Featured Slide

  • Democracy in Peril

    When I moved back to New England eight years ago, the state of Rhode Island was in tough financial shape and several municipalities were being administered by officials appointed by the governor.  Let’s be clear about what this meant: whole communities—and sizable ones at that—had local democracy subverted and replaced by appointed officials.  I was troubled by the phenomenon.  It struck me as running counter to so many of the … Read More

  • Environmental Justice with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

    In April 2014, officials in Flint, Michigan, switched the source of the city’s water from the Detroit water supply to the Flint, River.  It was a cost-saving move, but it touched the lives of citizens across that city.  Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha helped blow the story open.  With science and determination, she proved the decision was poisoning the children of Flint.  An associate professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan … Read More

  • “Story in the Public Square” Awarded Bronze for Best Political/Commentary in Television in the 40th Annual Telly Awards

    NEWPORT, RI – “Story in the Public Square” has been awarded bronze for Best Political/Commentary in Television for the 40th Annual Telly Awards. This is the second consecutive Telly Award win for the show. The Telly Awards honor excellence in video and television across all screens as judged by leaders from video platforms, television and streaming networks, agencies, and production companies including Vice, Vimeo, Hearst Digital Media, BuzzFeed, and A&E … Read More

  • The Press and the War in Afghanistan with Katherine A. Brown

    Air Dates: May 20-26, 2019 America’s war in Afghanistan is the longest war in the history of the United States.  Katherine A. Brown served on the staff of the U.S. ambassador there in the years after 9/11 and she argues now that the role of the American press in Afghanistan is essential to understanding the conduct of the war.  Brown is the author of a compelling new book about the … Read More

  • Iran? I’ve seen that movie, too

    On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine was at anchor in Havana Harbor when an explosion sank her killing 260 officers and men.  The so-called Yellow Press—led by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer— promptly blamed the Spanish government and cried “Remember the Maine!” In truth, historians remain uncertain about what caused the explosion, but the leading theory is that a fire in one of the coal bunkers on board … Read More

  • Leap of Faith: Decision Making Before the Iraq War with Michael Mazarr

    Air Dates: May 13-19, 2019 In 2003, the United States military unleashed a campaign the press had pre-christened “Shock and Awe,” the dominant and overwhelming application of American military power against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and its military.  Within weeks, U.S. forces controlled all of Iraq, and then the fighting really began.  This week on “Story in the Public Square,” Michael J. Mazarr unravels the decision making that led to what … Read More

  • New Papers in Series on Timor-Leste Published

    Newport, RI – Today the Pell Center released two new papers on the foreign policy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Finding Partners: Timor-Leste’s Evolving Security Ties with Southeast Asia, authored by Natalie Sambhi, explores how Timor-Leste’s sense of geopolitical vulnerability, as a young democracy in an increasingly rivalrous region—when coupled with a number of pressing domestic imperatives—has played a key role in shaping its strategic outlook. Ms. Sambhi is … Read More

  • Disability Rights with Peter Blanck

    Sixty-one million Americans—that’s 26% of the population—live with some kind of disability.  These are our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, and our family members.  While the Americans with Disabilities Act has improved the lives of many since it became law nearly three decades ago, Peter Blanck tells us the history and the ongoing challenges for those with disabilities can be stark.  Blanck is University Professor at Syracuse University—an academic rank … Read More

  • It’s Not a Constitutional Crisis

    It’s easy right now to let our worries and anxieties about events in Washington consume us. A quick listen to the talking heads or a glance at some of the opinion pages would lead you to believe that we’re in the midst of a full-blown constitutional crisis.  It’s a thought that I’ve considered on more than one occasion in recent months, largely stemming from the proliferation of congressional investigations into … Read More

  • The World Is NOT Falling Apart, with Michael Cohen and Micah Zenko

    It’s easy to be convinced by talk show hosts, editorial writers, and politicians that American security hangs on the razor’s edge and that the world is more dangerous, now, than it has ever been. Michael Cohen and Micah Zenko remind us that the facts simply don’t match that narrative.  In fact, they tell us, the world has never been better.  Michael A. Cohen, a columnist for the Boston Globe, and … Read More