International Affairs Events


January 10th – January 14th

One of the greatest advantages of living in Washington, DC is having unparalleled access to high-quality events hosted by the nation’s leading public, private, and non-profit organizations. In today’s changed world, these organizations have pivoted to hosting high-quality virtual events, accessible to all.

The “Getting Downtown” newsletter is a curated list of events that might be of interest for international affairs-focused students and young professionals living in DC.  Please, feel free to share this list of events with anyone that may be interested and subscribe here to continue getting weekly lists of events!

I encourage all of you to get downtown to events and panel discussions as much as you can. These events are thought-provoking and also provide great opportunities to connect with senior and mid-level professionals.

All the best,
Dr. Paul R. Williams
Rebecca I. Grazier Professor of Law and International Relations
American University

Monday, January 10th

Virtual Event | Is China Headed for an Economic Crisis?

Time: 12:00 – 1:00
Location: Hudson Institute
Information: Join Hudson Institute Senior Fellows Thomas J. Duesterberg and Nadia Schadlow for a discussion with China Beige Book CEO Leland Miller on China’s economic slowdown and implications for the country’s political stability. The panelists will review Dr. Duesterberg’s recent report, Economic Cracks in the Great Wall of China: Is China’s Current Economic Model Sustainable, and offer further analysis on whether China’s leadership can manage a stable transition to a slower growth mode.
RSVP: Click Here


The Geopolitical Implications of the European Green Deal

Time: 10:00 – 11:00 
Location: Wilson Center 
Information: The European Green Deal is a new foreign policy tool for the EU with profound geopolitical consequences, both in its immediate neighborhoods and beyond. While the Green Deal is an effort to transform the European economy at its core and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% until 2030, it will also define the EU’s global policy priorities in the decades ahead. As the EU takes more of a leadership role in climate change discussions, it may be able to leverage its relationship with both close and more distant partners and to encourage just-transition policies and other green politics beyond its immediate sphere of influence.
RSVP: Click Here

Road to the 2022 Summit of the Americas: Trade and Investment

Time: 4:00 – 5:00
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Information: Please join the CSIS Americas Program for a virtual discussion on trade and investment in the leadup to the 2022 Summit of the Americas. Even before Covid-19, the countries of the Western Hemisphere were experiencing tepid economic growth, growing at some of the slowest rates in the developing world. The pandemic has catalyzed a drive toward more resilient supply chains by moving them closer to home. The 2022 Summit of the Americas provides a unique opportunity for leaders, and specifically the Biden administration, to pursue an ambitious agenda on trade and investment, strengthen regional trade agreements, and encourage major businesses and industries to relocate and reinvest in the Americas. This event will assess the strength of regional trade and investment agreements, explore prospects for supply chain relocation within the Western Hemisphere, and outline trade and investment priorities for leaders ahead of the 2022 Summit of the Americas.
RSVP: Click Here

Tuesday, January 11th

EU-Gulf relations: Charting the way forward

Time: 9:00 – 10:00 
Location: Brookings Institute
Information: Multilateral relations between the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) remain stuck, despite recent announcements by the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, that the two groups should pursue greater engagement to capitalize on the important role played by the GCC countries on the regional and the international stage. What are the obstacles and the opportunities to revitalize EU-GCC cooperation? Which areas hold the greatest potential? How can bilateral relations between individual countries in the two blocs be leveraged to open up new paths for future multilateral engagement? On January 11, the Center for Middle East Policy (CMEP) will address these and other questions, further examining how EU-GCC relations can be concretely revamped at the political, economic and security levels, also taking recent changes in regional and international geopolitics into account.
RSVP: Click Here

Wednesday, January 12th

Towards Durable Solutions: Addressing Humanitarian Challenges in Bangladesh and Myanmar

