International Affairs Events

April 12 – April 16

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. 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 virtually attend these 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
www.drpaulrwilliams.com

Monday, April 12

European and Global Responses to Covid-19

Time: 12:30 pm EDT
Location: Hosted online by Johns Hokins University
Information: 
Debarati Guha-Sapir, School of Public Health, University of Louvain, Belgium, delivers a seminar in the Bologna Institute for Policy Research European and Eurasian Studies Series.
The event is hosted by Michael Leigh, Academic Director, Master of Arts in European Public Policy.
RSVP: Click Here


Black Identity, African Ancestry and Cultural Movements in Latin America

Time: 3-4 pm EDT
Location: Hosted online by Georgetown University
Information: 
Join local experts to discuss the importance and influence of Black identity and communities of African ancestry in Latin America. The event panelists are Alma Areco Delgado, author of “La negación de la identidad negra en América Latina,” and Gabriela Maturano Quentasi, author of “Movimiento cultural de ancestría africana.” The event will be held in Spanish.
RSVP: Click Here


Oscar-Nominated “Hunger Ward” Documentary: Inside Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

Time: 7-8:30 pm EDT
Location: Hosted online by the United States Institute of Peace
Information: 
Filmed from inside two of the most active therapeutic feeding centers in Yemen, “Hunger Ward” documents two female health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of Yemen’s raging conflict. The film provides an unflinching portrait of Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi as they try to save the lives of hunger-stricken children within a population on the brink of famine. 

Join USIP as we host a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Hunger Ward,” followed by a discussion of the film and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen with acclaimed journalist and PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Skye Fitzgerald, and former U.N. Resident Coordinator for Yemen and current USIP President and CEO Lise Grande.

This program is presented in partnership with MTV Documentary Films.
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Tuesday, April 13

North Korea Economic Forum: How North Korea is Managing Its Economic Crisis

Time: 9-10:30 am EDT
Location: Hosted online by George Washington University
Information: 
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant effects on public health and has resulted in the disruptions of domestic economics in North Korea. While Pyongyang claims that it has no cases of COVID-19, North Korea has taken extreme precautions, including sealing their border with China; this has crippled their economy. Please join the North Korea Economic Forum of the GW Institute for Korean Studies for an online discussion on how North Korea has been managing its economic crisis. Four experts will assess the pandemic’s impact on the economic indicators and the direction of economic policy and suggest the indicators to watch for whether North Korea’s economy is in a major crisis, or if it is muddling through.
RSVP: Click Here


The Nexus of Climate Change, Fragility, and Peacebuilding

Time: 10-11:30 am EDT
Location: Hosted online by the United States Institute of Peace
Information: 
The Biden administration is taking action to center climate change in its foreign policy and national security agendas, preparing to dramatically curb U.S. emissions, and has recognized climate change’s connection to injustice. Yet, one thing has been missing from the administration’s climate agenda: The linkages between climate change action and opportunities to build peace. While climate impacts can drive conflict and insecurity, well-designed climate action can foster collaboration and promote peace, and strategic investments in peacebuilding can yield climate resilience.

The Global Fragility Act (GFA) and recently released “U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stabilization” could provide an important avenue to elevate and leverage the Biden administration’s bold climate agenda to address instability and build peace. Bridging the policy gap between climate action and peacebuilding is a crucial first step to a more climate resilient and peaceful future. In fact, research shows sustainable peace requires a climate-sensitive lens, and sustainable climate responses require a conflict-sensitive lens.

Join USIP and the Wilson Center for a timely discussion with experts on the linkages between climate and fragility, and how a more integrated approach to climate and fragility policies and responses can simultaneously strengthen resilience outcomes and minimize threats to peace and prosperity.
RSVP: Click Here


The Nexus of Climate Change, Fragility, and Peacebuilding

Time: 10-11:30 am EDT
Location: Hosted online by the Wilson Center
Information: 
The Biden administration is taking action to center climate change in its foreign policy and national security agendas, preparing to dramatically curb U.S. emissions, and has recognized climate change’s connection to injustice. Yet, one thing has been missing from the administration’s climate agenda: The linkages between climate change action and opportunities to build peace. While climate impacts can drive conflict and insecurity, well-designed climate action can foster collaboration and promote peace, and strategic investments in peacebuilding can yield climate resilience.

