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Post-Truth Moments in History

The Oxford English Dictionary has named “post-truth” the word of 2016. Post-truth is defined as, "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief." Our panel of Ohio State University professors looks at different historical contexts/cases where generally accepted “truths” were somehow rendered unimportant, whether deliberately or unintentionally, thereby providing historical context for our more recent “post-truth” moments.

Repertoires, performances, and institution creation: Comparing Regime Consolidation in China and Taiwan, 1949-1955

Presented by Julia Strauss, Senior Faculty Fellow, SOAS, University of London, at the Center for Historical Research, Department of History at The Ohio State University on January 10, 2014.

Much of the state building literature that comes from a Weberian perspective focuses on the creation and solidification of state institutions, particularly those bureaucratic institutions concerned with external defense, internal order, the extraction of sufficient resources to fund the state apparatus, and the recruitment and socialization for the state bureaucracy itself. Other literatures in a more rational choice vein, particularly associated with Robert Bates’ work on Africa, focus on how incentives for individuals within state bureaucracies often lead to rent seeking behaviour that undercuts the wider state building project. My work seeks to fill in the large grey areas and gaps between these two literatures on state building by focusing on they dynamics of how the higher reaches of the state mobilize the lower reaches of the bureaucracy through campaigns that intensely focus the nascent capacity of state agents on a series of extraordinary actions and programs, and they ways in which these campaigns either support or undercut other processes in the institutionalization of the bureaucracy that tend towards regular procedures, processes and rules.

Responses to Immigration

Created and developed by Gregory Kupsky

Since the 1880s, immigration patterns have changed in a number of ways, but what about Americans' responses to immigration? This video examines the various reactions to newcomers around the turn of the century and during the world wars. It also urges the viewer to compare present-day responses to those of earlier times.

 

Russia and the Race for the Arctic

Global climate variations have caused unprecedented changes to the Arctic environment, especially a rapid decrease in the summer sea ice sheet. While perilous to the survival of the iconic polar bear, many humans are watching these changes with an eye to what riches an open Arctic Ocean might bring forth: in oil and gas, mining, and open-water transportation. Five countries can lay claim to the potential wealth of the Arctic Ocean: Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the United States.

Russian Courts and the 1917 Revolution

Presented by Associate Prof. Aaron Retish, Dept. of History, Wayne State University at the Center for Historical Research in the Department of History at Ohio State University, Oct. 20, 2017. This talk was part of the 2017-2019 program, "You Say You Want A Revolution? Revolutions in Historical Perspective."

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