Events & Media


The Last Thing This Country Needs

Joschka Fischer

The idea of a Cold War II between the West and China has quickly evolved from a misleading analogy into a self-fulfilling prophecy. But contemporary China is nothing like the Soviet Union, and in today’s world, we simply cannot afford another clash of mutually exclusive systems.

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The Xiniiang Genocide Allegations Are Unjustified

Jeffrey D. Sachs, William Schabas

US President Joe Biden’s administration has doubled down on the claim that China is mounting a genocide against the Uighur people in the Xinjiang region. But it has offered no proof, and unless it can, the State Department should withdraw the charge and support a UN-based investigation of the situation in Xinjiang.

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Lecture Series

Delia Baldassarri, NYU

Between in-group selection and economic interdependence: Field experiments on prosocial behavior in a multiethnic society
Baldassarri poster

How does prosocial behavior extend beyond in-group boundaries in multiethnic societies? Recent waves of immigration in Western societies have led scholars to conclude that ethnic heterogeneity undermines trust, social capital, and collective goods provision. However, the type of prosociality that helps heterogeneous societies function is different from the in-group solidarity that glues homogeneous communities together. The interdependence and division of labor of life in contemporary urban settings often forces people outside the comfort zones of their familiar networks to constructively interact with unknown, diverse others. Using a large-scale lab-in-the-field experiment with representative sample of Italian natives and immigrants from the metropolitan city of Milan, we study behavior toward coethnics and non-coethnics in strategic and non-strategic interactions. We find that when given the opportunity to select their interaction partners, Italians favor coethnics over immigrants. However, when forced to interact with non-coethnics, as it happens in many economic transactions, Italians generally treat them similarly to how they treat coethnics. They also value signs of social and market integration. Taken together, these results contribute to make sense of the persistence of discriminatory behavior toward minorities in selection processes, as well as confirm contact theory intuition that interaction with outgroup members, especially when individuals have common goals and equal status in the interaction, is likely to foster prosociality.

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“Economic action is ‘social’ insofar as its subjective meaning takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its course.”— Max Weber