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From "Indispensable Nation" to "Realism-Based Restraint": Reconsidering U.S. Engagement with the World | 11/24/2014 Chas W. Freeman, Jr., David C. Speedie Former ambassador Chas Freeman has had a wide breadth of diplomatic experience, from the Middle East to Africa, East Asia, and Europe. In this conversation he eloquently speaks his mind on the negative effects of sanctions, the folly of U.S. unqualified support for Israel, the U.S. strategy and diplomacy deficits, and much more.

Citizenship, Identity, and Conflict in South Asia's Borderlands | 11/20/2014 Suchitra Vijayan, Liana Sterling The intrepid Suchitra Vijayan is working on a 9,000-mile journey through South Asia, which has taken her to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the disputed territory of Kashmir, and India's borders with Burma and China. What has she learned so far about the effects of borders on human lives?

Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East | 11/19/2014 Gerard Russell Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive faiths. How are groups such as the Mandaeans and Yazidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, and the Copts of Egypt hanging on to their ancient traditions? How can we combat religious hatred?

A Conversation with General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff | 11/07/2014 Martin E. Dempsey, Jeffrey D. McCausland In this candid and thoughtful conversation, General Dempsey tackles the difficult questions, from ISIS to Ebola to cyber threats. And throughout, he stresses the importance of ethics, education, and service.

A Conversation with David Keyes on Advancing Human Rights | 11/14/2014 David Keyes, Andrew Nagorski In the Soviet era, it was difficult to alert the world of what was happening to dissidents, says David Keyes. Today, however, there's an overload of information from YouTube and other sources and the challenge is how to overcome "human rights fatigue." He explains how crowd-sourcing and other means can get the word out.

A Conversation with Will Kymlicka on the Challenges of Multiculturalism | 11/11/2014 Will Kymlicka, James Traub From Canada to Europe, how do different societies deal with immigrant groups? How have their policies evolved and where are they headed? What rights should domestic animals have? Will Kymlicka ably shows that the world is going through a rights revolution, demolishing the old hierarchies and gradually becoming more and more inclusive.

The Bright Side to Big Data: Good Intentions and Ethical Questions | 10/28/2014 James "Chip" R. Coldren, Jr., Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Alex "Sandy" Pentland, Joshua D. Rothman, Bruce Schneier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Julia Taylor Kennedy We wrap up our three-part series on data and privacy with a look at some ways big data can improve our communities. Technology and big data are delivering some big payoffs for our culture and society, while also posing some of the greatest risks. How can big data promote social good? How might these efforts potentially introduce big ethical questions?

From Paris to Moscow: The Rise of New Far-Right Movements Across Europe | 10/31/2014 Marlene Laruelle, David C. Speedie What effect has the Ukraine crisis had on the rise of ultra-nationalist forces in Russia and what has been the impact on Russia's neighbors? What is the situation among Europe's different far-right movements? Russia/Eurasia/Europe expert Marlene Laruelle has answers to these complex questions and more.

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities | 10/29/2014 Benjamin R. Barber, Joanne J. Myers In the face of the most perilous challenges of our time, from terrorism to climate change, nation-states seem paralyzed. Can cities and the mayors who run them do a better job? The answer is yes, says Benjamin Barber, and in fact they are already doing it.

The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned--and Have Still to Learn--From the Financial Crisis | 10/23/2014 Martin Wolf Why did the 2008 financial crisis occur? What should it teach us about modern economies and economics? Martin Wolf does a masterly job of untangling this complex catastrophe and proposes how we can avoid repeating our past mistakes.

Global Ethics and the Point of View of the Universe | 11/07/2014 Peter Singer Sidgwick's concept of looking at issues from "the point of view of the universe"--in other words, giving equal weight to everyone's interests, irrespective of who they are, now or in future--can be the basis for a global ethic, says utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer. He goes on to explain what this means for all of us in practical, concrete terms.

Philip Alston on a World Court for Human Rights | 11/06/2014 Philip Alston, John Tessitore "The reason why governments are violating human rights on a grand scale is not because there is an absence of a world court," says Philip Alston. "The reason is that human rights culture has not taken off sufficiently in a great many countries." Instead, what's needed is first to develop regional mechanisms and then subsequently, regional courts.

Michael Ignatieff in Conversation with Paul Holdengräber at the NYPL | 11/20/2014 Michael Ignatieff, Paul Holdengräber Carnegie Council Centennial Chairman Michael Ignatieff, a Canadian writer, teacher, and former politician, discusses his life, his work, and the Council's Centennial project, Ethics for a Connected World.

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy | 10/15/2014 Francis Fukuyama What are the requirements for a liberal democracy? It's not just voting, says Fukuyama. It needs a distinction between public and private interest; rule of law; and accountability. Although the U.S. started off as a weak, corrupt state, it became a liberal democracy. Yet all political systems are subject to decay, and that's what's happening to the U.S. today.

The Middle East in Crisis: a View from Israel | 10/16/2014 Charles D. Freilich, David C. Speedie Chuck Freilich, former Israeli deputy national security adviser, speaks from Tel Aviv on turbulence across the greater Middle East, including the ISIL threat, Iran and the P5+1 negotiations, and prospects for the peace process.

Elite Perceptions of the United States in Europe and Asia | 10/13/2014 Xenia Wickett, David C. Speedie An interesting new report finds that political and business leaders in Asia value U.S. hard power while Europeans focus on American values. Both, however, view U.S. business and entrepreneurial spirit more positively than the government. What do these attitudes mean for policymakers and civil society?

Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention | 10/06/2014 Séverine Autesserre Why do international peace interventions often fail to reach their full potential? Based on 15 years of research in conflict zones around the world, Autesserre shows that everyday behavior, such as the expatriates' social habits and actions caused by lack of local knowledge, strongly influence the effectiveness of many peacekeeping operations.

Data Threats: Hackers, Government Agencies, and Defending Data Online | 10/08/2014 Lorrie Faith Cranor, Jeremy Gillula, George Kurtz, Bruce Schneier, Julia Taylor Kennedy Cybersecurity risks increases daily as more and more of our private information is stored online--and the biggest threat isn't necessarily hackers. This second episode in our series on big data looks at unauthorized uses of data, how cybercrimes are committed, why many experts think the NSA is a bigger threat, and how we can protect ourselves.

A Conversation with Lieutenant-General Roméo A. Dallaire | 10/02/2014 Roméo A. Dallaire, James Traub In this inspiring conversation, Dallaire talks about his faith in the principle of R2P--"one of the great innovations of our time"--and how to go about actually implementing it; the tragedy of Rwanda; and most of all, his work to prevent the use of child soldiers.

Foreign Fighters in Syria | 09/29/2014 Richard Barrett How is ISIS structured? Why are young Muslims from many countries going to Syria to join it? What is the nature and extent of the threat and how can it be overcome? Counterintelligence expert Richard Barrett (formerly with MI5, MI6, and the UN) gives an informative, balanced, and perceptive report. Don't miss it.

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