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The Europe Center February 2017

 

40 Years of the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor Program at Stanford

America Stars Token
An "Amerika-Sterne" Token

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor program at Stanford. Administered by The Europe Center and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, this program has brought an Austrian scholar to Stanford each year since 1977.

The history of the program begins in 1976. In honor of the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and to demonstrate its appreciation for America’s support following WWII, a committee chaired by Chancellor Bruno Kreisky appealed “to the Austrian public to make donations for an Austrian contribution from people to people on the occasion of the American Bicentennial.” Through donations, the purchase of "Amerika-Sterne" (“America Stars," which were car stickers showing the Bicentennial emblem that worked as lottery tickets), and matching by the Austrian government, the committee raised an endowment of $1.5 million designed to support Austrian studies at an American university.
 
Fifteen American universities had signaled an interest in the program, nine submitted formal applications, and three finalists were considered: Yale, Minnesota, and Stanford. All three had proposed to use the money differently, and Stanford’s proposal would bring an Austrian scholar to the U.S. each year, with alternating professional backgrounds in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. The decision was taken to split the endowment between Stanford and Minnesota, which would install a permanent Chair for Austrian Studies within a Center for Austrian Studies.
 
In order to choose the candidates for the chair, two advisory committees were created with one in Vienna and one at Stanford. A list of possible candidates was put together in Vienna, and Stanford made the final selection. The first holder of the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professorship was Fritz Fellner, a historian from the University of Salzburg, and there have been thirty-seven Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chairs since that time. Dirk Rupnow, Professor of History at the University of Innsbruck, is the 2016-2017 Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor.
 
To read more about the history of the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor program at Stanford, please see our website for an article by Dirk Rupnow.

Featured Faculty Research: Ran Abramitzky

We would like to introduce you to some of The Europe Center’s faculty affiliates and the projects on which they are working. Our featured faculty member this month is Ran Abramitzky. Ran is an Associate Professor of Economics. He earned his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2005 and joined the faculty at Stanford that same year.
Ran AbramitzkyRan's research is on economic history and applied microeconomics and he focuses on immigration and income inequality. In his work on migration, Ran and his co-authors have examined various aspects of migrant assimilation and the economic returns to migration in both Europe and the United States. His current book project, The Mystery of the Kibbutz: How Egalitarian Principles Survived in a Capitalist World (under contract with Princeton University Press), examines the puzzle of why the Israeli kibbutzim - voluntary and egalitarian communes - have persisted within a capitalist state. Economic theory predicts that in a system where all members make equal wages, those who would earn more on the open market will exit the commune. Moreover, communes must contend with adverse selection - disproportionately attracting those in desperate economic positions. Yet the kibbutz has successfully persisted for a century and today approximately 2.6% of Israel's Jewish population live in kibbutzim. Ran finds that today's kibbutz have developed mechanisms for overcoming many of the collective action and selection problems facing communes. Social sanctions, for instance, are effective in combatting shirking. Restrictions on entry are used to dissuade the entry of less productive individuals. Higher kibbutz wealth increases the benefits of remaining. The kibbutz serves as a form of insurance for its voluntary members. The Mystery of the Kibbutz is expected to be published in November 2017.

Featured Graduate Student Research: Jane Esberg

We would like to introduce you to some of the graduate students that we support and the projects on which they are working. Our featured graduate student this month is Jane Esberg (Political Science). Jane is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University.
Jane EsbergIn her research, Jane is interested how autocratic repression can be used to retain supporters, rather than to simply eliminate opposition. In her dissertation project, Jane examines the use of three repressive behaviors - political killings, the use of courts to try political prisoners, and popular culture censorship - during the Chilean military dictatorship (1973-1989) with comparisons to military regimes in Argentina (1976-1983) and Brazil (1964-1985). Funded by The Europe Center, Jane traveled to Europe in September 2016 to examine the case of Spain under Franco. While in Spain, Jane conducted the majority of her research on four archives: the General Archive of Administration, the National Historic Archive, the Document Center of Memory, and the Provincial Archive of Salamanca. From her exploratory analysis in the archives, Jane believes that there are fruitful comparisons to be made between Chilean and Spanish use of political trials.
Please visit our website for more information about our Graduate Student Grant program.
 

The Europe Center Sponsored Events

 
March 1, 2017
5:30PM - 7:00PM
Ori Gersht, International Artist
Optical Unconsciousness
Oshman Hall, McMurtry Building
This event is co-sponsored by The Contemporary project, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Department of Art and Art History, The Europe Center, and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies.
 
Save the Date: April 3, 2017 
11:30AM - 1:00PM 
Guido Tabellini, Bocconi University
Historical Roots of Political Extremism: The Effects of Nazi Occupation of Italy
Room 400 (Graham Stuart Lounge), Encina Hall West 
No RSVP required. 
This seminar is part of the Comparative Politics Workshop in the Department of Political Science and is co-sponsored by The Europe Center.
 
April 11, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:30PM 
Philippe Van Parijs, University of Louvain
Europe's Destiny: A View from Brussels 
CISAC Central Conference Room, Encina Hall, 2nd Floor 
RSVP by 5:00PM April 7, 2017.
 
Save the Date: April 24, 2017 
11:30AM - 1:00PM 
Torun Dewan, London School of Economics
Room 400 (Graham Stuart Lounge), Encina Hall West 
No RSVP required. 
This seminar is part of the Comparative Politics Workshop in the Department of Political Science and is co-sponsored by The Europe Center.
 
Save the Date: June 5, 2017 
11:30AM - 1:00PM 
Daniel Stegmuller, University of Mannheim
Room 400 (Graham Stuart Lounge), Encina Hall West 
No RSVP required. 
This seminar is part of the Comparative Politics Workshop in the Department of Political Science and is co-sponsored by The Europe Center.
 

European Security Initiative Events

 
February 23, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:15PM 
Samuel Charap, International Institute for Strategic Studies
Timothy Colton, Harvard University
Book Talk: Everyone Loses
CISAC Central Conference Room, Encina Hall, 2nd Floor 
RSVP.
 
February 27, 2017 
11:30AM - 12:45PM 
Aleksandr Golts, Visiting Fellow, Kennan Institute
Russian Military Reform and its Consequences
Reuben Hills Conference Room, Encina Hall, 2nd Floor 
This event has reached full capacity. Please contact Magdalena Fitipaldi to be added to the wait list.
 
Save the Date: March 13, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:15PM 
Paul Jones, U.S. Ambassador to Poland
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor 
RSVP by 5:00PM March 8, 2017.
 
Save the Date: March 16, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:15PM 
H.R. McMaster, Lt. General of U.S. Army
RSVP by 5:00PM March 13, 2017.
 
Save the Date: April 10, 2017 
Time TBA 
Ivan Krastev, Center for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Bulgaria
 

 
We welcome you to visit our website for additional details.