May 14, 2003: Notebook
History in harmony
A specialist in the music of the late Middle Ages through the early Renaissance, associate professor of music Rob Wegman knew little about the history of American music when he arrived at Princeton in 1995. Since then, however, the Netherlands-born musicologist has taken to the songs that fill what he calls the soundtrack of U.S. history. Looking to spread his wings teaching-wise, in 1998 he introduced the survey course Music in the United States, on the period from the 18th century to World War II.
I got hooked on American music because of things like the minstrel show, blues, slave songs, and the whole history behind them. The Civil War, slavery, Emancipation, the Revolution all spawned songs that give the issues a quality of feeling that gives you direct access to what was happening, says Wegman, who has written what is considered the authoritative work about the 15th-century Franco-Flemish composer Jacob Obrecht.
He is currently working on a book about sexual aggression in the late-medieval courtly song, which often conceptualized love and courtship in terms of aggression, he says. For instance, the lady can be likened to a castle, to be assaulted by the god of love, in whose army the lover is a conscript. There are also more platonic interpretations, but the point is that few contexts in which the metaphor was used were ever wholly free of ambiguity, says Wegman.
Whether hes teaching about classical music or rock and roll, as he does in Urban Blues and the Golden Age of Rock, Wegman says studying music history boils down to human beings. You get to know something about them their sorrows, their beliefs, their outlook, whatever moves them, he says. By A.D.
Democracy in Iraq
Can freedom flourish in a society accustomed to dictatorship?
Harvard University associate professor Eva Bellin *93 (John Soares)
Eva Bellin *93, associate professor in government at Harvard and faculty associate of its Center for Middle Eastern Studies, earned her Ph.D. in politics at Princeton. Her book, Stalled Democracy: Capital, Labor, and the Paradox of State-Sponsored Development, was published last year. Here she speaks with PAW about democracy and its underpinnings.
What conditions are needed to create a viable democracy?
A vibrant democracy is built on a number of important foundations: adequate socioeconomic conditions, adequate institutional conditions, commitment of the nations elites, and some consensus in society on national identity.
One of the most robust findings of 20 years of democratization studies is that there is a very strong correlation between the per capita G.N.P. and the vitality of electoral democracy. The magic number seems to be something in the range of $4,500 and $5,500. The explanation lies in the fact that higher income levels are generally associated with higher literacy, a larger middle class, and more economic give to grease the wheels of toleration and compromise, all factors that are conducive to the health of a democracy.
What do you mean by elite commitment?
It doesnt necessarily mean that the elite in society must be personally imbued with an existential commitment to democratic values. It means that they are persuaded that their interests are best served by accepting democratic institutions institutions that can deliver a means to compromise in a context of conflict. So, as my old adviser and Princeton professor [emeritus] John Waterbury used to say, you can have democracy without democrats so long as the elite are convinced that their interests will be best served by adopting democratic institutions to manage conflict.
How important is a sense of national identity?
National unity, or at least some sense of common solidarity, is essential. As political scientist Dankwart Rustow said (quoting the scholar Ivor Jennings, who helped draft Ceylons first constitution), The people cannot decide until somebody decides who are the people. It is very difficult to sustain a democracy in a country deeply riven by ethnic conflict.
What institutions are important in a democratic society?
Free and fair elections, guaranteed civil liberties, and the separation of powers between the branches of government are what make a democracy a democracy.
But, prior to all this, you must have a state, and especially a state of law. You need effective impartial state institutions a bureaucracy, police, and judiciary, that can deliver fair, predictable order to citizens. Democracy cannot flourish in a context of chaos.
So, can democracy happen in Iraq?
Two things I mentioned do not make me pessimistic about democratization in Iraq. Granted, socioeconomically Iraq is not yet at an optimal number. Its G.N.P. per capita is about $2,500, but with the end to the embargo and resumption of oil production, that can be expected to rise dramatically. Also, Iraq boasts relatively high literacy levels and a sizable middle class all conditions that favor democracy. In terms of elite commitment, there is evidence that at least Kurdish and Shia elites see some sort of democratic federation as the best means to manage their differences.
