Events

In Search of 'La Chose Franco-Arab'

February 28, 2011 // 3:00pm4:30pm
From the eighteenth century until the present, the multitude of French-Arab relationships, positive or negative, constitute what one can call, according to the famous expression of Jacques Berque, "la chose franco-arabe" ("the French-Arab thing"). This seminar will define its history and consequently its nature—and what its future might be.

Egypt and the Middle East: A Turkish Model of Democracy?

February 25, 2011 // 9:00am10:30am
Recent political unrest in the Middle East has prompted a debate about whether Turkey, a transitioning democracy with Islamic roots, can serve as a model for political transformation in the Arab world. The panelists highlighted the distinctiveness of the "Turkish model" of governance and raised doubts about its potential to inform the political discourse in the revolting Middle East.
Webcast

Work in Progress Presentation: U.S. Policy Toward Trade Liberalization, Sino-American Economic Relations, and China's Road to "Reform and Opening," 1969-1976

February 17, 2011 // 3:00pm4:30pm
On April 14th, 1971, President Richard Nixon announced an end to the U.S.-led embargo on the People's Republic of China, a step which marked the beginning of Sino-American economic normalization and a new direction for U.S. foreign policy despite the absence of diplomatic relations with Beijing. During a work in progress presentation, Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar Dai Chaowu assessed the U.S. policy toward trade liberalization as an important element in Nixon's diplomacy and as a critical means of turning détente into a practical reality.
Webcast

Churchill's Cold War Revisited

February 14, 2011 // 3:00pm4:30pm
Winston Churchill's 1946 "iron curtain" speech was the opening shot in the Cold War for Stalin, Khrushchev, and most other Soviet leaders. Churchill's summit diplomacy of the years 1953–55, however, called for German unification on the basis of neutrality and the peaceful end of the East-West conflict. How can this apparent contradiction be explained? What were Churchill's motives? Klaus Larres revisits these issues and argues that Churchill's policies were coherent and made contributions toward possible solutions in a creative way.

The Future of U.S.-EU Energy Cooperation

February 09, 2011 // 12:00pm2:00pm
Chief of staff at the Office of the Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy at the U.S. Department of State, Vincent J. O'brien, stated that "stakes for an energy secure future have never been higher than they are today." Cooperation is needed on securing new resources of natural gas, diversifying energy sources and creating a more integrated European energy market. Given that the U.S.–EU trade relationship is the largest in the world and that the economies are increasingly becoming interdependent, Europe's energy security is naturally in the best interest of the U.S. While the dynamics behind Europe's energy concerns are complex, pipeline politics seem to dominate discussions.

A Blow to Democracy: Election Fraud, Corruption and Political Violence in Albania

February 08, 2011 // 11:00am12:00pm
Erion Veliaj, a former civil society activist and coordinator of the Albanian opposition parties, discussed the demonstration held on January 21, 2011. The demonstration ended in violence, with four shot and killed by the Republican Guard. Prime Minister Sali Berisha characterized the event as an attempted coup d'état in an attempt to justify the violent response, and said that the demonstrators had been carrying weapons disguised as umbrellas. Veliaj argued at the meeting that these contentions were "ludicrous": according to Veliaj, this was just another in a number of peaceful demonstrations organized by the opposition to protest what they see were unfair elections in 2009. The Albanian government, Veliaj said, was trying to force the population to choose between stability and freedom.
Webcast

Territory, Statehood, and Sovereignty from Westphalia to Globalization

February 07, 2011 // 3:00pm4:30pm
The possession of territory or bounded political space has been crucial for the modern state, but historians and political analysts have left its properties unexamined. How have the premises and practices of territoriality changed from the seventeenth century to our own era?

Offsite Film Screening: Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today

January 31, 2011 // 5:00pm8:00pm
Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today depicts the most famous courtroom drama in modern times, which is also the first set of trials to make extensive use of film as evidence, and was the first trial to be extensively documented, aurally and visually. All of the proceedings, which lasted for nearly 11 months, were recorded. Though strict limits were placed on the Army Signal Corps cameramen by the Office of Criminal Counsel. In the end, they were permitted to film only about 25 hours over the entire course of the trial. This was to prove a great impediment for writer/director Stuart Schulberg, and his editor Joseph Zigman, when they were engaged to make the official film about the trial, in 1946, shortly after its conclusion.
Webcast

Unfinished Business: Archives After Conflict in Guatemala, Sierra Leone, and South Africa

January 31, 2011 // 3:00pm4:30pm
When a country emerges from conflict, citizens demand that perpetrators be held accountable for past violations of human rights; that the governmental system be reformed to prevent a future recurrence of past repressive practices; that the truth be told about what really happened, both in personal terms (such as learning the fate of a loved one) and in terms of how the society came to be what it was; and that reparation be made for the moral and material losses suffered during the period of oppression. Archives are essential to meet these demands.
Webcast

Ensuring Compliance: Strategies for Popular Cooptation by the Party and State Security in Communist Europe and in Ba'thist Iraq

January 27, 2011 // 3:00pm4:30pm
With varying degrees of success, authoritarian regimes frequently co-opt their citizens to gather information on and undermine their domestic opposition. According to Martin Dimitrov, communist Bulgaria's ability to suppress dissent was diminished from the 1970s onward because the Western-led international human rights regime forced the government to replace harsher methods it had previously used with a system of rewards for volunteer informants and reprimands for dissidents. The ineffectiveness of these tactics contributed to the regime's eventual collapse. In contrast, Joseph Sassoon explained that Iraq's Ba'th Party—unable to rely upon a superpower for support and steeled by a series of wars—was able to remain in power for thirty-five years in part because it did not relax its efforts at co-optation and repression as the regime matured.

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Upcoming Events

International Affairs and Transnational Relations

September 29, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm

Film Screening: "Liberty Train, Next Stop Freedom"

October 10, 2014 // 3:00pm6:00pm

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant