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The Foley Institute Fall 2019

Fall 2019

Use the key word search function  at the left of this page to find specific events

Wednesday, October 2 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Psychoanalysis and the politics of conspiracy

On Wednesday October 2, Dr. Amy Allen from Penn State discussed the politics and pathology of conspiracy theories. She explained that conspiracies are a form of paranoid-schizoid politics which include characteristics of persecutory anxiety, extreme political polarization, and demonizing opponents. Dr. Allen stated these characteristics are seen in extremists from the Democrat and Republican parties, drawing them as reminiscent to symptoms of those with paranoid schizophrenia.
In an example of this scenario, she stated the Republican Party currently controls both the Presidency and the Senate, yet there is often talk of party members feeling persecuted. Well known conspiracies addressed by Dr. Allen that follow this pattern include those who believe the Sandy Hook school shooting was fake and President Obama being “rotten” because he had flies land on him.

 

Tuesday, September 24 | 4:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Trade & Security in East Asia: A conversation with the Japanese Consul-General

On September 24, Japanese Consul-General Yoichiro (Giro) Yamada spoke at the Foley Institute about the future of trade relations and security between Japan and US, as well as the historical ties between Japan and the state of Washington.

Yamada addressed the tense trade relationship between the U.S and Japan during the 1990s due to a large trading deficit experienced by the U.S., and explained how investment and reforms helped to resolve the conflict between the two countries. Today, new concerns about the future of trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement have arisen, with the U.S embracing more protectionist policies.

The relationship between the U.S and China has changed as well, with the U.S. now experiencing the largest trade deficit in its history. With China’s increasing authoritarian tendencies, Yamada felt that the stage has been set for a clash similar to that of the Cold War. He expressed his hopes that China and democracies like the U.S and Japan can come together over a shared commitment to preserve peace for future generations.

 

Thursday, September 26 | 4:30 PM | Foley Speakers Room

The Politics of addiction

On September 26, Andre Hofmeyr and Harold Kincaid of the University of Capetown, William Kabasenche of Washington State University, and Jonathan Kaplan of Oregon discussed the root causes of addiction. Dr. Kabasenche moderated the event.

Harold Kincaid presented evidence as to why addiction should not take much of mainstream addiction framework at face value. Kincaid hypothesized that a good way to look at addictive behavior is not through a disease model or mental illness model, but rather as a continuum of behavior. Most addicts are transient and have varying degrees of problems with social context influencing seriousness. The number of addicts who are “classic addict” is relatively small. This hypothesis has not been tested because data of treatment successes or failures only looks at people in treatment centers dealing with the hardest cases.

Andre Hofmeyr discussed how rationalizing addictive behavior can be done by studying two factors; risk and time preferences. Risk preferences showed no difference in attitude between smokers and non-smokers. Time preferences showed smokers are more impatient and impulsive than non-smokers. Hofmeyr concluded if we can understand what drives addiction, we can have a better understanding of how to effectively solve the problem.

Jonathan Kaplan addressed the role genetics plays in addiction. Genetics can give a misleading picture to the roots of addiction. Genetic studies shows 50% of people inherit addictive behavior. He argued that addressing the root cause of addiction should not be done on a case by case basis, but through public policy. Policy differences that aim at environmental factors are likely to be more effective at reducing addiction than responses to individual causes.

 

Tuesday, September 24 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Addiction in the Northwest: Addressing the drug crisis

On September 24, Dr. Bob Lutz and Dr. John Roll discussed addiction in the Pacific Northwest and how to address the current drug crisis. Both Lutz and Roll agree that addiction is a product of our social environment.

Lutz, health officer for the Spokane Regional Health District, pointed that addiction is a chronic brain disorder and the first time a person with a drug addiction interacts with help should not be through incarceration as that is doing a disservice to them and society. Dr. Lutz extended support of Washington’s 2019 opioid response bill (HB 1331/SB 5380) which would provide treatment, opioid overdose reversal medication, and a variety of other services to combat this crisis.

Roll, professor and Vice Dean for research at WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, explained that opioid abuse is not a singular issue to manage when discussing the addiction crisis because methamphetamine usage is on the rise at similar levels to heroin. A solution Dr. Roll offers is using contingency management (CM) due to high rates of success in increasing abstinence rates of drug usage, its ability to be a positive reinforcer, and its cost effectivity. The Department of Veterans Affairs has been implementing CM since 2011.

 

 

Wednesday, September 4 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Marijuana: Evil weed or medical miracle?

On September 4, Herbert L. Eastlick Distinguished Professor of Psychology Rebecca Craft spoke at the Foley institute about current research and policies regarding the legalization of Marijuana.

Craft addressed misconceptions about current research surrounding the effects Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on the body, as well as why marijuana is still considered a schedule 1 drug by the FDA. Overall more research is necessary to determine the long-term health outcomes of marijuana use on the body, although she suggested that the outlook is very promising.

 

 

 

Thursday, August 29 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Turkey Today: Conflict and Crisis

On August 29, Dr. Chris Kilford spoke at the institute about the political history of Turkey, and what we might expect to see in the future

Kilford, a Research Fellow with the Conference of Defense Associations Institute, explained how the collapse of the Ottoman Empire was the initial catalyst for the continuing instability of Turkey. What we think of modern-day Turkey was established in 1923, with many factors affecting its social and economic development. Kilford described conflicts with neighboring countries, the rise of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and more recently, mass migration into the country as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis.

He also discussed Turkey’s long history with successive military coups, most recently the failed military coup intended to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016. In response to questions from the audience, Kilford suggested that the future of Turkey is unlikely to see civil war despite its extensive history with coup d’états. He emphasized the necessity of new leadership for positive change within the country.