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For the third consecutive year, John Kincaid, Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct a six-week summer institute on the theory and practice of the United States Constitution for 18 foreign university educators from 18 different countries.

Kincaid is director of Lafayette’s Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government, which will host this year’s institute from June 27 to August 9. It will be funded by a $198,000 Fulbright grant.

His assistants will include Brandon Benjamin ’06 of Towanda, Pa., and Rebecca Kulik ’05, a double major in American Studies and history and government & law from Oak Ridge, N.J. Benjamin also will conduct research as an EXCEL Scholar with Kincaid on comparative federalism and government performance. In Lafayette’s distinctive EXCEL Scholars program, students work closely with faculty on research while earning a stipend. Many of the more than 160 students who participate each year go on to publish papers in scholarly journals and/or present their research at conferences.

Kincaid has conducted institutes at the Meyner Center in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, and 2002, all of them receiving high evaluations from participants. All 36 summer institute students from the past two years said they would recommend it to colleagues in their countries.

Participants in this year’s summer institute will gain practical insights into the central role of the U.S. Constitution in American life and history by focusing on the nation’s ongoing debates over the meaning and role of the federal Constitution and the impacts of changing conceptions of constitutionalism on American democracy, republicanism, federalism, liberty, rights, pluralism, separation of powers, checks and balances, economic prosperity, social welfare, and social values.

For instruction, Kincaid will be joined by top scholars from Lafayette and institutions around the country. Seminars will be held in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, which contains cutting-edge instructional technology, computer facilities, and videoconferencing capabilities.

During their first four weeks at Lafayette, the university professors will learn how generations of Americans have shaped and been shaped by their Constitution. They will also visit relevant historic sites in Philadelphia, including Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, and Philadelphia Art Museum, and in New York, including the United Nations and Empire State Building. The participants will explore contemporary scholarly approaches to American constitutionalism, discuss classic and primary works of American constitutionalism, and develop methods to apply the literature and ideas to their teaching and research.

Experiences in Easton will include: meetings with Northampton County Executive Glenn Reibmann, U. S. District Court Judge Franklin S. VanAntwerpen, and County District Attorney John Morganelli; attending Heritage Day July 13, including a re-enactment of the Colonial reading of Declaration of Independence; visiting the Crayola Factory and National Canal Museum; riding in a mule-drawn canal boat at Hugh Moore Park; using Lafayette’s Kirby Sports Center.

Over the last two weeks, participants will encounter today’s Constitution from a more multicultural perspective, especially Native American and Latino, through site visits and meetings with public officials, civic leaders, and others in Colorado and New Mexico. The study tour will end with three days in Washington, D.C.

The scholars will hail from Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, France, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Tunisia, and Vietnam.

Last year, Paul Kingston ’03 (Gettysburg, Pa.), who graduated last month with majors in International Affairs and government & law, and Christiane Conn ’03 (Buxton, Maine), who graduated last month with honors in government & law, gained an international perspective on the United States government while helping organize the summer Fulbright Institute. In addition, Conn continued conducting research as an EXCEL Scholar with Kincaid on the relationship between federalism and democracy.

“Participants in the institute challenged me to better understand the U.S. government, asking how and why the United States has survived over 200 years of democracy,” says Conn, who presented her research Jan. 10-12 at the Rice University Undergraduate Research Conference 2003 in Houston, Texas, and the 17th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research March 13-15 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The Meyner Center’s programs also provide opportunities to enrich the courses Kincaid teaches for Lafayette students, he says. “One of the keys is a better ability to put American government and politics in a comparative perspective by learning from people from other countries,” he notes.

Kincaid conducted an institute on state and federal constitutions for 30 high school teachers at the Meyner Center last summer. The program was supported by a $161,175 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Kincaid joined the Lafayette faculty in 1994. He is co-editor of Publius: The Journal of Federalism, which is devoted to the increase and diffusion of knowledge about federalism and intergovernmental relations. He is also editor of a 50-book series on the Governments and Politics of the American States being published by the University of Nebraska Press; elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration; member of the editorial board of the State Constitutional Law Bulletin; 1991 recipient of the Donald Stone Distinguished Scholar Award from the Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management of the American Society of Public Administration; coeditor of Competition Among States and Local Governments: Efficiency and Equity in American Federalism (1991); editor of Political Culture, Public Policy and the American States (1982); and author of various works on federalism and intergovernmental relations.

Kincaid was named Distinguished Federalism Scholar for 2001 by the American Political Science Association, recognizing his outstanding scholarly contributions to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations. The association is the major professional society for the study of politics, government, and public policy in the United States and around the world.

Also that year, Kincaid directed an education program on federalism in April and May for Marina Spiliotopoulou, Counsel of the Republic in the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus. Emphasizing law and law enforcement in the United States, the program was administered through AMIDEAST in Washington, D.C., and was a component of the U.S. Fulbright Cyprus-America Scholarship Program, an international training project funded by the U.S. State Department.

Kincaid was executive director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR), Washington, D.C., from 1988-94, following two years as director of research at the commission. In 1994-95 he was a Kestenbaum Fellow there. ACIR was established in 1959 by the 86th Congress as a permanent, bipartisan body of 26 members, to give continuing study to the relationship among local, state, and national levels of government.

Kincaid holds a Ph.D. in political science from Temple University. He was associate professor of political science at the University of North Texas from 1979-94 and has also taught at Arizona State University, Seton Hall University, and St. Peter’s College. He has lectured and consulted on issues of constitutionalism, federalism, intergovernmental relations, and regional and local governance in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

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