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This seminar was founded to study the most compelling questions of the day which then related to the war in Southeast Asia, its causes, and consequences. Today the seminar continues to examine vital current issues with an emphasis on their economic, political, and philosophical dimensions. Such issues have included welfare policy, homeless­ness, and strains in multicultural democracies, and violent conflicts within and across nation-states. The underlying nature and structure of the political economy giving rise to these issues are also considered. In this regard, sessions have addressed the extension of democ­racy to economic enterprises, refashioning American government, developments in welfare states, and new principles of income distribution. Theories oriented to deepening democracy and realizing human rights both in the US and abroad are also an ongoing focus.


Professor Carol Gould

Professor Omar Dahbour

Marian Chia

All seminars will meet over Zoom for the 2020 fall semester. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change. 

Meeting Schedule

10/15/2020 Online Meeting
7:30 PM
Environmental Justice & the Green New Deal
John L. Hammond, Hunter College and The Graduate School, CUNY


The multiple crises of 2020 have diverted attention from the Green New Deal but at the same time made it even more urgent, considering the social needs it has exposed even as the climate crisis continues. While widely perceived as a program to alleviate climate change, in fact the Green New Deal is much more: its genius is its recognition that the environmental problem is largely a problem of inequality and that therefore environmental, social, and racial justice must be pursued jointly. The Green New Deal proposes measures to mitigate climate change by reducing the release of greenhouse gases and at the same time address economic problems through a massive jobs program and social benefits such as universal health care and free higher education. Many details are unresolved (on such issues as carbon tax and nuclear power), as are internal problems (financing, lack of an international perspective, political viability) but it represents the best hope of averting cataclysmic climate change.

11/12/2020 Online Meeting
7:30 PM
Reframing Political Ecology: Vikalp Sangam & the Search for Alternatives in India
Pallav Das, Kalpavriksh

12/03/2020 Online Meeting
7:30 PM
17 Years of Struggle: the UN Declaration of the Rights of Peasants & Other People Working in Rural Areas
Marc Edelman, Hunter College and The Graduate School, CUNY