Grant Reeher

Host, The Campbell Conversations

Grant Reeher is Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute and a professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.  He is also creator, host and program director of “The Campbell Conversations” on WRVO, a weekly regional public affairs program featuring extended in-depth interviews with regional and national writers, politicians, activists, public officials, and business professionals. 

Grant’s research and teaching interests are primarily in American politics and political theory, with an emphasis on legislative politics, democratic representation, and active citizenship.  Among other books, he is the author of First Person Political:  Legislative Life and the Meaning of Public Service (2006), Narratives of Justice: Legislators’ Beliefs about Distributive Fairness (1996), co-author of Click on Democracy: The Internet's Power to Change Political Apathy into Civic Action (2002), and co-editor of The Trusted Leader:  Building the Relationships that Make Government Work (2008, 2nd ed. 2012).  His academic journal publications include pieces in Health Affairs; Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; The Responsive Community; Polity; and PS:  Political Science and Politics.  He has also published many editorial essays on various political topics, including pieces in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Ottawa Citizen, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and pieces that have been distributed through Knight-Ridder. 

At various points he has been a regular columnist for The Syracuse Post-Standard.  He has also been quoted in many newspaper stories, including pieces appearing in The New York Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News, Salon, Newsday, and Roll Call.  In 2008, he co-founded CNYSpeaks, a deliberative public engagement initiative dedicated to providing residents of the Central New York region with opportunities to have a meaningful and constructive voice about issues affecting their lives.  Grant is a 1982 graduate of Dartmouth College, and earned his Ph.D. in 1992 from Yale University.

Grant Reeher's Blog: Reeher Window

 

Ways To Connect

Yale University Press

(Note: This interview originally aired April 14, 2013)

One of the many controversial aspects of the post 9-11 war effort is the government’s use of military commissions rather than traditional criminal courts to try suspected terrorists. In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Jess Bravin, the Supreme Court correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.

While the state-level negotiations on the casinos were taking place, another separate process was marking a much longer history of native and non-native relationships—The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign.  On this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Onondaga Nation Faithkeeper Oren Lyons and the Renewal Campaign’s Project Coordinator Andy Mager, about the campaign’s aims, and the importance of recognizing and honoring the past in order to improve the future. 

Syracuse is one of the nation's destination cities for refugee immigrants. More than 7,000 have come to the area since 2001.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Jai Subedi, a refugee from Bhutan who arrived here in 2008 and Gregg Tripoli, the executive director of the Onondaga Historical Association, which has created a new exhibit at the Onondaga Historical Museum on the immigrant and refugee experience.

The effort to pass the Women's Equality Act raised long-standing conflicts over reproductive rights, and the increased regulation of various business practices.  On this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher discusses the political and policy issues raised by the legislative package with Betty DeFazio from Planned Parenthood of Syracuse and Rochester, and New York State Assemblyman Al Stirpe.

On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Chris Fowler of the organization Syracuse First returns to the program to discuss how the buy local movement has evolved and strengthened since he spoke to Grant Reeher two years ago.  How does it fit into the broader set of concerns for sustainability, and for local business development?  And where does it need to go from here?

Bob Frye is the producer and director of a new documentary on the nuclear arms race and disarmament. Frye is a former producer for ABC News.  In this conversation with Grant Reeher, he discusses his personal motivations for the film and whether we've lost touch with the dangers posed by nuclear arsenals.

networklobby.org

Sister Simone Campbell has become a political rock star for her support of the Affordable Care Act, and for her leadership of the "Nuns on the Bus" campaign last summer.  Speaking with Grant Reeher, Campbell describes how religious commitment, service, and politics are inseparably linked in her life and in her faith, and what the Catholic Church must do to thrive in a democratic culture.

What function do staged plays serve in our society? A critical one for civilization itself, argues Tim Bond in this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations.

When it comes to health, what does the region do well, and what does it do poorly? What are the next frontiers in making the community healthier? In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Onondaga County Health Commissioner Cynthia Morrow reflects on recent statistics about the county's health, discusses different approaches that communities and government can take toward improving health, and speculates about possible futures.

Younger citizens may be more active in volunteer and service efforts than previous generations, but many remain profoundly uninterested and disengaged from anything they regard as political. One organization trying to combat that is ICivics, created by former Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, to provide online, interactive educational resources for middle school students. On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Gene Koo, executive director of ICivics, outlines the challenges to civic engagement and how the organization is trying to address them.

Responsible Endowments Coalition

Colleges and universities were once seen as national leaders in responsible investing, but they've largely lost that edge. That's the view of this week's guest on the Campbell Conversations, Dan Apfel, executive director of the Responsible Endowments Coalition.

Jeanne Theoharis has recently published the definitive biography of Rosa Parks.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, the Brooklyn College Professor counters the many myths held by the public about Parks's life--describing for example the long history of activism and organizing prior to her famous act of civil disobedience, and her affinity for the black power movement and Malcolm X.

