SIS Hosts "America's Role in the World - Views from Abroad"
Wu Xinbo, associate dean, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University in China speaks at the symposium "America's Role in the World: Views from Abroad".
"No country can be number one forever," said Wu Xinbo, associate dean, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University in China.
Wu's views echoed the message of several global scholars gathered at SIS last week to examine the role of the United States in the world at a day-long symposium co-sponsored by the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, the Canadian Embassy and SIS.
As scholars from Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Mexico, Turkey and Russia, and representatives from organizations such as the Brookings Institution, the German Marshall Fund and the Observer Research Foundation, presented their wide-ranging views on America's global role, some common themes emerged.
Benjamin Schreer, of Australian National University, said the United States, "despite its decline and China's rise," will still have a role in shaping Asia. And whether in Asia or other continents, the scholars gathered agreed that the United States must learn to live in a world of shared power. C. Raja Mohand, head, strategic studies and distinguished fellow, Observer Research Foundation, said that the U.S. should define and focus its priorities, and shift from a "dominant strategy to an observant, off-shore strategy." The U.S. should "allow regional contradictions to unfold," said Schreer.
The view from abroad was that since World War II, the U.S. has often overreacted to perceived threats and let fear shape its military and economic policies. It kept its focus firmly rooted in the past, for example, through policies aimed at saving "dead manufacturing," such as the tire industry, rather than encouraging the development of new industries, such as clean energy, said Wu.
Frightening as the prospect is for most Americans, one scholar even suggested that the U.S. might have to learn to live with the fact of Iranian nuclear weapons.
The view from abroad wasn't all bleak, and foreign observers are not thinking as much about who wins the U.S. presidential election as they are about long-term U.S. policies in a more balanced, power-sharing world. Observers felt the U.S. should shake off its group depression from recent financial woes, draw on its ethnic diversity and considerable resources and learn from countries such as Brazil and Australia that have thrived without strong military forces. As Schreer put it, the U.S. must learn the difference between "strategic or reputational interests."
MORE HEADLINES - 11/06/2012
SIS Professor Receives Book Award
The Peace Corps and SIS - The Partnership Grows
Sonenshine Discusses Collaboration and Cooperation
SIS Professor Receives Book Award
Professor Sharon Weiner
SIS Professor Sharon Weiner received the 2012 Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration for her recent publication Our Own Worst Enemy?: Institutional Interests and the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Expertise. Weiner will receive the award at the Academy's fall meeting in Washington, D.C. November 15.
"I'm honored by such an important organization that appreciates the details of the policy process," said Weiner. "Parts of this book were only possible because of funding from the School of International Service and American University, which I appreciate."
The Louis Brownlow Book Award was created in 1968 to "recognize outstanding contributions on topics of wide contemporary interest to practitioners and scholars in the field of public administration."
Weiner's book was chosen by the Academy because "it makes an outstanding contribution to the literature of public administration in an area of contemporary interest to practitioners and scholars in this field," wrote the judging committee in their report. "It uses detailed analysis of the design, implementation and evolution of critical U.S. nonproliferation programs over a 20-year period to provide new insights and original ideas about the role and behavior of governmental institutions and programs in the area of national security."
"We are thrilled that the National Academy of Public Administration has honored Professor Weiner with the Louis Brownlow Book Award," said Dean James Goldgeier. "We look forward to many productive years of research and teaching from her in the years ahead."
The National Academy of Public Administration is a non-profit, independent organization of top, public-management and organizational leaders who address the nation's most critical and complex public-management challenges.
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The Peace Corps and SIS - The Partnership Grows
SIS Graduate Admissions Specialist Stephen Angelsmith under the flags of Panama (l) and Turkmenistan (r).
Graduate students in our Peace Corps Fellows Program are immersed in projects in D.C. public schools and community organizations. Their classmates in the Master's International Program are on campus, beginning and continuing an academic experience that will include service in the Peace Corps. SIS is also working with the University Library and returned Peace Corps volunteers to assemble a national Peace Corps Community Archive.
SIS and the Peace Corps. The relationship is longstanding, but the energy has ramped up this year as increasing numbers of SIS students combine graduate work and Peace Corps service.
