3Qs: Debating the impact of ‘stand your ground’ laws

The death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black teenager shot by self-​​appointed com­mu­nity watch cap­tain George Zim­merman in Florida, has sparked a tur­bu­lent nation­wide dia­logue on race and so-​​called “stand your ground” laws, which autho­rize the use of lethal force in cases of self-​​defense. On Tuesday, law pro­fessor Deb­orah Ramirez spoke at a panel con­vened by Con­gres­sional Democ­rats to address the case.

3Qs: From Tinseltown to Public Office

Having expressed an interest in run­ning for elec­tive office—perhaps as a Repub­lican can­di­date in the 2013 New York City mayor’s race—actor Kelsey Grammer may be the latest celebrity hoping to cross over to the world of pol­i­tics. We asked jour­nalism pro­fessor Alan Schroeder to weigh in on the his­tory of celebri­ties who run for office and ana­lyze the advan­tages they have over tra­di­tional candidates.

3Qs: A perilous deal for the president

Ear­lier this week, Pres­i­dent Obama signed a bill passed by Con­gress that would raise the debt ceiling and avoid default. The com­bative nego­ti­a­tions that pre­ceded the deal, how­ever, high­lighted the deep polit­ical divide in Wash­ington. We asked Robert Gilbert, the Edward W. Brooke Pro­fessor in Northeastern’s Depart­ment of Polit­ical Sci­ence, to examine the polit­ical cli­mate in light of this deal, and what it means for the 2012 elections.

Partisan politics hinders debt-​​ceiling deal

Con­gress and Pres­i­dent Obama have yet to reach an agree­ment to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, a neces­sity to ensure that the United States is able to meet its finan­cial oblig­a­tions. William Dickens, a Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Eco­nomics and Social Policy at North­eastern, said that the U.S. economy could slide into depres­sion if a deal is not agreed upon by the Aug. 2 deadline.

3Qs: A political conflict ended, but still reverberating

The sesqui­cen­ten­nial of the Civil War is an oppor­tu­nity to revisit its legacy; the many ways that it con­tinues to affect our society and cul­ture. Here, Pro­fessor Bal­lard Camp­bell, an expert in Amer­ican polit­ical his­tory, dis­cusses how the polit­ical divi­sions of the 1860s con­tinue to res­onate in our pol­i­tics. Camp­bell is a Dis­tin­guished Lec­turer for the Orga­ni­za­tion of Amer­ican Historians.

3Qs: For Middle East peace, more heat than light

The prospects for peace between Israel and Pales­tine, and U.S. policy on the com­pli­cated issue, cap­tured the world’s atten­tion ear­lier this month, as Pres­i­dent Obama deliv­ered a major speech on the Middle East, fol­lowed by a day­long meeting between the pres­i­dent and Israeli Prime Min­ister Ben­jamin Netanyahu and Netanyahu’s sub­se­quent address to Con­gress. Kim­berly Jones, a fac­ulty asso­ciate in Northeastern’s Middle East Center for Peace, Cul­ture and Devel­op­ment, assesses the impact of these developments.