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Social Science for a World in Crisis

The global pandemic is a crisis affecting not only public health but also governments, economies, and societies worldwide. Multiple vulnerabilities existed prior to the pandemic; the current crisis amplifies them. Indeed, the crisis disrupts virtually everything that enables us to work, learn, play, and thrive. The COVID-accelerated stress test brings countries to a dangerous moment but also presents a unique opportunity to confront challenges with needed correctives to political, economic, and social infrastructures. No institutions, behaviors, or beliefs should be exempt from reconsideration.

Launched in May 2020, in a series of themed public discussions CASBS-affiliated scholars and practitioners explain what brought us to this moment and explore how to bring about realistic, durable change in service of a more prosperous, equitable, and human centered society.

The Center gratefully acknowledges the Hewlett Foundation and individual donors for their support toward the production and presentation of this series.

Social Science for a World in Crisis

Upcoming Episode

What Institutional Courage Looks Like

Jennifer Freyd, Jennifer Gómez, and Carolyn Warner in conversation with Estelle Freedman

February 3, 2021, 1pm PST | 4pm EST

Co-sponsors: Center for Institutional Courage, Gendered Violence Research Network at Arizona State University, Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute at Wayne State University, Metro Detroit Association of Black Psychologists

Details and registration coming soon!

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Previous Episodes

December 8, 2020

Episode 11: "The Digital Dilemma in the Time of Covid"

John Markoff, Nilam Ram, Byron Reeves, Abby Smith Rumsey, and Maryanne Wolf

Co-sponsors: Bloomberg Beta, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and The Human Screenome Project at Stanford University

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November 19, 2020

Episode 10: "Reforming Democratic Institutions and Practices"

James Fishkin, Luis Fraga, Martin Gilens, and Jane Mansbridge

Co-sponsors: Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard University, and Center for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University

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October 14, 2020

Episode 9: "The Persistence of Racial Inequality"

Joshua Cohen, Francis Fukuyama, Margaret Levi, Glenn Loury, and Alondra Nelson

Co-sponsors: Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, Stanford University, and the Social Science Research Council

*Audio version on CASBS's Human Centered podcast!

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September 25, 2020

Episode 8: "Can We Rebuild Social Cohesion in the U.S.?"

Danielle Allen, David Brooks, Shaylyn Romney Garrett, Eric Klinenberg, and Robert Putnam

Co-sponsors: the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and Weave: The Social Fabric Project at the Aspen Institute

*Audio version on CASBS's Human Centered podcast!

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September 16, 2020

Episode 7: "What Will Become of Work and Workers?"

Tara Behrend, Louis Hyman, John Irons, Margaret Levi, and Phyllis Moen

Co-sponsors: Institute for Work Studies, ILR School, Cornell University; New America; Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School; Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

*Audio version on CASBS's Human Centered podcast!

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August 27, 2020

Episode 6: "Higher Ed at the Crossroads"

Nina Bandelj, Jonathan Jansen, Debra Satz, and Caitlin Zaloom

Co-sponsors: Public Books and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study

*Audio version on CASBS's Human Centered podcast!

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August 12, 2020

Episode 5: "Reimagining the Corporation"

Paul Brest, Shona Brown, Colin Mayer, & Margaret O'Mara

Co-sponsor: The British Academy

*Audio version on CASBS's Human Centered podcast!


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July 21, 2020

Episode 4: "Race and the Movement for Justice in America"

Xavier de Souza Briggs, Clayborne Carson, Douglas McAdam, & Brenda Stevenson

Co-sponsors: National Humanities Center and the Center for Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University

*Audio version on CASBS's Human Centered podcast!

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July 9, 2020

Episode 3: "Polarization and Contentious Politics in the Age of Covid"

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Christian Davenport, & Rachel Kleinfeld

Co-sponsors: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Annual Reviews

*Audio version on CASBS's Human Centered podcast!


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June 5, 2020

Episode 2: "America As a Developing Country?"

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Margaret Levi, & Barry Weingast

Co-sponsor: Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford Univ.

*Audio version on CASBS's Human Centered podcast!

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May 15, 2020

Episode 1: "Politics as the Problem and Solution During COVID-19 and Beyond"

Binyamin Appelbaum, Tim Besley, & Margaret Levi

Co-sponsor: Annual Reviews



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CASBS presents this series for free. Please consider a donation to support the production of these webcasts and related outreach activities. A contribution now helps us to continue bringing you these great conversations.

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