Evaluating Gov. Roy Cooper’s First 100 Days

Sanford School public policy professor Pope “Mac” McCorkle joins a panel of political observers to debate the governor’s job performance in his first 100 days. “Gov. Cooper is facing an unprecedented situation for a Democrat in North Carolina, and I think he’s actually done amazingly well given the situation being that there’s Republican super majorities in both chambers” of the General Assembly, McCorkle says. (17:26 mark)

Watch on Spectrum’s ‘Capital Tonight’

Trump, ‘Fake News’ And Russia Coverage

President Donald Trump offers a consistently defiant response to allegations about the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 campaign: “fake news.” The Reporters’ Lab at Duke catalogued 111 Trump statements about “fake news” over the five months following his election. “Of all the times we found Trump referring to ‘fake news’ from Nov. 8 to April 7, 41 percent were either direct or indirect responses to news coverage about Russia’s role in the presidential campaign,” writes student researcher Riley Griffin.

Read More at Poynter.


White-Collar Government

Trump’s cabinet is the wealthiest in U.S. history. In light of this news, this podcast revisits Sanford School of Public Policy professor Nicholas Carnes‘ interview on the effects of a government run by the rich, for the rich, and ways to get working class Americans a seat at the table.

Listen on Scholars Strategy Network

3 Questions Trump Must Answer After His Syria Strike

“Candidate Trump repeatedly promised that he would not simply conduct American foreign policy in the way Obama did. By punishing Assad for his brazen violation of international law and basic human decency, Trump took a significant step forward in fulfilling that campaign promise,” writes political scientist Peter Feaver. “But Trump also promised that his approach would produce more lasting success than Obama’s. Whether he fulfills that promise will depend on what comes next, not on what happened Thursday.”

Read More in Foreign Policy

Impacts of Trump’s Climate Change Policy

President Trump’s order last week that took aim at the Obama administration’s efforts to tackle climate change also disbanded the Interagency Working Group that calculated the social cost of carbon across federal agencies. But the order did not eliminate the metric entirely, says law professor Jonathan Wiener. “It says each agency can employ its own social cost of carbon, so it allows agency-by-agency development,” he says.

Read More on Climate Wire

NCAA: The Most Powerful Political Organization in The U.S.


“NCAA pressure was the game-changer with North Carolina’s bathroom bill. It appeared that the law would stay in place until the state’s basketball fans realized there would be no tournament games played here,” says anthropologist Orin Starn. “And so we witnessed the unlikely spectacle of the much-criticized billion-dollar sports leviathan at the forefront of defending LGBT rights.”

Read More in The Boston Globe

How to Handle North Korea? Apply Pressure — Then Wait

“Last year alone, North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests and 24 missile tests, with more this year, including a new missile test on April 5, clearly intended to overshadow and complicate the first meeting this week between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. To avoid past failures in trying to thwart North Korea, the Trump administration should initiate bilateral diplomatic talks with the communist nation immediately,” writes Andrew Byers, a visiting assistant professor of history and an intelligence analyst.

Read More in The Hill

Trump and His ‘America First’ Philosophy Face First Moral Quandary in Syria

President Trump has vowed to follow a radically new approach to foreign policy that jettisons the costly mantle of moral leadership in favor of America’s most immediate economic and security interests. But it’s unclear how the crises in Syria would produce a significant shift in policy. “They have not yet figured out what they are trying to do,” says political scientist Peter Feaver. “What looks like recalibration might be multiple voices.” 

Read More in The Washington Post

How to Solve Controversial Issues Like Climate Change

“The lesson for all leaders: Start with problems, not solutions. People will discount the evidence if they don’t like the fix you are proposing. This is particularly important in today’s extremely fractured world. The first step in moving forward during such great polarization isn’t offering solutions, it’s agreeing a problem exists,” writes Fuqua School Dean Bill Boulding.

Read More on LinkedIn

The U.S. Response to Syria and North Korea

Law professor Charlie Dunlap shares insights on Trump’s foreign policy challenges. “I think the jury is still out as to how exactly Trump’s ‘America first’ stance will influence foreign policy. My bet is that it will be very situation-specific, and in the case of North Korea, it won’t differ, initially anyway, too much from the Obama approach except to say that Trump may believe he can better motivate China to help with a solution than his predecessor was able to do,” he says.

Read More at Duke Today

Gerrymandering: America’s Most Dangerous Maps?

Ever wonder why congressional districts are shaped so oddly? The answer is gerrymandering: Drawing districts in part to sway election outcomes. State legislators across the nation are redrawing their electoral boundaries. But who, exactly, does gerrymandering benefit? And does it deserve the bad rap it gets? Political scientist Michael Munger helps explain the history and process of gerrymandering. “The United States, perhaps uniquely, has wrestled with this in a way most counties don’t have to deal with,” he says.

Listen on NPR’s ‘1A’


Being the Church in the Time of Trump

“Christians in America have played this game for so long now and with so many half-baked strategies that they can no longer differentiate between America and God, something Scripture calls idolatry. Once Christians zero in on the state as the locus of political activity, they become blind to those myriad other ways the church might politically act in the broad horizon of democratic possibility,” writes Stanley Hauerwas, professor emeritus at Duke Divinity School.

Read More at the Australian Broadcasting Corp.