Updates on Vodka Politics

Mark Schrad’s Vodka Politics is due out very soon. To tide you over till then, check out Mark’s related piece in Politico on vodka and Russian diplomacy.

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A Great Couple of Weeks for PSC

We’d like to share some very good news we have received over the past couple of weeks at PSC:

Jess Wamala, PSC ’12 and current MA student in PSC, has just been named a 2014 Rhodes Scholar. We are overjoyed with this bit of breaking news.

Prof. David Barrett has a new piece in Salon about romanticizing JFK on the anniversary of his assassination.

Prof. Mark Schrad’s as-of-yet unpublished book on Vodka Politics has been named one of the year’s best nonfiction books by blogger and economist, Tyler Cowen.

Prof. Maria Toyoda has been named an SSRC Abe Fellow for 2014-2016. She was also named editor of The Japanese Political Economy Journal earlier this year.

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Catherine Warrick talks about Egypt and Syria on CBS

Her name is misspelled, but we know who they mean. Catherine sees many of the roots of conflict in domestic politics:


Posted in Faculty, News and updates

Vodka Intrigue: Read the Salon.com piece by Mark Schrad

Final VP Cover.pdf (1 page)-1Mark is still in his cups — but only in an academic way:


Posted in Faculty, Research

Meet Professor Shige Suzuki

Professor Shigehiro (Shige) Suzuki is a full time faculty member in PSC. He tries to bring a global vision to his students with his professional experiences and by promoting cultural sensitivity. After graduating from Tokyo University, he entered the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked at the Japanese Embassy at Nairobi, Kenya from 1994 to 1996. His  responsibilities there involved monitoring and analyzing development and human rights situations in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, and the aftermath of genocide. After receiving an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and working for the Brookings Institution, he worked at the UNICEF in New York, and then at the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the United Nations. He co-edited No Refuge: The Challenge of Internal Displacement, published by the United Nations in 2003. Throughout his stints at the Brookings Institution as well as the United Nations, Professor Suzuki tirelessly worked to protect and assist refugees and internally displaced persons who were affected by natural and human disasters.  In 2011, he served as executive director of Japan Platform, an NGO, working on relief efforts after the earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan. His research areas are the protection of and assistance to Internally Displaced Persons, and nuclear policies in Asia, specifically Japan. Professor Suzuki taught at Drexel University and Toyo University (Japan) before joining Villanova University. At Villanova University, Professor Suzuki has been teaching a variety of subjects including International Organization, East Asian Politics, Refugees and Displaced Persons, International Relations, and American Foreign Policy.

Posted in Faculty, Teaching

Read Mark Schrad’s Op-Ed in the NYT

Mark writes about the movement to boycott Russian vodka to protest its anti-LGBT legislation. Read about here.Image

Posted in Faculty, News and updates, Research

A Lens Through Which to View the World

By: Gisela Camba

I first remember viewing the world through a child’s eyes. At that time a street full of family members encompassed my whole world. My mother, sister, brother, and I lived in a section of a house that was divided by eleven families all related to each other. My father had immigrated to America four years earlier right after I was born, and he would send us knick-knacks from America. My brother and I would use whatever business skills we had in making a bit of a profit from some of those knick knacks. My mom likes to recall when my brother had sold little pieces of lottery paper that would either be blank or say “You win!” Of course there was no million dollar prize, but that didn’t stop the kids from buying for the sheer joy of being a winner. My mom found it even more amusing when I sold just a pinch of clay for one peso. We were making a killing in profits since all the kids loved the random American goodies. It was a bit of a game, and at the end of the day we would give whatever we earned to our mom, and then keep on playing with the other kids. Through a child’s eyes I was living a good and fun life. I enjoyed going through the narrow alleys, playing with other kids, and going where I pleased to explore. That street, those alleys, it seemed like such a big world to me.

But I soon came to understand that there were other worlds out there. At the age of five, I came home one day to find my mom packing late into the night, putting all our belongings into suitcases. As I understood it, we were going on a long trip. That trip was my family’s migration to America from the Philippines. Though I did not know it at that time, that one plane ride across the Pacific would have profound consequences for my future. All I knew was that this new country was confusing and I missed my familiar old street. I was no longer in a homogenous society where everyone was Filipino and there was just a sea of black hair. There were people of different races I hadn’t ever seen in person and various colors of hair-yellow, orange, and red. People spoke a language I didn’t understand. I had a father now. We kept moving from my grandma’s house to renting with a friend to our own apartment and finally to a house. Like many immigrant families it wasn’t going to be a smooth transition in regards to culture, family dynamics, and finances.  There was a lot to get used to. Everything was so new and different and just hard.

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