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A list of international relations events in the DC area.

Calendar for the Week of September 20, 2010

Sheridan Circle Memorial Service

Sept 19: 10am
Sheridan Circle, 23rd St and Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC, USA

Until September 11, 2001, the car bombing on Massachusetts Avenue was the most infamous act of international terrorism ever to take place in our nation's capital. On September 21, 1976 agents of the Augusto Pinochet regime planted a car bomb at this location which brutally took the lives but not the memory of two IPS colleagues, who fought for equality and justice through reason, not violence.

Moving Forward with Constitutional Reform in Kenya

Sept 20: 9am-2pm
B1 Conference Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1800 K Street, NW

Panel 1: Panelists will look back at the results of the referendum on Kenya’s constitution, assess the role of domestic observers, analyze regional voting patterns, and draw lessons from the experience to take through to the presidential and legislative elections in 2012. Panel 2: Transforming the constitution from a document to law will require Parliament to pass nearly 50 pieces of supporting legislation. Experts on the second panel will address these logistical issues and weigh the political and technical challenges of applying the constitution to Kenya’s most pressing national issues: land reform, devolution, and strengthening the rule of law. Panel 3: The lunchtime speaker will lead a discussion on the role of the United States in supporting Kenya’s constitutional reform process. How does the passing of the constitution set the course for Kenya-U.S. relations in the years ahead?

China’s New Talent Policy in a Global Context

Sept 20: 9:30am
Falk Auditorium, The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW

For decades, policymakers in developing countries have pondered the question of how best to recruit and retain top international talent. Recently, this trend has begun to reverse as countries such as China and India benefit from the skills of highly-educated workers returning to their home countries after a career spent overseas. The Chinese government, increasingly conscious of the value of highly skilled human capital, recently announced a major national plan to attract global talent as a means of fostering innovation and building internationally competitive industries.


Sept 20: 10:00 am
AED Globe Theatre; 1927 Florida Avenue, NW

Please join AED and Forum One Communications on September 20, 2010 for a D.C. viewing and discussion of the global event TEDxChange, featuring Melinda Gates and other development leaders discussing the Millennium Development Goals. This innovative and important TEDxChange event will be hosted in New York. Our TEDxDupont Circle event will include a live viewing of the webcast and our own D.C. based audience discussions. We will gather at AED’s Globe Theater to watch the live webcast, view live Twitter commentary from around the globe, and post our own pictures and comments, online in real-time. Afterwards, you may share your thoughts on how the webcast is relevant to the D.C. development community through a lively moderated discussion with senior thought leaders.

What's Next? Prospects for Iraq’s Democratic Future

Sept 20: 12pm
1850 K St. NW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20006

Are Iraq’s democratic institutions strong enough to withstand and resolve the sectarian differences plaguing the country? How will Iraq’s neighbors affect its political formation? Join us for a lively and insightful discussion regarding Iraq’s government formation in light of recent parliamentary elections, the subsequent political jockeying and the US withdrawal.

First Vice President Salva Kiir on the Road Ahead in Sudan

Sept 20: 2pm
Webcast Only

With referenda on Southern Sudan and Abyei fast approaching, Sudan is increasingly the focus of global attention. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, on September 24th President Barack Obama will attend a high-level meeting on Sudan convened by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In advance of this meeting, the U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to host His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardit, first vice president of the Republic of Sudan and president of the Government of Southern Sudan.

The Strategic Dimensions of U.S.–India Relations

Sept 20: 5:30pm
In the first of a series of events previewing President Obama’s trip to India, C. Raja Mohan will review the current status of the bilateral relationship and propose ways in which President Obama could help strengthen relations.

Grieving the Good of Others

Sept 20: 6pm
Wohlstetter Conference Center, Twelfth Floor, AEI, 1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W., DC

Critics of capitalism often argue that this economic system is irretrievably tainted by the sin of greed. They claim that by empowering government to "spread the wealth around" we can free ourselves from the tyranny of greed, purging the influence of sin. But are they right? At this event, Victor Claar, associate professor of economics at Henderson State University, will discuss the role of envy in collectivist and redistributive economic systems. Beginning with an explanation of the classic theological understanding of envy, Claar will argue that "grieving the good of others" is an unavoidable aspect of social democracy.

