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.

3Qs: Larger issues in debt-​​limit debate

On Monday, Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Tim­othy Gei­thner told Con­gress the U.S. has reached its debt ceiling — the limit on how much money the gov­ern­ment can borrow. Not only has raising this limit been at times a con­tentious polit­ical issue, it also raises larger issues related to the U.S. economy’s long-​​term health, says Kamran Dad­khah, asso­ciate pro­fessor of eco­nomics at North­eastern University.

A champion for immigrants’ health-​​care rights

Law pro­fessor Wendy Parmet rep­re­sents legal immi­grants who were cut from the state’s health cov­erage in Supreme Judi­cial Court case

3Qs: Technology and the power of sound

In his new book, “Sonic Per­sua­sion: Reading Sound in the Recorded Age,” Greg Goodale, assis­tant pro­fessor of com­mu­ni­ca­tion studies, crit­i­cally ana­lyzes how a wide range of actual sounds — from U.S. pres­i­dents’ audio record­ings to car­toon sound­tracks — have been used as per­sua­sive devices, often pro­viding greater meaning to inter­pre­ta­tions of iden­tity, cul­ture and history.

3Qs: Politics cloud Wisconsin labor fight

Ongoing demon­stra­tions against Wis­consin Gov. Scott Walker’s pro­posal that would strip the state’s public employee unions of nearly all their col­lec­tive bar­gaining power have rocked that state’s capitol. North­eastern eco­nomics pro­fessor Osborne Jackson, whose research focuses on labor eco­nomics and public finance, explores this polit­i­cally charged issue.