Getting Downtown: International Affairs Events in DC 02/25 – 03/01

Getting Downtown: International Affairs Events in DC 02/25 – 03/01

Monday, February 25th

Politics, Taliban negotiations & Nuclear Security in Pakistan

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Location: Room 505 – Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW

Information: Dr. Abbas will address how Pakistan’s nuclear posture informs developments such as the rise of Imran Khan to the office of Prime Minister of Pakistan and ongoing negotiations with the Taliban. Drawing from his recent book, Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb, Abbas will also reflect on the trajectory of Pakistan’s nuclear program and the political motivations behind the Pakistani nuclear physicist Dr. A. Q. Khan’s involvement with nuclear proliferation to third countries.

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Democracy and Armed Conflict: What we know so far

Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location: 700 Intercultural Center, ECR – 37th & O Streets NW, Washington, DC 20007

Information: Does democracy help prevent political violence? Can countries emerging from civil war really pursue peace and democracy simultaneously? Join Georgetown Democracy and Governance as we host Prof. Irfan Nooruddin (Georgetown University, SFS) and Prof. Thomas Flores (George Mason University, S-CAR) for a presentation and discussion on the complex relationship between democracy and violent conflict. Nooruddin and Flores are co-authors (with Georgetown Prof. Jennifer Dresden) of Phase III of USAID’s Theories of Democratic Change Initiative, examining the state of current scholarly knowledge on the relationship between democracy and violent conflict.* They will present key findings of the report and discuss the implications of current scholarship for practitioners and policymakers. 

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EU Strategy in an Age of Great Power Competition

Time: 3:00pm – 4:15pm

Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW

Information: Today, international relations is marked by growing great power competition between the United States, China, and Russia and a decline in multilateralism. How should the EU respond to these troubling developments? Should the EU seek to become a more unified geopolitical bloc to better compete against other powers? If so, can the EU pursue a distinctive great power strategy, a middle way between dreamy idealism and unprincipled pragmatism? Can it play a crucial stabilizing role in an increasingly unstable world? 

In a new book, European Strategy in the 21st Century New Future for Old Power, Sven Biscop discusses what a European grand strategy in the twenty-first century should look like. Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Benjamin Haddad will join Biscop in conversation, and Erik Brattberg will moderate.

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The Role of Center-State Relations in Achieving India’s Renewable Energy Target

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: In 2015, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced that India will generate 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022. India’s ability to achieve this ambitious goal, however, will depend on the progress of India’s states in meeting specific renewable energy capacity targets. The Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Studies and the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS are pleased to host Anand Kumar, Secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to unpack the role of center-state relations in achieving the target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. He will also highlight opportunities for how U.S. stakeholders can engage India and its states to help them meet their targets.

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Making the Hard Case for Soft Power

Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Location: American University, SIS Building, Abramson Family Founders Room, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

Information: International exchange programs, such as the Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program, serve as effective tools of public diplomacy. Please join Allan Goodman, president, and CEO of the Institute of International Education, and Fanta Aw, vice president of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence and former board president of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, as they focus on how these and other exchanges have shaped global competence.

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Tuesday, February 26th

Improving China-Japan Relations: Implications for Economic and Strategic Multilateralism in Asia

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Location: Room 505 – Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW

Information: In 2019, the Indo-Pacific region could have three mega free-trade agreements (FTAs): the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement). Although these FTAs will differ in quality, they all do not include the United States. China seeks to improve its ties with major countries in the region, such as Japan and India, to shape the regional rulemaking process for trade, investment, and infrastructure. Although Japan continues to be cautious about China’s global and regional economic initiatives, concerns about the Trump Administration’s trade policies and possible tariffs on automobiles have motivated Japan to consider working with China to build a regional economic order that could mitigate the negative effects of U.S. protectionist policies. During his visit to Beijing in November 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared that the Sino-Japanese relationship was entering a new era of cooperation rather than competition. President Xi Jinping is scheduled to make his first visit to Japan as China’s leader when he attends the G20 Summit in Osaka in June 2019. This panel discussion will examine the economic and strategic implications of improving China-Japan relations for the United States and consider the advantages of multilateralism as opposed to bilateralism.

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Does the U.S.-Iranian Relationship Have a Future?

