Death tolls spur pro-war stance, study finds

Mounting casualities in America’s nearly 10-year-old wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might seem to serve as a catalyst for people to denounce the war and demand a way out. But a Washington University in St. Louis study into the psychology of “sunk-costs” finds that highlighting casualties before asking for opinions on these wars actually sways people toward a more pro-war attitude. This sunk-cost mindset may also expain why losers stay in the stock market.

Former ambassador for counternarcotics and justice reform in Afghanistan available to discuss foreign policy priorities for President Obama

“Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan need to be top foreign policy priorities for President Barack Obama,” says Thomas Schweich, former ambassador for counternarcotics and justice reform in Afghanistan and visiting professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. Schweich, the Special Representative for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, is available to discuss foreign policy issues facing the next president.

Crimes Against Humanity project to draft international treaty

The Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute of the School of Law announced a two-year project to study the international law regarding crimes against humanity and to draft a multilateral treaty condemning and prohibiting such crimes. Leila Sadat, J.D., the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law and director of the Harris Institute, recently convened the […]

Harris World Law Institute kicks off landmark Crimes Against Humanity Project

The Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute of Washington University School of Law announced a two-year project to study the international law regarding crimes against humanity and to draft a multilateral treaty condemning and prohibiting such crimes. Leila Sadat, J.D., the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law and director of the Harris Institute, recently convened the first meeting of the project’s steering committee.

Post-election Democrats will push popular agenda, appeal to moderates, expert says

Steven SmithIf Democrats want to expand their House and Senate majorities, they need to protect new members who were elected from Republican-leaning districts while showing they can govern by passing a limited popular agenda: “Satisfying the base while appealing to moderates is squarely the central strategic problem for both parties in the new Congress,” suggests Steven S. Smith, a congressional expert at Washington University in St. Louis.

Islam scholar trying to help Americans understand majority of the world’s Muslims are peaceful people

KaramustafaSince Sept. 11, 2001, a leading scholar of Islam at Washington University in St. Louis has sought to help an inquiring American public separate stereotype from complex reality and Islamic extremists from the many-sided moderate majority. Ahmet Karamustafa, Ph.D., chair of the Religious Studies program in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, is trying to help Americans see that although Islam has its radical factions, these factions are small in number and the majority of the world’s Muslims are peaceful people.

U.S. rules Iraq under international law doctrine of ‘debellatio’ and will until stable government is formed

Photo courtesy U.S. ArmyA U.S. Army brigadier general congratulates the graduates of the new police academy in Sin’Jar.Americans anxious to handover power to a sovereign Iraqi government by June 30 should remember it took 10 years for Allied Forces to return similar powers to Germany following World War II, says WUSTL political expert Victor Le Vine. Iraq, like post-war Germany, is now considered debellatio — its government no longer exists under international law. And, like it or not, the United States is stuck in Iraq until a new government is formed, a process that hinges on some very contentious constitution making. As part of an international conference on post-conflict constitutional reconstruction, Le Vine spent two years examining some 20 cases of constitution making in countries torn by war, revolution, rebellion and internal collapse. His analysis suggests that Iraqi nation-building will be both “painful and agonizingly difficult.”

President Bush and the future of Iraq

SadatLeila Sadat, professor of law at Washington University and one of the country’s leading experts in international and comparative law, discusses Bush’s address before the UN’s General Assembly and his proposals for the future of Iraq with Mike Sampson of KWMU’s St. Louis on the Air on Sept. 23. Listen to the program from the KWMU Web site.
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