Category Archives: Europe

Elizabeth Onasch, Wednesday January, 18th, 2017

picture1“Excluded by Definition: Representations of Immigrants in the French Civic Integration”

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France established the “Reception and Integration Contract” for non-European migrants in the context of a perceived crisis of integration and a rise in right-wing populism. While the official purpose of this civic integration program is to facilitate migrants’ entry into society by teaching them about French history, laws, and values, the program may actually reinforce the symbolic boundaries, or conceptual distinctions that separate migrants from the national community. This lecture presents data from an ethnography of the program and interviews with program staff and migrant participants to describe how the program discourse draws different combinations of boundaries based on language, religion and culture between the French nation and migrants from three regions: North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia.

Elizabeth Onasch is a Visiting Assistant Professor, SUNY Plattsburgh, with a Ph.D. in Sociology. Her teaching and research interests are race and ethnicity, immigration, political sociology, critical race theory, ethnography and comparative historical methods.

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Filed under Europe, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017, The Middle East, War & Conflict

Valon Murtezaj, Friday October 14, 2016

picture1“U.S.-Kosovo Relations”

Valon Murtezaj was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo in March 2016. Dr. Murtezaj was appointed to this position after a long and successful, professional and academic, experience. Before being appointed to this position, Murtezaj was Principal Advisor for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister Isa Mustafa  Professor Murtezaj, among others, is a permanent professor in the prestigious IESEG School of Management in Paris, France, being the first Kosovo Albanian lecturing on diplomacy and international negotiation in a world diplomacy centre such as Paris.  His education and work and life experience is inter-disciplinary, multicultural and global.

The United States has been joined by over 100 countries in its recognition of Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state. The United States remains committed to working with the Government of Kosovo and international partners to strengthen Kosovo’s institutions, rule of law, and economy and build a democratic, law-abiding, multi-ethnic, tolerant, and prosperous country. U.S. policy priorities are: ensuring improved rule of law and governance that meets citizens’ needs; ensuring Kosovo has sustainable, inclusive economic growth that supports its stability and integration with Europe; ensuring Kosovo contributes positively to regional stability, including by legally transforming its security sector, countering violent extremism, promoting minority rights, and integrating into Euro-Atlantic structure.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

H. Glenn Penny, Wednesday October 5, 2016

picture1“German Iowa & the Global Midwest: How to Do Global History Locally”

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German immigrants consistently accounted for the largest number of foreign-born people in Iowa from the 1850s through the 1970s. While today we focus on recent immigrants from Latin America and Southeast Asia, our state remains deeply impacted by an earlier group of newcomers. This lecture presents the efforts of H. Glenn Penny in teaching his students about Germany, and in turn the Professor learned about Iowa and it’s history. Through the Iowa/Germany case study we can see that it is not only possible to do globally history locally, it is also imperative if we want to better understand the place in which we live.

H. Glenn Penny is a Professor of Modern European History at the University of Iowa. Much of his work is focused on relations between Germans and non-Europeans over the last two centuries. He has written many books on the topic. Currently, he is engaged in an in-depth study of German interactions with Guatemala and completing a book manuscript titled: Networked Spaces: German Schools in Latin America since the 1880’s.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Marina Zaloznaya & Bill Reisinger, Wednesday September 14, 2016

“Everyday Corruption in Russia & Ukraine; Who, Why and With What Consequences?”

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Zaloznaya and Reisinger have conducted first-of-their-kind surveys that reveal how Russian and Ukrainian citizens interact with a variety of officials and how often corruption plays a part. They will share their findings about which patterns emerge and why they matter politically.

zaloznaya_marina_a4x6-photoMarina Zaloznaya is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa. Her Research interests include organizational and economic crime, non-democratic governance, and comparative-historical research methods. Zaloznaya’s book, The Politics of Bureaucratic Corruption in Eastern Europe explores the impact that hybrid political regimes of Ukraine and Belarus have on informal economies of local University.