It is with regard to the other two factors that Iraq faces some of its harshest challenges. Iraq lacks a sense of national unity, and ethnic cleavage in the country has only been exacerbated by the policies of Saddam Husseins regime.
In terms of institutions, the country is also grossly disadvantaged by its experience of decades of personalistic rule, which by definition embraced the principle of ruler discretion rather than the principle of predictable rule-driven government as the modus vivendi of power. This is one of the things that distinguishes Iraq from Japan in the immediate aftermath of WWII. The Japanese state did have an effective rule-governed bureaucracy and police that could be marshaled to the cause of building an effective democracy in Japan, and that was crucial to the success of democracys implantation there.
Can there be a true democracy in an Islamic culture?
Many people point to culture, and specifically Islamic culture, as an obstacle to the flourishing of democracy in Iraq. I am not persuaded.
Many cultural traditions, from those in Catholicism to Confucianism, have been accused of being inhospitable to democracy at different times. But these cultural endowments have not prevented countries in Latin America or Asia from going democratic. In fact, there are majority Muslim countries that are electoral democracies (Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia) and millions of Muslims, both pious and not, live in democracies in India, Europe, and the U.S. without any injury to their religious identity. So Im not persuaded that Islam is a barrier to democratization in Iraq or elsewhere.
What role can outsiders, like the U.S., play in building a democracy in Iraq?
I agree with my colleague Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Foundation, who argues that outsiders can at best play a marginal role in fostering democracy in any given country. The primary thing that outside forces can do is to remove the supports, financial and political, that prop up authoritarian regimes, or perhaps remove the coercive apparatus that smashes democratic initiatives in a given country. That will help foster the breakdown of authoritarianism. But whether that will be replaced by democracy is another story.
Ultimately, democracy must be home-grown. In the Iraqi case, one of the major obstacles to home-grown democracy is the lack of institutional endowment the lack of effective and impartial bureaucracies and police that can deliver fair and predictable order.
To my mind, only if there is a U.N.-sponsored consortium of states overseeing this process is there any hope of building such a state of institutions. And even so, the major challenge of ethnic cleavage remains. Unfortunately, this does not make me optimistic about the prospects for democracy in Iraq in the near term.
This year, Princeton offered admission to 1,570 high school students 9.9 percent of the record 15,725 students who applied for a place in the Class of 2007, which is expected to have 1,180 students.
Of those admitted, 37.6 percent were early decision applicants; 10.5 percent are legacies, 10.3 percent international, and 7.1 percent are the first in their families to go to college. About 50 percent are eligible for financial aid.
This is the last Princeton class to be admitted by Dean of Admission Fred Hargadon, who retires in June. The new dean, Janet Lavin Rapelye, dean of admission at Wellesley College, arrives in July. In a press release Hargadon said, I happily turn over what I believe will become an increasingly difficult responsibility to my recently named successor.
For the Class of 2006, 14,521 students applied for admission, of whom 10.9 percent, or 1,585 students, were accepted; 1,171 students matriculated.
Going back in orange and black
Its that time of year again Reunions, May 29 to June 1 and alumni can expect few changes in the usual format of forums, fun, and fancy frocks. (A full list of faculty/alumni forums is available on PAWs Web site: www.princeton.edu/paw.)
Saturday at 10:30 a.m., President Tilghman will hold her now-annual question-and-answer session in Richardson Auditorium. The P-rade begins as usual at 2 p.m. and will wind through campus, ending just below the tennis courts. Fireworks will go off at 9:15 p.m. on Campbell-Finney Field after the lawn concert, which begins at 8 p.m.
For the first time, many graduate alumni will wear reunion jackets, complemented by wide-brimmed hats.
Another innovation is the Class of 1993s P-Wee Rade, in which classmates children can toddle, stroll, and strut their stuff Saturday morning at the class site.
