Where: UChicago Institute of Politics, 5707 South Woodlawn Avenue
When: Multiple dates see below. Register here. This event is free and open to UChicago students, faculty, staff and the public. The event is off the record and closed to press.
The nonpartisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago is an extracurricular program designed to ignite in young people a passion for politics and public service.
January 13: Governing Palestine – Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Tension Between Governance and Resistance more info
This seminar will cover the founding of the Palestinian political system and trace its development through Hamas’ takeover of Gaza to the current deadlock in the Palestinian political system and the conflict between Fatah and Hamas. Also on the agenda is the role of regional powers in Palestinian politics.
February 3: The History of the Two-State Solution. Is There an Alternative?
A two-state solution for Israel and Palestine has been on the table since 1947 but it is increasingly looking less viable. This seminar will trace the history of the concept of a two-state solution and the differing visions and attitudes held by Palestinians and Israelis. We also will examine the risks posed by the failure of a two-state solution and possible alternatives, such as a bi-national state.
February 10: The Arab Spring and the Future of Civil States in the Middle East
Israel and Palestine are surrounded by Arab nations riven with conflict. This seminar will unpack the various factions in the Arab world and look at how the Palestinian-Israeli conflict fits in and is used to advance other political goals.
February 17: Reporting in Gaza
What is day-to-day life like as a journalist in Gaza? This seminar will explore the harsh realities of reporting on war, clashes and community issues in Gaza and what’s it’s like to report on Israeli and Palestinian human rights violations. We will discuss the implications of working under the occupation and what it’s like to work under both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Finally, we will consider the price some Palestinian journalists pay for undertaking this work.
February 24: The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism and the Reshaping of Politics in the Middle East
In this seminar we will discuss the rise of ISIS and Islamic fundamentalism, with an eye toward understanding how that has altered the politics in the Arab world and what impact it has on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We will examine the role religious ideology plays in the resistance in Palestine, compare it to the way it’s used by ISIS and look at what impact, if any, ISIS is having on the resistance in Gaza.
March 2: U.S. Policy in the Middle East – How it Plays and is Portrayed in the Region
This seminar will trace the history of U.S. policy in the Middle East and understand how it is perceived in the region. We’ll cover the pervasive hostility toward U.S. policies in Palestine and consider the difficulty Palestinians have in understanding U.S. permanent support for Israel. We’ll explore how this is portrayed in traditional media and in new media.
The idea for the Institute of Politics grew out of the lifelong experiences of its founding director, David Axelrod AB ’76, an accomplished political journalist, strategist and policy advisor, and his core belief that participation is essential to a vital, healthy democracy. Inspired by his own work with young people through various political campaigns and by the example of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, Axelrod sought to establish a non-partisan program in Chicago that would provide students with opportunities to engage directly with the ideas, people and processes that shape politics today.
A Legacy Of Public Service
Consistent with the University’s tradition of wide-ranging political debate, the Institute of Politics brings together leaders, fellows, and students from a broad spectrum of political beliefs and experiences.
The University of Chicago has a long tradition of diversity of political thought, embracing innovative thinkers with an array of political viewpoints. The University has given rise to some of the most noted political leaders and thinkers of the last century. The list of alumni and former faculty members includes Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders AB ’64; Sen. Paul Douglas; Sen. Carol Moseley Braun; Sen. Charles Percy; Sen. Amy Klobuchar; U.S. Attorney General Edward Levi; U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft; U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz; and President Barack Obama.
Alumni of the University also have made prominent contributions to public service journalism, including Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist David Broder, AB’47, AM’51; New York Times columnist David Brooks, AB’83; Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Daniel Gilbert, AB’05; Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning publisher and author Katharine Graham, AB’38; Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, AB’58; New York Times editorial board member Brent Staples, AM’76, PhD’82; and Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago writer Studs Terkel, PhB’32, JD’34.