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William Reisinger is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. His research concerns authoritarianism and democracy in the former communist states, especially Russia. His most recent book is The Regional Roots of Russia’s Political Regime, co-authored with Bryon J. Moraski, which will appear from University of Michigan Press later this year. This is his eighth presentation to the ICFRC since 1988.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Past Events

Katherine Ryken, Tuesday March 22, 2016

Ryken Headshot“The Role of Physicians in Combating the Aftermath of Mass Rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina”

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Katherine Ryken is a third year medical student in the Carver College of Medicine with plans to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, with a focus on global health and human rights. Katie was the Fulbright Scholar to Bosnia-Herzegovina for the 2014-2015 academic year, pursuing research in post-traumatic injury and working at primary care clinics serving survivors of sexual violence during the war. She is also a certified member of Physician for Human Rights’ Asylum Network, and completed training in forensic medical services for asylum seekers.

Between 1992 and 1995, an estimated 20,000-50,000 women were raped during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Twenty years later, victims of war rape continue to experience severe mental health disorders.  A recent comprehensive study of rape survivors who have utilized non-governmental organization (NGO) services demonstrate alarming reports of chronic gynecologic problems. This lecture will discuss the role of war-related sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and examine the role of medical professionals in post-conflict societies, through documenting human rights abuses and providing clinical care for victims.

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Filed under Europe, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016, Women's Issues

Victoria Morozov, Tuesday February 23, 2016

Picture1“Moldova’s Legacies for its Children & Families”

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Victoria Morozov is the founder of The Moldova Project, a charitable trust organization that reaches out to Moldova’s most underprivileged and abused youth and offers resources and opportunity. A fierce advocate for the poor, Morozov has devoted her life to advocacy and serves as liaison to a number of United Kingdom-based groups, helping to identify sustainable initiatives for The Moldova Project and creating partnerships with local authorities and government ministries.

Throughout the course of her career, Morozov has played host to more than 800 international volunteers, working to implement 14 individual projects focused on medical and structural support for poor families and social orphans. She is the coordinator of five annual award ceremonies aimed at giving awards to the most dedicated and exemplary volunteers in Moldova.

In 2013, Morozov was named The Most Active Youth in Civil Society by the Ministry of Youth of the Republic of Moldova.

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Filed under Europe, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016

Janice Weiner, Wednesday December 9, 2015

Picture1“The Collapse of the Berlin Wall; The Reunification of East & West Germany”

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Janice G. Weiner was a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly 26 years.  She then worked for two years as professional issues and policy adviser for the American Foreign Service Association.  Her first Foreign Service assignment was to the then-U.S. Embassy to the GDR where, from April 1988-June 1990, she served as a political/economic officer during a momentous period in modern German history, spanning the period of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the GDR’s only free elections.

From 1990-1992, Ms. Weiner served as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium. From 1993-1996, she was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey as embassy human rights officer, where she won AFSA’s Rivkin Award for her work.  Subsequently, Ms. Weiner was Officer-in-Charge of German Affairs in the State Department’s office of Austrian, German and Swiss affairs, where she also served as the office’s deputy. She also held posts in Warsaw and Toronto. She returned to Ankara from 2005-2008, where she worked as the U.S. Embassy’s Political Counselor.  She then served as press attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico (2008-2009), prior to her final overseas tour as Consul General in Düsseldorf, Germany (2009-2012).  She returned to Washington to work as a Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs until her retirement in September 2013.   She speaks German, French, Turkish, Polish, and conversational Spanish and Dutch.

Ms. Weiner was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, where she recently returned. She graduated from Princeton University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Comparative Literature, and earned a J.D. from Stanford University Law School.

Please join us again in late January for more ICFRC programs!

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2015, Governance Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Andrey Sazonov, Wednesday September 16, 2015

10959533_418712668285750_1303954258318720487_n (2) “Ramzan Kadyrov, Leader of Chechnya: Putin’s Frenemy?”