The Global Fragility Act (GFA) and recently released “U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stabilization” could provide an important avenue to elevate and leverage the Biden administration’s bold climate agenda to address instability and build peace. Bridging the policy gap between climate action and peacebuilding is a crucial first step to a more climate resilient and peaceful future. In fact, research shows sustainable peace requires a climate-sensitive lens, and sustainable climate responses require a conflict-sensitive lens.

Join the Wilson Center and USIP for a timely discussion with experts on the linkages between climate and fragility, and how a more integrated approach to climate and fragility policies and responses can simultaneously strengthen resilience outcomes and minimize threats to peace and prosperity.
RSVP: Click Here


Wednesday, April 14

Overcoming COVID-19: challenges and Opportunities for Japan

Time: 8-9 pm EDT 
Location: Hosted online by Johns Hopkins University
Information: 
The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to both the international community and domestic governments. As the Minister for Economic Revitalization uniquely in charge of both economic revitalization and COVID-19 control in Japan, Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura will discuss how Japan is creating informed policy to tackle the impacts of COVID-19. His presentation will also detail Japan’s plans for implementing policy for positive economic growth in the post-COVID era. Following Minister Nishimura’s presentation, Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security will provide commentary on the global impacts of COVID-19. Dr. Kent Calder, Director of the Reischauer Center, will serve as moderator of the event.
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The EU Economy and the Pandemic: Short-term Pain and Long-term Gain?

Time: 3-4 pm EDT
Location: Hosted online by American University
Information: 
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Europe hard. Tough shutdowns and social distancing measures have caused an unprecedented economic contraction, while the recovery has been slowed down by the surge in new variants. Despite a rocky start, however, vaccines are now being rolled-out, and the EU is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Large fiscal transfers and supportive monetary policy have cushioned the economic blow, and the EU economy is expected to come out of this new crisis with a few scratches, but hopefully not the deep scars that characterized the European Debt Crisis. Through its Next Generation package, the EU is also aiming at boosting green and digital investments to address risks of economic divergence and fragmentation.

Join us for a special Jean Monnet in the USA webinar with two speakers from the Delegation of the European Union to the United States as they discuss how the pandemic is reshaping EU economic governance and preparing Europe for the key challenges of the 21st century. An audience Q&A will follow the discussion.
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Understanding Peacekeeping

Time: 2-3 pm EDT
Location: Hosted online by George Washington University
Information: 
Join us for an in-depth discussion on the theory, history, and politics of peace operations, derived from nearly 200 peacekeeping missions.

The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs Book Launch Series, Security Policy Studies Masters Program, Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, Institute for African Studies, and the Gender Equality Initiative are proud to present a lecture by Dr. Paul Williams on his latest book, Understanding Peacekeeping (Polity). The talk will be followed by a live Q&A with the audience moderated by the Director of GEIA, Dr. Shirley Graham.

Peace operations remain a principal tool for managing armed conflict and protecting civilians. The fully revised, expanded and updated third edition of Understanding Peacekeeping provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to the theory, history, and politics of peace operations. Drawing on a dataset of nearly two hundred historical and contemporary missions, the book evaluates the changing characteristics of the contemporary international environment in which peace operations are deployed, the strategic purposes peace operations are intended to achieve, and the major challenges facing today’s peacekeepers. The book is co-authored by Alexander Bellamy, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at The University of Queensland, Australia.
RSVP: Click Here


Thursday, April 15

Fostering Connectivity: infrastructure, Supply Chains, and the Future of Korea’s Political Economy

Time: 9-10 am EDT
Location: Hosted online by Johns Hopkins University
Information: 
Dr. Miyeon Oh, Director and Senior Fellow of the Asia Security Initiative in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and a former visiting scholar at SAIS where she received her PhD will talk about “Fostering Connectivity: Infrastructure, Supply Chains, and the Future of Korea’s Political Economy.” Dean Cohen will provide opening remarks, and the event will be moderated by Vice-Dean for Faculty Affairs, Andrew Mertha. 
RSVP: Click Here


U.S.-Russia: Hitting the Guardrails?

