ricky Langley, Alexandria’s desire to work as a lawyer to fight against the death penalty is up-ended. She spends several years investigating Ricky’s story as a way to confront the story of her own child abuse. This is a deeply moving book, and a relatively easy read given the morose topic – a testament to the author’s skill.

Our conversation ranges from the effects of trauma on individuals and communities to the genre itself. If you haven’t read it yet, beware that we assume you’ve read it, spoiler alert!

Featuring Jeffery A. Jenkins (@jaj7d ‏), Lisa Schweitzer (@drschweitzer), Brettany K. Shannon (@brettanyshannon), and Deborah Winters

Follow us on Twitter! @BedrosianCenter

Special thanks to Flatiron Books for sending us review copies!

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Fact of a Body click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play

Sports and Racial Justice in America

To some, it represents the highest ideals of our society. To others, it is a symbol of unfulfilled potential at best, outright oppression at worst. Are we referring to the American flag? Or to American sports? This debate is about more than one athlete or one gesture. It is about an institution, a system of competition, dominance, and deeply ingrained beliefs. In this episode, we examine this balance of power—and the protestors who are trying to change it. In front of a live audience at the USC Gould School of Law, Prof. Jody David Armour interviews ESPN writer Jason Reid about Colin Kaepernick, political activism, and being black in America.

Special thanks to the USC Gould School of Law for sponsoring this event and allowing us to record as part of this ongoing series of conversations bringing you the smartest minds from the University of Southern California and beyond, wrestling with the defining challenges of our time.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play.

PEPL at the intersections of politics, economics and the law

by Janna Rezaee

This past June, I co-organized the Political Economy and Public Law (PEPL) conference here at USC with my colleague, Abby Wood. The goal of this small conference is to strengthen the connections between legal scholars and social scientists doing work at the intersection of politics, economics, and law.

This was the tenth annual PEPL conference. Prior to USC, PEPL has been held at Cornell, New York University, University of Rochester, Washington University in Saint Louis, University of Virginia, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Chicago.

The Hotel Play

On April 29, 1992, Los Angeles erupted into chaos and violence after four white police officers were acquitted in the beating of African American Rodney King. The Hotel Play asks what, if anything, has changed in the past 25 years?

Join Jody David Armour, Paula Cizmar, Aubrey Hicks, and David Sloane as we think about race, Los Angeles, art, and social movements. We look at the moment that was the uprising in 1992 and how community organizing that grew out of that moment became a movement.

To listen to the Price Projection Room discussion of The Hotel Play, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or download and subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

Ehsan Zaffar, J.D.

Ehsan Zaffar serves as a Senior Advisor at the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. where he advises the Secretary of Homeland Security and DHS components on the civil rights and civil liberties implications of existing and proposed national security policies, programs, and procedures. Mr.…

Federalism and the Battle for Partisan Power

We think we know how federalism works. Republicans believe in states’ rights, and Democrats want a strong federal government, right? Not so fast. New research reveals a whole different tug of war playing out on Capitol Hill. Our legislators don’t always do what they say, but they do have a strategy to design and implement our laws. It turns out that federalism is ground zero in their battle for partisan power—and now we finally know how the game is being played.

In this episode, we go behind-the-scenes with the researcher who uncovered these terms of engagement, Pamela Clouser McCann.

Bonus- Cop in the Hood (part 2)

In part 2 of our discussion of Cop in the Hood by Peter Moskos, we discuss the notion of discretion in the legal system – by police all the way to prosecutors & parole/probation boards. We think about discrimination in enforcement made possible by discretion. We think about conflicts of interest in investigations of police misconduct – especially in relation to the war on drugs. How should we move forward?

Our American Discourse

Great knowledge need not wither on the academic vine. We bring you the smartest minds from the University of Southern California and beyond, wrestling with the defining challenges of our time. In their research, we find wisdom. In their voice, hope.

Hosted by Anthony W. Orlando, Our American Discourse reminds us that we’re never too different to learn from each other, nor too divided to find common ground.

Listen to the individual episodes on the Our American Discourse page, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

McCann’s new book uncovers partisanship when Congress delegates policy to states

By Matthew Kredell Ever since she worked for a state-level agency before attending graduate school, USC Price Assistant Professor Pamela McCann has been intrigued by when and why Congress chooses to delegate to the states for implementation of federal policy. In her new book The Federal Design Dilemma: Congress and Intergovernmental Delegation (Cambridge University Press),…