That's not surprising given the natural alignment of the goals of both entities - connecting and serving communities.
The Peace Corps Fellows Program allows returning volunteers to take skills they acquired overseas and apply them close to home. This year, about a dozen fellows are tackling projects in the District of Columbia.
Like the Peace Corps itself, these community programs challenge SIS students to be innovative, inventive and entrepreneurial. For example, at D.C.'s Woodrow Wilson High School, master's candidates assigned to the Wilson International Studies Program are taking on everything from model United Nations activities to international film clubs to tutoring. At ACCESS Youth in DC, an anti-violence program matching young adults with mentors, other SIS students are helping at-risk youth build the skills they need to make positive life choices.
When SIS students carry university and Peace Corps values into these projects, they also expose D.C. youth to the notion of international service as a career option. As the nation's capital and a global pulse point, the District of Columbia is an ideal incubator for professions in the world arena. At the same time, the Peace Corps wants to see more diversity in its ranks, something the District could provide.
For individuals debating whether to head to the Peace Corps or enroll in graduate school, our Master's International Program offers a solution: do both. A year of on-campus coursework is followed by a for-credit Peace Corps assignment. Then students return to SIS for a final year of study. To join the program, candidates apply to SIS and the Peace Corps simultaneously.
Graduate programs aside, the affinity between SIS and the Peace Corps is evident in other ways. Returning Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) make up about 10 percent of this semester's incoming class. That's up from seven percent from last year.
Two graduate students at SIS have launched a university-wide student organization of RPCVs. They envision that weekly lunches and occasional happy hours will evolve into creative service projects. The group will also mentor AU undergraduates considering Peace Corps service.
And, of course, there is our initiative to create the Peace Corps Community Archive, something that has me, as an RPCV from Turkmenistan, especially energized. Peace Corps material sit in archives and collections scattered around the country. There is no overarching repository for the stories and artifacts linked to volunteers, their Peace Corps communities and the populations with which they worked. This archive will seek to collect, preserve, and make available the correspondence, diaries, film, photographs, reports, scrapbooks and sound recordings that will preserve the Peace Corps experience.
SIS and the Peace Corps have expectations that dovetail: a commitment to service—particularly beyond home borders, a respect for other cultures, a desire to learn and to share that knowledge and an acknowledgment of personal responsibility. Perhaps it's no wonder, then, that among medium-sized colleges and universities in the United States, American University ranks number three for the number of its graduates students who enter the Peace Corps (and third for the number of its undergraduates who join the Peace Corps).
Stephen W. Angelsmith
Graduate Admissions Specialist
Coordinator for the Master's International and Peace Corps Fellows programs
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Sonenshine Discusses Collaboration and Cooperation
Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine visited SIS on Oct. 17.
Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine spoke to faculty, staff and students Oct. 17. The program was sponsored by SIS's International Communication program and the newly-formed Public and Cultural Diplomacy Forum, housed at SIS.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Patrick Thaddeus Jackson delivered the opening remarks. "From French-speaking elites meeting behind closed doors to virtual exchanges of tweets and YouTube videos, diplomacy remains centrally concerned with encountering, engaging and often participating with others in common endeavors," Jackson said. The informal motto of SIS is 'Waging peace since 1957.' The means may have changed, but the basic goal - to explore the potential for peaceful coexistence and mutually enriching transactions whether economic, cultural or political - is the same."
Sonenshine defined public diplomacy as using cultural achievements to build trust overseas. "Both Hollywood and Washington understand the power of collaboration - talking about ideas and listening to other people," she said.
However, Sonenshine explained, public diplomacy is more than just bringing culture to the table. Social media and networking are essential to the process. "It's not just feel-good stuff," she said. "It's about our national security interests and the recognition that we can't do it alone."
She offered advice to the assembled students. "Be listeners. The whole point of public diplomacy is not talking in one direction, but listening in multiple directions. People want to know that their voice matters."
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Longtime friends of SIS and the International Development program Irene Tinker (l) and Millidge Walker (c) attended the Oct. 11 Tinker-Walker Fellowship Presentations. Fellowship funding offsets the costs of the students' trips abroad to conduct research or hold internships.
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We invite readers to send comments to SISComm@american.edu. Please include your graduation year and degree.
In response to "SIS Offers AU's First Three-Year Degree" in the Oct. 29 issue, Jim Boston, SIS/BA '68, wrote, "I was one of a group of over 30 students starting at AU in September 1965 who were able to graduate in three years based on test scores that awarded us up to 39 semester credit hours. Several of us were SIS students. But the new program sounds a lot more focused. Graduating in three years saved my parents some money, but cost me a year of education."
Boston added, "One classmate at SIS who did the same thing is Gil Donahue [SIS/BA '68], now a retired Foreign Service officer. I am a recently retired, but still active, Episcopal priest with a special interest in international ministry. My wife and I are planning on doing a six to eight-week project in Ghana next year for the national Bible translation organization."
Nur Ali, SIS/BA '98, made his debut as NASCAR's first Pakistani driver at the Kansas Lottery 300, broadcast live on ESPN2, Oct. 21.
Rebecca Rosen, SIS/BA '03, has been named Mitt Romney's "Secret 'Rock Star' " in an Oct. 25 National Journal article.
Michael Edwards, SIS/JD/MA '09, wrote, "The newsletter is a very nice way to stay up to date with SIS information, which is great since I work for an international development agency/trade association. Thanks again."
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Getting to Know You - Eric Fillinger
Title: Program Associate, U.S. Foreign Policy.
Duties: U.S. Foreign Policy Program administration and faculty support, event planning and student recruiting.
How long I have worked at SIS: Four years, between my current position and a work study job in the Dean's Office.
The best part of working at SIS: I love the community at SIS and in my program. The staff is energetic and committed, and my program faculty are both down-to-earth and experts in the field.
My first job: I shelved books at the local library.
Where I grew up: Fairview Park, Ohio- right outside of Cleveland.
My family: My wife Mollie and I live just down the street from AU.
My hobbies: I enjoy reading, rooting for my favorite sports teams (mostly losing Cleveland teams, alas), following politics and cooking.
What I enjoy doing on the weekend: Spending time with my wife, going to the movies and generally decompressing from the week.
What I am reading these days: Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin. It's a good reminder of how close we were to total financial meltdown in 2008.
My favorite movie: I'm a nerd, so probably "Star Wars."
My favorite D.C. hangout: The National Zoo.
My favorite food: Tough question - probably spaghetti with my mom's pasta sauce.
My last vacation: This summer, I got married in Petoskey, Mich., where my wife has family, then traveled to Cleveland for a reception with my family. It was wonderful, but I can't say it was very relaxing!
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Professor Sharon Weiner: Interviewed in "Letting Go of 'Loose Nukes,' " Foreign Policy, Oct. 31.
Professor Philip Brenner: Interviewed in "Inside the Issues 3.6: U.S. Presidential Election," by the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Oct. 31.
Professor Gordon Adams' opinion piece, "We Ask Too Much of the Military," appeared in Foreign Policy, Oct. 31.
Professor Shadi Mokhtari's opinion piece, "The New Politics of Human Rights in the Middle East," appeared in Foreign Policy, Oct. 30.
Professor Jordan Tama: Interviewed in "Foreign Policy Complicated," Euronews, Oct. 30.
Professor Jeff Bachman's opinion piece, "Protection from Sexual Violence is a Human Right," appeared in The Hill, Oct. 27.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed: Interviewed in "Academic Value," The News (Pakistan), Oct. 27.
Professor Gordon Adams: Interviewed in "U.S. Notches 2% GDP Growth in Third Quarter," The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed: Interviewed in "On Holiday of Sacrifice, Many Syrians Cannot Celebrate," CNN, Oct. 26.
Professor Matthew Taylor: Interviewed in "Brazil Begins Punishing Politicians, for First Time," Fox News Latino, Oct. 26.
Professor Arturo Porzecanski: Interviewed in "U.S. Appellate Court Sides With Bond Holdouts, Saying 'Argentina Breached its Promise,' " The Washington Post, Oct. 26.
Professor Matthew Taylor: Interviewed in "Sentencing Begins in Brazil Corruption Trial," The Associated Press, Oct. 26.
