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Last modified: Monday, April 29, 2013

Remarks by Sen. Dan Coats on inauguration of School of Global and International Studies

April 29, 2013

The following is a transcript of remarks given by Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., on April 29, on the occasion of the inauguration of Indiana University's new School of Global and International Studies and the groundbreaking of a building that will become its home.

Senator Dan Coats

Sen. Dan Coats

Print-Quality Photo

As prepared for delivery:

"President McRobbie, Provost Robel, Senator Lugar, Congressman Hamilton, Distinguished Trustees, Deans, and Faculty Members, distinguished scholars, honored guests and fellow Hoosiers:

"Joining you here at an event so important to this university, to our state and to our country is a pleasure and a profound opportunity. I can now add my footprints to this path you have cleared toward making Indiana University a premier global center of international education.

"This is a path you have trodden since 1990 when the first National Language Research Center was established here in Bloomington. Or perhaps ever since the construction of the First College Building started in 1830. The Indiana University I have known has always been active and interested in international affairs, foreign cultures and languages, and America's place in an increasingly interconnected world.

"This remarkable initiative -- to establish the School of Global and International Studies -- has been an astounding achievement. To create an idea and a program, and then to navigate the maze of academic politics and bureaucracy in little more than a year, is a miracle of good planning and interpersonal skill. And then President McRobbie took the most powerful step possible to crown this achievement: He secured the services of Dick Lugar and Lee Hamilton, our state's most distinguished practitioners of international politics and diplomacy. No other school of international studies in our nation has such a superb set of congressional titans as these two professors of practice. This is a great way to begin.

"This new center calls itself global. Professors Lugar and Hamilton have a global perspective based on a lifetime of engagement. The center teaches over 70 languages used throughout the globe, in every corner, both core languages and obscure ones. The cultural awareness of the center's students is global, and thousands of them will spread out to more than 250 study abroad destinations, and then they will bring that breadth of experience back to this institution to share with others.

"This center will cement its place atop the pinnacle of international studies institutions in America because of this global scope of education effective in the modern world. Thus, it is imperative that our students and scholars become deeply saturated with global perspective because that is the way our interconnected world now works. No problem or issue of international consequence can be viewed in geographic or cultural isolation. We, sitting here in Bloomington, Indiana, are a thread in the ever more densely woven fabric of global connections, each connected to the others. To understand the whole, we need a perspective provided by an institution exactly like this one, the School of Global and International Studies.

"When I was ambassador in Germany, the focus concept in both Europe and the United States was 'globalization.' The Germans used the American origins of the term and called it 'globalisierung.' Americans used the concept then to claim that we had kept up with global trends of interdependence, while the Germans had not. We were flexible, agile and adaptive, but the Germans were stodgy, rigid and bound to suffer in the increasingly global market place.

"OK, maybe we were wrong. It is true that globalization brought many new challenges and demanded both a new broader perspective of events and forces, and attention to new problems. Many, especially on the left, saw threats in globalization itself, as the role of international financial institutions expanded in what they thought was a dangerous way.

"America's challenges coming from globalization coincided with our struggle to adapt to the post-Cold War world and our new role as the only super power. This is an adaptive phase that continues to this day.

"Many of the core elements of globalization define America's agenda for engagement with the world. They will define the careers and consciousness of the students coming through this new institution. Many talk about the interconnectedness of global politics, economics, transportation, communication, culture and -- perhaps most especially -- common dangers. And I will too.

"These subjects of global integration can be seen as shared interests and shared threats. But I would like to begin by emphasizing the permanent anchor of American culture that gives us the energy and tools to deal with the other global realities. This is our shared values.

"'The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind,' Thomas Paine wrote in 1776. During all of our nation's history, American patriots and presidents have seen the spread of democracy throughout the world as a vindication of our historic choice as a people, and the natural consequence of enlightened political progress.

"Senator Lugar has said that, 'I am convinced that the majority of American people do understand that we have a moral responsibility to foster the concepts of opportunity, free enterprise, the rule of law and democracy. They understand that these values are the hope of the world.'

"The 'end of history' argument at the turn of the last century maintained that the victory of Western democracy was the end point of humanity's political and social evolution and the final form of government. American administrations of both parties have pressed a 'freedom agenda' as the centerpiece of American diplomacy, foreign policy and even military strategy. Even when the expansion of democracy was reversed by Islamic militancy and our nation was attacked, our response included efforts to build democratic states where tyranny and militancy were the norm. We saw democracy as the answer, as we always have.

"My point is that the rest of the world does also. According to Freedom House, the number of the world's democracies grew steadily and dramatically from 1900 through the anti-communist revolutions of 1989. Few things connect us so universally and so closely as our shared values. The world is interconnected by shared values first, and we are the wellspring of those values as they have been translated from ancient origins to the modern age. This defines our global mission, gives it vibrancy and, increasingly, urgency.