Time: 9:00 – 10:00
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Information: Please join the CSIS Humanitarian Agenda for a panel discussion to address the main humanitarian challenges in Myanmar and Bangladesh and opportunities to move toward durable solutions for those displaced or in need of humanitarian assistance. The virtual event will take place on January 12, 2022 at 9:00 –10:00 am EST. The February 1, 2021, military coup in Myanmar has led to a growing displacement and humanitarian catastrophe. Nearly one year in, more than 250,000 people have been newly displaced and the number of people in need of humanitarian aid has risen dramatically to an estimated 14 million people. The Covid pandemic, a collapsed economy, and ongoing atrocities and blocking of humanitarian aid by the military junta are exacerbating the challenges. Additionally, nearly one year since the Myanmar coup, the prospects for safe, dignified, and voluntary return of some 900,000 Rohingya refugees from the largest refugee settlement in the world in Bangladesh seem even more distant. The panel will feature Naw K’nyaw Paw, General Secretary of the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) and Dan Sullivan, Deputy Director for Africa, Asia, and the Middle East at Refugees International. The discussion will be moderated by Elizabeth Hoffman, Director of Congressional and Government Affairs at CSIS.
RSVP: Click Here

Thursday, January 13th

An Elusive Common: Land, Politics, and Agrarian Rurality in a Moroccan Oasis

Time: 11:00 – 12:30
Location: George Washington University – Elliott School of International Affairs
Information: An Elusive Common details the fraught dynamics of rural life in the arid periphery of southeastern Morocco. Karen Rignall considers whether agrarian livelihoods can survive in the context of globalized capitalism and proposes a new way of thinking about agrarian practice, politics, and land in North Africa and the Middle East. Her book questions many of the assumptions underlying movements for land and food sovereignty, theories of the commons, and environmental governance. Global market forces, government disinvestment, political marginalization, and climate change are putting unprecedented pressures on contemporary rural life. At the same time, rural peoples are defying their exclusion by forging new economic and political possibilities. In southern Morocco, the vibrancy of rural life was sustained by creative and often contested efforts to sustain communal governance, especially of land, as a basis for agrarian livelihoods and a changing wage labor economy. An Elusive Common follows these diverse strategies ethnographically to show how land became a site for conflicts over community, political authority, and social hierarchy. Rignall makes the provocative argument that land enclosures can be an essential part of communal governance and the fight for autonomy against intrusive state power and historical inequalities.
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Friday, January 14th

Biodiversity conservation, zoonotic diseases, and human security in Africa two years into COVID-19

Time: 10:00 – 11:30
Location: Brookings Institute
Information: Far more extensive and robust conservation of natural habitats, smarter and more diligent monitoring of legal wildlife trade, and suppression of poaching and wildlife trafficking are necessary for preventing and minimizing the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed how vulnerable conservation and income for local communities and protected areas are to downturns in tourism. On January 14, the Brookings Institution’s Africa Security Initiative and Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors will host a panel discussion exploring the following questions: What have the effects of COVID-19 been on conservation in Africa and poaching and wildlife trafficking as well as legal wildlife trade? What effective response measures have been adopted or need to be developed going forward? And has the COVID-19 become an impetus for radically intensified protection of biodiversity and led to genuine transformation toward “One Health,” or has it become not only a tragedy, but also a wasted opportunity for biodiversity conservation and human security?
RSVP: Click Here

Event Preview: Friday, January 21st

PILPG Expert Roundtable: Civil Society Documentation & The Use of Digital Evidence in International Courts

Time: 12:00 – 1:00
Location: PILPG
Information: Join PILPG and a distinguished panel on Civil Society Documentation and the Use of Digital Evidence in International Courts. International courts are increasingly being faced with questions on how to evaluate admissibility and weight of digital evidence of atrocity crimes collected by mechanism investigators and civil society documenters. How do chain of custody requirements have to evolve to accommodate new ways of collecting data? Why should they evolve? Furthermore, what is the value of digital databases and why do documenters all over the world increasingly rely on digital data collection tools for their work? Join our experts to discuss these pertinent issues facing the international legal community as they explore the benefits and challenges that digital data collection presents to international courts.
RSVP: Click Here