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The Brookings Cafeteria

Host Fred Dews interviews experts from the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization (think tank) based in Washington, D.C., about their research and ideas on solutions to the most pressing public policy challenges facing the nation and the world.

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Do Common Core Standards Really Matter?

Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. Despite initial enthusiasm, criticism of and outright opposition to the standards are beginning to arise. , a senior fellow in the  at Brookings, explains how the Common Core came about, why some are opposed to it now, and what his research shows about its impact on student achievement.Show notes:•  (Loveless)•  (Loveless, in 2012 Brown Center Report)•  (West and Bleiberg)•  (Brown Center event)•  (West and Bleiberg)•  (Brown Center event)•  (Loveless)•

31mins

25 Apr 2014

Rank #1

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The next democracy debate in the Middle East

The Arab Spring movements that started in 2010 and 2011 across North Africa and the Middle East  sparked a new debate on the future of democracy in the region. Yet in the years since, the region has seen a return to civil war and proxy warfare, most violently in Syria. The Arab world is still searching for a new democratic narrative as it navigates economic downturns, crackdowns, and the occasional possible bright spots, including a nascent democracy in Tunisia. What will the be the next debate on democracy in the region? And what are opportunities for improving good governance? In this third episode of a four-part podcast series from the Democracy and Disorder Project at Brookings, host talks with —former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority (2007-13) and a distinguished fellow at Brookings—and , a post-doctoral fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, about these and related issues. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or on , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

44mins

12 Mar 2019

Rank #2

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Financial ecosystems and the move toward equity

John Villasenor, nonresident senior fellow in Governance Studies and the Center for Technology Innovation, discusses his new report on digital and financial inclusion. Also stay tuned for our regular election update from John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies.  Thanks to audio producer Mark Hoelscher and producer Vanessa Sauter, and also thanks for additional support from Jessica Pavone, Eric Abalahin, and Rebecca Viser. Subscribe to the Brookings Cafeteria on , listen in all the usual places, and send feedback email to .

19mins

26 Aug 2016

Rank #3

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The Supreme Court after Scalia

, a visiting fellow in Governance Studies and an expert on federal courts, discusses the process and politics of replacing Associate Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court given the current political climate. “This polarization our politics has affected the polarization of the confirmation and nomination process and I don’t see how it gets ratcheted down,” Wheeler says. “It gets ratcheted up but I don’t see what happens to get us back to the day in which the Senate basically fulfilled its duty, which was to advise and consent to confirmation of qualified nominees and we’re moving away from that basic obligation of the Senate.”In the podcast, Wheeler gives an overview of the president's and the Senate's constitutional duties for replacing a Supreme Court justice. He also discusses the implications of appointing a Supreme Court justice now, or waiting until the next president is sworn in.Also in this episode: another segment of with Senior Fellow Emeritus ; and discusses his new book, Subscribe to the Brookings Cafeteria on , listen on , and send feedback email to .

31mins

11 Mar 2016

Rank #4

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Indonesia, an unlikely democracy

Indonesia, a presidential democracy, is the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world and the fourth most populated on earth. It is also the largest nation in Southeast Asia—Indonesia’s archipelago of over 18,000 islands stretches the distance from Seattle to Boston. In this episode, Senior Fellow  interviews , a professor at Cornell University and nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, about democracy in Indonesia. The two discuss the history of Indonesia’s transition to democracy, the upcoming (in April) presidential election, the roles of Islam and the military, and relations between Indonesia and the United States. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or on , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