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Ramzan Kadyrov is currently serving as a head of the Chechen Republic and is notorious for being the most prominent and controversial figure in the North Caucasus region of Russia and for having a very close relationship with Vladimir Putin. Over the years Chechen leader was able to rebuild Chechnya and consolidated a significant amount of influence and power thus signaling the changing status and rising importance of Chechnya. These factors have led to a renewed debate over whether the Kremlin’s political control over the region, and over the Chechen republic in particular, won back after two gruesome wars in the post-Soviet years, may be loosening.

Andrey Sazonov is a senior majoring in International Relations at the University of Iowa and is originally from the North Caucasus region of Russian Federation. In 2014 Andrey represented the University of Iowa at the prestigious conference in the U.S. Military Academy in West Point and was a part of a workshop which developed a strategy to counter Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. In 2015 he participated in European Student Conference at Yale University where he authored a paper on issues of European Identity – which was later send to the European Parliament – and took part in creation of European Student think-tank “European Horizons.” During the same month Andrey represented newly created think-tank at Harvard’s annual European Conference. Currently he is working on establishment of a “European Horizons” chapter at the University of Iowa and is largely involved in the local and the university community.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2015, Governance Issues, Past Events, War & Conflict

Anne Villamil, Tuesday August 25, 2015

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“Implications of the Conflict between Greece & the EU”

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Greece’s financial woes dominate headlines across the globe, with images of angry citizens and protests across the Internet. Greece has requested a third bail out from the European Union and its creditors. How did Greece get to be in this crisis? What steps can the Greek people and state take to move forward? What steps will the European Union take following this chaos? What lessons about economic policy can we learn from this financial misfortune? These questions and others from the audience will be answered by Professor Villamil.

Anne Villamil is a Professor of Economics & Finance and a Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow at the University of Iowa. She earned her B.A. at the University of Rochester and her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on financial contracts, with emphasis on firm finance, bankruptcy and enforcement, and the quantitative effects of institutions and policies on financial markets and development. She holds recent grants from the NSF, NCSA, and the Kauffman Foundation. Villamil has been a research scholar at the IMF, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Austria, the National University of Singapore, University of Paris 1-Pantheon-Sorbonne, the Hallsworth Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester, and the Peter Moores Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She is the Editor of the Annals of Finance, and an Associate Editor at Economic Theory and the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance.

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Filed under Economics, Europe, Fall 2015, Past Events

Colleen Theisen, Thursday July 16, 2015

UI Main Library - Staff Photos, September 2012

“The International Magic of Chef Szathmary”

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When describing his life in 1985, famed chef, entrepreneur, writer, entertainer, and bibliophile Louis Szathmary began by saying, “I can’t recall a time I did not have books around me. My family in Hungary was rich in books, not money.” Arriving in the U.S. in 1951 with less than two dollars in his pocket he spent the next 45 years developing frozen foods for the Armour company, running the prestigious Chicago restaurant “The Bakery”, appearing on radio and television programs, and advocating for the culinary professions, all the while compulsively amassing a book collection spanning 37 rooms above the restaurant. “The collection never rests,” the chef stated. Collen Theisen will join us to discuss the famed chef’s life spanning the intersection of cuisine and collecting and the restless life of the collection here at the University of Iowa as it grows and lives on inspiring culinary life on campus, informing research pursuits, activating community participation, and delighting book lovers across the Internet today.

Colleen Theisen is the Outreach and Instruction Librarian for the University of Iowa  Special Collections. She coordinates the social media team including the UI Special Collections Tumblr, named “New & Notable” by Tumblr in 2013, and she directs and hosts the YouTube channel “Staxpeditions.” A 2015 Library Journal “Mover & Shaker,” Theisen holds an MS in Information from the University of Michigan, where she specialized in Archives and Records Management.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Europe, Past Events, Summer 2015

Valerie Bunce, Thursday, April 23, 2015

1d66dcc6-d07c-4af5-ad47-34b597f2c890“Putin’s Game in Ukraine”

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Why did Russia invade and annex Crimea last year and then aid and abet popular rebellion in eastern Ukraine?  The answer is that political changes in Ukraine were a “perfect storm” for Russia, whether we look at the threats to Russian security posed by Ukraine’s desire to join the EU and NATO or Putin’s fear that regime change in Ukraine could spread to Moscow.  What was at stake, in short, was Russia’s national security and Putin’s job security.

