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Past Events

  • The Lockerbie Bombing: The Search for Justice | 03/21/17 Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill served as cabinet secretary for justice for the Scottish government from 2007 until 2014. In 2009 he was confronted with an agonizing ethical decision--whether to release from prison Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight from London to New York. In 2009, al-Megrahi was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Under Scottish law, there is a compassionate release provision for such individuals. MacAskill will discuss his decision and the international intrigue that ensued. (U.S. Global Engagement Program)
  • Breaking Barriers: The Air Force and the Future of Cyberpower | 03/08/17 Lt. Gen. William Bender Lt. Gen. William "Bill" Bender, a Manhattan College graduate, is a New Yorker at the forefront of a growing effort to protect America and dominate the digital realm. He's flown more than 4,000 hours in nearly a dozen aircraft and now defends an area perhaps infinitely larger and more unpredictable than the skies--he's the Air Force's chief information officer and the leader of nearly 55,000 cyber operators. The Air Force is heading America's efforts to modernize and secure its digital infrastructure and incorporate cyberspace into every aspect of its operations. From stealth aircraft to the country's dearest resources, projecting American power and protecting its interests increasingly means winning both at the front lines and online. (Public Affairs Program)
  • A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order | 03/01/17 Richard N. Haass The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. The Middle East is in chaos, Asia is threatened by China's rise and a reckless North Korea, and Europe, for decades the world's most stable region, is now anything but. American foreign policy has at times made matters worse, both by what the U.S. has done and by what it has failed to do. How should the U.S. act towards China and Russia, as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East? What can America do to address its dysfunctional politics, mounting debt, and the lack of agreement on the nature of its relationship with the world? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow | 02/22/17 Yuval Noah Harari As Homo sapiens becomes Homo deus, what new destinies will we set for ourselves? As the self-made gods of planet earth, which projects should we undertake, and how will we protect this fragile planet and humankind itself from our own destructive powers? The book "Homo Deus" gives us a glimpse of the dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st century. (Public Affairs Program)
  • Panel Discussion on Geoengineering: Launch of Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Initiative (C2G2) | 02/16/17 Simon Nicholson, Douglas MacMartin, Jane Long, Pablo Suarez, Jennifer Morgan, Oliver Morton, Janos Pasztor The C2G2 Initiative does not promote geoengineering, nor is it intrinsically against it. However, it assumes that given the state of international response to climate change so far, these technologies are likely to be used in the foreseeable future. This panel of global experts will discuss the key issues in relation to climate geoengineering, its governance, and what the Initiative will do. (C2G2 Initiative)
  • The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics | 02/01/17 John B. Judis In 2016, the world's richest democracies witnessed a collective upheaval that shocked the globe and seemed impossible to understand. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union; Donald Trump was elected president of the United States; and a slew of rebellious parties continued to influence elections in Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Austria, and Greece. What has happened to global politics? How does this all connect back to the populism movement that began in the United States in the 1890s? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Europe's Last Chance: Why the European States Must Form a More Perfect Union | 01/24/17 Guy Verhofstadt Europe is caught in its greatest crisis since the Second World War. The catalog of ills seems endless: an economic crisis through most of Europe's Mediterranean tier; terrorist attacks in Paris, Cologne, Brussels, and Nice; growing aggression from Russia in Ukraine and the Baltic states; and refugees escaping war-torn neighbors. Brexit is now a reality and others may follow. How can Europe survive? What are the consequences of a divided Europe, on both sides of Atlantic? Could a United States of Europe, patterned after the American federal system, be a realistic solution? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations | 01/11/17 Thomas L. Friedman There is a general feeling that our lives are being transformed in many realms all at once--and it is dizzying. From massive leaps in technology to ever-increasing globalization to the acceleration of climate change, workplace, politics, geopolitics, and ethics are all going through tectonic shifts. Why is this happening? Why was 2007 an inflection point? And how can we find the value in "being late," or pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we're passing through? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Women's Rights are Human Rights: Global Challenges to Reproductive Health | 12/14/16 Terry McGovern, María Antonieta Alcalde, James Ketterer This event will explore the current status of reproductive rights around the world, noting advances that have been made and challenges that still exist. In addition, the speakers will discuss how women's health issues are affected by the ongoing conflicts in several regions, the refugee/migration crisis, the role of religion in politics, populist movements, and the persistence of authoritarian regimes. How might the new U.S. president address these issues? What policies might change? (Ethics Matter Series)
  • Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion | 12/14/16 Paul Bloom We often think that empathy, our capacity to experience the suffering of others, is the ultimate source of goodness. Nothing could be farther from the truth, says Yale researcher Paul Bloom. Based on groundbreaking scientific findings, "Against Empathy" argues that far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices. How does empathy lead to cruelty? What implications does this have for fighting climate change, going to war, or deciding who to imprison? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Foreign Fighters, Homegrown Terrorism, and the Prevention of Violent Extremism | 12/07/16 Seamus Hughes, Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, Ali Soufan Recent events in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and the United States have highlighted the importance of the multifaceted challenge that violent extremism has come to represent. How is homegrown terrorism evolving and how can it be tackled? What viable policy options can be considered to address the impact of the current wave of violent radicalization? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Iran, One Year after the Nuclear Deal | 12/01/16 Zia Mian, Seyed Hossein Mousavian Nearly a year has gone by since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) went into effect and the deal remains as controversial as ever. What has been the JCPA's effect on Iran's society, politics, and economy? Have Iranian-American relations improved? Will anything change under the new American administration? (U.S. Global Engagement Program)
  • Artificial Intelligence: What Everyone Needs to Know | 11/29/16 Jerry Kaplan Over the coming decades, artificial intelligence will profoundly impact the way we live, work, wage war, educate our young, and care for our elderly. It is likely to greatly increase our aggregate wealth, but it will also upend our labor markets, reshuffle our social order, and strain our private and public institutions. Can a machine be held accountable for its actions? Should intelligent systems enjoy independent rights and responsibilities, or are they simple property? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Perceptions of Muslims and Islam in the United States in Light of the Presidential Election | 11/10/16 Juan Cole, Shibley Telhami Attitudes toward Muslims and Islam have been a front-and-center topic of the 2016 election campaign. Following just days after the election of a new president, two of our foremost scholars and expert commentators on Islam in America will discuss the likely fall-out of the election, discussing both public attitudes toward Muslims and perceptions of Muslims themselves as to how they and their faith are viewed in the United States.(U.S. Global Engagement Program)
  • Techniques of the Body | 11/03/16 Mark A. Mazower, Constantine Giannaris Today, Greece is on the front line of two forms of bureaucratized inhumanity--the inhumanity of 21st century capital and the inhumanity of mass flight from war. "Techniques of the Body," a film made from the stories of historian Mark Mazower and the artistic perspective of filmmaker Constantine Giannaris, looks at the past and present of Greek society. It explores the memory of war, exile, and massive population movements and asks how we might respond to their impact in the present. Join us for a special screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with the two filmmakers. (U.S. Global Engagement Program)

  • Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World | 11/01/16 Shadi Hamid Islam, it can be argued, is "exceptional" in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren't just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state―and the vexing problem of religion's role in public life. How can this argument help us to understand the past and present of Islam? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Powerplay: The Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia | 10/21/16 Victor D. Cha While the American alliance system in Asia has been fundamental to the region's security and prosperity for seven decades, today it encounters challenges from the growth of China-based regional organizations. How was the American alliance system originally established in Asia, and is it currently under threat? How are competing security designs being influenced by the United States and China? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Global Ethics Day | 10/19/16
    We invite academic institutions around the world to use this day to hold events, such as lectures, film screenings, debates, panel discussions, or another educational activity to explore the idea of a "global ethic." In the tradition of a "teach-in" model, these events will be run by each institution as it sees fit while being part of a worldwide Global Ethics Day.
