Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

*Notre Dame ReSources
April 27-May 3, 1997
p. Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news:

  • p. Chemical weapons treaty: Senate ratification last week of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) will give the United States a “legitimate leadership role in this important area of arms control,” says Raimo Vayrynen , director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame. “The convention is the most comprehensive and binding agreement reached so far on the banning of the production, trade, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. While no arms-control agreement can be verified perfectly, the organization and technical secretariat of the CWC will create a detailed verification mechanism preventing the transfer of chemical agents for illegal uses.” (219) 631-5665; * .
    p. *Netanyahu
    : Even without an indictment against him, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “still in trouble,” says Alan Dowty , professor of government and international studies at Notre Dame. “First of all, there will be an appeal of the attorney general’s decision not to indict, which will have to be settled in the Supreme Court. Then Netanyahu will have to hold his coalition together, despite the fact that officially there is ‘tangible suspicion’ of his involvement in the deal over appointment of a party hack to a supposedly nonpolitical post. The opposition parties will be pulling out all stops to get the Knesset to call new elections, which would include both the Knesset and the prime ministership, and this would require the defection of only one or two of the eight parties in the coalition. Failing this, there will be pressure to broaden the base of the government by forming a National Unity Government, in which Netanyahu’s dominant role would be weakened. The next few weeks will be lively.” (219) 631-5098; * .
    p. *Sweatshops:
    The Clinton administration’s proposed code of conduct to improve working conditions in the apparel industry must give independent monitors the “power to publish,” says Rev. Oliver Williams, C.S.C. , associate professor of management and director of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business. “The devil is in the details,” he says. “If these codes are going to work, the monitors must have the power to publish their reports in the press. That’s how you get the information to the consumers.” Williams added that it isn’t enough for U.S. firms operating factories in foreign countries to pay the minimum wage in each nation. “Catholic social thought has always said you ought to pay a living wage,” he says. “The minimum wage in some places is just too low. When workers are starving because they can’t make enough money, how can you say that the market should set the wage? That’s carrying laissez-faire capitalism too far.” (219) 631-6373 p. At your service: Despite the fact that service providers are now creating the vast majority of jobs in the United States, most companies are still using business structures designed for manufacturing products rather than serving consumers. Michael Etzel , professor of marketing at Notre Dame and chair of the American Marketing Association, says these systems, which operate under assumptions that service jobs are menial and that technical skills are more important that people skills, must change. “Companies are going to have to create jobs that enrich the individual,” he says. “That includes allowing employees room for creativity and hiring employees who could be candidates for a management job down the road. Technical competency is important, but the right attitude and people skills are more important.” (219) 631-5925 p. Campaign fund-raising: The current controversies concerning campaign fund-raising are symbolic of the “sorry state of the American party system today,” Robert Schmuhl , professor and chair of American studies at Notre Dame, writes in an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “What we see occurring is a consequence of party decline that began about three decades ago,” he says. “As American politics moved from the wheeling-dealing in smoke-filled rooms to a candidate-centered process heavily reliant on the media, the parties lost much of their organizational clout. Until a radically different process for financing campaigns comes into being, our party system will continue to wither. Without muscular reforms that strengthen electoral structures, ambitious politicians – spurred by savvy yet self-interested consultants – will keep winning the White House primarily on their own.” (219) 631-7316 p. Secrets: Psychologists have maintained that it is healthy to share traumatic personal secrets. But a new study by Anita Kelly , assistant professor of psychology at Notre Dame, runs counter to that long-held assumption. “Although there are physical and psychological symptoms associated with carrying the traumatic burden alone, revealing secrets involves risks, such as the possibility of being rejected by and alienated from the listener,” Kelly and her colleague, Kevin McKillop, write in their study. “Revealing a secret may cause increased discomfort for both the secret-keeper and the confidant.” Kelly suggests “judicious revelation.” (219) 631-7048

TopicID: 748