WorldAffairs

In November 2007, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared with more than 90 percent certainty that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are responsible for a significant portion of the increase in the Earth’s average temperature since the mid 20th century. As a result, the debate over climate change has largely subsided; however, a new debate has emerged. What is the best climate change policy moving forward? More importantly, what is the most efficient and cost-effective policy? How will the cap and trade bill currently debated in Congress affect climate change policy? Join the Council and a panel of economic and policy experts for a discussion on the economic costs and barriers to implementing a successful climate change policy. What are the foreseeable costs to individuals, businesses and government? The panel will also compare climate change policies across developing and developed economies—specifically, taking a comparative look at China and California.

Direct download: 07-27-09_Plante_Williams_Lin.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:31pm PST

In recent years a number of Muslim movements have started transitioning from taking up arms to partaking in politics. David Phillips joins the Council for an analysis of non-state Muslim organizations abandoning violence at different stages and pursuing their goals through a political process. Some have successfully made the transition while others are in mid-stream. Some have tried but backtracked, splintered, or simply abandoned the political process and reverted back to violence. Phillips considers six case studies: Hezbollah, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Kurdistan Workers Party, Free Aceh Movement, and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. Phillips will discuss the origin, ideology, structure and leadership of each organization and assess each group’s commitment to elections and its acceptance of the responsibility that comes with governance. Looking at past mistakes by the US government, particularly following 9/11, Phillips offers a strategic global template aimed at transforming groups from violence to politics, from bullets to ballots.

Direct download: 07-23-09_David_Phillips.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:52am PST

Having received a warm welcome from European counterparts during his recent visits to the continent, President Obama appears to be rebuilding America’s ties with its traditional allies. How will this new thrust of diplomatic engagement affect the dynamics of US-European relations? How are perceptions of the US changing within Europe? Could Obama’s trip to Moscow signal a new beginning for ties with Russia? Anne Applebaum joins the Council to discuss the development of America’s relationship with Russia and Europe under the Obama administration. Applebaum is a journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and expert on Central and Eastern European affairs.

Direct download: 07-22-09_Anne_Applebaum.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:50am PST

With no colonial past, China has been bringing investment and needed infrastructure to the continent at a rapid rate. However, are Chinese investors and their projects yielding mutually beneficial results that stand to change Africa’s position on the global stage? Or, will China follow in the footsteps of earlier colonial powers? Award-winning photojournalist, Paolo Woods joins the Council to show his photos which document the story behind China’s business ventures in Africa. Traveling from Beijing to Khartoum, Algiers to Brazzaville, Woods’ work provides a visual account of the involvement of the individual Chinese working in Africa, as well as helps us to understand the impact that they potentially stand to make on geopolitics.

Direct download: 07-21-09_Paolo_Woods.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:47am PST

When elected to the presidency of Mexico in 2000, Vicente Fox broke the reign that the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party had held on the State for seven decades. Described as a charismatic reformer, President Fox is credited with playing a vital role in Mexico’s democratization and strengthening the country’s economy. During his tenure, he succeeded in controlling inflation and interest rates, and in achieving the lowest unemployment rate in all of Latin America. Join us for an evening with President Fox as he discusses the challenges faced by Mexico and the greater hemisphere.

Direct download: 7-16-2009_Vincente_Fox.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:25pm PST

The World Affairs Council is pleased to co-sponsor the Marines’ Memorial Association George P. Shultz Lecture Series event with General David Petraeus. Responsible for US military operations across the Middle East, as well as in Afghanistan and Central Asia, General Petraeus serves as the 10th and current Commander of US Central Command. He previously served as the Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, where his name became linked with the Bush administration’s “surge” strategy that was widely credited with helping reduce violence in Iraq. While overseeing all coalition forces in Iraq, he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential leaders of the year and one of four runners-up for Time Person of the Year, as well as by Esquire magazine as one of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century.

Direct download: 7-9-09_Gen_David_Petraeus.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:52pm PST

It is a time of great difficulty and change in Pakistan. The country is dealing with an insurgency that is putting significant pressure on the military, police, government, and citizens. Terrorist threats and attacks are on the increase. People are being displaced in significant numbers. The country faces profound economic challenges. As Pakistan military steps up an offensive against the Taliban, what is the true state of affairs within Pakistan? In tribal regions, how does the development of civil society, the judicial system, and local governance differ from the rest of the country? And, how has recent fighting in the Northwest Frontier Province and the tribal belt near the Afghan border impacted the region’s inhabitants? Dr. Jon Summers, an Asia Foundation expert based in Islamabad until last month, and in Kabul, prior to that, joins the Council to discuss the current situation in Pakistan.

Direct download: 07-08-09_Jon_Summers.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:44pm PST

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