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Location: 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Forty years on, relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran remain a very fraught affair. The past tells a story characterized far more by confrontation and competition than cooperation, but that is certainly not the whole story. What of prospects for the future? Join us as three veteran analysts and policy practitioners discuss the evolution of the relationship and where it’s headed.

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Shaping the Future: Geopolitics and the Middle East 

Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Location: The Middle East Institute, 1319 18th St NW, Washington, DC, 20036

Information: The Middle East Institute (MEI) and Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) are pleased to host a panel on potential future geopolitical scenarios in the Middle East. Although President Trump ordered a withdrawal from Syria, the conflict is about to enter its ninth year and the prospects for a lasting diplomatic solution or military win remain slim. Russian and Iranian interests in Syria of keeping Assad in power diverge greatly with U.S.- and Saudi-backed efforts to unseat the Assad regime.

What’s at stake for the United States, Europe, Russia, and other critical actors in the Middle East? What are the options for the United States and EU to engage productively in the region, in order to protect human rights, promote the rule of law, and facilitate an end to the region’s conflicts? Is diplomacy capable of reconciling the complexity of the conflicts in the Middle East?

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Wednesday, February 27th

A Positive Trade Agenda

Time: 9:00am – 1:15pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: In the space of just a few years, the public discourse on trade has undergone a significant shift. Where trade was once commonly agreed upon as a net benefit to the U.S. economy and the global good, it is now used as a scapegoat across the political spectrum for systemic issues. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Bretton Woods Conference, deep questions are emerging about the post-War economy it reconstructed, the multilateral system it created, and the liberal values it codified. The international trading system and its norms have unleashed an unprecedented wave of globalization but how the world understands free and open trade and its value is undergoing a generational shift. Join the Scholl Chair in International Business and CSIS to launch a major initiative to investigate and reshape the conversation on trade for the 21st century.

RSVP: Click HereDue to space restrictions advanced RSVPs are required for this event and will be re-confirmed via email from the International Security Program.


The Future of Argentina: A Conversation with José Luis Espert

Time: 9:00am – 10:30am

Location: 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: THIS SEMINAR WILL BE IN SPANISH, WITHOUT SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION AVAILABLE

José Luis Espert, a well-known economist, author, and long-time political commentator, launched his presidential campaign in December as the candidate for the newly launched Libertarian Party. Though President Mauricio Macri’s gradual fiscal austerity and market liberalization program has produced mixed results, Mr. Espert promises a supercharged free-market reform program.

 Mr. Espert has proposed reforms to include budget cuts, tax cuts, trade liberalization, labor market reform, and privatizations. His ambitious reform agenda has sparked renewed debate over the direction of Argentina’s economy, and its private sector’s willingness to adapt. Please join us on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, to discuss Argentina’s economic challenges and its changing political landscape in advance of this year’s elections.

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Conversations on National Security and U.S. Naval Power: A Discussion with U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton

Time: 10:15am – 11:15am

Location: Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters – 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20004

Information: U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, will join Bryan McGrath, Hudson Institute’s Deputy Director of the Center for American Seapower, for a discussion on the future of the U.S. Navy and its role in American defense and foreign policy. For over a century, American military strategy has relied on control of the seas through its Navy. Today, the United States faces challenges from near-peer competitors Russia and China that aim to restrict freedom of navigation and weaken the resolve of U.S. allies. How should the U.S. respond to meet these threats? What should be the composition of the future U.S. fleet and what is the role of advanced unmanned naval technologies in our maritime force? Is the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base adequate to meet future fleet requirements? And how should the U.S. continue to employ the Navy as a strategic tool to maintain the rules-based international order? A Marine combat veteran, Moulton is an experienced voice on national security. He was first elected in 2014 to serve the 6th congressional district of Massachusetts. In addition to serving on the Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee, Moulton also serves on the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, as well as on the Budget Committee. Sponsored by Hudson’s Center for American Seapower, Conversations on National Security and U.S. Naval Power is an ongoing series that convenes influential policymakers and opinion leaders to foster constructive dialogue towards ensuring the U.S. Navy’s global preeminence.

