When: Friday, April 1st, 2022 @ 12pm-1:00pm
Where: In-Person: MidWestOne Bank 102 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, IA
Speakers: Dr. Monica Prasad
Corruption lowers economic growth, increases poverty and inequality, and is one of the biggest complaints of ordinary people around the world. The international development community has tried for twenty years to fight corruption, but there is a general consensus that these efforts have not been successful. This talk aims to give a better understanding of corruption and examines a new strategy to control it.
Monica Prasad's areas of interest are political sociology, economic sociology, and comparative historical sociology. She has written three award-winning books using comparative and historical methods to examine the political economy of the United States and Europe, including the history and divergent trajectories of welfare states, the rise of “neoliberalism,” and the origins of distinct patterns of economic growth in different countries and their consequences for redistribution. Dr. Prasad is currently conducting research on the economic consequences of market-oriented welfare policies in Europe. She is also examining state-building and the development of meritocratic bureaucracies in contemporary developing countries. Dr. Prasad has received the Fulbright award, the National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and several other grants and awards. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 2000. Her new book, Problem-Solving Sociology, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
When: Wednesday, September 22nd @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Dr. Maxime Boutry
The double crisis, political and sanitary, that Myanmar is currently undergoing, sheds new light on the political and social transformations that have affected the country over the last ten years. Whilst the February 1st military coup literally kidnapped the hopes of a whole generation of citizens thirsting for democracy, it also revealed a failed transition, where the ghosts of decolonization continue to haunt any effort at nation building. Based on fieldwork among “ordinary citizens” in Myanmar as well as discourses in social and news media, Dr. Boutry will discuss diverse notions such as "legitimacy", “clientelism” or "federalism", and how their different understandings may reveal the underlying causes of the current crisis. Finally, although the current period is definitely a dark episode, he will explore some possible positive outcomes.
Dr. Maxime Boutry obtained a PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnology in 2007 and has been living in Myanmar since then. His scholarly interests revolve around forms of continuity in the sociocultural changes affecting Burmese society through the study of “frontiers” (borderlands, transition spaces, interstices). Maxime is an associate researcher at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CASE - CNRS) and the laboratory on “Local heritage, environment and globalization” (PALOC – IRD/MNHN). He also works for several NGOs particularly in the field of land tenure security. His publications include “The backdoors of resistance. Identities in the Malay Peninsula’s maritime borderlands”, in A. Horstmann, M. Saxer and A. Rippa (eds), Routledge Handbook of Asian Borderlands (2018), and “How far from national identity? Dealing with the concealed diversity of Myanmar”, in Robinne, F. and Egreteau, R. (Eds.), Metamorphosis: Studies in Social and Political Change in Myanmar (2015).
When: Thursday, September 28th @ 4pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Ambassador Ray
Ambassador Ray will discuss the challenges of race, diplomacy and national security, including the challenges of being Black in the U.S. State Department.
Ambassador Ray has over 50 years of experience in international affairs, with 20 years in the U.S. Army, and 30+ years in the U.S. Foreign Service. His military experience included assignments in Unconventional Warfare Planning, Psychological Operations, Intelligence and Public Affairs. During his Foreign Service career, he managed troubled organizations in Asia and Africa, and was instrumental in reestablishing a mil-to-mil relationship with Cambodia after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As deputy chief of mission in Sierra Leone, he managed the military training program and oversaw USAID’s humanitarian assistance effort. He was also instrumental in brokering democratic elections in Sierra Leone, which saw a peaceful transfer of power from the military junta that had taken over the country the year before his assignment; this election took place during an externally-supported rebel war. He encouraged the government of Cambodia to take a more active role in combatting human trafficking, and implemented a successful Muslim outreach program in that country, which reversed the negative views the small Islamic community had about the United States.
He has served as deputy chief of mission in Sierra Leone, was the first post-war consul general in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, served as ambassador to Cambodia and Zimbabwe, and was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs and Director of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), during which time, he oversaw development of the US government interagency policy on personnel recovery, working with the Department of State, FBI, DEA, and USAID to develop a comprehensive plan to provide proactive and reactive support to USG personnel working abroad.
Since retiring from government service in 2012, Ambassador Ray has consulted with DOD, participating in the development of a training continuum for Defense Attaches in support to chiefs of mission during personnel recovery operations, and provided training support to the US Army as an SME on interagency matters, preparing army units for deployment abroad in noncombat operations. He also conducts a workshop on professional writing for Rangel foreign affairs scholars.