Professor Quansheng Zhao: Interviewed in "American 'China Hands,' " Global Times, Oct. 25.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed's piece, "Aung San Suu Kyi, the Rohingya of Burma and the Challenge of Faith" (with Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow Harrison Akins), appeared in The Washington Post, Oct. 24.
Professor Jordan Tama: Interviewed in "Foreign Policy Fireworks: Face-Off Before Election," The Associated Press, Oct. 23.
Professor Daniel Schneider: Interviewed in "Report: Violent Crime Rates Rose Nationwide in 2011," The Daily Caller, Oct. 23.
Professor Kristin Smith Diwan's opinion piece, "Kuwait's Balancing Act," appeared in Foreign Policy, Oct. 23.
Professor Gordon Adams's opinion piece, "A Plunge Off the Cliff Won't Be a Big Calamity," appeared in The Sun-Herald (Biloxi, Miss.), Oct. 23.
Professor Jordan Tama: Interviewed in "Analysis: Romney Goes Moderate While Obama Attacks," Newsday (Long Island, N.Y), Oct. 23.
Professor David Mislan: Interviewed in "In Debate, Romney Black-and-White While Obama Shows Shades of Gray," PBS, Oct. 23.
Professor Matthew Taylor: Interviewed in "Brazil Starts to Hand Out Corruption Sentences," The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 23.
Professor Jordan Tama: Interviewed in "U.S. Election: Third Presidential Debate," Euronews, Oct. 22.
Professor Jeff Colgan: Interviewed in "Obama Faces Tough Call on Iran Oil Sanctions," Reuters, Oct. 22.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed's opinion piece, "Five Things Americans Need to Know About Pakistan," appeared in The Huffington Post, Oct. 22.
Professor Gordon Adams' opinion piece, "Do the Math," appeared in Foreign Policy, Oct. 22.
Professor Jordan Tama: Interviewed in "Obama Faces Rising Libya Scrutiny in Final Presidential Debate," The Washington Examiner, Oct. 21.
Professor Jordan Tama: Interviewed in "Mitt Romney, Barack Obama Facing Five Key Issues at Boca Raton Presidential Debate," Newsday (Long Island, N.Y), Oct. 21.
Professor Philip Brenner: Interviewed in "On the Brink Part Two: The Cuban Missile Crisis 50 Years Later," The Wilson Center, Oct. 20.
Professor Jeff Bachman's opinion piece, "Growing Opposition to U.S. Drones Program," appeared in The Hill, Oct. 19.
Professor Fanta Aw: Interviewed in "King Abdullah Scholarship Program Continues to Expand," KSA-2, Oct. 19.
Professor David Bosco: Interviewed in "Diplomacy Inbox Fills Up as U.N. Awaits U.S. Presidential Vote," Reuters, Oct. 18.
Dean Emeritus Louis Goodman: Interviewed in "Global Insider: Peru, U.S. Look to Capitalize on Strong Defense Ties," World Politics Review, Oct. 18.
Professor Gordon Adams appeared on WAMU's "To The Point," Oct. 18.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed's opinion piece, "Hope at Lambeth Palace," appeared in The Washington Post, Oct. 17.
Professor Gordon Adams' blog post, "The Fiscal Slide," appeared in Foreign Policy, Oct. 17.
Professor Patrick Ukata appeared on Voice of America's "Straight Talk Africa," Oct. 17.
Professor Robert Pastor: Interviewed in "Cuban Missile Crisis Myth Constrains Today's Diplomatic Standoffs," The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 17.
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed's article, "Eritrea and its Refugee Crisis" (with Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow Harrison Akins), appeared in Al-Jazeera Oct. 17.
Professor Colman McCarthy: Interviewed in "Colman McCarthy Reaches 30 Years of Teaching Peace," The Diamondback (University of Maryland), Oct. 16.
Professor Robert Pastor: Interviewed in "Cuba to End Exit Visa Requirement in January," The New York Times, Oct. 16.
Professor Gary Weaver: Interviewed in "American Volunteerism Presents a Stark Contrast With Turkey," The German Marshall Fund Blog, Oct. 16.
Professor David Bosco's blog post, "NATO's Role in the European Union's Success," appeared in Foreign Policy, Oct. 16.