Valerie Bunce, Director of European Studies at Cornell Institute, is the Aaron Binenkorb Professor of International Studies and Professor of Government. Her primary field is comparative politics and, secondarily, international relations. Her research and teaching addresses comparative democratization, international democracy promotion, and inter-ethnic cooperation and conflict. Her geographical focus is primarily east-central Europe, the Balkans and the Soviet successor states, though her comparative interests extend to Latin America.

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Filed under Europe, Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2015, War & Conflict

Kelsey Frisk, Thursday, February 12, 2015


Frisk pic 1“Indigenous Struggles: 
A Sámi Perspective”

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The Finno-Ugric Sámi people of northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland are the only indigenous population to be recognized and protected in Scandinavia. Sámi people have inhabited Fenno-Scandinavia for over ten thousand years. But the combined forces of climate change, technology, increased industrial activity, and land-loss have led to a large shift in the traditional Sámi diet, lifestyle, and mental health status. Kelsey will discuss the impacts of these changes on the somatic and psychosocial health of reindeer-herding Sámi and ways in which these changes may shape their future.

Kelsey Frisk is a fourth-year undergraduate Honors student with the Interdepartmental Studies major.  She studies global health with a strong interest in the health and human rights of indigenous populations. She recently received a Stanley Award for International Research to study perceptions of health among the Sámi people in northern Sweden from January—July 2014.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Europe, Past Events, Spring 2015

William Reisinger, Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Reisinger PicHow Do You Solve a Problem Like Vladimir: Russia’s Future Between East and West

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Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebel forces in eastern Ukraine challenge European security and raise questions about what might come next. The answers lie with President Vladimir Putin, who holds an uncommon degree of personal control over Russian politics. Professor Reisinger will discuss Putin’s political regime, how he and his team view world affairs, and what we should expect in the years ahead.

William M. Reisinger is Professor of Political Science at The University of Iowa.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1985.  His research concerns politics in the former communist states, especially Russia.  He has written several books, as well as over 50 articles or book chapters.  He travels frequently to Russia and has conducted research on Ukraine and Uzbekistan.  He teaches courses on democratization, authoritarian politics and the politics of the post communist countries.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, in 1986.  He is a former chair of the Political Science Department and, from 2003-2008, served as The University of Iowa’s Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs.

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Filed under Europe, Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2015

Margaret Mills, Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mills pic

“From Soviet Supremacy to Major Restructuring: Health Care Issues in Russia Today”

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Russia is going through a health care crisis.  Population decline, re-emerging infectious diseases, a growing HIV/AIDs epidemic, tobacco and alcohol-related deaths, low life expectancy and declining birth rates are plaguing the nation.  Individual attitudes toward “health” and social responses to reduced access to basic health care in Russia recently are contributing the urgent problems.  Professor Mills will provide an overview of the history and on-going challenges to create a better health care system.

Margaret H. Mills is a Professor of Russian language and linguistics and the former Chair of the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages at the University of Iowa. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan and her MPH from the University of Iowa . She has devoted over 30 years to studying, consulting, and conducting linguistic and public health field work research in the Soviet Union and Russia. This work has resulted in over 40 trips to the Soviet Union and Russia since 1977, including escorting delegations of UI Family Medicine and Family Dentistry faculty to medical sites and conferences in Moscow. Among her health-related work, she is the co-editor and chapter author of a monograph (with Vicki Hesli) entitled Medical Issues and Health Care Reform in Russia (1999).

