World Affairs

Civil wars, acts of terror, large scale economic failure, seizures of private industries—the world can be a very dangerous place for investors. And because of the growing importance of emerging and frontier markets in recent years, too many companies and financiers have learned the hard truth that in the international economy and these tough financial times, politics often matters as much as economic fundamentals. From the impact of great power rivalries, terrorist groups, government takeover of private property, and weak leaders, how can global firms, money managers and economic policy makers effectively analyze and manage political instability in a volatile global marketplace? A leading figure in political risk management, Ian Bremmer joins the Council to discuss the wide range of potential political risks that global firms face and will shed light on how investors can effectively analyze, evaluate, and predict them.

Direct download: 03-13-09_Ian_Bremmer.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:06pm PDT

As China and India continue their ascent as emerging powers, how does the Tibet issue affect the relationship between these two economic giants? On the 50th anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day, join Tenzin Tethong for a look at what Tibet means for China-India relations. Tibetan Uprising Day commemorates the 1959 Tibetan demonstrations against the People’s Republic of China presence in Tibet. This uprising was followed by a crackdown on Tibetan independence movements, and the flight of the 14th Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans into exile in India. The Dalai Lama and Tibetan government-in-exile continue to reside in India today; however, their presence has been a source of friction and distrust between China and India. Tethong will discuss the complex geo-political relationship between China and India and how the recent resurgence of protests surrounding the Tibet issue has affected these emerging powers. The program will be followed by a wine reception.

Direct download: 03-10-09_Tenzin_Tethong.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:01pm PDT

From the accomplishments of the French Presidency of the European Union in responding to the recent turmoil in financial markets and the Georgian crisis to France’s leadership in attempting to resolve the current crisis in the Middle East, the Council is honored to host Ambassador Pierre Vimont to discuss the active and influential role that the French Republic is playing on the European continent and across the globe. Ambassador Vimont has had a distinguished career in France’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Prior to his present appointment as Ambassador by President Nicolas Sarkozy, he has also served as the chief of staff to the minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Ambassador and permanent representative of France to the European Union. Advanced registration

Direct download: 2-23-09_Amb_Pierre_Vimont.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:49am PDT

According to Peter Singer, the ordinary American has an obligation to the world’s poor. He suggests that for the first time in history we, as individuals, are in a position to end extreme poverty. Yet with the death of more than 10 million children each year from avoidable, poverty-related causes, Singer argues that our current minimal response is ethically indefensible. Through thought experiments and examples, Singer examines our concept of giving and personal responsibility to the poor. He offers practical ways to tackle global poverty through philanthropy, local activism and political awareness. A philosopher and ethicist, Singer was named one of “The Most Influential People in the World” by TIME magazine and is the author and editor of over forty books.

Direct download: 03-04-09_Peter_Singer.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:57am PDT

The three leading schools of American foreign policy today: the left-of-center liberal institutionalist, the Bush-era neocon, and the realist, are likened to the major characters of the infamous film, The Godfather. Hulsman and Mitchell offer a cogent analysis of foreign policy using the themes of the film as parable. Given the present changes in the world’s power structure, the movie is a startling and useful metaphor for the strategic problems of our times, and an assessment of cold-war American power in decline.

Direct download: 3_5_09__Hulsman_Mitchell.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:53pm PDT

Described by former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as the world preeminent financial journalist, Martin Wolf joins the World Affairs Council to explain what has happened to the global financial order and what can be done to avoid the shocks of global finance. Martin Wolf was one of the first to warn and write about the problems in the financial markets, in large part predicting the current financial turmoil. Offering a prescription for fixing global finance, Martin Wolf will discuss the links between the microeconomics of finance and the macroeconomics of the balance of payments, demonstrating how the subprime lending crisis in the United States fits into a pattern that includes the economic shocks of 1997, 1998, and early 1999 in Latin America, Russia, and Asia. Martin Wolf is the associate editor and chief economics commentator for the Financial Times and a professor of economics at the University of Nottingham, England. He is the author of several books, most recently Fixing Global Finance, and was named to Foreign Policy and Prospect magazinesapos; Top 100 Public Intellectuals list.

Direct download: 2-18-09_Martin_Wolf.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:19am PDT

Join Jane Wales, President CEO of the World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum, for a powerful conversation with two dynamic agents of change: Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi Hospital in Eastern Congo and winner of the 2008 UN Human Rights Prize, and Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. Dr. Mukwege and Ms. Ensler will discuss Dr. Mukwege’s work with survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country rich in natural resources but weighed down by years of war and its attendant abuses. Since 1996, sexual violence against women and girls in Eastern DRC has been used as a weapon of war to torture, humiliate and destroy not only women and girls, but entire families and communities. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been raped due to conflict in the region. The V-Day movement and UNICEF (in partnership with UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict) are engaged in a global campaign to bring much needed attention to the needs of Congolese women and girls. The campaign is called “Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to the Women and Girls of DRC.” On the ground, women survivors are coming together and breaking the silence. Dr. Mukwege and Ms. Ensler will speak about violence against women, the efforts underway to end it, and their work toward supporting a new wave of women leaders in the region. Please join us as we learn what it takes to economically and socially empower women and girls so that they can become leaders in rebuilding their country.

Direct download: 2_18_09_Denis_Mukwege.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:46pm PDT

Having denounced the Guantánamo Bay detention camp as a “sad chapter in American history,” President Obama has vowed to restore our nation’s moral stature by closing the controversial facility. As the world awaits definitive action, the Council welcomes Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover, co-authors of Guantánamo and its Aftermath, an in-depth study of former detainees. In a conversation led by Elizabeth Farnsworth, Fletcher and Stover discuss the implications of their study’s findings, explore what measures are currently being taken by the US government and human rights organizations on Guantánamo, and propose recommendations for the Obama administration.

Direct download: 02-11-09_Facing_up_to_Guantanamo.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:12pm PDT

We honor former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her daughters, Alice, Anne and Katie, in conversation with Jane Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Northern California and the Global Philanthropy Forum. All four Albright women devote their lives to bettering our world. Together, we will explore how the ideals of community and service are shared across generations.

Direct download: 2-7-09_Madaline_Albright.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:45pm PDT

After the startling attacks on Mumbai the world is focused with even greater apprehension on the relationship between India and Pakistan. Rafiq Dossani, Neil Joeck and Daniel Sneider join the Council to examine India and Pakistan’s responses to the November terrorist strikes. Will the two nations continue to confront each other through diplomacy or will mutual distrust escalate to armed conflict? What potential does the US have as peacemaker? What are the implications of what is predicted to be an increasing number of terrorist attacks on India as an emerging power?

Direct download: 02-03-09_Aftermath_of_Mumbai.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:43pm PDT