U.S. Domestic Policy

Jimmy Carter in Africa: Race and the Cold War

In the mid-1970s, the Cold War had frozen into a nuclear stalemate in Europe and retreated from the headlines in Asia. As Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter fought for the presidency in late 1976, the superpower struggle overseas seemed to take a backseat to more contentious domestic issues of race relations and rising unemployment. There was one continent, however, where the Cold War was on the point of flaring hot: Africa.

DHS: Progress in 2015, Goals for 2016--A Conversation with Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson

Please join the Wilson Center as Secretary Jeh C. Johnson, the fourth Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, delivers his final State of Homeland Security address, entitled “DHS: Progress in 2015, Goals for 2016.” Secretary Johnson oversees the United States' third largest Cabinet department and leads the nation’s efforts to counter a broad range of threats, from terrorism to natural disasters. Secretary Johnson's remarks will be followed by a question & answer session with the Center's Director, President & CEO Jane Harman.

Speaking Freely: Whitney v. California and American Speech Law

The United States has the world’s most permissive speech laws. That wasn’t always true, however, and leading constitutional scholar Philippa Strum explains how and why it happened. The story involves both a radical descendent of Mayflower Pilgrims named Anita Whitney and Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis. Strum also explores the question of whether such a liberal approach to speech is the right policy in today’s world, given cyberbullying, terrorist recruitment on the Internet, sexting, and the absence of gatekeepers in the world of the Web.

Infographic: A History of Immigration Policy and Migration Flows


U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Upholding Housing Discrimination Law

History and Context

The Fair Housing Act, part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability in the sale, rental and financing of housing-related transactions. Intentional discrimination resulting in disparate treatment is forbidden.

El Chapo Escapes: Major Setback for Mexico’s War on Organized Crime

The drug lord known as “El Chapo” has escaped from a maximum security prison for a second time. What are the implications for Mexico’s war on organized crime? Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood provides an overview.

Sexual Scandal: Law and Justice in Russia

The news that the former U.S. schoolteacher Jennifer Fichter was sentenced to 22 years in prison for multiple counts of sex with minors caused an uproar on Russian social media. The story was covered by major national news portals, attracting thousands of mainly indignant comments.

5 Reasons America Should Fear the Global Middle Class

In his last State of the Union address, President Obama made a pitch for “middle class economics” to help America’s beleaguered middle class, which continues to face stagnant wages, job displacement and soaring college costs and debt. His stated goal was to provide Americans with the requisite tools to get ahead in a fast-paced, constantly changing global economy. Of course, the United States middle class is not alone. Those in other advanced industrial countries are suffering similar or worse fates.

Immigration: Transforming America

In the final installment of our recap of the Wilson Center May 2015 Alumni Conference, an expert panel explores the ongoing ways that immigration is transforming America.  That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.

Part 1, a REWIND recap of a conversation between Madeleine Albright and Jane Harman, can be found here: