WorldAffairs

Power was once concentrated in the hands of a few dominant players, the political, business and social elite who held significant amounts of control within their respective circles. In the modern day, however, power is shifting to a smaller level, wielded by start-ups, revolutionaries and activists, who have less control and influence than the larger players they are supplanting. Moises Naim argues that these "micropowers" have the ability to disrupt the establishment, as seen in the success of the Arab Spring uprisings or in successful Silicon Valley start-ups, but they can also pose a threat to order and political stability.

What is the future of power? What players will we see gaining control and what impact will these changes have? Naím will discuss the new opportunities as well as the potential threats posed by this power shift.

Speaker: Moisés Naím, Senior Associate, International Economics Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/moises-naim.html

Moderator: David de Wilde, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 4_10_13_Moises_Naim.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30am PST

There is no doubt that the Arab Spring was a fascinating period on the historical record, with unprecedented changes taking place throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Dictators were toppled, fair elections were administered and political freedoms returned. It appears now, however, that further democratization has slowed and initial expectations may have been too high. The political situation in Egypt remains uncertain with riots and protests continuing, Syria continues to spiral out of control and Islamist rebels with ties to Al Qaeda have wreaked havoc in Mali, Algeria and Libya. What are the implications from the Arab Spring in these regions? Will Al Qaeda, damaged but certainly not dead, regroup in North Africa and what influence will it continue to have?

Seth Jones, Associate Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND Corporation

Direct download: 4_9_13_Seth_Jones.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:00pm PST

The energy mix is evolving and so is the world in which energy is supplied and consumed. Major progress is being made in developing oil, gas, renewable and other clean energy resources, but the increase in population coupled with the industrialization of developing countries will cause energy demand to more than double by mid-century. The international community is grappling with the trade-offs between development and the environment and climate change has fundamentally shifted the nature and urgency of the debate. Historically, it requires decades to explore and produce existing energy resources and to develop new ones. What is a realistic view of the energy mix over the next thirty years and what are the roles for fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear? Join us for a panel discussion of the outlook for the global energy mix over the next 30 years.

Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director of Energy and Sustainability, Graduate School of Management and the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis

Daniel Kammen, Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley

Matt Rogers, Director, McKinsey & Company

Direct download: 4_1_13_Jaffe_Kammen_Rogers.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30pm PST

With the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and other insurgencies, the tactics of guerrilla war are again at the forefront of modern military strategy, but this is not a new development. From the time of Alexander the Great to the post-9/11 battlefields of today, guerrilla uprisings have had a large impact on warfare. Max Boot assesses this impact through an in-depth look at nontraditional fighting throughout world history. Drawing from aspects of the Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire, the French-Indochina war and the revolution in Cuba, Boot will provide a new perspective on unconventional warfare and present new ways of thinking about the threats of the future.

Speaker:Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/max-boot.html

Direct download: 2_27_13_Max_Boot_KQED.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

In 2004, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (formerly the ‘alternative’) was established under the leadership of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Several countries from Latin America and the Caribbean signed on, including Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. This seemed to have ushered in the era of a left-leaning Latin America that is a greater challenge for US policy in the region. How have these leftist governments in Latin America fared, and how has US policy toward the region adapted?

Michael Shifter, President, Inter-American Dialogue

Julia Sweig, Director of Latin America Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_07_13_Left_Leaning_Latin_America.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Since December 2010 societies across the Middle East and North Africa have experienced social and governmental upheaval ranging from protests, change in governance, civil war, and the complete toppling of government. Among myriad changes taking place, many hope that this is also the beginning of a new era for human rights, governance, and freedom of expression in the region. These transitions have undoubtedly affected millions of people’s lives, but specifically how have the lives of women changed? Are women in the Middle East and North Africa better off than before, has there been no real change, or has life become more difficult for women in the region?

Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Chairman, BLUSA INC., Consulting

Zeina Zaatari, Independent Scholar and Activist; Lecturer, University of California, Davis

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_08_13_Women_in_the_Islamic_World.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

With the world’s largest economy, arguably the best universities, and the birthplace of the modern internet-based lifestyle, one can see why the United States is often referred to as “the greatest nation on Earth.” Known for innovation in many sectors—especially technology—the US has long attracted the best and the brightest from around the world to study, invest, and live the “American Dream,” but is the US losing its edge? If experts are correct the US economy will fall behind that of China in 5 years, followed by India by 2050. What is causing the US to slide from the number one position it has held for over 100 years? This session will examine key development factors and government policies to answer the questions: is the US being out-innovated? And if so, what can be done to help the US regain its competitive edge?

Sarah Burd-Sharps, Co-director, Measure of America, Social Science Research Council

Titus Galama, Economist, RAND Corporation; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Linda Padon, General Manager, Corporate Public Policy, Chevron Corporation

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_08_13_Competitive_Edge.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

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