Evening entertainment involves a wide variety of bands, including The Maxx, The Breakfast Club, Hi-Octane and Texas Chainsaw Horns, Whop Frazier & Friends by Choice, New Power Soul, Daddy Pop, Fabulous Greaseband, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Sandy Maxwell 39 and his jazz band, Sammy Kaye Orchestra, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, Courtney Collette and his band, Lady A and Destiny, The Party Dolls, and Websters Unabridged.
Robert B. Hargraves *59, professor emeritus of geosciences from 1961 to 1994, died March 21 from viral pneumonia. He was 74.
Hargraves was born in 1928 in South Africa and received a B.Sc. (Hons) at Natal University College in geology and chemistry in 1948. He began his career as a mining geologist in South Africa, and moved to the U.S. in 1952 to work for Newmont Mining Corporation. He was subsequently drafted into the U.S. Army. After his discharge in 1956, he entered graduate school at Princeton, where he began to combine petrology, the use of microscopes and other tools to study the grain-level detail of rocks, and paleomagnetism, the study of how the Earths magnetic field left unique signatures in the structure of nascent rocks and how this signature reflects the movement of continents. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1959, Hargraves returned to South Africa, to the University of the Witwatersrand. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1961. During his career, he continued to combine studies of rock magnetism and petrology to uncover the origins and history of the rocks of the continental crust.
Hargravess contributions to extraterrestrial geology began with his recognition of geologic features near Vredefort, South Africa, and his early proposal that they were caused by a meteor impact. More than 30 years later, he recognized the same features in the Beaverhead Impact Structure in Montana, and thus discovered one of the largest known meteor impact sites on the planet. He was active in the petrologic analysis of lunar samples from the Apollo landings. He was principal investigator for the study of the magnetic properties of Martian rocks on the Viking landing mission (1976) and on the Martian Pathfinder mission (1999).
Hargraves wrote more than 100 articles about geology. Among honors he received were the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1977 and the Jubilee Medal of the Geological Society of South Africa in 1987.
Recording industry sues student
Daniel Peng 05 was one of four college students sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (R.I.A.A.) in April for operating what the R.I.A.A. described as Napster-like internal campus networks that illegally distribute millions of copyrighted songs. Filed in U.S. District Court April 3, the suit against Peng seeks damages of $150,000 per song traded on the network. Princeton was not named in the suit. R.I.A.A. president Cary Sherman said he hopes the lawsuits will serve as a stiff deterrent to anyone who is operating or considering setting up a similar system. It is the first time the R.I.A.A. has sued operators running such sites on university-based, local area networks.
Two students from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a student from Michigan Technological University were sued along with Peng, who did not respond to requests for comment. Pengs attorney, Howard Ende, a former general counsel for the University, said he and his client are in discussion with the R.I.A.A. in an attempt to keep the lawsuit from reaching trial.
Peng is accused of transferring copyrighted music through his Web site, wake.princeton.edu, which has been dismantled. Ende disputed the R.I.A.A.s description of Pengs site as Napster-like and said it was more Google-like and served as an internal search engine.
Before filing the suit, the R.I.A.A. alerted University officials, who contacted Peng, who then removed the site, University spokeswoman Lauren Robinson-Brown 85 said. She noted that Princeton receives about 150 copyright infringement complaints per academic year, and students are usually fully cooperative when told of their violations. By A.D.
Religion and politics Paying spirited homage to his personal hero John Witherspoon, Princetons sixth president, the Rev. Pat Robertson urged modern-day Princetonians to stand up and fight for your God-given freedom.
We wouldnt have our politics without the religious beliefs of our founders, without the genius of Witherspoon at Princeton, who trained James Madison, said Robertson. Witherspoon taught that human nature is fallible, that power corrupts and needs to be balanced.
Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition and commentator on the television program The 700 Club, has been the subject of controversy for his views on religion, feminism, and gay rights. His April 1 lecture on The Role of Religion in American Politics, drew more than 300 students, faculty, and members of the Princeton community.
