WorldAffairs (news & politics)

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

Turkey has long served as the gateway between East and West. Many Western governments count on Turkey to serve as a democratic ally in an unstable region. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP have been praised for creating a liberal Islamic government in the Middle East. More recently, however, the so-called Turkish model looks to be failing. Why did such a promising government model fail to inspire democratic regimes among Turkey's neighbors? Is the Arab Spring to blame for the demise of the Turkish model? Is it possible for a government to effectively blend Islamic principles with democratic practices? Join us for a conversation about the prospects of creating a liberal democracy in the Middle East and why it matters for the region and the world.

Speaker Cihan Tuğal is Associate Professor for the of Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jeffrey Scott Collins, Vice President of Communications at After School, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1597

Direct download: 05_18_16_Cihan_Tugal.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

No country in Europe has been hit harder by the 2008 global economic crisis and subsequent downturn than Greece. After years of polarizing austerity measures and fears of a Greek exit from the Eurozone, the country is slowly emerging from an extended period of economic instability. The Greek recovery, however, is far from over. Yanis Varoufakis served as Greek finance minister from January through July 2015 and opposed the EU’s third and final bailout agreement for Greece. He will discuss how the Greek economy is faring today and how the Eurozone crisis affected the rest of the global economy. What lessons have been learned about the risks and benefits of a shared economic system? How can we protect those most vulnerable to economic shocks from another economic crisis?

Speaker Yanis Varoufakis is Former Greek Finance Minister, and Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Athens.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1586

Direct download: 04_21_16_Yanis_Varoufakis.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:09pm PST

Today, one out of every 120 people in the world is displaced from their homes. Once of the areas where the global refugee crisis is most acute is the Middle East, where 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. How are individuals and organizations from the public, private and philanthropic sectors are working to provide both short- and long-term support for refugees?
 
 
Speakers:
 
Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State, United States Department of State
 
Nancy Lindborg, President, United States Institute of Peace
 
 
Moderator:
 
Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum
Direct download: 05_16_16_Blinken_Lindborg_Syria.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:14pm PST

From remote sensing devices to telemedicine to wearables, information technologies and connected devices are transforming the way doctors and patients interact and communicate. Is increased connectivity translating into increased health care access, better patient outcomes and lower health care costs as envisioned? How will these innovations impact access to health care in the developing world? Are we at an inflection point for connectivity to really change health care delivery around the world?

 

SPEAKERS

Ram Fish, Founder and CEO, 19Labs

Adam Pellegrini, Divisional Vice President, Digital Health, Walgreens

Aenor Sawyer, Associate Director of Strategic Relations, Center for Digital Health Innovation, University of California San Francisco

 

MODERATOR:

Adam Satariano, Technology Reporter, Bloomberg News

 

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1548

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Connected_Health_Care.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:59pm PST

After 9/11, the Drug Enforcement Administration reframed itsmission, warning that terrorists had gotten into the illegal drugtrade to finance their attacks. From al Qaeda and the Taliban toHezbollah and the FARC, the agency has pursued drug traffickingcharges in association with many terrorist groups. While the twomay be related in some regions, such as Colombia and Afghanistan,questions have arisen around the scope of narco-terrorism.

How effective is the DEA’s work on narco-terrorism in thwartingterrorist activities? What other strategies could be used againstgroups like ISIS, whose funding comes from oil revenues and taxes,not drug trafficking? Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter GingerThompson recently investigated dozens of narco-terrorism cases,raising questions about whether the DEA is actually stoppingthreats or staging them.

Speaker Ginger Thompson is Senior Reporter at ProPublica.

Cynthia Gorney, Professor Emeritus, Berkeley Graduate School ofJournalism, University of California, Berkeley, moderates thediscussion.

For more information about this event please visit:http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1575

Direct download: 03_23_16_Ginger_Thompson.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

What comes to mind when you think of Islam? Current headlines often focus on ISIS and Islamic fundamentalism, or power struggles between Sunni and Shia. But perpetrators of violence make up only a tiny minority of the world’s over 1.5 billion Muslims. Why do some see Islam as a religion that promotes violence or oppression? How can we change this narrative and better understand the peaceful faith of the majority? If current trends continue, Islam will catch up to and then eclipse Christianity in the coming half century. As the world’s Muslim population continues to grow, will we move towards greater understanding and acceptance? Join us for a conversation about this widespread and multifaceted religion.

Speakers Karima Bennoune, Professor of International Law at the UC Davis School of Law, and Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates, are in discussion.

Sara Abbasi, Founding Board Member of Developments in Literacy, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1576

Direct download: 03_15_16_Understanding_Islam.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:39pm PST