  • Peacemakers in Action: An In-depth Discussion of Religious Peacebuilding | 10/13/16 Joyce S. Dubensky, Bill Lowrey Worldwide, religious tensions, extremism, and fear increasingly influence our human experience. But amid all the conflicts, there are unknown people who battle this phenomenon. This fall, the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding is releasing the second volume of its ground-breaking "Peacemakers in Action: Profiles in Religious Peacebuilding." Join Joyce Dubensky, Tanenbaum CEO, and Tanenbaum's peacemaker Rev. Bill Lowrey, who worked in South Sudan, for a conversation on religion, peace, and the people on the ground who never quit. (Ethics Matter Series)
  • The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era | 10/05/16 Akhil Reed Amar When today's headlines revolve around momentous constitutional questions, journalists and busy citizens do not always see the stakes clearly. Akhil Reed Amar, America's preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades—from presidential dynasties to congressional dysfunctions—and shows how the Constitution's text, history, and structure are a crucial repository of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the America body politic. (Public Affairs Program)
  • Major Security Challenges for the Next President | 09/29/16 Jeffrey D. McCausland, David C. Speedie Jeffrey McCausland will address the following: (1) The role of retired military officers in politics; (2) The need to revisit the authorization for military force, last taken up by the Congress in 2001, but under which the United States is now engaged in military action in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia; (3) The core question of economics, since both major party candidates have pledged to increase the defense budget, despite the many domestic programs vying for funding. (U.S. Global Engagement Program)
  • Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World | 09/28/16 Timothy Garton Ash Today, anyone with an Internet connection can reach millions of people worldwide. Yet despite this flood of opinions, freedom of speech is in peril, argues Timothy Garton Ash. Drawing on a lifetime of writing about dictatorships and dissidents, he argues that in today's connected world, which he calls "cosmopolis," the way to combine freedom and diversity is to have more but also better free speech. Across all cultural divides we must strive to agree on how we disagree. (Public Affairs Program)
  • Is Successful Integration Possible? Best Practices from North America and Europe | 09/15/16 Oriol Amorós, Nisha Agarwal, Parvati Nair Around the world, people are on the move like never before. In 2015, the number of international migrants—people residing in a country other than the one of their birth—reached 244 million, of whom 65.3 million were refugees. How can host countries help migrants integrate into the schools, workforces, and cultures of their new communities? With both the United Nations and the Obama administration about to convene international conferences on migration, this session serves as a timely discussion of public administration best practices on this critical global issue. (Public Affairs Program)
  • U.S. Elections & Brexit: Can Liberalism Survive? | 09/08/16 Nikolas K. Gvosdev, Stephen M. Walt From the rise of religious extremism and ISIS, to the growing influence of authoritarian and state capitalist countries like Russia and China, to the disintegration of the EU-U.S. relationship--liberalism is under siege. The Brexit vote has placed ever more urgency on this question and the U.S. election choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could serve as a referendum on how the country engages in world politics. Join us to hear perspectives on which values will dominate the future of global politics. (Senior Fellows Event)
  • The Needs of Refugee Women and Children in the Global Humanitarian Crisis | 06/21/16 Sarah Costa Lost in the rhetoric and the xenophobia that has arisen due to the ongoing refugee crisis are the stories of millions of women and children fleeing war and persecution for an uncertain future. The Women's Refugee Commission, founded in 1989, advocates vigorously for laws, policies, and programs to improve the lives and protect the rights of refugee and internally displaced women, children, and young people, including those seeking asylum--bringing about lasting, measurable change. (Public Affairs Program)
  • Time to Wake Up | 06/17/16 Sheldon Whitehouse Rhode Island's Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has given over 130 speeches on the floor of the U.S. Senate on one theme: It is time for Congress to wake up to the disaster of climate change and look for tangible ways to reduce greenhouse gases and protect vulnerable communities. Who are Sen. Whitehouse's allies in this fight? What can concerned citizens do? And with a new president taking office in 2017, what is the future of environmental legislation? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Move Over, Black Swan: Here Comes the Gray Rhino | 06/14/16 Michele Wucker While the sheer size of the 2008 financial crisis may have been an unforeseeable "black swan," the market speculation and imbalances behind it were not. Each of the underlying causes--the housing bubble, problems with credit default swaps, and poor risk management--was a highly obvious threat: that is, a "gray rhino." Why do policy and business leaders consistently fail to deal with imminent crises in time to prevent widespread damage? (Carnegie New Leaders)
  • The Invention of Russia: The Journey from Gorbachev's Freedom to Putin's War | 06/09/16 Arkady Ostrovsky The end of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union was a time of euphoria around the world. It was hoped that this new Russia would be more open and more democratic. How did we go from the promise of these heady days to a Russia that has given cause for concern in the West? Arkady Ostrovksy, a native son, introduces us to those who have been responsible for the course of the events since the collapse of the Soviet Union. (Public Affairs Program)
