Forum on Russia’s Intervention in Syria & U.S. Policy

Dear friends,

With all the disconcerting news from the Middle East these days, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet came as a pleasant and very encouraging surprise. (In case you—like most people in the world—are not exactly sure what or who the National Dialogue Quartet is, have a look at this useful backgrounder from The Guardian.)

Our Center for Middle East Studies has been highly engaged with developments in Tunisia since our launch three years ago. In March of 2013 CMES Director Nader Hashemi and Associate Director Danny Postel travelled to Tunis to participate in the international conference “Democratic Transformations in the Arab World: Tunisia as a Model” hosted by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID).

Hashemi’s talk at the conference, a meditation on the role of religion in Tunisia’s democratic transition, was later published as a journal article, and Postel wrote an article reflecting on his experience (“Democratic Rhapsody and Anxiety in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia”). Hashemi returned to Tunis the following year to speak at another conference, and we are now planning a new conference with the CSID to be held in Washington, DC next spring.

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the National Dialogue Quartet is a welcome form of recognition for the civil society activists whose painstaking dedication to dialogue and compromise helped keep Tunisia’s democratic transition on track. This accomplishment is an inspiration and a reminder that the struggle for democracy in the Arab world is an unfinished project.

We hope you can join us this Thursday (October 15) for this timely forum:

Russia’s Intervention in Syria and U.S. Policy Options
A Panel Discussion with Ambassador Christopher Hill, Jonathan Adelman & Rami Khouri

Thursday October 15 at 12:00 p.m.
Room SIÉ 150, Ben Cherrington Hall
Josef Korbel School of International Studies (2201 S. Gaylord St.)

What does Russia’s military intervention in Syria mean for the battle against ISIS, the fate of the Syrian conflict, US-Russian relations, and American foreign policy globally? We will tackle these and related questions in this panel discussion featuring three experts in distinct spheres:

Ambassador Christopher Hill is Dean of the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He is former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, was US Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia, and Poland, a US special envoy for Kosovo, a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, and the chief US negotiator with North Korea from 2005-2009. He is the author of Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy and writes a column for Project Syndicate.

Jonathan Adelman has taught at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies since 1978. He teaches Russian foreign and defense policies, and is the author of Prelude to the Cold War: Tsarist, Soviet, and U.S. Armies in the Two World Wars, Torrents of Spring: Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics, Global Threats: Challenges To America in the New Century, and The Rise of Israel, and is the editor of Superpowers and Revolution. He writes commentary for the Huffington Post and other outlets.

Rami Khouri was the founding director and is now Senior Public Policy Fellow of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and is currently a Carnegie Visiting Scholar with the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. The former editor of the Beirut Daily Star, he writes a twice-weekly syndicated column distributed by Agence Global and writes regularly for Al Jazeera America.

The discussion will be moderated by Danny Postel, Associate Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He is co-editor of The Syria Dilemmaas well as The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, among other publications.

This event is free of charge and open to the public. Visit the Facebook event page for more details.

Finally, after a summer hiatus, our series of brief video interviews with leading Middle East scholars is back—and with a new name: Middle East Dialogues (formerly known as CMES Conversations—we think the new name is an improvement on the brand). In the latest installment, Danny Postel sat down with Wendy Pearlman, Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University who serves on the faculty of the university’s Middle East and North African Studies Program, for a conversation about her book-in-progress on the roots of the Syrian conflict. Have a look at the interview here. Check out our past interviews here, and follow our YouTube channel.

Hope to see you on Thursday!



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