The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma

Sept 20: 6pm
Whittemore House, 1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, DC

What role do values play in our market-driven contemporary societies? How do we gauge moral failure in a commercial world? Why should we be good? In his new book, The Difficulty of Being Good, author Guracharan Das turns to the Indian epic the Mahabharata and sheds light on the central problem of how to live our lives and reclaim a meaningful ideal of public virtue.

Words & Wires Series: "More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite" with Sebastian Mallaby

Sept 20: 7:00 pm
In More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite Sebastian Mallaby tackles these questions and others, arguing that we can learn about tomorrow's financial system by looking at the history and role of hedge funds. In a work that has been described as "superb" by David Brooks of The New York Times, Mallaby examines the role of hedge funds in the international economy and their role in the financial crisis and any economic recovery.
Please join us for a discussion from 7-8:30 p.m. in Washington Monday, September 20. To attend, please log in to your YPFP member account and register below. If you have any questions or concerns contact us

Author Carol Prunhuber "The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd"

Sept 20: 8:30pm
Bus Boys and Poets, 14th and V St. NW, DC

Author Carol Prunhuber will discuss and sign her new book, “The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd: Dreaming Kurdistan.” A story about Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou’s life and bloody murder in Vienna, Austria. The Kurds are a minority in the Middle Eastern countries of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. This book is about their struggle in Iran. Mr. Ghassemlou led that struggle for ten years under the banner of “Autonomy in Kurdistan Democracy in Iran”. The Iranian leaders rejected his demands and assassinated him on July 13, 1989. Carol Prunhuber has a different tale about the country.

A Conversation with Congressman Howard Berman

Sept 21: 8:30 am
Chemonics International, 1717 H Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Congressman Berman will give his perspective on the year ahead in Congress, his vision and plans for reforming foreign aid, and his thoughts on cooperation with the international development community. Space is limited and first priority will be given to SID-Washington members. Please RSVP by September 24th.

The Upcoming Midterms

Sept 21: 11:30
Women’s National Democratic Club

Jeanne Cummings, Assistant Managing Editor in charge of POLITICO’S Enterprise, returns to the WNDC podium to give us the latest information on the November elections. She has covered politics at every level, from state and local governments to five presidential campaigns.

Evaluating the Evaluators: Media Freedom Indexes and What They Measure

Sept 21: 12pm
1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004

Global studies that rank countries by media freedom figure prominently in civil liberty debates, aid programming, foreign policy decisions, and academic research. Given the impact of such media freedom indexes, academics have been studying the quality of the social science behind these studies. Some academics claim deficiencies in the indexes, including methodology, cultural bias, and a focus on "old media." Many, however, go on to conclude that whatever their shortcomings, the studies produce fairly consistent findings over time and are credible, useful tools for tracking the evolution of media freedom worldwide.

Let the Swords Encircle Me: A Journey Behind the Headlines of Iran

Sept 21: 12:15pm
1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20036

In his new book Let the Swords Encircle Me, Scott Petersen takes readers into the minds and hearts of a broad swath of Iranians, ranging from presidents to dissidents to street vendors. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, Peterson, a journalist with the Christian Science Monitor who visited Iran more than 30 times over a 15-year span, presents a nuanced, timely, and humane picture of Iran from the inside.

Civil Society in Darfur: The Missing Peace

Sept 21: 2:00 pm
U.S. Institute for Peace 2nd Floor Conference Room

To reach a lasting solution to the Darfur conflict, many experts agree that civil society must be involved. Yet, at the same time, little is actually known about Darfuri civil society. In this context, USIP marks the publication of a new report examining Darfuri civil society with an event and panel discussion on September 21. The report examines the structure and composition of Darfuri civil society and discusses how civil society has been engaged in the Darfur peace process to date. At the event, the report's authors will summarize their findings and make recommendations for how civil society can play a productive and appropriate role in the peace process going forward.