A prolific writer, he has published more than 60 books of fiction and nonfiction, including works on ethics, leadership, and diplomacy. He works with the Potomac Institute for Public Policy, developing a program on the use of diplomacy as a tool to combat terrorism and violent extremism.
He has a B.S. in business administration from Benedictine College, an M.S. in systems management from the University of Southern California, and an M.S. in national security management from the National War College of the National Defense University. He speaks Thai, Vietnamese, and Mandarin, and is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Association of Black American Ambassadors. Ambassador Ray is chairman of the board of the Cold War Museum, at Vint Hill, VA, and chairs the board of advisors of the Institute of Science, Technology, and the Arts (ISSTA), an international boarding school, planned for construction in Orlando, Florida,
When: Wednesday, April 7th @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Michael Zmolek
The United States of America is a signatory to the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions yet routinely transgresses these and other treaties and agreements comprising our system of international law. Why then are presidents not held accountable or impeached? This talk will address this question in light of the ‘informal empire’ that the United States has managed since 1945 and the violations of human rights and international law which have occurred. In sharing personal experiences of helping draft articles of impeachment against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Dr. Zmolek will attempt to help us connect the dots between the assault on civil liberties and the escalation of violence in US foreign policy post-9/11 and the January 6th assault on the US Capitol by a mob incited by Donald Trump. While this resort to violence in attempting to subvert the outcome of a democratic election has been rightly viewed as an assault on domestic political norms, use of the same tactics by parties supported by the United States has been a routine part of managing the US’s informal empire. The fact that impeachment as a mechanism for upholding accountability to the law obviously remains hostage to the partisan politics of America’s two-party system leaves the door open to future episodes involving the turn to the use of force against democracy.
Michael Andrew Zmolek teaches World History, International Studies and Development Studies at the University of Iowa. His book Rethinking the Industrial Revolution (Brill 2013; Haymarket 2014) explores five centuries of English/British history and is part of a broader effort to understand the nature and origins of capitalism. Mike received a BA in Linguistics and a Certificate of African studies at the University of Iowa before going on to complete his PhD 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 against, invasion and occupation of Iraq.
This talk is dedicated to the memory of Ed Zastrow.
When: Tuesday, March 23rd @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
This talk presents some of the key findings from Hirsch's current book project. It is based on long term fieldwork in the Peruvian Andes during the 2010s, an era when Peru's economy saw astronomical aggregate growth due to simultaneous booms in extractive industry, gastronomy, and tourism. Hirsch explores the question of growth: in rural villages at the Andean margins of Peru's economic boom, what does it mean to experience economic growth as a daily fact of life? What does it actually look like? How does it feel? How, in other words, are people supposed to know that their country is growing? Hirsch follows three distinct development projects that are invested in recruiting rural villagers to the collective enactment of Peruvian economic growth as its newest entrepreneurs: one from the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, one from a non-governmental organization, and one from a mining corporation.
Eric Hirsch is an environmental and economic anthropologist whose research focuses on climate change, development, and how marginalized communities build their livelihoods. Most of his field research has taken place in Peru, particularly the southern Andean Colca Valley, and the cities of Arequipa and Lima. Hirsch has conducted additional research in the Maldives and the US. His current book project, Acts of Growth: Development and the Politics of Abundance in Peru (under contract with Stanford University Press) investigates economic growth as a shared understanding that comes alive through face-to-face interaction in rural Peru.
Hirsch's second major project delves more directly into the issue of climate change as a fact of daily life. In collaboration with the Barcelona-based project "Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts," the project works to center how non-Western scientific observations in rural communities contribute to those communities' responses to climate change. Hirsch has published his research in journals including Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Geoforum, and Global Environmental Change.
When: Thursday, February 11th @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
This program will first touch briefly on the science of climate change and the events of 2020- including the California drought and wildfires, the unprecedented number of hurricanes which made landfall in the US, and the midwestern derecho. Then, Professor Schnoor will address updates on the Biden administration's plans to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. Policies in China and the EU will also be discussed, together with the lack of funding for vulnerable and affected nations.
Jerry Schnoor is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (elected in 1999) for his pioneering work using mathematical models in science policy decisions. He testified several times before Congress on environmental protection, including the importance of passing the 1990 Clean Air Act. From 2003-2014, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the leading journal Environmental Science and Technology and of ES&T Letters in 2013-2014. He chaired the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development from 2000-2004; and served on the EPA Science Advisory Board and the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council for NIEHS (2007-2011).
