Thompson Rivers University

US political turmoil from different perspectives

  Posted on: October 26, 2020

US politics, the Rule of Law and populist democracy

TRU Law faculty member Jeffrey Meyers is available to talk about how the Rule of Law is increasingly under attack in our political culture. He can explain what the Rule of Law actually is and how it can be used to restrain populist democracy when populist democracy is irrational, hateful or bent on hurting vulnerable minorities. Most people think the Rule of Law and democracy are the same thing; they are linked, but they are also in tension to some degree.

Meyers’ research and teaching looks at how the Rule of Law is changing in Canada, the US, the UK and elsewhere in the 21st century. He believes the crisis of the Rule of Law, along with the climate crisis and growing wealth gap between the very rich and the very poor, are the biggest problems facing humanity today. He also believes these problems, like the current global pandemic, are connected with a crisis in our system of governance which must be addressed boldly.

Meyers studied in Canada, earned his PhD at the London School of Economics, worked in New York and is a member of the New York Bar Association. A thoughtful and articulate speaker on constitutional, political and legal issues, Meyers has been featured in interviews with Charles Adler, Jill Bennett and was a regular on Vancouver’s RoundHouse Radio. He has also been interviewed by CBC’s Ian Hanomansing and appeared on Global National as well as local TV. He has written for The Conversation Canada about Donald Trump’s presidency, Canadian elections and Ontario’s Doug Ford government. His popular commentary has been picked up by Canadian and international media, including the National Post, Vancouver Sun and Salon Magazine.

Jeffrey Meyers, lecturer, Faculty of Law
Twitter: @JeffreyMeyers


Historic trauma, apocalyptic thought and belief in conspiracies

TRU History faculty member Annie St. John-Stark is available for interviews about her area of teaching and research: catastrophe and trauma in history, historic trauma within the field of trauma studies, and apocalyptic thought and mental illness in history.

The intersections of catastrophic events with the political and economic sphere are many, and the intersections become quite stunning as they highlight social, political and economic inequities. In one course that St. John-Stark created herself, she and her students examine popular belief in history. This research path leads into the realm of belief in fairies, ghosts, demons and conspiracies. Beliefs in conspiracies clearly play a substantial role in recent events within the political and the pandemic context.

St. John-Stark has done interviews with the media, particularly CBC radio, and is a member of the Memory Studies Association, co-chair of the Memory and Trauma Group and co-editor of Transdisciplinary Trauma Studies (De Gruyter Press, 2021 inaugural publication). She studied at Cleveland State University and earned her PhD at Kent State University on a university fellowship.

Annie St. John-Stark, assistant professor, Faculty of Arts, History department
Chair, Philosophy, History and Politics department