Impact of U.S.-China Relations on Asia

Sept 21: 2pm
121 Cannon House

The complex relationship between China and the United States has global implications, most particularly for the political, economic, and security structure of interstate relations in Asia. Each country brings a distinct perspective on what the U.S.-China relationship means both for its own relations with these two powers, as well as with its other neighbors.

Masterpieces of History: The Peaceful End of the Cold War in Europe, 1989M

Sept 21: 4pm

Consisting of Politburo minutes; diary entries from Gorbachev’s senior aide, Anatoly Chernyaev; meeting notes and private communications between Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl and Francois Mitterrand, as well as high-level CIA analyses, this volume offers an insider’s look at the events that culminated in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the end of the Cold War. Joining Blanton and Savranskaya on the panel is David Hoffman, foreign editor at The Washington Post.

Author Series: Generation's End: A Personal Memoir of America's Power after 9/11

Sept 21: 5:30pm
AED, 1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, 8th Floor Board Room, Washington, DC

Scott Malcomson, Foreign Editor, New York Times Magazine. In Generation’s End, Malcomson shares his insights on American power, first as a foreign affairs op-ed editor at the New York Times in 2001-2002, where he helped shape the national debate on issues of war and peace, and then as a senior advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2003, where he was deeply involved in forming the international community’s response to the American-led war in Iraq.

Conflict Resolution Forum documentary screening: Little Town of Bethlehem

Sept 21: 7:30pm
Elliot School, Room 505, 1957 E Street, NW, DC

Little Town of Bethlehem follows the story of three men of three different faiths and their lives in Israel and Palestine. The story explores each mans choice of nonviolent action amidst a culture of overwhelming violence.

2010 PONI Fall Conference

Sept 21-22: 9am- 4pm
Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, United Kingdom

The Fall Conference will feature panel presentations addressing topics such as Nuclear Strategy, Policy, and Posture; Nuclear Nonproliferation; Scientific and Operational Supports for Nuclear Policy; and Nuclear Disarmament and Material Security.

ChokePoint: US: Understanding the Tightening Conflict between Energy and Water in the Era of Climate Change

Sept 22: 9am

On September 22nd, 2010, J. Carl Ganter, the director of Circle of Blue, Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue’s senior editor, and Jeffrey J. Fulgham, chief sustainability officer and ecomagination leader at General Electric will discuss the findings of Choke Point: U.S., an exploration into the fierce contest between the nation’s growing demand for energy, and the tightening supplies of fresh water. The presentation will also look into the development of a similar project, Choke Point: China.

A Fresh Look at Post-Conflict Economics: Theory, Experience and Reality

Sept 22: 9am-11:30am
U.S. Institute of Peace, 2nd floor conference room, 1200 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036

Economic revitalization and reform are crucial, though poorly understood, elements of the post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction process. While there is some consensus that the resumption of productive economic activity, job creation and a range of sociopolitical externalities could help stabilize communities, mitigate some conflict triggers, and promote peace, stakeholders have adopted a wide range of approaches with very mixed results.

Public Opinion in Brazil: Findings from the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project

Sept 22: 9:30am
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Flom Auditorium

As eight years of Lula’s presidency comes to a close, how do Brazilians evaluate their country? And how do they perceive Brazil’s place in the world? Published on the eve of the October 3 presidential and general elections, a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project examines these and other issues, including: views of Lula, national conditions, the economy, the environment, international relations as well as key institutions, from the military to the media.

Sustaining Security: How Natural Resources Influence National Security

Sept 22: 12pm
2200 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington , DC 20515

On September 22, 2010, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will hold a congressional luncheon briefing on how natural resources influence national security, featuring a presentation by General Anthony C. "Tony" Zinni (Ret), Former Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Central Command and CNAS Fellow Christine Parthemore. Lt. Col. Shannon Beebe, author of The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace, will also give remarks.

