Several weeks ago, the US Congress commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution with the unveiling of a bust of Vaclav Havel. One of the attendees, Pavol Demes, was part of the delegation that traveled to Washington with Havel in 1991. Demes is an internationally recognized NGO leader, a former government official, and also an author and photographer. We spoke with him about the anniversary and the current state of democracy in Slovakia, as well as about concerns over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
The Obama Administration has spoken of a “pivot” or “rebalance” toward Asia as a foreign policy priority. But the U.S. is not alone in turning its sites toward the Pacific. The European Union continues to focus more and more on the Asian continent as well. Does the pivot present an opportunity for the EU and U.S. to draw upon shared values and a history of cooperation as they engage China and other Asian nations? Or will we see increased competition as both seek to benefit from the economic opportunities the region presents?
A. Ross Johnson and Nenad Pejic reflect on the decline of independent media and the attempt to fill the information deficit in nations across the globe. What Cold War lessons resonate today and what are the demands of the new media environment? And is the U.S. doing enough to bring objective information to authoritarian countries and unfree societies?
With the benefit of 25 years of hindsight, Duke University Professor Bruce Jentleson, looks back on the fall of the wall and its meaning then and now. He and NOW host John Milewski also discuss their firsthand experience in Berlin as part of a project that resulted in a televised town meeting between east and west Berlin residents that was seen nationally on C-SPAN.
"When you look at ISIS, it's in at least two countries - you have it in Iraq and you have it in Syria - and that complicates exactly how you can go against them and deteriorate their ability to carry out terrorist acts. You have to have countries in the region who support this (campaign against ISIS). It can't be a west against this group (ISIS), it has to be other countries and especially countries from that region," says Jill Dougherty.
Tensions over security, access, and environmental impacts in the Arctic are rising. While members of the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the United States) assert their established rights under new circumstances, an increasing number of non-Arctic states (including China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore) seek an active role in the region. In this video series, "Who Owns the Arctic?" an international panel of experts describes why one of the world’s coldest environments is becoming a hot topic.
The Arctic is a nearly pristine environment containing vast resources that are attracting a growing number of non-Arctic nations. And questions about the changing nature of the region present challenges to our understanding of how to best approach a fragile ecosystem. Are the questions and challenges surrounding the Arctic regional or global in nature. Willy Østreng shares his thoughts during the final installment of our series, “Who Owns The Arctic?”
The United States will soon begin a term chairing The Arctic Council. Will it make the Arctic a priority and does the U.S. have a clear strategy for the region? Heather Conley discusses the view from the US in part 6 of the CONTEXT series, “Who Owns The Arctic?”
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in much discussion of European Security and whether or not current arrangements and resources are adequate to deter threats. While much of the discussion has focused on NATO, former President of Finland, Martti Ahtissari, spoke to us about a more holistic view of how security is achieved and maintained.
In part 5 of our series on the Arctic, Russia expert, Marlene Laruelle, shares her thoughts on Russia’s leading role as an Arctic nation and how it might react to a China-US partnership in the region.