40mins

15 Mar 2019

Rank #5

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The 1967 Arab-Israeli War

Between June 5 and June 10, 1967, Israel and an Arab coalition of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan fought a war that Israelis call the Six Day War, and that Arabs generally call the June War. By war’s end, Israel had captured territories on all three fronts: the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt; the Golan Heights from Syria; and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. And with those territories hundreds of thousands of people, primarily Palestinians (today numbering millions), came under Israeli control. In this episode, five Brookings scholars share their insights and expertise on a range of current policy issues that have roots in the conflict. These include how the war changed both Israel and its Arab neighbors; the transformation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the rise of political Islam as an alternative to Arab secular nationalism, particularly in Egypt; regional repercussions and peace deals; and the role of US diplomacy. On the 50th anniversary of the 1967 War, our experts look back as they look forward to grapple with these issues and how the conflict’s legacies continue to resonate today. This episode is part of a larger effort by the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings to offer perspectives on the war’s anniversary, to ask what can be learned from it, and how these lessons inform our understanding about the current turmoil in the region.

56mins

2 Jun 2017

Rank #6

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Brexit and the new plan for Northern Ireland

Brexit—the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, has been scheduled to occur on October 31. But will it still happen? As events continue to evolve in Britain and in the European Union--including Prime Minister Boris Johnson's likely failed attempt to hold new elections in December--where do things stand? , the Robert Bosch Senior Fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, explains what’s been going on, and what to expect next in Brexit. Also on this episode, , fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program, speaks to the issue of talent development as a component of city and regional economic development. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

34mins

25 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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The top economic issues in 2020

, vice president and director of Economic Studies at Brookings, and , the Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow and policy director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, share their views on the state of the U.S. economy and the top economic issues facing the country in the upcoming year. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts or on , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

25mins

3 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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Policy 2020, your guide to the presidential election

Senior Fellow interviews Senior Fellows and about the new project and resource at Brookings. Policy 2020 empowers voters with fact-based, data-driven, non-partisan information to better understand the policy matters discussed by candidates running for office in 2020. Plus, in a new Coffee Break segment, meet , the vice president and director of Economic Studies at Brookings. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

44mins

18 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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Welfare, segregation, economic mobility

, the Okun-Model Fellow in Economic Studies and an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University, talks about his research on why people participate, or don't, in social welfare programs like food stamps, and also new research on how past segregation may predict modern-day economic mobility. Also in this episode: , a fellow in Governance Studies, offers her assessment of what's happening in Congress, and what will happen in Congress after the August recess ends. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or on , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is a part of the .

51mins

18 Aug 2017

Rank #10

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Fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 years later

On November 9, 1989, the government of East Germany announced that all of its citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of Germans from east and west climbed onto the heavily fortified wall surrounding West Berlin and began chipping away at the concrete with hammers and other tools in a celebratory atmosphere. East German guards stood down. Thus began the fall of the Berlin Wall that had divided the city since 1961. The beginning of the end of the Cold War was at hand. On this episode, Constanze Stelzenmüller, a senior fellow at Brookings and the Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress, discusses her new Foreign Policy Essay, “German Lessons: Thirty Years after the End of History, elements of an education,” and the lessons that were in store for her, her fellow Germans, Europe, and the world. Also, Senior Fellow David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, talks about his takeaways after watching people play the Fiscal Ship Game, an interactive game about balancing the federal budget developed by the Hutchins Center. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

29mins

8 Nov 2019

Rank #11

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Global China’s ambitions across East Asia

In this special edition of the Brookings Cafeteria, Lindsey Ford interviews a trio of Brookings experts on new papers from the Global China Project that focus on China's engagements with neighbors in East Asia, and how it secures its periphery.  The guest experts are Richard Bush, Jonathan Stromseth, and Lynn Kuok. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

55mins

3 Dec 2019

Rank #12

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Best of the Brookings Cafeteria podcast in 2019

To celebrate the closing of the year, this episode features our favorite clips from past 12 months. We hope you enjoy it and perhaps take the opportunity to download full episodes that interest you, share the show with friends, and . Visit the episode's show notes to get links to all of the episodes. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts or on , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

49mins

27 Dec 2019

Rank #13

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Hoarding the American Dream

, a senior fellow in Economic Studies and co-director of the Center on Children and Families, discusses his new book  and outlines why distinctions in the American middle class matter.  Also in this episode: , director the of , stops in for our regular "Coffee Break" segment. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts or on , send feedback by email to  and follow us at on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is a part of the Brookings Podcast Network.