Worldviews of China, India and Russia: Power Shifts and Domestic Debates

Sept 22: 12:30pm
Elliot School, City View Room, 7th Floor, 1957 E Street, NW

Andrew Kuchins, Director and Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies. Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GW. David Shambaugh, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs; Director, China Policy Program, GW

The United Nations and International Cooperation: A Live Web Chat with Bruce Jones

Sept 22: 12:30pm
Webcast Only

On September 22, Brookings expert Bruce Jones will be available to answer your questions about the main opportunities and challenges for international cooperation on vital issues such as Iran, Afghanistan, Darfur and climate change in a live web chat moderated by POLITICO's Seung Min Kim.

Zimbabwe in Transition: What About the Local Level?

Sept 22: 12:30pm
The National Press Club, 529 14th St, NW, DC

As Zimbabwe has moved from the turmoil of 2008 to the establishment of the current power-sharing inclusive government, the country’s 90 newly elected local governments have been largely ignored, and reliable information about local government has been difficult to find. This forum will present in-depth findings of the new RTI-IDAZIM report on the role of local government and the prospects for recovery of the country’s local authorities and their importance to the democratic transition and economic stability of Zimbabwe.

Evaluating the State of Democracy in Pakistan

Sept 22: 2pm
United States Institute of Peace, 1200 17th St, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Just how sustainable is Pakistan's democratic dispensation, and what can the international community, specifically the U.S., do to ensure uninterrupted civilian rule in Pakistan? A panel of leading experts will join USIP to debate this question, examining three aspects of the present state of Pakistan's democracy: the evolution of the civil-military relationship since 2008 and where it seems to be headed; civilian economic and governance performance since the PPP government took over, and how that has, and likely will, impact Pakistan's political outlook; and the challenge of negotiating within Pakistan's civil-military relationship faced by the Obama administration and other global powers, and what this complex relationship means for long-term civilian supremacy in Pakistan.

The Arab Israeli Peace Process

Sept 22: 6pm
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, 1957 E Street, NW

Ambassador Nabil Fahmy Former Ambassador of Egypt to the US Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo

Tools of the Trade Series: Starting and Running Foreign Policy Organizations

Sept 22: 7:00 pm

YPFP, in conjunction with the American Foreign Policy Council, will hold a panel discussion on starting and running foreign policy organizations featuring young leaders who have started and currently run foreign policy organizations. The panelists will discuss their experiences, the challenges they face and the lessons they’ve learned.

Film Screening: Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand up

Sept 22: 7pm
The Letelier Theater, 3251 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC, USA

In the 1990s, Florida-base exiles began bombing tourist sites, the backbone of Cuba's economy. An Italian tourist died in one of the bomb attacks. Since the FBI did not arrest the bombers in Miami, Havana sent agents there to infiltrate and report on the violent groups. Instead of stopping the perpetrators of terrorism, the FBI arrested five Cuban spies. They were tried in Miami and given draconian sentences despite a dramatic absence of evidence against them.

Stopping the Taliban's Momentum?

Sept 23: 9am
Even with the troop surge in Afghanistan, the coalition’s control continues to fall as the Taliban gain strength—July marked the deadliest month for U.S. troops since the 2002 invasion. The Obama administration plans a strategic review of the war in December against the backdrop of rising costs both in lives and money and increasing unease with the Karzai government.

Overcoming Turbulence in U.S.–Turkish Relations And Countering Ankara's Strategic Drift

Sept 23: 10:30am
Allison Auditorium, Heritage Foundation

Turkey has long been a key NATO partner and a strategic ally of Europe and the United States. However, Turkish and U.S. interests in the Middle East, especially Iran, as well as Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Persian Gulf, have recently diverged. On critical issues, including the Iranian nuclear program and Israeli-Palestinian relations, Turkey currently stands at odds with the United States. Ankara even voted against the United Nations Security Council’s fourth round of sanctions against Iran.

Symposium : The New Media and the Palestine Question: Blogging Out of Conflict

Sept 23: 11am-2:15
The Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Ave, NW DC

How has blogging/new media affected the public debate on I/P? How has blogging/new media responded to the Main Stream Media and vice versa? What results has this interaction had on the public discussion of I/P? Does blogging/new media matter to the policy making elite? What about Congress, lobby groups? How has the increase in participants in the discussion changed policy calculations if any? Does the openness created by blogging/new media, which was not present in the past, make elected officials think twice about their actions.

