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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 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.

Social Science for a World in Crisis

Upcoming Episode

Episode 10: "Reforming Democratic Institutions and Practices"

November 19, 2020 at 1:00pm PST | 4:00pm EST

James Fishkin, Martin Gilens, and Jane Mansbridge in conversation with moderator Luis Fraga

Details and registration COMING SOON!


Episode 11: "This is Your Brain on Digital Life"

December 8, 2020 at 2:00pm PST | 5:00pm EST
Nilam Ram, Byron Reeves, Abby Smith Rumsey, and Maryanne Wolf in conversation with John Markoff

Previous Episodes

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

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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

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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

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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

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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 contribution to support the webcasts and our other activities.

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