6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Charting a Path in U.S. Education Reform

May 16, 2012 // 9:00am — 11:00am
With the recession eroding school budgets, educators today are being forced to do more with less. Leading education reformer Paul Vallas and Kenneth Wong of Brown University discuss practical, tested, and cost-effective solutions to improve America’s K-12 schools.
U.S. President Obama meets with Russia's PM Putin in Moscow

The National Conversation: Putin's Return & The U.S.-Russian Reset

May 23, 2012 // 12:30pm — 2:00pm
On May 7, Vladimir Putin began his third term as president of the Russian Federation. With the Russian political season over, and the American political season heating up, what are the implications of political transition for the important issues in the U.S.-Russian bilateral relationship?

Beyond Smart Cities: How Cities Network, Learn and Innovate

May 24, 2012 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
To achieve the real promise of smart cities—that is to create the conditions of continuous learning and innovation that has led cities like Seattle, Barcelona, Ahmedabad and Curitiba to keep pace with economic change—we need to understand what is below the surface of smart and connected places. Yet, city learning is a blind spot in policy on urban development and city innovation.

Russian-Iranian Relations: Implications for U.S. Policy

September 24, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Cosponsored by the Middle East Program, Woodrow Wilson Center || Kennan Institute U.S. Alumni Series || Moscow does not want to see Tehran acquire nuclear weapons. Despite this, Russia has been reluctant to cooperate much with the U.S. in preventing this. In his talk, Mark N. Katz, Professor of Government and Politics, George Mason University, and former Title VIII-Supported Research and Short-Term Scholar, Kennan Institute, will discuss why this is.

Local Media and Ethnic Politics in 21st-Century Russia

June 18, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
“Is local media, produced for Russia’s ethnic minorities and often in local languages, stoking ethnic conflict and hastening destabilization of the federation?” asked Kathryn Graber, Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, Kennan Institute at a 18 June 2012 lecture. Graber studied the local, ethnic media of the people of the Republic of Buryatia, a semi-autonomous region of the Russian Federation that borders Lake Baikal. Rather than create ethnic strife between the Buryats and Russians, Graber found that local, ethnic media has produced a framework of titular nationalities that work together in the Russian Federation, and which supports positive and pacifist relationships that reaffirm the belief that as a national minority, ethnic peoples can belong both to an ethnic state and the larger Russian state.

The Failure of Democracy in Post-Soviet Eurasia

June 12, 2012 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is clear that democracy has failed to take root in most former Soviet republics. Based on extensive field research in the region, Kennan Institute Title VIII-Supported Research Scholars Jody LaPorte and Danielle Lussier will discuss the varieties of non-democratic regimes that have developed and will offer some explanations for the failure of democracy in Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.

Familiar Strangers in the Soviet Marketplace: Georgian Trade Networks between the Caucasus and Moscow

June 11, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
“Why were Georgian trade networks so successful?” asked Erik R. Scott, Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, Kennan Institute, at an 11 June 2012 lecture. Georgian businessmen and their trade networks and products occupied a unique position in the informal economy in the Soviet Union and supplied many of the scarce and exotic goods Soviet consumers desired. Georgian trade networks exploited the mobility made possible by the porous internal borders of the Soviet Union. Scott characterized the Soviet Union as an “empire of diaspora” comprised of mobile ethnicities who could move and trade throughout the Union.

Intra-Trade and Infrastructure: A Discussion with the Eastern Africa Diplomatic Community

May 21, 2012 // 2:00pm — 3:30pm
Eastern Africa is a region with budding investment and development potential. Economic opportunities range from agriculture and tourism, to infrastructure, energy and minerals.

Nagorno-Karabakh: Will the Frozen Conflict Turn Hot?

June 05, 2012 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a brutal war two decades ago over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. A ceasefire -- not a peace agreement -- has separated the combatants for years, but is now endangered by frequent violations and by a growing arms race. How dangerous is this situation and what can be done to avoid another open conflict?

QDDR in Action: Civil Society Sustainability in U.S. Foreign Policy

May 17, 2012 // 9:00am — 11:00am
Over the last year, civil society has continued to play a critical role in democratization throughout the world, and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's "Strategic Dialogue initiative with Civil Society" has provided a model for how governments and civil society can work together to advance the common good.

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