Professor Robert Pastor: Interviewed in "Cuban Missile Crisis: The 3 Most Surprising Things You Didn't Know," The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 16.
Professor Gordon Adams: Interviewed in "Defense Cuts, Though Unlikely, Have Both Parties Pointing Fingers," McClatchy Newspapers, Oct. 15.
Professor Susan Benesch: Interviewed in "MediaShift #59: Special Roundtable on Hate Speech Vs. Free Speech Online," PBS, Oct. 12.
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Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Ambassador Akbar Ahmed will speak to the House of Lords in the British Parliament Nov. 29 regarding politics of Pakistan's tribal belt. On Nov. 8, he will lecture on "Islam in America: Challenges and Opportunities" at the Woolf Institute at the University of Cambridge (England).
Two SIS professors presented papers at University of Virginia's Center for International Studies' Development in CRISIS conference Nov. 2. Professor Loubna Skalli-Hanna presented "The Girl Factor in Middle East Development," and Professor Eve Bratman spoke on "Development's Murky Waters: Symbolic Struggle and Brazil's Belo Monte Dam." SIS Ph.D. candidates Davina Durgana and Namalie Jayasinghe also presented papers.
Professor Hillary Mann Leverett participated in a panel, "U.S. and Arab Strategies Toward Iran," hosted by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Oct. 26. C-SPAN broadcast the event.
Professor Philip Brenner delivered the keynote address, "Empathy or Death: Applying the Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the 21st Century," at the Centre for International Governance Innovation Campus in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Oct. 25.
Professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer appeared on the United States Institute of Peace's Oct. 16 panel, "Religion, Culture, and Interpretations of Democracy: Implications for Peacebuilding."
Professor Judith Shapiro's book, China's Environmental Challenges, (Polity Press 2012), was reviewed in Studies on Asia's Oct. 2012 issue.
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Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) will discuss his book, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change Monday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. in the Abramson Family Founders Room. The event is free and open to the public.
Jake Sullivan, director of policy planning at the U.S. Department of State and deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will speak Thursday, Nov. 8 in the SIS Abramson Family Founders Room from 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. This event, rescheduled from September, is free and open to the public.
Korean pop artist and satirist Song Byeok will appear Friday, Nov. 9 in the SIS Abramson Family Founders Room at 1:15 p.m. for the event "North Korea: At the Crossroads of Propaganda and Pop Art." The event is free and open to the public.
Former Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Tukri Al-Faisal will address U.S./Middle East relations Friday, Nov. 9, in the SIS Abramson Family Founders Room at 3:30 p.m. His Royal Highness will touch upon a variety of important issues concerning the region. The event is free and open to the public.
SIS will host an opening reception for the exhibit "Declarations of Interdependence" by Roland Poska Monday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. in the SIS Atrium. The art will be exhibited in the SIS atrium from Nov. 12 - 16. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.
Save the Date: SIS will host events for Human Rights Week from Nov. 12 - Nov. 16.
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States Dr. Peter Ammon will speak Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. in the SIS Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.
Steven Bernstein, director of graduate studies and professor at the department of political science and co-director of the Global Environmental Governance Program at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, will present "The Publicness of Private Global Governance" Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. in SIS room 300. Lunch will be provided, and the event is free and open to the public.
SIS Ph.D. candidate Katherine Tennis will discuss "Outsourcing Exclusion: The Politics of Migration Management in Migrant-Sending States" Thursday, Nov. 15, from 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. in SIS 300 as part of the fall International Relations Workshop. The free event is open to SIS faculty.
Join the American University community on Friday, Nov. 16, in a celebration of the release of AmLit, the University's award-winning arts and literary magazine. Refreshments will be provided and the best-in-show pieces will be announced and showcased. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in the SIS Atrium and is free and open to the public.
The Social Enterprise program will sponsor a workshop on design thinking Saturday, Nov. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 1. The workshop is open to the public; fees are $15 for students and $25 for professionals. Visit the workshop's Facebook page for information on locations and registration.
Ambassador Dennis Ross and Dean James Goldgeier will discuss "U.S. Policy in the Middle East in the Next Administration" Monday, Nov. 26, at 2 p.m. in the SIS Abramson Family Founders Room. The event is open to the public.
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