Weekly Links

By Sarah Bakhtiari

Crossing West 10th Street. By stpenn.
“Crossing West 10th Street.” By stpenn.

This month, West Point’s debate team found itself outsmarted by a team of inmates from a maximum-security prison in New York, who beat the Army cadets this year and Harvard’s debate team last year. The inmate debate team members are students in the Bard Prison Initiative, which offers a college program to inmates at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, graduates of which have low recidivism rates.

For more on the “inside,” here is a troubling account of alleged prison abuse that led to the death of a mentally ill prisoner reported by a fellow “whistleblower” inmate. While the Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the death, no charges have been levied, and at present it’s unclear if justice will be served.

Are conservative professors in the American academy hiding in plain sight? A new book by Jon Shields and Joshua Dunn, Sr., presents interview-based evidence that some conservative academics hide, while others thrive. Henry Farrell interviewed the authors this week, uncovering some of the nuances of conservatism in the ivory tower.

Speaking of nuances, Erica Chenoweth and her six female co-authors spell out all of those that women seeking tenure in the academy should mind, like being aware of the potential need to be assertive but not overly so, and offer strategies to offset gender biases. In Silicon Valley, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is making efforts to address gender challenges by getting more women onto more boards in tech start-ups—normally filled by companies’ founders and funders who are largely white males. Her Boardlist now includes over one thousand women highly qualified to sit on the boards at tech companies.

What would a global realignment for the United States look like? Zbigniew Brzezinski outlines what he sees down the pike, and how the U.S. should reshape the global power architecture.

…and would it look anything like a version promoted by the edgy Russian TV network RT? RT has allegedly picked sides in the U.S. Presidential election, coming down favorably on the side of Trump, in addition to recruiting some American elite to host and offer commentary, including former DIA Director Michael Flynn.

Finally, in case you missed it, here’s an overview of the World Bank’s Listening 2 Africa initiative, which collects follow-up data on well-being and living conditions from various spots across sub-Saharan Africa via cell phone surveys, in partnership with various NGOs and state statistical offices.

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