28mins

16 Jun 2017

Rank #14

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Brookings experts on the $2 trillion coronavirus response package

The U.S. Congress has passed a $2 trillion economic support package in response to coronavirus. To analyze what’s in the measure, a group of scholars from the Economic Studies program at Brookings linked up in a conference call. This episode is a replay of that conversation, which was moderated by Senior Fellow David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary policy. Also on the episode: Jay Shambaugh, senior fellow and director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings Ryan Nunn, policy director of the Hamilton project and a fellow in Economic Studies Nellie Liang, the Miriam K. Carliner Senior Fellow in Economic Studies and who is affiliated with the Hutchins Center Josh Gotbaum, a guest scholar in Economic Studies and served as director of the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and as Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Economic Policy Louise Sheiner, the Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow in Economic Studies and policy director of the Hutchins Center. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or on , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

26mins

28 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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What America’s slow-growing population means for immigration, the Electoral College, and more

Bill Frey, a senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and one of the nation’s leading experts on U.S. population demographics, talks about his new analysis of Census Bureau data on America’s population dynamics and their meaning for immigration, the Electoral College in future presidential elections, and the nation’s future generally. Also on today’s show, Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds discusses what's happening in Congress, including impeachment, the trade deal, and U.S. conflict with Iran.  Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or on , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

32mins

10 Jan 2020

Rank #16

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A global response to the climate crisis

The United Nations Climate Action Summit takes place during the UN General Assembly meetings in New York this month. Two guests are on this episode to discuss the event and the global response to the climate crisis: , senior fellow in Global Economy and Development at Brookings and co-lead with Professor Nicholas Stern of the Sustainable Growth and Finance Initiative of the New Climate Economy; and , fellow in Foreign Policy and the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at Brookings.  Also on today’s show meet , a new David M Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program.  Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

31mins

20 Sep 2019

Rank #17

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What does a global China mean for the US and the world?

This is the first of five special episodes in a takeover of the Brookings Cafeteria podcast by the at Brookings, a multi-year endeavor drawing on expertise across Brookings. The project aims to understand China’s regional and global ambitions, and to look not just at how China has changed on the world stage, but also where the US-China relationship is headed. In this series, , a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Foreign Policy, speaks with experts about a range of issues related to Global China.  In this episode, Ford talks with and , fellows in Foreign Policy and two of the leaders of the project. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

26mins

30 Sep 2019

Rank #18

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Who are the Inspectors General and what do they do?

In a new book from the Brookings Institution Press titled “U.S. Inspectors General: Truth Tellers in Turbulent Times,” authors Charles Johnson and Kathryn Newcomer explore the strategic environment in which IGs operate and explain how these public servants do their work. On this episode, Brookings Press Director Bill Finan interviews the authors.  Also on the program, Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds tells us what’s happening in Congress. No surprise that it’s impeachment, but she explains what could happen in the Senate should impeachment of the president be affirmed in the House. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the .

29mins

6 Dec 2019

Rank #19

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Career paths and earnings after college

Ryan Nunn, a fellow in Economic Studies and policy director for the Hamilton Project, addresses the earnings of college graduates based on their choices in career path and course of study.  Also in this episode: Louise Sheiner, a senior fellow in Economic Studies and policy director for the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, answers a listener’s question about the effectiveness of the U.S. tax system when compared to other advanced nations in “Ask an Expert.” Finally, Richard Shearer, a senior research associate with the Metropolitan Policy Program, discusses the challenges of extending the benefits of economic growth to everyone in our regular “Metro Lens” segment. Subscribe to Brookings podcasts  or on , send feedback email to , and follow us and tweet us at  on Twitter. The Brookings Cafeteria is a part of the .

30mins

9 Jun 2017

Rank #20