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2014, Governance Issues, Health & Medicine

Alan Riach, Thursday, October 2, 2014

pciture“Reflections on Scottish Literature, Nationalism, Referendum, & Recent Elections”

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The distinction of Scotland in literary identity was claimed in the 1920s by Hugh MacDiarmid as the rebuilding of political sovereignty in the country. Now, almost a hundred years later, the independence referendum focuses our attention on the relations of artistic exploration and political unrest. The relation between artistic exploration and political unrest has been apparent throughout the history of a democratic United Kingdom, in which the voting citizens of Scotland have been regularly disenfranchised.  Professor Riach will discuss the relations between cultural production civic government and social discourse, and their ramifications in a dialogue of Scottish national identity

Alan Riach is Professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, working in the fields of 20th century Scottish, Irish, American and post-colonial literatures, modern poetry, and creative writing. His critical writings have appeared in numerous books and journals internationally. Alan was Associate Professor of English and Pro-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. He studied English at the University of Cambridge as an undergraduate, and then received his Ph.D. in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Europe, Fall 2014, Past Events

Chris Anderson, Elena Osinskaya & Jill Anderson, April 23, 2014

“Regional Views of Ukraine’s Current Crisis” 

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The most urgent issue in international diplomacy continues to be the developing crisis in Ukraine.  policy makers and analysts around the world anxiously await developments to what some fear could become the largest forced annexation of European countries since the fall of the Soviet Union.  But, what started this crisis? Who are the Ukrainian people?  What is their relationship to Russia, and what are their perspectives on the crisis?  Three Iowans with substantial ties to the country will share insights on Ukrainian society and history and how regional differences have shaped recent events.

Chris Anderson is a Ph.D. candidate in the UI Department of Political Science studying comparative politics.  He has a BS in Economics from Iowa State, and a MA in Russian Studies from Jagiellonian University in Poland.  He is interested in democratization and nationalism in Ukraine and Georgia.   He has made more than a dozen trips back to Ukraine since 2004.

Elena Osinskaya was born in Ukraine, eventually earning her undergraduate in Moscow.  She is the Language Initiatives Manager in the UI Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.  She is working towards  a Ph.D. in International and Comparative Education.

 

Jill Anderson is a Ph.D. candidate in the UI Department of Political Science, focusing on International Relations and Comparative Politics.  She holds a BA in Political Science from Central College.  As spent a 2 years teaching English in Yarmolyntsi, Ukraine as a Peace Corp Volunteer.

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Filed under Europe, Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2014, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

Diana Rus, February 12, 2013

Diana Rus_1“Romanian Reflections on the EU”

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In February 1992 the Maastricht Treaty laid the groundwork for what would soon become the European Union. From the very beginning, the EU rapidly became one of the largest and most influential intergovernmental unions in the world, and in 2013, twenty years on from its establishment, its 27 member states stretch from Cyprus to Scandinavia. However, in recent years the global economic downturn has left its mark on the European community, and what has become known as the “Euro Crisis” has left many wondering if the EU has done more harm than good.

Diana Rus is a Fogarty Scholar at the Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Iowa, as well as a researcher at the Center for Health Policy and Public Health at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Diana’s research focuses on injury and violence prevention, specifically injury surveillance systems and road safety. She’s actively involved in several European Commission funded research projects and joint actions in the field of safety, including “JAMIE: Joint Action to Monitor Injuries in Europe” and “TACTICS: Tools to Address Childhood Trauma, Injuries and Childhood Safety.”

Diana will present her views on Romania’s role in the EU, and if EU membership has helped or hurt Romania. Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, is one of the newest members of the community and its success or failure in wake of the financial crisis will be crucial in determining the future success of the European Union as a whole.

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Filed under Business, Europe, Past Events, Spring 2013

Former Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel, November 14, 2012

“The Eurozone Debt Crisis”

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The current euro zone debt crisis centers on Germany and is an existential crisis about European Union political integration. Chancellor Angela Merkel explained that “if the Euro falls, Europe falls.” She described the challenge as “the most difficult since the Second World War.”  The Eurocrisis is reminiscent of two European conflagrations lasting three decades, the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and the two twentieth-century World Wars (1914-1945).

Over the past two decades, a united Germany has accepted its EU integration responsibility to move toward a European Monetary Union, to introduce the euro, and now to resolve the current Euro crisis.  There is little doubt that Germany is obligated to support EU integration: constitutionally, historically, and morally.

In a recent article published in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel discussed the Eurozone debt crisis and its importance to the global economy, and he will share his views on the crisis for this ICFRC program.

Ambassador Bindenagel is an expert on German politico-military history and policy.  He is a former U.S. Ambassador and career diplomat who served in East, West and united Germanys during the end of the Cold War. He had a part in the reunification of Germany, the Balkan Wars, debates on North Atlantic Treaty Organization security policy and expanded membership, and in German national security from 1972 to 2002. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999 as U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues.  He was a consultant and interviewed as an eyewitness for “The Wall: A Country United”. A Houston PBS documentary about the fall of the Berlin Wall, produced, written and directed by Eric Stange.

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Filed under Economics, Europe, Fall 2012, Governance Issues, Past Events

Dr. Anel Okic & Dr. Nina Jovanovic, October 24, 2012

“Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Small Country with a Big Government”

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Bosnia and Herzegovina and its capital city of Sarajevo, often called the European Jerusalem, has the most diverse demographic and political structure in Europe, and perhaps of any other country in the world.

Dr. Anel Okic

Placed in heart of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina has always been a place of numerous conflicts and wars. During the aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the years of 1992-1995, both Dr. Jovanovic and Dr. Okic remained in the country, but Dr. Okic experienced the difficulty of being a refugee apart from his family.

Dr. Nina Jovanovic

Nina Jovanovic and Anel Okic are both medical doctors and graduates of the University of Sarajevo School of Medicine.  Dr. Jovanovic is a resident in Ophthalmology at the County Hospital of Zenica and a Junior Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health in the College of Public Health in Zenica. Dr. Anel Okic is a resident in the Surgery department at County Hospital of Zenica and a lecturer at the Nursing High School in Zenica. Dr. Okic also holds a Masters Degree in Sports Management from the University of Travnik.

Both doctors were actively involved as leaders of the Medical Student Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina and officers in IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students Associations). They are both very active in organizing numerous student, medical doctor and health worker activities. They have visited more than 50 countries all around world, organizing and attending different educational projects and trainings.

In September of 2012, Jovanovic and Okic organized a conference on trauma and injury prevention on behalf of the University of Iowa that attracted 200 participants and was the first international conference of its kind to be held in Zenica. Currently they are both visiting scholars at the University of Iowa studying trauma and injury prevention in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2012, Governance Issues, Health & Medicine, Past Events

Wojciech Przyblyski, April 6, 2012

Wojciech Przblyski

“The Political Scene in V4 Countries and the Perception of the USA”

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As President of the Res Publica Foundation (and Editor-in-Chief of the Res Publica Nowa Quarterly), Mr. Wojciech Przyblyski belongs to the Free Speech Partnership, a network of editors from intellectual and cultural journals in former Soviet Republics established to undertake joint publishing projects. Specializing in recruiting high-level experts for analysis and critical evaluation for their seminars, conferences, and publications, he and his organizations are at the center of Central European political debates today.

Read Mr. Przblyski’s publications:

On Friday April 6th, the Foreign Relations Council hosted Mr. Przyblyski for a lecture-luncheon, and he shared his thoughts on the history and current political developments in the Visegrad Group (also known as the V4), a coalition of four central European countries committed to working in tandem on a number of political, economic, and other relevant issues. He spoke extensively on a variety of topics, including the definition of “central Europe” (East of the West and West of the East!) and how this ambiguous geographical position has affected sociopolitical discourses on identity and aspirations of the Visegrad member nations. As all V4 countries are members of the European Union, Mr. Przyblyski walked us through the unique ways in which the Eurozone debt crisis affected Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.  Our lecturer remarked on the current environmental issues facing V4 nations, and commented on the state of journalistic freedom in Poland (read more here and here).

The Visegrad Group

At each of our lectures, we present our audience members with trivia cards to see how well they stack-up in their knowledge of international history and affairs.

 

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Filed under Europe, Past Events, Spring 2012