In response to a question on the war in Iraq, Robertson supported the effort as a defense against a tyrant. He justified the actions of President Bush, whom he described as a born-again Christian, citing the September 11 attacks as a provocation on behalf of Islamic fundamentalists. The U.S. is not an aggressor nation, he said.
Jordan Paul Amadio 05.
God and student Former Princeton professor John DiIulio told a packed house April 9 that religious and spiritual activity is growing among students and faculty at the U.S.s top colleges. Two reasons, he said, are the religious diversity that has accompanied greater racial and economic diversity at colleges and a reaction to the intellectual crisis in the humanities caused by the dominance of orthodox secularism. DiIulio said the religious revival could be in full swing by the end of the decade.
During his talk, he argued that the children of baby boomers are interested in religion because of its spiritual aspects and because of the civic involvement and volunteer opportunities that religious groups sponsor. DiIulio, former head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, is now the Frederick Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion and Urban Society at the University of Pennsylvania.
Forceful pre-emption Former Secretary of State George Shultz 42 reflected on his time at Princeton, his career, the war in Iraq, and the tensions in North Korea April 11 during a talk at a conference on National Sovereignty and International Institutions.
The self-described hawk was impassioned in his support for the U.S.s new policy of forceful pre-emption, saying the name of the game is prevention. If you have diplomacy without strength, youre nowhere. No one is going to pay attention to you, said Shultz, the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford.
The key in a postwar Iraq will be to identify legitimate Iraqi leaders and to help Iraqis get the most out of their oil reserves, Shultz said. He suggested privatizing the countrys oil production and creating a system to make the flow of millions of dollars in oil money more transparent.
On North Korea, Shultz said leaders should take a deep breath
and shift gears in their thinking. He argued against attacking North
Korea or giving its leaders aid, which he said amounted to bribes, to
refrain from building nuclear warheads.
Virtues of a republic Former U.S. senator Gary Hart, now senior counsel at Coudert Brothers law firm in Denver, told Princetonians that we are living in a spectacularly revolutionary age, one that requires the restoration of classical republican virtues. In his April 15 lecture, Hart emphasized the political need for public engagement. In Roman and Greek republics, they knew that without civic participation, corruption would seep into the government, and popular sovereignty would be gone, he said.
According to Hart, the transformations of the past decade globalization, the information revolution, the erosion of the sovereign nation-state, and a dramatic change in the nature of conflict necessitate a return to local involvement. Democracy in the 20th century was about rights, but the political slogan of this century will be: We must earn our rights by performance of our duties, he said.
Jordan Paul Amadio 05
If you are one of 44,250 alumni with an e-mail address, you probably received the Universitys new electronic newsletter, Tiger E-news. Coedited by Kathy Taylor 74, director of special projects for the Alumni Council, and Eric Quinones in the Office of Communi-cations, the newsletter offers a digest of University news and announcements, along with relevant links. We think Tiger E-News is an important complement to other publications, departmental or independent, print or electronic, that alumni receive, said Alumni Council director Margaret Miller 80.
The Pulitzer Prize committee was kind to Princetonians this year. Robert A. Caro 57 won in the biography category for Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Knopf); Caro also won in 1975 for The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. The investigative reporting award was given to Clifford J. Levy 89 of the New York Times for his series Broken Homes, which exposed the abuse of mentally ill adults in state-regulated homes. Paul Muldoon, professor of creative writing, won the poetry award for his book Moy Sand and Gravel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
Quadrangle, Colonial, and Cap and Gown clubs are again using wristbands to identify students of legal drinking age. In exchange for a promise of the clubs vigilance, Princeton Borough officials have suspended charges against six club officers accused of serving alcohol to minors. A borough police spokesman said that in the past, officers of all the eating clubs have said they will require wristbands, but compliance often slips over time. Police will be permitted to go to the door of the clubs to see if the clubs are adhering to the policy.
David Dobkin, chairman of the computer science department, has been named dean of the faculty. His appointment is effective July 1. He succeeds Joseph Taylor, who has been dean since 1997.