Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego

Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego

On November 2nd from Noon-1pm, join authors and political scientists Steven Erie and Vladimir Kogan as they discuss their new book “Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego” in the Seuss Room in the Geisel Library building.

News release for the event

The 21st century has not been kind to California’s reputation for good government. But the Golden State’s governance flaws reflect worrisome national trends with origins in the 1970s and 1980s. Growing voter distrust with government, a demand for services but not taxes to pay for them, a sharp decline in enlightened leadership, and dysfunctional political institutions have all contributed to the current malaise.

Until recently, San Diego—America’s 8th largest city—seemed immune to such systematic governance disorders. This sunny beach town entered the 1980s proclaiming itself “America’s Finest City,” but in a few short years had become known as “Enron-by-the-Sea.” In an eye-opening presentation, the authors will mix policy analysis, political theory, and history to explore and explain the unintended but largely predictable failures of governance in San Diego. Benchmarking San Diego with other leading California cities, Paradise Plundered examines critical dimensions of San Diego’s governance failure, including intractable pension and budget deficits, poorly crafted public-private partnerships, and much more. This tale of civic woe offers valuable lessons for urban scholars, practitioners, and general readers concerned about the future of their own cities.

Steven P. Erie is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program, UC, San Diego. Vladimir Kogan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at UC, San Diego.

The authors will be signing copies of their book after the presentation.

The event is sponsored by the Social Sciences & Humanities Library, the Urban Studies & Planning Program, the Urban Studies Program Student Club, and the Center for Community Well-Being.

No RSVP. Light refreshments will be served.

Paradise Plundered Book Cover

Tell the Libraries What You Think!

The UCSD Libraries are engaging in a strategic planning process that will guide us for the next few years. We want to know what YOU want. Help kickstart the conversation by giving us your feedback at  There are three questions posted for your feedback:

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Libraries Winter Holiday Schedule

The UCSD Libraries will be closed along with the rest of the UCSD campus from Saturday, December 19 through Sunday, January 3. We will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2010. You can use our online resources and services during this time. See the Holiday Closures page for details on all affected services.

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Update: Holocaust Survivor Presentation Series

Holocaust Living History Workshop

Meet local Holocaust survivors, hear their personal
stories, explore other survivors’ testimony on the USC Shoah
Foundation’s Visual History Archive, at the Holocaust Survivor Presentation Series.

Dates: UPDATE: Please note that Dr. Edith Eger’s presentation will be postponed until Wednesday, May 27
Location: Geisel Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 274
Time: 5pm

For more information, visit us at
Or, contact program coordinator Teresa Kuruc, by email or phone 858-534-7661.

4 UCSD Students Win Library Research Prize

Four undergraduate students at the University of California, San Diego have received the 2008 Undergraduate Library Research Prize for their outstanding research skills. The prize, which is co-sponsored by the UC San Diego Libraries and the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, includes cash awards of $1000 and $500 for upper and lower division students respectively.

“The winners of this year’s Undergraduate Library Research Prize reflect the high level of intellectual inquiry and accomplishment that UC San Diego has become known for,” said Penny Rue, UCSD’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

“The UC San Diego Libraries are pleased to recognize this year’s Library Research Prize award-winners,” said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UCSD. “They clearly demonstrated the outstanding research skills needed to achieve academic excellence at UCSD and beyond. Their thoughtful and strategic use of a wide range of library resources, from specialized databases and library bibliographic tools, to electronic journals and manuscript collections, was compelling.”

To be considered for the Undergraduate Libraries Research Prize, students are required to present their work at the annual UCSD Undergraduate Research Conference held in the spring.

In the social sciences, arts, and humanities, first prize went to Mary Tharin for her honors thesis on religion and politics in Pakistan at the end of the 20th century. An International Studies major with a double minor in political science and history, Tharin, who was nominated by Hasan Kayali, a professor of History, graduated in June of this year. She is currently interning as a research associate for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a nonprofit organization focused on foreign policy in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Second prize went to Michael Hirshman, a history major, who was nominated by UCSD History professor Cynthia Truant. Hirshman’s honors thesis on Napoleonic Spain traced the British and Spanish paths to war in 1804, which led to a key battle in the Napoleonic era and eventually to the Battle of Trafalgar. Hirshman is a senior and is spending his last year studying abroad in Spain, not far from the where the events he chronicled in his thesis took place.

Congratulations to Mary Tharin and Michael Hirshman!!

To read the press release in its entirety, please click here.

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