  • The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind's Gravest Dangers | 05/25/16 Ali S. Khan In more than 20 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Ali S. Khan found that rogue microbes will always be a problem, but outbreaks are often caused by people. We make mistakes, politicize emergencies, and, too often, fail to imagine the consequences of our actions. With the Zika virus as the newest threat, are we prepared for the next pandemic? What can we learn from Ebola, SARS, and other modern outbreaks? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Return to Cold War | 05/23/16 Robert H. Legvold Does the current crisis in U.S.-Russia relations match the depth and scale of the contest that dominated the international system in the second half of the 20th century? What caused the initial success, notably in arms control agreements such as New START, to go awry? How might momentum toward a more positive U.S.-Russian relationship be regained? Robert Legvold will answer these questions and more. (U.S. Global Engagement Program)
  • Threats and Opportunities on the Korean Peninsula | 05/17/16 Gheewhan Kim, Scott A. Snyder, Sue Mi Terry South Korea has one of the world's largest economies, a dynamic culture that sets trends all over the world, and an increasingly important geopolitical presence on the world stage. But above the 39th parallel, North Korea is as isolated, oppressive, and dangerous as ever. Should the United States and its East Asian allies be worried about this new round of nuclear threats from Pyongyang? Are negotiations possible with Kim Jong-un? What's China's role? And what is the real political effect of the North Korean menace on Seoul? (Public Affairs Program)
  • ISIS: The Caliphate at Two | 05/12/16 Michael Weiss The Caliphate declared by ISIS is now two years old. What makes ISIS so seemingly successful and what are its goals? How has ISIS spread so effectively to other regions? What can the U.S. and others do to stem the tide? In conversation with James Ketterer, dean of international studies at Bard College, Mr. Weiss will discuss the current situation with ISIS, the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the broader regional and international implications. (Ethics Matter Series)
  • A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS | 05/10/16 Robert F. Worth In 2011, a generation of young Arabs, from Egypt to Yemen, insisted on a new ethos of common citizenship. Five years later, their utopian aspirations have taken on a darker cast as old divides reemerge and deepen. But lost among the talk of dictators, foreign intervention, and terrorists, is the plight of the average citizens of these countries. What are their stories? How do they see their future after years of discord? (Public Affairs Program)
  • The Last Supper: The Plight of Christians in Arab Lands | 04/27/16 Klaus Wivel There are 7.5 million Christians in the Middle East, who live under constant threat of death and humiliation. They are increasingly desperate in the face of rising Islamic extremism and their only hope for survival may be fleeing into exile. Why have we not done more to protect this beleaguered minority? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Ethics and Economics of Global Justice | 04/22/16 Amartya Sen One of the foremost public intellectuals of our time, Professor Amartya Sen has informed and challenged the world on the ethical, global, and policy dimensions of a wide range of issues such as democracy, human rights, poverty, violence, gender, human development, and war and peace. Presented by Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, Carnegie Council, and the University of Utah, this lecture will be at the University of Utah.
  • Islamism: What It Means for the Middle East and the World | 04/20/16 Tarek Osman A political, social, and cultural battle is currently raging in the Middle East. On one side are the Islamists, those who believe Islam should be the region's primary identity. In opposition are nationalists, secularists, royal families, military establishments, and others who view Islamism as a serious threat. How have Islamists been able to win elections? What does their rise mean for the future of the region and the world? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Eurasianism and the European Far Right: Book Launch and Update on Events in Europe | 04/12/16 Péter Krekó, Marlene Laruelle, Daniel Stein The publication of "Eurasianism and the European Far Right," edited by Marlene Laruelle, is the culmination of an intensive two-year project spearheaded by the Council's U.S. Global Engagement Program. Examining the European far right's connections with Russia, this initiative traces the ideological origins and individual paths that have materialized in this permanent dialogue between Russia and Europe. (U.S. Global Engagement Program)
  • The Geopolitics of the Iran Deal: Winners and Losers | 04/07/16 Karim Sadjadpour The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has provoked strong reactions throughout the world. In the United States, some see it as the Obama administration's signature foreign policy achievement, while others argue that it will prop up a terrorist regime. And in the Middle East, Iranians are exuberant at the economic relief, but Saudis worry that their rivals now have the geopolitical edge. Who are the real winners and losers in the Iran deal? (Public Affairs Program)
  • Learning from the West African Ebola Epidemic: The Role of Governance in Preventing Epidemics | 03/31/16 Michael T. Osterholm, Andrew C. Weber Co-sponsored by Bard College's Hannah Arendt Center, Citizen Science, CCE, and the Ford Foundation in collaboration with the Honorable Dr. Wilmot James, South African MP, and Carnegie Council, this conference will explore the hypothesis that building public trust in effective organizations is essential for fighting health crises such as Ebola. Social science and political actors, along with leading scientists and Ebola specialists, will examine the Ebola epidemic and its consequences as a case study to explore how educational, governance, and health care resources can be better deployed against future outbreaks.
  • Refugees on Turkey's Borders: Consequences of Chaos in Syria | 03/28/16 Kemal Kirişci Violence in Syria has displaced more than half of its population. More than 4.5 million refugees have fled into neighboring countries with an additional half a million making their way to Europe. What is the impact on Turkey? How can these refugees be protected? (Public Affairs Program)
September 2016
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