Last modified: Monday, January 26, 2009
Achieving international security in the 21st century
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 26, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University faculty and experts from across Indiana and around the world will participate this spring in a continuing seminar series that will try to define the ways that national and international security demands have changed.
Titled "New Faces of International Security in the 21st Century" and sponsored by the Center for the Study of Global Change and the Institute for Advanced Studies, the seminar will provide monthly opportunities for Indiana faculty and students to begin to understand the forces that have transformed issues of international and national security during the past 20 years.
Four security experts will each spend several days on the IU Bloomington campus, presenting lectures, visiting classes, talking to faculty and students, speaking via interactive video to high school classes, and participating in high-level seminars. Each represents a different region of the world, and each will address a different element of security.
Sabelo Gumedze, an expert on human rights in Africa, is an attorney of the High Court of Swaziland and has worked and taught in South Africa and Gambia. He will look at the way human rights issues affect national security, particularly as the world faces instances of ethnic cleansing in Africa. The extremity of the violence in places like Darfur has provoked reassessment of national sovereignty and the appropriate international engagement. Gumedze will explore the impact of ethnic violence and the conditions and limits of international response.
As a defense policy advisor to the British government and to the City of London, John Gearson has had major responsibility for building Britain's counterterrorism strategies. He is currently preparing a study of the appropriate military roles in the oversight of British security policy. Many European states face major difficulties resulting from the immigration of large numbers of individuals from former colonies. Gearson will discuss how second- and third- generation members of many of these groups have found their path toward social integration blocked and have reacted in violent ways to seemingly permanent second-class status.
Andre de Mello e Souza has written and taught extensively on issues of globalization, human rights and security in Latin America. He teaches in Rio de Janeiro and has done considerable research into the private terrorist organizations that have grown powerful in a part of the world where the global market place has created major inequities of wealth and economic stability. He will speak on Latin American gangs and cartels that not only threaten the stability of Latin America, but have extended their reach to the rest of the world.
Ahmad Shikara trained as a political scientist in Britain. After more than a decade as a faculty member of the University of the UAE, he taught and conducted research in Japan and New Zealand. In 2000, he returned to the Research Center in Abu Dhabi. His lectures on research methodologies are much in demand throughout the Gulf Region. As a representative of the Emirate, he will present the search for environmental sustainability from the producer's perspective. Although oil resources are hardly scarce in the Gulf region, the major oil producers on the Gulf have committed vast amounts of their capital to investigating and testing ways of dealing with scarce resources. Their experiments and discoveries will contribute significantly to the ability of the rest of the world to remain secure.
A generation ago, "national security" meant watching out for the Soviets and avoiding anything that might lead to nuclear war. World politics no longer coalesces around rival political ideologies. As a consequence, there is both less and more to fear. Communism has ceased to invoke the threat that much of the world once felt. The specter of nuclear war remains with us, but it has been joined by a multitude of others -- like terrorism, scarcity of resources, environmental disaster and failure to assure basic human rights.
The four regional perspectives provoke four vastly different implications for international security. In a world where economies and cultures are ever more interconnected, what may have begun in a distant corner of the globe, will come home to roost in every corner of the globe -- unless methods of "cooperative security" are identified. The disparate elements of this seminar series will be bound by a common thread in the search for appropriate international solutions and global cooperation.
All lectures in the "New Faces of International Security in the 21st Century" series are open to the public, and will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Distinguished Alumni Room at the IU Memorial Union. The schedule of lectures follows:
Feb. 4 -- Sabelo Gumedze, "Human Rights and International Security"
Feb. 25 -- John Gearson, "Terrorism in Europe"
March 25 -- Andre de Mello e Souza, "Economic Inequality in Latin America and International Security"
April 15 -- Ahmad Shikara, "Scarcity of Vital Resources: Oil and the Persian Gulf"
For more information contact Brian Winchester, director, Center for the Study of Global Change, 812-856-5523; or John Bodnar, director, Institute for Advanced Study, 812-855-1513.