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2019 BP Energy Outlook

Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: CSIS is pleased to host the U.S. launch of the 2019 BP Energy Outlook with Spencer Dale, group chief economist of BP. The global energy system faces a challenge to provide significantly more energy while simultaneously reducing emissions. What forces are shaping the energy transition through 2040? The Outlook explores the forces shaping this transition through various scenarios, focusing on different sectors, regions, and fuels. Mr. Dale will present the scenarios of the Outlook, followed by a moderated conversation with Sarah Ladislaw, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

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Raghuram Rajan: How markets and the state leave the community behind

Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm

Location: Brookings Institution – Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: As markets are embedded in a web of human relations, values and norms, they are impacted by human events. Indeed, throughout history, technological advancements have displaced the market from its traditional webs, precipitating sometimes violent backlashes and periods of surging populism. Currently, the strain of globalization and technological shift is both reflecting and exacerbating the polarizing political tensions so evident around the world today. In a new book, “The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind,” Raghuram Rajan – a professor of finance at the University of Chicago, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India – argues that as markets scale up, the state scales up with it, concentrating economic and political power in flourishing central hubs and leaving the periphery to decompose. His solution: To rethink the relationship between the market and civil society, and strengthen and empower local communities (the “third pillar”) as an antidote to growing despair and unrest. Rajan will outline his argument at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at Brookings on February 27 at 10:30 am

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The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement

Time: 12:30pm – 1:45pm

Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW – Shih Conf. Room, Suite 503

Information: In January 2018, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (Pashtun Protection Movement) emerged as a dynamic non-violent social movement for justice and civil rights for the Pashtun communities in Pakistan. Claiming rights under the Constitution, a younger generation of Pashtun activists mobilized after the extra-judicial killing of a Pashtun in Karachi earlier in January 2018. The movement has several broad demands: including justice for the killing in Karachi, the clearing of landmines in the Pashtun border regions, and accountability for thousands of cases since September 2001 of Pashtuns across Pakistan who have been victims of extra-judicial detentions, “disappearances”, and custodial or extra-judicial “encounter” killings. The movement has directly attacked the Pakistan military and security agencies as responsible. Some have called the movement “anti-national” and agents of foreign countries. Even as print and television media have been under pressure to ignore the movement, the Pashtun activists have used social media to mobilize support, post news of daily events, and organize marches and rallies across Pakistan. How do the activists perceive their movement? How has activism been characterized by authorities and political critics? How might the movement be contextualized in the post-Arab Spring era, especially as such movements in other countries have shown mixed or failed results?

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CACI Forum: Intra-Regional Trade and Cooperation in Central Asia

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Location: AFPC Offices – 509 C Street, NE Washington, DC 20002

Information: A wave of positive changes has emerged in Central Asia in recent years, most vividly demonstrated in growing regional cooperation among Central Asian states. The region’s commitment to transformation and modernization is attracting regional and global attention. Infrastructure development on both Eastern and Western shores of the Caspian, as well as positive trends in the settlement of the status of Caspian Sea, are opening greater opportunities for broader regional trade and economic integration of the region. Our speakers will discuss these newly emerging trends and opportunities.

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The future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan

Time: 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Location: Brookings Institution – Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: For over 17 years, the United States has expended considerable blood and treasure to deny safe haven to extremist groups in Afghanistan. Despite this, the Afghan government struggles to assert its authority over the entirety of the country’s territory, while the Taliban—which governed Afghanistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks—remains a potent force that necessitates incorporation in any negotiated political settlement in the future. Meanwhile, the United States stands on the precipice of significant changes to its longest war. President Trump has ordered the Department of Defense to present him with options to reduce—perhaps entirely—U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which could dramatically alter the country’s future and risk undermining the United States’ hard-fought gains there. Likewise, the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis calls into question the Trump administration’s preparedness to manage the consequences of significant changes to U.S. policy. On February 27, Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow and director of research for the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, will engage former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley in a conversation on the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, followed by questions from the audience. Then, he will moderate a discussion with Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown and Visiting Fellow Madiha Afzal. Following their conversation, panelists will take questions from the audience.

