Debate panel on stage

Political Science

Great Debates

The Great Debates: Power, Politics, and People series brings experts from academia, government & politics, industry, and the media to the Rose State College campus to offer their perspectives on topics of concern to students and citizens. Rose State political science professor James Davenport coordinates the series and works with experts across Oklahoma to engage with our students, faculty, and community on issues confronting our state and nation.

These events are free and open to the public. They are held in the special events area of the second floor in the Learning Resources Center. Students, faculty and staff, as well as interested members of the community are invited to attend.

This series is sponsored by the Social Sciences Division of Rose State College, and funding is provided by the Institute for Humane Studies. McGraw-Hill Education also graciously provides refreshments for these events. For more information on the upcoming semester’s events, see the descriptions below.

February 6th – Income Inequality

This panel will explain how income inequality is measured, its causes, and what, if any, public policies should be used to help reduce it. The panel will also explore the question of whether or not income inequality is an accurate measure of economic inequality. Not everyone agrees that income inequality is an accurate measure of broad-based economic growth and some argue that the steps often recommended to address the issue would actually hurt the poor rather than help them.

Panelists for this event include:

  • Gene Perry, Policy Director, Oklahoma Policy Institute
  • Craig Dawkins, Professor of Economics and Personal Finance, Rose State College
  • Dr. John Wood, Professor of Political Science, University of Central Oklahoma

March 6th – The Great Wealth Explosion, 1800-Present

Academic researchers in political science, economics, and sociology are trying to discover the source of the dramatic rise in living standards of the average person over the last two hundred years. Economic historians have noted this improvement in a variety of places, but there remains some disagreement over the exact source of this growth. This panel will explore some of the explanations for this significant growth and what policies are likely to continue it into the future. However, it will also question whether this growth has permeated all levels of society, or whether one can still find third-world poverty even in the United States.

Panelists for this event include:

April 3rd – The Long March of Liberalism: Individualization

Even will explore some trends in society that have the potential to increase the control individuals have over their own lives. Examining developments in self-driving cars, the “gig” economy, and self-identification, among others, the panel will explore how these trends empower individuals to a greater degree than before. In addition, it will explore what this might mean for expectations of government as a result.

Panelists for this event include:

  • Dr. Brett Sharp, Professor of Political Science, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Dr. Guy Crain, Professor of Philosophy, Rose State College
  • Sage Mauldin, Adjunct Professor of Human Relations, University of Oklahoma

In each panel, Professor Davenport will present an argument on the topic and the invited panelists will respond to that argument. Members of the audience will also have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. Those watching via our live stream will be able to submit questions as well. We invite you to be a part of the conversation.