Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

The following Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news:
p. Clinton I *Douglas Kmiec * , professor of law at Notre Dame. In contrast to the perjury and obstruction charges against the president ? both of which may lack the public consequences needed to merit removal ? the “claim of executive privilege or a trumped-up theory of presidential attorney-client privilege is a continuing misuse of power by the president,” Kmiec says. “The president’s newest tactic is to claim that the people of the United States owe him free legal counsel to defend his personal misbehavior. Mr. Clinton thinks the White House counsel is his personal counsel and therein lies the true confusion of what is public and private.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;

  • p. Clinton II : Notre Dame political scientist Peri Arnold believes President Clinton must face some penalty for his actions, but doesn’t believe removal from office is the answer. “He has made himself a laughing stock in history,” says Arnold, professor of government and international studies. “Clearly, he did lie in judicial settings, and I don’t think that one can just let this pass. You have to find some mechanism to penalize the president. (But), do we want to create a precedent which uses a relatively low bar for defining an impeachable offense? I don’t think it’s all that desirable to have him in office for another two years, but there’s no better option.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Brazil : A Notre Dame anthropologist from Brazil is pleased with the reelection of the country’s president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. “I’m very happy with the result because I think the reelection of the president reveals a political wisdom on the part of the Brazilian people,” says Roberto A. DaMatta , Edmund P. Joyce Professor of Anthropology. “He is not only a very well prepared and qualified political leader, but he also has led Brazil in a very ethical way. He has created a good marriage between the state and the society. The Latin American tradition always has included disharmony between the state government and the people. It is important for the government to recognize that it cannot be that way. Cardoso has shown tremendous discernment in seeing this. He has been producing a dialogue in a most effective way and has been a fantastic mediator between the two sides of Brazilian political life.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Germany : Newly elected German leader Gerhard Schroder’s victory over Chancellor Helmut Kohl was impressive, but a Notre Dame political scientist finds the success of the Party of Democratic Socialism (formerly, the Communists) even more notable. “By far the most surprising development is the incredible success of the Party of Democratic Socialism, which received enough voter support in the former East Germany to exceed the 5-percent hurdle for gaining direct representation in Parliament,” says A. James McAdams , chair and professor of government and international studies. “This testifies to the fact that nearly a decade after the Wall and the reunification of the nation, tensions between the two parts of formerly divided Germany continue, and many eastern Germans still distrust the political representation they receive in Bonn.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Peace talks : The recent progress in talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat are part of what “truly has been a protracted negotiating process, often moving by millimeters at a time,” says Alan Dowty , professor of government and international studies at Notre Dame. “There have been signs for some time that a deal could be closed immediately, given the small gap remaining, so it would be foolhardy to make precise predictions. In any event, agreement on this stage of redeployment doesn’t begin to touch the basic issues that remain, and only a true fantasist imagines that these issues will be settled before the deadline of next May 4.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Mark McGwire : Because their personal behavior sometimes creates negative images, professional athletes are an endorsement risk for many companies. But Michael Etzel , professor of marketing at Notre Dame, says baseball home run king Mark McGwire looks like a good bet. “I would expect McGwire to receive an unlimited number of endorsement offers for two reasons,” Etzel says. “First, he has a very clean image, which he has managed extremely well. Second, he has achieved icon status, so even if he is a less than desirable person, the media is unlikely to attack him. His challenges will be to maintain his credibility by being selective and to manage his time to protect his sanity.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Asian economy : Notre Dame economist Kwan S. Kim says too much blame for the Asian financial crisis has been directed toward the role of global capital. “While admitting the reality that small developing nations are vulnerable to the volatile forces of global capital, I would argue that the root cause of the crisis rests essentially with the recipient countries,” says Kim, professor of economics and a faculty fellow in Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. “In an age of global capitalism, the borrowers are as much responsible as hedge-fund owners for appreciating the nature of new global forces. In the absence of new international institutions that can discipline global capital, the developing countries owe it to themselves to take proper measures for self defense.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Iraq : The international sanctions policy against Iraq could have been “managed more effectively and humanely,” but it does not constitute a case of “genocide of Iraqis” as some in the Catholic peace movement have suggested, writes George Lopez , professor of government at Notre Dame, in the Sept. 11 issue of Commonweal. “The impact of the sanctions may be either immoral or moral,” Lopez writes, “but judgments regarding their effect on innocent people must be assessed clearly by examining the response of the sanctioned country’s leader and in light of the international relief effort mobilized on behalf of the innocent. In the case of Iraq, the moral ground continues to rest with sanctions.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;

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