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The Arendt Center is Hiring!

The Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College seeks an enthusiastic Program Associate to help grow the Center at an exciting time in its history. The Program Associate would be responsible for working with the Director of the Arendt Center to administer and grow the Center, with the mission to provoke engaged thinking that elevates public…Read more The Arendt Center is Hiring! Posted on 21 March 2014 | 8:55 am

The Unproductive Labor of Politics: Arendt’s reading of Adam Smith

Richard Halpern, “Eclipse of Action: Hamlet and the Political Economy of Playing,” Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 59, Number 4, Winter 2008, pp. 450-482 As he formulates an original response to the classic problem of Hamlet’s non-action, Halpern offers one of the few critical analyses of Arendt’s reading of Adam Smith in The Human Condition. He shows…Read more The Unproductive Labor of Politics: Arendt’s reading of Adam Smith Posted on 22 January 2014 | 1:13 pm

Looking Beyond A Digital Harvard

Graduation is upon us. Saturday I will be in full academic regalia mixing with the motley colors of my colleagues as we send forth yet another class of graduates onto the rest of their lives. I advised three senior projects this year. One student is headed to East Jerusalem, where she will be a fellow…Read more Looking Beyond A Digital Harvard Posted on 24 May 2013 | 12:22 pm

The Rationality of Breaking the Rules

Controversy is raging around Thomas Friedman’s column today advising the presumptive Secretary of State John Kerry to “break all the rules.” In short, Friedman—known for his faithful belief that technology is making the world flat and changing things for the better—counsels that the U.S. ignore hostile governments and appeal directly to the people. Here’s the…Read more The Rationality of Breaking the Rules Posted on 24 January 2013 | 4:13 pm

The Courage to Lead

Since our recent weekend read from Roberto Unger regarding the upcoming presidential election is generating so much discussion, we thought we would re-run this “Quote” of the week from Roger Berkowitz that was originally posted in February.  “The Courage to Lead” seemed an apt follow up . “Whoever entered the political realm had first to…Read more The Courage to Lead Posted on 25 June 2012 | 12:47 pm

Is Yonkers Next?

According to the NY Times and a report commissioned by the Mayor of Yonkers, that city may be the next municipality to trade democracy for a technocratic control board to control its finances. The key takeaway from the article: In an interview, one of the report’s authors, former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, said that the projected…Read more Is Yonkers Next? Posted on 6 April 2012 | 9:14 am

The End of Democracy in Detroit?

It was Winston Churchill who said that democracy was the worst form of government, except for all the others. We have been living in passive agreement with Churchill’s witticism for half a century. But slowly, harrowingly, fatalistically, people around the world are giving up on democracy.   Greece, the birthplace of democracy, and Italy (well, it’s…Read more The End of Democracy in Detroit? Posted on 4 April 2012 | 1:01 pm

Pension Ponzis: Questions About the Public Interest

The public pension crisis is eroding the American social contract. While many are up in arms against Governor Scott Walker’s heavy-handed attack on public unions, the fact is that Democratic governors in NY and California are also struggling with the inevitable need to reduce public pensions. Governor Jerry Brown in California admitted recently that public…Read more Pension Ponzis: Questions About the Public Interest Posted on 20 March 2012 | 11:29 am