Are colleges and universities failing to meet proper ethical standards in the treatment of their faculties? In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Cary Nelson, a recent past president of the American Association of University Professors and the author of No University Is an Island, argues that many schools are falling short, and that the explosion of what he calls contingent faculty--the faculty outside of the tenure system--hurts all higher education, and furthers social and educational inequalities.

For the past 30 years, the nation has been on an incarceration spree. While some associate that change with lower crime rates, Alan Rosenthal from the Center for Community Alternatives challenges that view, and in this edition of the Campbell Conversations, discusses the harms to society, and to those trying to rebuild their lives, that have been brought about by what he terms “massive incarceration” and its race-based effects.

When he was 15, Guy Stern emigrated from Germany to the United States in order to escape the Holocaust. He then returned to Europe following D-Day, as a U.S. Army interrogator. After the war, he became a distinguished scholar of German studies and literature. In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Guy describes his emigration and his war experiences.

Matt Driscoll was mayor of Syracuse from 2001 to 2009. Since then, he's been the President of a state public authority, and most recently a member of Governor Cuomo's cabinet. In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, he discusses the environmental issues he became known for as mayor, economic development, and the current Syracuse mayor's disagreement with the governor over public pensions.

Stephen Barton was a top honors student at Syracuse University—he delivered the student commencement address at the university’s graduation exercise last May. He had won a prestigious Fulbright grant to teach English in Russia, but before he could go, he was shot by James Holmes in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater on July 20th. The experience led him to join the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

The daughter of Harry Belafonte and Julie Robinson, Gina Belafonte grew up in a household filled with the leading civil rights activists and entertainers of the day, and she went on to become an actor, producer, and civil rights activist in her own right.

Working in the key battleground state of Ohio, Ashley Bryant was an integral player in President Obama’s internet-based mobilization effort in the 2012 election.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Bryant—the Ohio digital director for the President’s campaign—recounts her experiences on the ground and in the trenches, explains how the campaign integrated the Internet into its strategy, and reflects on how marketing a political brand is both similar to and different from marketing a commercial brand.

For eight months in 2008, Matt Zeller was an Army Lieutenant acting as an embedded trainer with Afghan security forces in the Ghazni Province.  Following that, he was a CIA analyst, ran for Congress, and authored a book about his war experiences.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, he speaks in powerful and unvarnished terms about his time in Afghanistan, his struggles upon his return to the States, and the shortcomings of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

This edition of the Campbell Conversations offers a wide-ranging discussion with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner that covers both local and national political issues, and which includes discussions of the pension problem, ideas voiced in her recent state of the city address, and reflections on the conflicts within the city’s criminal justice system.

This edition of the Campbell Conversations completes an extended consideration of gun control and the NY SAFE Act. In prior weeks Grant Reeher has spoken with SUNY-Cortland Professor Robert Spitzer and Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick, both of whom saw a need for more regulation of gun ownership, while also noting possible problems with some of the approaches taken in the new state law.

This week the State legislature passed and the governor signed into law a far-reaching set of prohibitions, restrictions, and tracking mechanisms regarding guns, making New York the first state to change its policies in reaction to the Sandy Hook school shootings.

In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick discusses how effective some of the provisions could be, some possible problems with their implementation, and which ones might be overturned through subsequent court challenge.

In the wake of the Newtown killings, the nation and the state are reconsidering gun control. Governor Cuomo recently made restrictions on guns a featured element in his State of the State address. In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with gun control expert Robert Spitzer about what kinds of approaches are most likely to help address the problem of gun violence, and what proposed changes are most likely to actually get passed.

Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle recently ended her term the way she first ran for the office—standing up for conservative principles. She voted against the fiscal cliff compromise, on the grounds that it did not address the deficit and government over-spending.  But she was defeated last November by Dan Maffei, the man she unseated in 2010.

nysenate.gov

A potentially significant new chapter in New York's political history will be written in January, as the State Senate's Independent Democratic Caucus joins with the Republican Caucus to form a coalition majority.  On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, State Senator Dave Valesky, a founding member of the Independent Democratic group, discusses how this new arrangement will work, and why joining with the Republicans may actually bring more progressive pieces of legislation to the Senate floor.

Zoe Wool is a researcher and writer who has been working with war-injured American soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

New York State Government has long had a reputation as a secretive and guarded place.  Phrases like “three men in a room” come to mind.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with the man charged to make government more open and transparent—Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the State’s Committee on Open Government.

"The land next to heaven."

That's the way Lopez Lomong describes his love for and thanks to this country for the opportunities it has afforded him.

The new frontier in international diplomacy is something called "public diplomacy"--it involves expanding the domain and practitioners of diplomacy beyond traditional government-to-government communication, and threatens the long-standing emphasis on controlling the message.  Tara Sonenshine, the State Department's Undersecretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, guides the United States' efforts in this area.

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