"Our shared values also bring shared interests, especially economic interests. It has become obvious to every American that economic interconnections are growing and pervasive. The Chinese rate of economic growth slows 2 percent and the New York Stock Exchange drops 3 percent. The price of ethanol influences the price of corn, which determines the price of tortillas, which affects the rate of illegal immigration across the Arizona border. A Japanese auto recall breaks the parts supply chain, which slows orders and lays off workers in southern Indiana, Michigan or Tennessee. A banking crisis in Cyprus -- one of the smallest developed economies in the world -- threatens to bring down the European Union, the largest economy in the world and 650 times larger than the Cypriot economy.

"International trade is the life blood for many Americans, including many here in Indiana. Nearly 30 percent of all output for Indiana's major commodities goes to an international market. The economic health of the export markets determines export volume and the consequences for many of those 24,000 agriculture-related jobs in our state. International politics, trade negotiations, obstacles, or preferences, and even cultural factors all play their interconnected role influencing the health of American agriculture, manufacturing and services.

"Globalization has been around since the ancient trade routes in the pre-Christian world and has grown steadily for centuries. But the enormous growth in global connectivity in our era is a result of modern transportation and communications. Among the results is the incredible rise of China as an economic powerhouse. Since China opened its doors to global trade, it has nearly doubled the available global labor supply, with all the results we see for labor costs, wages, unemployment and social consequences around the world. How appropriate -- even essential -- it is, that IU has a flagship National Language Resource Center in Chinese.

"The details of economic global integration demonstrate mostly that we are all in the same boat. A leak can sink the ship. And a safe voyage to an intended destination depends upon shared commitments to core principles -- rule of law, democracy, free trade, human rights and free enterprise being among them.

"Global cultural connections also reflect shared interests and values. The admirable work of your language institutes notwithstanding, the lingua franca of the modern age is English, thank goodness. The rest of the world knows us and, thankfully, largely admires us through the products of our culture. And these are being disseminated more thoroughly and more rapidly than ever before by Internet technologies. For the first time in human history, we all have access to the same information, instantly.

"These technologies combined with the universal appeal of our political values have been the engine behind the revolutions in the Middle East, revolutions that may not all be the 'spring' as we had first called them, but nevertheless have the potential to transform global politics in profound and ultimately positive ways, leading to a further wave of democratic development. We can at least hope so. In any case, global technologies have loosened the bonds of the past, and shared values were the prime mover toward a new future, yet undefined.

"Other more primitive impulses in the Middle East, Transcaucasus, South Asia, North Africa and elsewhere have brought us other shared realities -- danger. Indeed, a list of the areas where modern terrorism works its evil would include the entire planet, including New York, Boston and other wounded American cities. This is the other side of global interdependence.

"According to the Global Terrorism Database, the number of terrorist incidents has grown dramatically and consistently since 9/11 from 1,300 in 2002 to 5,000 in 2012. And the database makes an effort to exclude those incidents that are part of wartime insurgencies. Since we were first shocked by mass terrorism in this country in 2001, the global measure of terrorism has quadrupled and has infected virtually every region and nearly every country on the planet. This is the other side of our new globalized reality.

"It is not enough just to lament this tragic global descent into barbarity; we must take global action in response. We need to act collectively to defend ourselves. That means both through coordinated effort to track down terrorists, as well as concerted action to address the root causes of the scourge -- those that radicalize and motivate tomorrow's potential terrorists.

"To accomplish the first, our country has turned to more numerous and more robust alliances and coalitions to stand with us opposing terrorism in all its forms. These are truly global alliances of law enforcement, intelligence and military cooperation relying upon all the modern networks of global communications and analysis technologies.

"The second global task -- to address the root causes -- is more nuanced, more difficult. Among the possible lessons of the Boston attack is that even young, modern, suburban American citizens can be reached by international advocates of terrorism and radicalized within the hallways of an American suburban high school. Terrorists can come from a cave shelter in Pakistan's tribal region, or a mud mosque in Timbuktu, or a wrestling team in a Boston-area school.

"We need all our tools to address this problem, including a continuing, articulate and forceful commitment to our core values. We must continue to believe that when the rest of the world sees Americans at our best, radicalism will lose its allure.

"This means we must continue to help when we can. The links between poverty, hunger, inadequate education, poor health and no future and political instability, violence, hostility toward America and terrorism are clear. For generations, America has led the world in bringing food and clean water, vaccines and basic health care, primary education and the building blocks of economic development and prosperity to the world's most desperate populations. Without the generations of Americans committed to helping others, we would face an even more desperate, unstable, dangerous and hostile world. We are the most prosperous, most humane and most politically enlightened nation on earth. Our current fiscal woes must not weaken our commitment or leave that leadership role to others to fill, perhaps at our peril.

"Students who emerge from this new institute, ready for their new challenges, will have a global perspective of America's role in a complex, interconnected world. I believe this should be your core educational mission.

"Martin Luther King said that, 'Education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society; the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.'

"For this new School of Global and International Studies, I would extend Dr. King's concept to include the goals of our nation. The purpose of education here at the IU School of Global and International Studies should be to enable your graduates to help America achieve the legitimate goals of our historic mission.

"Thanks to the vision of President McRobbie, faculty, IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel and Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Larry Singell, together with the leadership and guidance of Professors Lugar and Hamilton, you are off to a great start."