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. Russia : While the Russian political situation is “a mess,” the economic problems are not as serious as many have suggested, according to Gary Hamburg , professor of history and director of the Russian and East European Studies Program at Notre Dame. “The commentary on the economy has been overblown,” he said. “The thing to note is that the country is in no danger of starvation. The barter system that exists in much of the country works against the theory of economic collapse. You can barter without money for a long time.” Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *King assassination
: A Justice Department review of the allegations of a conspiracy in the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., is unlikely to produce anything new, according to G. Robert Blakey , professor of law at Notre Dame and chief counsel to the House committee that investigated the murder. “To the degree it (an inquiry) raises people’s false hopes, it will just dash them one more time,” Blakey told the South Bend Tribune. “The effort to go back 30 years and hope to learn something new is tilting at windmills.” Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Women in politics
: Women are making substantial political progress worldwide as members of parliaments and Cabinet ministers, but after a century of participation in politics they still constitute just 12 percent of elected legislators and 9 percent of Cabinet appointees, according to a new study by a University of Notre Dame political scientist. The portrait of women in the parliaments, Cabinets and chief executive offices of the world is the product of research conducted this year by Andrew Reynolds , assistant professor of government and international studies at Notre Dame, who gathered data from a wide variety of international sources. The survey, which includes 180 nations and related territories, also categorizes the types of portfolios held by women Cabinet ministers. Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Terrorism
: A Notre Dame political scientist says the U.S. bombings in Sudan and Afghanistan will not be effective in stopping terrorism in the long run. “In the short run, bombing may kill some terrorists and temporarily disrupt their plans, but it will not eliminate the background conditions that give rise to terrorism,” says Robert Johansen , professor of government and international studies and acting director of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “To address terrorism effectively, we must understand what causes it. What leads people to become so hostile that they will blow up innocent people on street corners? Although those engaged in terrorist acts do not follow a single logic that seems rational to us, they often can be influenced by political, economic and legal instruments. And, if some individuals persist in laying plans to commit violence against others, the international community needs to identify them and hold them individually accountable to international law. Arrest them and bring them to trial through appropriate judicial proceedings.” Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Clinton
: Given the seriousness of recent world events, independent counsel Kenneth Starr should conclude his investigation of President Clinton as quickly as possible, says Douglas Kmiec , professor of law at Notre Dame. “Mr. Starr needs a deadline, and the attorney general, who still retains some nominal supervision of his efforts even under the Independent Counsel Act, ought to give him one,” Kmiec wrote in an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune. “If she won’t, Congressman Hyde and his House Judiciary Committee should.” Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Northern Ireland
: Notre Dame’s Seamus Deane is hopeful that the recent bombing in Omagh that killed 28 and injured more than 330 is the last gasp of violence in Northern Ireland. “Omagh may be a watershed,” Deane, the Keough Professor of Irish Studies, wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times. “It may be the end of violence. It may be that the dead and the maimed of that little town will be remembered collectively as the last victims of the Troubles. They died during an attack on the peace process. The least we can do for them is to insure that the process survives the attack and remains resonant with their names and with the appalling sound that took their lives away.” Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Catholic theologians I
: Pope John Paul II’s recent apostolic letter, Ad tuendam fidem (“To Defend the Faith”) admonishes leaders and teachers of the Catholic Church against theological dissent and warns that Catholic theologians who publicly challenge “definitive” church teachings “may be punished with a just penalty.” According to Rev. Richard A. McCormick, S.J. , John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics at Notre Dame, the letter represents a “shift in ecclesial climate ? from persuasion to coercion.” In the August 14 edition of Commonweal magazine, Father McCormick notes that Pope John Paul II’s predecessor, Pope Paul VI, “wanted people to be ‘convaincus, pas vaincus’ (‘convinced, not conquered’). This is no longer our climate.” According to Father McCormick, this new, coercive church atmosphere “threatens ministry, sours the laity and divides the church ? the very opposite of what the pope intended.” Contact: Michael Garvey, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Catholic theologians II
: Notre Dame philosopher Alfred J. Freddosso fully supports Pope John Paul II’s recent apostolic letter. “The pope’s letter is bad news for a generation of Catholic thinkers who have tried so hard to accommodate Catholic faith and morals to the bourgeois standards of 1990s American culture,” he says. “The pope understands that he will be criticized by the dissenters, but his goal is to encourage fidelity among the increasing number of young and zealous Catholic scholars who see undiluted Catholic Christianity as a deep and coherent alternative to rampant hedonism, consumerism and moral skepticism.” *Contact: Michael Garvey, 219-631-7367; *

TopicID: 3375