In 2010, Schnoor received the Simon W. Freese Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize from the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) for his research and leadership in water sustainability and climate change. In 2013, he was awarded an Einstein Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and in 2015, the Perry L. McCarty AEESP Founders’ Award for sustained and outstanding contributions to environmental engineering education, research, and practice. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) presented to Jerry the 2016 Dixy Lee Ray Award “for outstanding achievement in environmental protection through improvements in technology, science, and policy”. Most recently, the American Chemical Society bestowed the 2019 Creative Advances in Environmental Science & Technology national award for pioneering phytoremediation. In summary, Schnoor’s mathematical models of acid deposition and water quality and his research using plants in phytoremediation have been foundational to the field of environmental engineering.
When: Wednesday, February 17th @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Judy Polumbaum and Mark Sidel were two of the earliest young Americans to arrive in China to teach after the Cultural Revolution, and each have remained closely engaged with China as researchers, teachers and writers ever since. Each will provide a perspective on where China-US relations may be headed as we enter the Biden era, based on where we’ve come from over many decades, with lots of time for discussion and dialogue.
Mark Sidel serves as Doyle-Bascom professor of law and public affairs at UW-Madison and taught at Iowa from 2000-2011. He focuses on civil society in China and on China-US relations, as well as on India and Vietnam. He served in Beijing, Hanoi, Bangkok and New Delhi n program positions with the Ford Foundation before moving into academic life.
Judy Polumbaum is a University of Iowa professor emerita of journalism and mass communication. Much of her scholarly career focused on mass media in China. She now lives and writes in the southwest. Her latest project is a biography of her goofy Greatest Generation social activist photojournalist father -- All Available Light: The Life and Legacy of Photographer Ted Polumbaum, forthcoming this fall from McFarland Press.
When: Tuesday, January 26th @ 12:00pm
Where: Online via Zoom
The Tumultuous Decade brings together nearly a decade of Zogby Research Services (ZRS) public opinion polling in Arab countries, Turkey, and Iran-a period of great tumult across the Middle East and North Africa. Through polling, ZRS gives people a chance to speak for themselves-people who are often "spoken for" by governments or elites who think they know what the "local" people think, or even what they should think. The danger of not listening is most acutely illustrated by the series of near-blind decisions that preceded and accompanied the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, but also rears its head in international decisions and actions in many Middle Eastern arenas, from the Israel-Palestine conflict to the Russian intervention in Syria. International policymaking toward the Middle East, while it considers matters of energy, security, trade, and the like, must always keep in view-front and center-the opinions and priorities of the people concerned.
James Zogby co-founded the Arab American Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community, in 1985 and continues to serve as its president. He is Director of Zogby Research Services, a firm that has conducted groundbreaking surveys across the Middle East. In September 2013, President Obama appointed Dr. Zogby to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was reappointed to a second term in 2015 and concluded his service in May 2017. He was twice elected Vice Chair. He writes a weekly column published in 12 countries. He is featured frequently on national and international media as an expert on Middle East affairs. In 2010, Zogby published the highly-acclaimed book, Arab Voices. His 2013 e-books, Looking at Iran: The Rise and Fall of Iran in Arab Public Opinion and 20 Years After Oslo, are drawn from his extensive polling across the Middle East with Zogby Research Services.
Dr. Zogby has also been personally active in U.S. politics for many years; in 1984 and 1988 he served as Deputy Campaign manager and Senior Advisor to the Jesse Jackson Presidential campaign. In 1988, he led the first ever debate on Palestinian statehood at that year's Democratic convention in Atlanta, GA. For the past 3 decades, he has served in leadership roles in the Democratic National Committee. In 1995, Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler appointed Zogby as co-convener of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee (NDECC), an umbrella organization of Democratic Party leaders of European and Mediterranean descent.
In 1975, Dr. Zogby received his doctorate from Temple University's Department of Religion, where he studied under the Islamic scholar Dr. Ismail al-Faruqi. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University in 1976 and is the recipient of a number of honorary doctorate degrees.
By Kelsey Paul Shantz & Jessica Kline on Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Prior to joining the Stanley Center, Paul Shantz was a researcher for think tanks and research institutions in Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands, including the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), and the Boulder Institute of Microfinance. Paul Shantz has an MA in international relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and an MPP from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. She also has a BA in international studies from the University of Evansville.
By Dave Wu on Thursday, April 9, 2020
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In this talk, Dave will examine the recent elections in Taiwan (2018 Local Election, 2020 Presidential Election), and the implications of the election results in regional and global affairs.
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