Schedule + Topics

Thursday, October 6: The 2016 Campaign

**note: this class is on THURSDAY and will be held in Memorial Auditorium

What happened to the GOP, and will it ever be the same? Why has populism returned on both sides of the political aisle? How has political campaigning and strategy changed in the 2016 election? Analysis of and predictions for the November election.

Guest Speakers: 

David Plouffe (Campaign Manager for Barack Obama, 2008; Senior Advisor to the President, 2011-13; Senior VP Policy, Uber)

Mike McCurry (Chair of the Presidential Debate Commission, former Press Secretary to President Bill Clinton)


Tuesday, October 11, 2016: Existential Security Threats to the United States


ISIS is a threat to the United States, but according to President Obama not an existential threat. But what of nuclear warfare, bioterrorism, or climate change? We focus here with leading experts on the most worrisome threats to the United States and the world – those that threaten our very existence.

Guest Speakers:

William Perry (Stanford University; former Secretary of Defense)

Admiral Gary Roughhead (U.S. Navy, Hoover Institution)

Amy Zegart (Stanford University, Center for International Security and Cooperation)


Tuesday, October 18, 2016: Inequality and Opportunity

Why has inequality continued to increase in the face of an economic recovery? Why is social mobility higher in Canada than in the United States? What explains a persistent and growing educational achievement gap between high and low income families? How does the United States look in comparison to other countries? Two of the world’s most distinguished economists help us examine these questions.

Guest Speakers:

Raj Chetty (Economics, Stanford University)

Emmanuel Saez (Economics, UC Berkeley)


Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Tomorrow’s Workplace

Our economy faces striking challenges: declining wages for blue collar labor, increasingly impotent labor unions, globalization and new forms of trade protectionism, the rise of a “gig economy” in which people are not formal employees of places like Uber, and new technologies – especially artificial intelligence – that threaten to displace millions from the workplace. What are the implications for the future of work? And what economic and labor policies are needed to address this future?

Guest Speakers:

Paul Saffo (Futurist)

Natalie Foster (Co-Founder, Peers; former Digital Director of Obama for America)

Manuel Pastor (Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity, USC)


Tuesday, November 1, 2016: The Future of Democracy

What might the two party system and presidential elections look like after November? Is this a blip? Or are we seeing a fundamental change in our political structures and process? Whither American democracy?

Guest Speakers:

Larry Kramer (President, Hewlett Foundation; former Dean of Stanford Law School)

Peter Wehner (Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Columnist, New York Times)

Arlie Hochschild (Professor Emerita of Sociology, UC Berkeley)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016: ELECTION NIGHT, no class



Tuesday, November 15, 2016: Election Recap 

Guest Speakers

Ruth Marcus (Reporter, Washington Post)

David Brady (Hoover Institution, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research)

Stephen D. Krasner (Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution)