Category Archives: Governance Issues

Steve Schulz, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

      EP-170119847 (1)“Travel Bans: Uncertainties and Real World Consequences”

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Steve Schulz is the Senior Director for the Global Talent Acquisition and Mobility organization at Rockwell-Collins.  His responsibilities include all recruiting efforts across the globe, foreign national employee strategy, contract labor, relocation, mobility, short and long-term assignments, K-12 STEM efforts, and external diversity partnerships.  Steve has been a leader in the talent acquisition efforts for more than two decades spending half his time in the external agency industry and the other half leading talent acquisition functions.

Rockwell-Collins employs 30,000 people worldwide and is one of Iowa’s largest employers with 8,700 employees in Cedar Rapids plus another 1,200 employees in other Eastern Iowa locations including Iowa City.  Founded in 1933, Rockwell-Collins is the industry leader in advanced avionics for commercial and military aircraft.

This presentation will focus on Rockwell-Collins foreign national employment strategy and why it is a critical element for our company’s people strategy.  Changes to the program including current global and political challenges confronting our organization will be discussed.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Governance Issues, Past Events, Technology, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Stella Burch Elias, Thursday May 11, 2017

6a00d8341bfae553ef01b7c8d0d159970b-800wi“Immigration and the Trump Administration’s First 100 Days”

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During the 2016 presidential elections, candidate Trump made immigration law and policy a cornerstone of his campaign. Since assuming office on January 10, 2017, the Trump Administration has begun a far-reaching program of immigration reforms. The immigration policy choices that the new administration has made including those affecting refugees, asylum seekers, international students and scholars, and undocumented immigrants will have far-reaching impact in the years ahead. There will also be major implications for U.S. foreign policy, and our relationships with other countries because the administration’s actions call into question international legal commitments that have been binding on the U.S. for many years. This program will explore these recent developments in immigration law-making with an emphasis on how they are likely to affect our community here in Iowa City and communities like ours throughout the United States.

Stella Burch Elias joined the Iowa Law faculty in 2012, after a two-year appointment as Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard University Law School. Stella teaches civil procedure, foundations of international law, and immigration law.
In 2013, Professor Elias founded the College of Law’s Advanced Immigration Law and Policy Project, which enables law students to work on innovative legal policy projects for organizational clients in Iowa. In 2015 she was awarded the James N. Murray Faculty Award, a University-wide award given each year to a tenure-track faculty member in recognition for outstanding teaching, assistance to students, exceptional research and writing and dedication to the University and surrounding community. Prior to Law School, Professor Elias served as a diplomat in the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She Clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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Filed under Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017, U.S. Foreign Policy

Douglas Jones, Thursday March 9, 2017

Doug Jones“The Election 2016: Was It Hacked?”

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In the lead-up top the presidential election of 2016, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were quoted saying “the system is rigged.”  They meant very different things, but the as the election grew closer it became evident that hackers, probably Russian, were actively attempting to break into state voter registration databases as well as engaging in an orchestrated “fake news” campaign with carefully curated and well-timed leaks of hacked e-mails.  Conspiracy theories from the left and right pointed to massive voter fraud. What really happened?
Douglas Jones is an Associate Professor in the University of Iowa, Department of Computer Science. Douglas received his B.S. in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He is a Member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Honor Society, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.  Douglas received the University of Iowa, Office of Services for the Handicapped Certificate of Recognition. He has participated in several non-governmental organizations including Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Douglas has studied, commented and published extensively on voting systems in Iowa and many other states plus several foreign countries.

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Filed under Domestic Issues, Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017, U.S. Foreign Policy

Jim Leach, Thursday December 15, 2016

picture1“Post-Election Perspectives for International Relations”

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James A. Leach joined the Iowa College of Law after serving most recently as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Leach is best known for his 30 years of service as a representative in Congress where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Following his time in Congress, he was a Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and Interim Director of the Institute of Politics and Lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Under his leadership at the NEH, they created a Bridging Cultures program designed to promote understanding and mutual respect for diverse groups within the United States and abroad. As part of this effort, NEH-supported programs designed to expand citizen understanding of American history and values, the civil rights movement, and foreign cultures. In addition, the agency helped launch a National Digital Public Library to establish a unified gateway to digital collections of books, artworks, and artifacts from libraries, museums, and other cultural sites across the country. Leach presided over the culmination of decades-long projects such as the publication of the Autobiography of Mark Twain and the Dictionary of American Regional English.

He holds thirteen honorary degrees, has received decorations from two foreign governments, and is the recipient of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award, the Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association, the Edgar Wayburn Award from the Sierra Club, the Norman Borlaug Public Service Award, and the Woodrow Wilson Medal from Princeton. He has served on the board of several public companies and a series of non-profit organizations, including the Century Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Kettering Foundation, Pro Publica and Common Cause, which he chaired.

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

Janice Weiner, Wednesday November 16, 2016

Picture1“The Sad State of Turkish Democracy: Why We Should Care”

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Just a few short years ago, Turkey was viewed as an anchor of stability in the Middle East, a situation that is now changing rapidly. Following coups in 1960, 1971, and 1980, a new constitution designed to bring democracy and stability was enacted in 1982. Turkey also has the misfortune to share a border with Syria and Iraq. Democracy has now eroded, especially following an attempted military coup against President Recep Erdogan in last July in which 240 persons died. Following the failed coup, more than 100,000 citizens, military personnel, and journalists have been arrested jailed or suspended, and more than 170 media outlets have been shuttered.

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. 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. She returned to Ankara from 2005-2008, where she worked as the U.S. Embassy’s Political Counselor. 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.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, The Middle East

Michael Zmolek, Thursday November 3, 2016

mikezmolekatstus“Seven Myths About Immigration”

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Immigration flows and their regional impacts are increasingly taking center stage in global politics. With mainstream journalism focusing more on the reaction to immigration than on its causes, the result is that immigrants are widely vilified as (potential) criminals or even ‘rapists’, or more specifically as people who want to take your jobs. This talk will challenge seven myths fueling the rising tide of hysteria by exploring often-ignored truths about immigration, starting with the re-structuring of the global labor market during the past several decades of neoliberal globalization. Mass movement of peoples across borders, we will argue, is here to stay, and the numbers are only bound to increase even more dramatically. Also, given the built-in contradictions of neoliberal economic policies in relation to immigration, the pursuit of policies aimed at achieving ‘stabilization’ are also unlikely to succeed in the short term.

Michael Žmolek teaches World History, International Studies and Development Studies at the University of Iowa. He received a BA in Linguistics and a Certificate of African studies at Iowa before going on to complete his Ph.D in Political Science at York University in Toronto, where he served as an executive of the Graduate Students’ Association for four years. As a legislative assistant in Congress, his work focused on addressing the plight of Gulf Coast survivors of Hurricane Katrina and on drafting articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for representatives Cynthia McKinney (GA) and Dennis Kucinich (OH). As an activist he has worked on the campaign to abolish apartheid in South Africa; opposing tuition hikes for students in Canada; and opposing the bombing, sanctions and military occupation of Iraq.

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

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

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.

bill-reisinger_january-2016-photo

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

Wenfang Tang, Tuesday August 23, 2016

Picture1“Chinese Political Culture and Authoritarian Regime Resiliency”

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Traditionalism. Communism. Liberalism.

All these values and more are evident in current Chinese political culture, but with the coming of China’s political modernization or lack thereof the cohesion of these ideologies will forever change the future of China and her global influence. ICFRC presents a master of the Chinese political landscape, UI Professor Wenfang Tang, who will address the current trends, existing government and future predictions.

Wenfang Tang is Stanley Hua Hsia Professor of Political Science and International Studies. His current research focuses on public opinion and political change in contemporary China, as well as comparative political behavior. He has authored and coauthored several books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Stanford University Press, and many articles in academic journals icluding American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Public Policy, China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, among others.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Jeffrey Ding, Tuesday May 3, 2016

Headshot - Jeffrey“An Interest Group with Chinese Characteristics—The Role of National Oil Companies in the South China Sea”

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Jeffrey Ding was born in Shanghai, China and raised in Iowa City since age three. Jeffrey is a UI Senior majoring in Political Science, Economics and Chinese. Jeffrey is the recipient of several prestigious academic awards including the Truman and Udall Scholarships, a Boren Scholar, and this fall he will begin two years as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

Oftentimes, when American observers view Chinese foreign policy, the message from Beijing is interpreted as homogeneous – in line with a party – state that closes off channels for dissent. In fact, multiple interests multiply along increasing globalization, and more and more interest groups are influencing China’s foreign policy decisions. One of these powerful groups is composed of the powerful state-owned oil companies. This presentation will shed light how these companies play a role in the escalation of the South China Sea disputes.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Economics, Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016

Joan Kjaer, Tuesday April 26, 2016

Joan Kjaer“Preserving the Magic and Poetry of Havana: A Delicate Dance”

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Joan Kjaer directs the Communications and Relations unit of the International Programs at the University of Iowa.  She exercises strategic oversight and daily management of all facets of internal and external communications for the International Programs, international alumni relations, event management, and media engagement. Kjaer is the creator and host of the monthly television/ radio / internet program World Canvas, which features interdisciplinary discussions of international topics.  Before joining International Programs, Joan spent more than thirty years working in public radio as a classical music host, producer, program director and general manager of WSUI and KSUI, and was director of communications for the state network Iowa Public Radio.

Havana’s 500-year history lives in its mix of ancient and modern architecture: in the colonial fortress protruding into the bay, in the elegant urban design and architecture of El Prado, in the streets of El Vedado, a tree-lined district developed in the early 20th century to suit the tastes of Cuba’s economic elite.

Times are changing in Cuba, partly because of a new generation of Cubans pushing for greater engagement with the outside world and partly because of Obama administration’s historic re-calibration of the U.S. / Cuba relationship.  Although Cubans have been allowed to open small businesses, guest housing, and paladars (private restaurants), the economic and social changes that are likely to come are both anticipated and feared.  Uncertainty is the word of the day.

Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the desire to revitalize the city has been on the minds and hearts of Cuban architects and urban planners for decades.  Kjaer’s recent experiences in Havana attending two international workshops based in the Master Plan for 21st Century Havana will be the focus of this talk.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016

Ron McMullen, Wednesday April 13, 2016

Picture1“Iowa, Heroin, and Afghanistan”

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This presentation will focus on the connection between U.S counter-narcotics policy, the deteriorating rule of law situation in Afghanistan, and Iowa’s surge in opioid and heroin abuse.

Ron McMullen, currently the University of Iowa’s Ambassador in Residence, served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Eritrea.  Ron has over 30 years of diplomatic experience and has lived, worked, or traveled in 98 countries.  In Burma he worked closely with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy groups. While posted in Fiji he helped prevent civil conflict after an armed takeover of parliament.  He was shot at during a riot in Sri Lanka and helped train mongooses to detect heroin.  He survived a voodoo curse in the Dominican Republic and took Hillary Clinton on a tour of South Africa’s Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.
Between foreign assignments, Ron served three years as Visiting Professor at the Military Academy at West Point, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Politics.  He was Diplomat-In-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin 2010-2012. He has authored a number of scholarly works and is a three-time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.  In 2015 he received the University of Iowa’s Honors Program Teaching Award. A native of Northwood, Iowa and a graduate of Drake University, he earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa.

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Filed under Governance Issues, Health & Medicine, Past Events, Spring 2016, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy

Nicholas Martini, Thursday March 10, 2016

Picture1“Foreign Policy and the Role of the Public”

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Nicholas Martini is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa in 2012. His research focuses on the intersection of international relations and political behavior. His current research explores the factors driving public opinion (e.g., ideology, beliefs, and religion) and how they shape preferences around foreign policy issues. He has published articles in Political Research Quarterly, Foreign Policy Analysis, Electoral Studies, Social Science Quarterly, and other journals.

Dr. Martini’s presentation will concentrate on the vital influence that public opinion plays on the policy considerations of democratic leaders.  This is especially important as alliances around the globe are being pressured from outside threats. He will focus on public attitudes around US alliances and how recent work with survey experiments are aiding in understanding public preferences and leader assessments.

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Filed under Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

Maureen “Micki” McCue, Wednesday February 10, 2016

Picture1“The Global Humanitarian Movement to Abolish Nuclear Weapons: What, Why, Who and Where”

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Dr. Maureen McCue has traveled, consulted, and worked extensively around the world as a physician, researcher, and peace maker. She served as physician to 500 US and Soviet Citizen Diplomats during the Cold War walking from Leningrad to Moscow in the former Soviet Union. Her Ph.D. research included working with leading medical professionals and former female combatants during the Sandanista Revolution in Nicaragua. In 2005 she met and subsequently interviewed for an award winning film, Dr. Salam Ismael founder of Iraqi Doctors for Peace. As an adjunct Clinical Professor in the Colleges of Public Health and of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Dr. McCue teaches a variety of Health and Human Rights topics including War or Health. She has coordinated the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) since 2003 working to halt the gravest threats to human health and survival, specifically the threat of climate disruption and nuclear proliferation.

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Filed under Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

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

Ray McGovern & Coleen Rowley, Tuesday September 29, 2015

Picture1“Can We Wade Out of the Big Muddy and Get Back to Some Moral High Ground?”

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Ray McGovern was an Army officer in the early 60s, then a CIA analyst from the administration of John Kennedy to that of George H.W. Bush. Ray prepared the President’s Daily Brief for Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In March 2006, in protest against CIA torture, Ray returned the Intelligence Commendation Medallion awarded to him at retirement. In January 2003, he cofounded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and began commenting publicly on intelligence and foreign policy. He also helped establish the annual Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, whose recipients include Larry Wilkerson, Thomas Drake, Thomas Fingar, and William Binney. The winner of the first Sam Adams Award was Coleen Rowley.

Picture2Coleen Rowley grew up in Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1980. She joined the FBI and served as Division Legal Counsel in the Minnesota FBI office at the time of 9-11. She wrote a whistleblower memo in May 2002 in connection with the Congressional Joint Inquiry about the FBI’s failures. This served to launch a Department of Juctice Inspector investigation. She testified to the US senate in June 2002 and was named, along with two other women, as TIME’s “Persons of the Year.” She retired from the FBI in 2004 after nearly 24 years of service and now writes and speaks on ethics and law, especially regarding the post 9-11 wars and war crimes.

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Filed under 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

Tibi Galis, Wednesday September 9, 2015

Tibi Galis

“Early Prevention of Mass Atrocities: Fulfilling Our Responsibility to Protect”

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Many scholars argue that had the world known about the horrors of the holocaust, something would have been done to stop the systematic ethnic cleansing. Today, such genocides still exist throughout the world yet it seems nothing is done to alleviate them.  This presentation will analyze the existing institutional infrastructures for mass atrocity prevention in various states and at the multilateral level. It will invite the audience to consider the effectiveness of the current arrangements and it will propose ways to continue the work that has been started in order to truly fulfill our responsibility to protect.

Tibi Galis has been the Executive Director of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation since 2006. As a result of his efforts, AIPR, a small non-profit with the vision of making the world a better place, has developed into a major force within the international movement to combat genocide. In addition to his work for AIPR, Dr. Galis received his Ph.D., which explores the relationship between transitional justice and regime consolidation around the world, from Clark University. Dr. Galis has previously worked as an associate researcher for the UK Parliament, where he helped to develop the UK position regarding the Special Adviser on Genocide Prevention to the UN Secretary General, and also as a rapporteur for the Swedish government at the 2004 Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide.

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

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

Mariano Magalhaes, Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mariano Magalhaes Photo

“How the Brazilian Worker’s Party Will Shape the Nation’s Future”

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The 2014 presidential election in Brazil was the closest—and dirtiest—contest since the first elections in 1989, post-military-rule. At the election’s start, Brazilians were reeling from nationwide protests against government corruption, a failing economy, and the use of public funds for World Cup stadiums and ineffective public services. The election divided the nation between incumbent Dilma Roussef of the Worker’s Party and her opponent, Governor Aécio Neves, with yet more would-be voters fed up with politics. Mariano Magalhães, with the assistance of his student, Samantha DeForest-Davis, will discuss some of the concerns rising from President Dilma’s reelection, amid a still ailing economy and serious allegations of party corruption, for the leadership’s capacity to administer the country at home and abroad over the next four years.

Mariano Magalhães, Professor, Political Science at Augustana College, served as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011 at the Universidade de Brasília where he led a course in Democracy in Latin America and researched the confederate strengthening of Brazilian municipal governments. Similarly, he has also written on the decentralization of power to state and local governance in Brazil and on civil-military relations during the state’s democratic transition. In 2013, he returned to Brasília (the capital) to interview past and current members of a federal ministry for its role in the development of state feminism. At Augustana, Dr. Magalhães has over the past decade helped university students to study abroad by leading students on visits to Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Mexico, and by developing a Brazil Term program which he directed in 2012 and 2014.
Samantha DeForest-Davis, is an undergraduate student of Dr.  Magalhaes’.  She is completing a triple major in Political Science, Sociology, and Africana Studies.

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Filed under Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2015