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

There are conflicts, and then there are conflicts.  Peter Coleman, director of the international center for cooperation and conflict resolution at Columbia University, has identified a category of our seemingly most intractable conflicts—the five percent—and has studied them systematically. 

He’s the author of The Five Percent:  Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts.  What leads individuals, groups, and even entire nations to fall into the five percent trap, and what can they do to get out of it?  Find out on this edition of the Campbell Conversations.

Ann Wright and Kathy Kelly were both in Syracuse this week to be sentenced for their part in the protests against the MQ-9 Reaper drones in Afghanistan, which are being flown remotely from Hancock Field. 

There is nothing more powerful than the truth.  That’s the faith that has sustained Tom Devine’s three-decade campaign to promote and protect whistleblowers in the corporate and governmental realms.

The Campbell Debate
Post Standard

The Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University presents The Campbell Debates, a debate series on timely issues of public importance with a fresh, provocative format.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney works on the front lines of the "unfunded mandate" issue, a phrase we've been hearing with increasing frequency at all levels of political discussion.  What exactly is the problem with unfunded mandates? 

Perhaps no one is better suited to evaluate President Obama’s new investigative and prosecutorial unit on abuses in the mortgage industry than former governor and attorney general Eliot Spitzer.  As a prosecutor and attorney general, he was known for his aggressive pursuit of financial abuse; he warned us about the ultimate financial collapse; and he has written about these topics extensively since the crisis in 2008. 

What drives those who have invested their time in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and what message is at the movement's core? In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, three Syracuse activists who had been camping at the Occupy Syracuse site prior to being evicted by the city tell their stories and make their case.

It's an entirely political discussion on this week's Campbell Conversations, as Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle and political consultant Scott Armstrong consider the Republican presidential field in light of the Iowa Caucus results.  Among the questions they consider are:  What surprised them?  Is the party dangerously fractured as it heads toward the general election?  What could unite it?  Are the norms of the Republican Party changing in important ways?  Is Romney still the nominee apparent?  And what are the calculations about a vice presidential candidate at this point?

What made Upstate New York such a hotspot for the abolitionist and women’s rights movements?  Was it just geography, or was it something about the people who lived here?  Historian Judith Wellman, an expert on the Underground Railroad and the women’s rights movement in the 19th century, answers this question and offers other stores and information that illuminate this time period and counter some of the stereotypes we have about our region’s place in history.

Jim Greene is not an academic Dickens scholar, but he plays Dickens and runs the Dickens Christmas Festival in Skaneateles.  In this holiday version of the Campbell Conversations, he talks - often in the character of Dickens - about the meaning and the writing of "A Christmas Carol," the Christmas holidays, and his experiences in the town.  Given the stark portrayals of poverty in his writing, what would Dickens have made of the Occupy Wall Street Movement?  Here’s one person’s take.  All in all, the conversation contains holiday wisdom worthy of Dickens’s tale.

A little over 100 days ago, Sharon Contreras began her appointment as the superintendent of the Syracuse City School District.  She inherited deep challenges--low test scores and graduation rates, and an austere budget climate.  Following her "first 100 days" period of listening and assessment, she is issuing a strategic plan to improve the city's educational system. 

When we think about China these days, its emergent international economic power dominates most of our attention, but how are economics and changing demographics affecting the Chinese culture?  In this Campbell Conversation, Bill Jankowiak, an anthropology professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and an expert on Chinese culture, discusses the cultural paradoxes and tensions that economic growth and the rise of individualism have created for this society.  Jankowiak is a particular expert on Chinese youth culture, and he also describes how that culture is changing, and how those chang

Public trust in government—especially the federal government—is at a modern all-time low point.  What are the biggest challenges to a well-run government?  What are the best ideas for improving it?  Which government agencies are particularly well-run, and which not so well-run?  As the Managing Director of the Strategic Issues Team at the U.S.

The expansion of Syracuse’s Carousel Center Mall—the first stage of the grander and still-planned project called Destiny USA—seems to be getting some traction of late.  Parts of the expansion will be open later this month.  David Aitken, a Destiny executive and spokesperson, discusses the expansion and the future plans for the project, and reflects on why the Destiny project has been such a political and economic lightning rod for the region’s residents and the media.  He also discusses the exterior appearance of the expansion and the possible tensions—and synergy—between this project and t

If, like many Americans, you’re worried about the future of Medicare, you’ll want to listen closely to this conversation about the program and the contentious politics surrounding it.  In a very information-rich interview, nationally recognized expert and University of North Carolina professor Jonathan Oberlander breaks down the elements of Medicare, the different proposals to change it, and explains why this huge—and popular—government program has become such a political lightning rod in recent years.  He also prognosticates about different possible futures in terms of Medicare’s structure

In this week’s segment, the Campbell Conversations returns to the upcoming November elections, with a discussion among six of the nine candidates for State Supreme Court Justice in the six-county fifth judicial district—a district that encompasses much of WRVO’s listening area.  This program is presented on-air in two parts. Part one on Friday, and the second Saturday. The audio available here is the entire hour long discussion. 

Perhaps the most intriguing local race this November is the match-up in the fourth City Council district between Democrat and Working Families Party candidate Khalid Bey and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. Hawkins has run for many seats in the past, including governor and U.S. Senator, and not come close to winning, but the last time he ran for city council he garnered about 40 percent of the vote.

Dan Grossman is a freelance environmental journalist who has frequently appeared on public radio and the BBC, and has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Scientific American. He’s won a host of prestigious awards and been funded by many highly respected organizations—among them the Peabody award, the National Science Foundation, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

What is the state of American democracy?  What are the roots of our democratic shortcomings, and what do we need to do to improve the health of the political process?  Jean Bethke Elshtain, democratic theorist, ethicist, and noted public intellectual at the University of Chicago—and author of Democracy on Trial—wrestles with these mighty questions in this substantively rich interview.  Elshtain has also written an influential book on just war—Just War Against Terror—and she considers the American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan through that lens.  Was the war justif

OSWEGO, NY (wrvo) - Mark Morabito lost his wife, Laura Lee Defazio Morabito, in the September 11th attacks--she was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, one of the two planes flown into the World Trade Center. In this interview he remembers the day and looks back at the 10 years that have passed--and how that event, and that loss, have affected his own life. What is a vivid historical event for most Americans is a wrenching personal loss for him.

Oswego, NY – Ash Sangha may have the most interesting elected student position on the planet. As the President of the Oxford Union Society, he meets the worlds' top political and business figures, and major celebrities, as well as presiding over the famous Oxford Union debates. In this conversation, he discusses how the debates work, their role in British society, and the cultural differences between the U.S. and U.K. when it comes to high-spirited but reasoned and polite political debate.

Pages