Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

The following Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news:

Military force: The continuing use ? or threatened use ? of military force to stabilize crises in Iraq and Kosovo is unlikely to produce lasting results, says Raimo Vayrynen, professor of government and international studies at Notre Dame and a faculty fellow in the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “The increasing reliance on military coercion reflects the recalcitrance of the Iraqi and Serbian leaders, but also the emergence of a new, all too narrow, approach to conflict resolution,” he says. “The situation in Kosovo indicates that the international community must be willing to develop a more comprehensive and facilitating approach to defuse and transform violent conflicts. The coercive diplomacy, as it is practiced now, will not produce any permanent solution, and may even turn out to be counterproductive.” For further comment, contact Professor Vayrynen at *(219)-631-5665 or at

  • p. South Africa : The almost certain election in May of Thabo Mbecki to succeed Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa will keep the country on a stable course, according to Rev. Oliver R. Williams, C.S.C. , associate professor of management at Notre Dame and an expert on South African politics and economics. “Thabo Mbecki is a skilled diplomat and a brilliant public policy thinker, who, in many ways, is more talented than Mandela,” says Father Williams. “Of course, he does not possess the almost saint-like status of Mandela, who has kept relative peace in spite of the fact that there is a 30-percent unemployment rate and that many live in dire poverty. Mbecki will be under great pressure to deliver job creation and increased service for the poor. If anyone can do it, he can. The challenge is great, however.” For further comment, contact Father Williams at (219) 631-5761 or at
    Note : Video and photos are available of Mbecki addressing a landmark conference at Notre Dame in October 1991 involving representatives of the African National Congress, Inkatha, the Azanian People’s Organization, the National Party, the U.S. government and American corporate leaders. Contact: Dennis Brown in Public Relations and Information at (219) 631-7367.p. Trade deficit : A Notre Dame economist says the United States should not turn toward protectionism in the face of the Commerce Department’s report of a record high trade deficit for 1998. “We need to be patient for the Pacific Rim’s eventual rebound in economic activity,” says Jeffrey Bergstrand , associate professor of finance and business economics. “Japan has finally yielded to American and European pressure to provide greater government stimulus to its economy, and policies have been implemented. However, the effects of such policies always operate with a lag. In time, these will help Japan and other countries in the Pacific Rim recover economically, which in the end will ‘rebalance’ trade between the United States and these important partners.” For further comment, contact Professor Bergstrand at *(219)-631-6761 or at
  • p. Post-impeachment : The nation’s news media are the worse for wear in the wake of President Clinton’s impeachment trial, according to Robert Schmuhl , director of Notre Dame’s Program in Journalism, Ethics&Democracy and professor and chair of American studies. “Unlike Watergate, which elevated the standing of journalism in America, the Clinton scandal, impeachment and trial have ? fairly or not ? left the public with a more jaundiced view of the contemporary news media,” he says. “In part, people reacted negatively to the content of the scandal. But another significant factor has been the sheer volume of coverage ? the ‘all-Monica-all-the-time’ syndrome. With the story now history, collective journalistic soul-searching will revolve around what’s legitimate to cover in the public/private realm and whether proportion is possible in today’s all-new environment.” For further comment, contact Professor Schmuhl at *(219)-631-6761 or at
  • p. Notre Dame News : One of the largest campus bookstores in higher education opened the weekend of Feb. 19-21 at Notre Dame. The 65,000-square-foot Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore ? almost twice the size of the University’s previous facility ? is a part of the new $21.5-million Eck Center on the south end of campus … The Board of Trustees has affirmed a recommendation of the University’s officers that Notre Dame retain its institutional independence. The decision culminated a process of information-sharing between Notre Dame and both the Big Ten Conference and the Committee for Institutional Cooperation , the conference’s academic consortium … Alexander Blachly , associate professor of music at Notre Dame and founding director of the internationally acclaimed New York ensemble Pomerium, has been nominated for a Grammy award for small ensemble for the group’s album, “Creator of the Stars.” The winners will be announced this week … The motion picture, “Message in a Bottle,” based on the best-selling novel by 1988 Notre Dame graduate Nicholas Sparks, has been No. 1 at the box office the past two weeks. The film stars Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn and Paul Newman … *

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