World Affairs

Five years after the Arab Spring, how much has really changed in the power and governance structures of many Middle Eastern states? From Egypt to Yemen, countries once home to democratic grassroots revolutions now struggle to control political conflict and civil war. The general optimism that stemmed from Tahrir Square in 2011 has given way in many cases to sectarianism and conflict. Why did so many states fail to bring about peaceful democratic change? What are the consequences for the citizens of these states? How have the aftereffects of the Arab Spring contributed to the rise of terrorist organizations like ISIS? Journalist Robert Worth will examine the outcomes of the Arab Spring throughout the region and consider their implications for the future of the Middle East.

Speaker Robert F. Worth is a Contributor to The New York Times Magazine.

The discussion is moderated by Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs, the World Affairs Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1583

Direct download: 04_27_16_Robert_Worth.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

Conventional wisdom says that the world is getting smaller. Thanks to advances in transportation, energy and communications, people all over the world are connected to each other like never before. Previously isolated nations are now accessible to the outside world and nations' economies are now dependent on those of other nations. What does this connectivity mean for the future? Will wars be fought more over supply chains than territory? Will increased connectivity make trade routes and power grids more important than borders? Join us for a discussion with global strategist Parag Khanna, who will offer insights into the new challenges and opportunities of our connected world.

Speaker Parag Khanna is the Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1593

Direct download: 05_04_16_Parag_Khanna.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

Afghanistan has seen much development in recent years, influenced in no small part by the presence of the US military since 2001. With the election of President Ghani and the formation of the National Unity Government in 2015, Afghanistan entered a new era of reform termed 'the transformation decade.' While great strides have been made in education, civil rights, economic development and many other areas, there is still more work to be done in achieving self-reliance for the country. Against the backdrop of military, political and economic transitions, what steps are being taken to achieve a sustainable peace for Afghanistan and the region?

Join us for a discussion with His Excellency Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United States, and the Honorable Karl Eikenberry, former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Trustee of The Asia Foundation, on the state of Afghanistan's security, politics, the reform agenda and future challenges to peace and development.

His Excellency Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, speaks.

The conversation is moderated by Karl W. Eikenberry, Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow, Director of the US-Asia Security Initiative, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1608

Direct download: 06_01_16_Hamdullah_Mohib.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:15pm PDT

Can Syria ever achieve peace? Over the past five years, the Syrian conflict has grown to become the center of a global humanitarian crisis, overwhelming many of its neighbors in the Middle East, as well as several countries in Europe. There are nearly five million refugees who have been directly affected by violence within Syria, three quarters of whom are women and children. Although many in the international community are working to find a peaceful solution, other states are actively prolonging the violence. In the face of such conflicting agendas, is a diplomatic resolution possible? Who will lead this resolution? Can Syria survive as a viable state? And what have we learned from the Syrian peace talks thus far? Join us for a conversation about the challenges of reaching peace in Syria and what the global community can do to help.

Speaker Hrair Balian is Director of the Conflict Resolution Program for The Carter Center.

The discussion is moderated by Katie J. Zoglin, Senior Deputy City Attorney at the San Jose City Attorney's Office.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1594

Direct download: 04_25_16_Hrair_Balian.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:16pm PDT

1