China’s Angst over Iran

Sept 23: 12am
Middle East Institute, 1761 N St. NW, Washington DC 20036

The Middle East Institute is pleased to host Dr. Thomas O'Donnell, lecturer in Graduate International Affairs at the New School in New York, for a discussion on China's perception of the Iranian nuclear issue. Drawing on his expertise in the global energy system, Dr. O'Donnell will examine why Beijing, which was initially and very vocally opposed to UN sanctions, ended up voting in favor of them.

The National Guard and the Reserves

Sept 23: 1:30 pm
Willard InterContinental Hotel

On September 23, 2010, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will launch its new report on continuing challenges facing the National Guard and Reserves at an event featuring a panel discussion with outside defense experts. The CNAS report, authored by CNAS President Dr. John Nagl and Research Associate Travis Sharp, examines the recommendations of the 2008 report from the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves (CNGR).

Rethinking “The Great Game”: Cultural Perspectives in Afghanistan Policymaking

Sept 23: 3pm
United States Institute of Peace, 1200 17th St, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Uncertainty about international engagement in Afghanistan has grown during the first half of 2010, perhaps more so than any other point in the nine-year conflict. The means to political stability in Afghanistan are undergoing a re-examination in the wake of General Stanley McChrystal's dismissal, the U.S. troop surge with a conditional drawdown in July 2011, and the shifting discourse regarding political negotiations with insurgency leaders.

Parsing the Hype: How Nuclear Materials and Technology Spread

Sept 23: 3pm
Why do nuclear weapons spread? In new books David Albright, author of Peddling Peril, and Matthew Kroenig, author of Exporting the Bomb, argue that the international diffusion of nuclear materials and technology is an important cause of nuclear weapons proliferation.

Film Screening, “Our Summer in Tehran”

Sept 23: 4:30pm
CSIS B1 Conference Center, 1800 K Street, N.W DC

"Our Summer in Tehran" transports us into the seldom seen realm of middle-class family life in Iran. Justine Shapiro, an award-winning filmmaker takes her six-year-old son with her to Tehran where they spend the summer with three Iranian families. When the Iranian government orders Justine and her son to leave the country within 48 hours, Shapiro’s summer comes to an abrupt ending. This documentary was shot in living rooms, kitchens, a day care center, a shopping mall, the bazaar, the subway, a theater, and on a soccer field—realms of Iranian life that are rarely captured on film. 59 minutes, English, Persian, and French with subtitles.

Ladder to the Top

Sept 23: 6pm
A full evening of programming, starting with an inspiring reception at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and ending with intimate dinners across our nation's capital. Together we will draw attention to the crisis of women's under-representation in leadership.

Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War

Sept 24: 12:30pm
National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004

“Competitive authoritarianism”—a type of regime that combines competitive elections with serious violations of democratic procedures—has proliferated during the post-Cold War era. In their book Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War, Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way explain the rise and diverging fortunes of competitive authoritarian regimes since 1990. Based on a comparative study of 35 cases in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and postcommunist Eurasia, their book finds that competitive authoritarian countries with extensive ties to the West were much more likely to democratize.

Book Discussion: Oil Is Not a Curse

Sept 24: 12:30pm
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, 1957 E Street, NW

This new study argues that the ability of mineral rich states to avert the resource curse by building strong fiscal regimes depends on the ownership structure they choose to manage their mineral wealth. The energy-rich states of Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are not doomed, by virtue of their wealth, to follow the path of their mineral-rich counterparts in the developing world.

Community Forum: What do the economic reforms mean for the Cuban Revolution and Socialism?

Sept 24: 7pm
Justice Center, 617 Florida Ave, NW DC

Hear an analysis and join the discussion on: Why is Cuba introducing pro-market reforms? The problems and challenges of socialist construction in Cuba. How the Obama administration has strengthened the blockade on Cuba. Cuba's place in world politics