From left to right: Prof. Kaushik Baru, Prof. Sarah Binder, Prof. Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, and Rep. Steve Israel.

Celebrating Cornell’s Newest Politics Institute, Pundits Explore How Trump has Changed America

Has Trump really changed everything? This is the question that three professors and a former member of the Congress tried to answer at a panel celebrating the launch of Cornell’s new Institute of Politics and Global Affairs. Speaking in Klarman Hall on Wednesday, the four panelists discussed political polarization, the dwindling of trust in institutions and the need to bridge gaps to find common ground. Rising economic inequality, changing demographics and echo chambers in online communication “created a large group of people who feel left out and unheard,” according to one of the panelists, Prof. Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, developmental sociology. By the time the 2016 election rolled around, those people, he said, “were in need of a champion, and here comes Trump.”

Eloundou-Enyegue said that people on the political left often turn to the law, courts and the press to address their grievances.

Richard Verma meets with former President Barack Obama shortly after his appointment as ambassador.

Former Ambassador to India Richard Verma Discusses Past and Present U.S.-India Ties

In the inaugural lecture at the newly founded Cornell India Law Center, former U.S. ambassador to India Richard Verma spoke about India’s increasing relevance in international affairs, the evolution of U.S.-India ties and the importance of learning from the history between the two nations. The lecture, which took place on Thursday, was the first in a series hosted by the Cornell India Law Center in the law school, which seeks to provide Cornell law students with the opportunity to study Indian law as well as obtain a more in-depth understanding and connection with India through a variety of programs, including speaker series, summer internships in New Delhi and a dual-degree program with Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, India. According to Verma, by 2030 “India will lead the world in almost every category.” But while India’s strategic location and its position as a democracy “in a tough part of the world” make it an important ally, the country still faces many “risk factors” such as significant climate risks, governance issues across the country, and for many of its citizens, a lack of access to clean water and electricity. “When you go to India, you can feel the excitement, you can feel the energy. People know that this is an exciting time.” Verma said.