Time: 11-12:15 pm EDT
Location: Hosted online by Georgetown University
Information: 
The U.S. and Russian presidents snipe at each other in a public and vitriolic spat over the word “killer.” The two countries spar with each other in a soft-power contest over “covid diplomacy.” Washington imposes sanctions on Moscow for the poisoning and imprisonment of Alexey Navalny. Joe Biden threatens to “respond in kind” for the massive Solar Winds cyber hack.

With a new U.S. administration little more than two months old, are U.S.- Russia relations already off the rails?

Join us for another in our series of Journalist Bootcamps. The New York Times’ Moscow Bureau Chief Anton Troianovski and Elena Chernenko, special correspondent for Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, join Jill Dougherty for a timely discussion of what’s next in this still volatile relationship.
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Measuring Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: Do Scores Matter?

Time: 8:30-10 am EDT
Location: Hosted online by the German Marshall Fund
Information: 
Global democracy has been in decline for fifteen years, with Central and Eastern European countries leading the trend of autocratization in the Western world. However, while main democracy monitoring projects offer a uniform view on the decline of democracy and rising trends of authoritarianism in the region, including in EU and NATO member states, their warnings remain a cry in the wilderness. With domestic threats to democracy remaining largely disregarded, the debate revolving around the rule of law in the EU disguises the true nature of authoritarian trends, helping to maintain the legitimacy of non-democratic or barely democratic governments.

Why are the results of different efforts to measure democracy falling on deaf ears and remaining largely disregarded at the political level? When and why did measuring democracy largely lose its political and policy relevance, and how could this be re-established? And what are the major democratic and authoritarian trends and lessons learned in Central and Eastern Europe that European politicians and stakeholders should not ignore? 

The German Marshall Fund of the United States is pleased to invite you to an online event and discussion that examines these and other questions related to the challenges and results of measuring democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.
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Friday, April 16

Great Power Challenges to the Transatlantic Alliance: Reinventing Leadership for a Stable Future

Time: 10-11:15 am EDT
Location: Hosted online by the Carnegie Endowment
Information: 
After a tenuous four years for the transatlantic alliance, the Biden administration has ushered in new hope for its future and made clear intentions to strengthen ties with European allies. But the challenges today are not centered around blunting frontal assaults by tanks; they turn on meeting competitive and containing malign activities by Russia and China in outlying regions (Black  Sea), out of area (Iran) and new technological planes, while carving out opportunities to cooperate on vital security and trade issues. How best to renew the transatlantic alliance amid these dynamic trends in the security and technological landscape?
 
Join us for a conversation featuring Vicki Birchfield, Erik Brattberg, Philip Breedlove, and Suzanne DiMaggio in conversation with Suzanne Kelly, with special remarks by Sam Nunn on the path forward for the transatlantic alliance.
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The Great Exodus from China: Trauma, Memory, and Identity in Modern Taiwan

Time: 1:30-2:30 pm EDT
Location: Hosted online by the Wilson Center
Information: 
In The Great Exodus from China, historian Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang examines one of the least understood migrations in modern East Asia: the human exodus from China to Taiwan when Chiang Kai-shek’s regime collapsed in 1949.

Peeling back layers of Cold War ideological constructs, Yang tells a very different story from the conventional historiography of the Chinese civil war that has focused on the reasons for Communist success and Nationalist failure. Yang lays bare the traumatic aftermath of the Chinese Communist Revolution for the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who were forcibly displaced across the sea and for the local Taiwanese who were compelled to receive them.

Underscoring the displaced population’s trauma of living in exile and their poignant “homecomings” four decades later, The Great Exodus from China presents a multiple-event trajectory of repeated traumatization with recurring search for home, belonging, and identity. By portraying the mainlanders (waisheng ren) in Taiwan both as traumatized subjects of displacement and overbearing colonizers to the host populations, Yang’s thought-provoking study challenges the established notions of trauma, memory, diaspora, and reconciliation. It speaks to the importance of subject position, boundary-crossing empathic unsettlements, and ethical responsibility of historians in writing, researching, and representing trauma. 
RSVP: Click Here