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Lloyd George Centennial Lecture: Debating the Future of National Security

Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Location: Gaston Hall – Georgetown University, 37th & O Streets, N.W., Washington, DC 20057 

Information: Join the Walsh School of Foreign Service for a Lloyd George Centennial Lecture on the Future of the Global Order featuring a debate about the future of national security with The Honorable Stephen Hadley (National Security Advisor 2005-09) and Ambassador Susan Rice (National Security Advisor 2013-17). Dr. Charles Kupchan, Professor of International Affairs in the Walsh School of Foreign Service and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, will moderate. 

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Thursday, February 28th

Cyber-Insecurity: How to Improve America’s Digital Defenses

Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm

Location: 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: America isn’t optimizing its digital defenses. Today, U.S. government efforts to defend information systems, protect critical infrastructure, and respond to incidents are based on a combination of Department-by-Department actions, frequently isolated regulations, and an uneven culture of information-sharing between industry, government, and the security research community. Although there are many positive initiatives underway, the current environment can be characterized more as independent actions with brittle boundaries than a sufficiently empowered government organization.

At the heart of this challenge are several shortcomings: insufficient numbers of cyber professionals, lack of fully automated systems (in part due to legacy systems that cannot be automated), and an absence of significant penalties for making timely change to key networks. 

Looking forward, government, industry, and the security research community must work better collectively to defend systems, share threat information in real time, and respond sufficiently to incidents, as the numbers and capabilities of cyber-threat actors increase. What policy options are available for addressing the challenges identified?

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Revolutions, Reforms, and Gender: Narratives of Democratization

Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Location: Intercultural Center (ICC) Suite 241, CCAS Boardroom, Georgetown University, 3700 O Street NW, Washington, DC 20057

Information: Why is democracy so closely linked to masculinity and why are women so often excluded from the history of democracy? The lecture explores the gendered consequences of revising the narratives of democracy as a bottom-up struggle, as revolutionary history, and as national history. It proposes to expand the history of democracy along three lines, namely as an elite-driven, reformist, and international or transnational project.

Professor Hedwig Richter is a historian at the Institute for Social Research at Hamburg University. Her research focuses on 19th and 20th-century European and US history, including the histories of democracy and dictatorships, migration, gender, and the church. She is the author of several books, among them Modern Elections: A History of Democracy in 19th century Prussia and the USA (2017), which was awarded the Democracy Prize of Cologne University.

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China’s Pursuit of Semiconductor Independence

Time: 12:15pm – 2:00pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: Please join us for a public event on U.S. policy responses to China’s pursuit of an independent domestic semiconductor industry on February 28, 2019 from 12:15 pm – 2:00 pm at the CSIS headquarters. Semiconductors and microelectronics are the backbone of the digital economy and closely linked to national security. Recognizing this, China intends to gain semiconductor independence through espionage and immense investments, but it lags behind the U.S. If China achieves a dominant position in semiconductors it will likely use it for intelligence, military, commercial, and political advantage. At this event, we will discuss potential policy responses the U.S. can take to strengthen the position of American semiconductor companies and prevent the potential damaging effects of China’s behavior.

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What is the State of the Rule of Law Around the World in 2019?

Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Location: U.S. Institute of Peace, Applied Conflict Transformation Center – 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

Information: Effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. It is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace—underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights.

Featuring current, independent data, the WJP Rule of Law Index measures how the rule of law is experienced and perceived in practical, everyday situations by the general public worldwide. At this launch event, WJP’s chief research officer will review key insights and data trends from the 2019 report across the index’s eight factors. Following the presentation of the key findings, a panel will discuss the drivers behind the key trends and their policy implications. Join us to discuss key findings from the WJP Rule of Law Index 2019 and how the rule of law matters for the future of fair and functioning societies worldwide.

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Friday, March 1st

Prospects for Global Energy Markets, including the Role of the United States: Perspectives from the World Energy Outlook 2018 

Time: 8:30am – 10:00am

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is pleased to host Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), present highlights of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2018. The WEO is the IEA’s annual report on the state of the energy sector from a global perspective, providing a comprehensive analysis of the interplay between energy policy, markets, and technology development. Dr. Birol’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with Frank Fannon (U.S. Department of State), John Hess (CSIS; Hess Corporation), and William Reilly (CSIS; World Wildlife Foundation), moderated by Sarah Ladislaw.

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