Peace Picks February 24 – 28

1. Twitter Evolutions: The Changing Role of Social Media in War and Protest

Monday, February 24 | 9am – 1pm

U.S. Institute of Peace; 2301 Constitution Ave NW


In the early days of the Arab Spring, many hailed digital media as revolutionary tools for democracy and peace building. Three years later, as the region still struggles with authoritarian retrenchment and civil war, social media continues to play an important, if far more complex, role in ongoing events. Meanwhile, protest movements in parts of Europe – especially Turkey and Ukraine – are providing intriguing, and complicated, examples of digitally active protest movements and recalcitrant governments.

Join the U.S. Institute of Peace on February 24th for two panel discussions on social media’s role in political protest and civil war across the Middle East and Europe.

The first panel will discuss the recently released Blogs & Bullets report, which examined mainstream media coverage, YouTube videos, and more than 40 million tweets over a two-year period to show the changing use and impact of media in the Syrian crisis. The second panel will explore the relationship between social media and the political crises in Egypt, Turkey, and Ukraine. This event is part of the ongoing Blogs & Bullets project, a partnership between USIP’s PeaceTech Initiative and George Washington University’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication.

Online viewers will be able to engage panelists and each other via a live Twitter discussion (#usipblogs).

9:00am to 9:10am | Introduction

Sheldon Himelfarb

Director of Media, Technology, and Peace building, U.S. Institute of Peace

9:10am to 10:30am | Panel I: Syria’s Socially Mediated Civil War

P.J. Crowley, Moderator
Professor of Practice, School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University. Former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs

Marc Lynch
Director, Institute for Middle East Studies, George Washington University

Sean Aday
Director, Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, George Washington University

Deen Freelon
Assistant Professor of Communications Studies, American University

10:30am to 10:45am | Break

10:45am to 12:30pm | Panel II: New Media and Contentious Politics in Egypt, Ukraine and Turkey

P.J. Crowley, Moderator
Professor of Practice, School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University. Former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs

Adel Iskandar
Adjunct Instructor, Communication, Culture & Technology, Georgetown University

Joshua Tucker
Professor of Politics, New York University

Zeynep Tufecki
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

2. Corruption and Business in Russia: National Problem, Regional Solutions

Monday, February 24 | 9:15am – 12:00pm

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW


There is a perception that it is not possible to do business in Russia without engaging in corruption. While corruption in Russia is a fact of life, individual businesses are employing a range of strategies to reduce their exposure and give them access to international partners. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the Kennan Institute present expert findings on this timely issue.

Jordan Gans-Morse, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University, will present his research on how non-oligarchic firms are surviving in an atmosphere of endemic corruption. The firms’ coping mechanisms and the means they use to settle business disputes shed light on the course of Russia’s future economic development. Based on extensive field research, Gans-Morse is at work on a book about law, property rights, and corruption in Russia. CIPE Moscow Program Officer Natalya L. Titova will speak on a CIPE initiative in Russia that is helping regional business to meet international anti-corruption standards in order to join international value chains.

During the discussion, the speakers will be joined on a panel by CIPE partners from St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk and Kaliningrad where corruption is a significant barrier to attracting investment.


Marina Fitsak
Vice President, Kaliningrad Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Jordan Gans-Morse
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University

Ludmila Karelina
Director General, International Institute of Organization Management, St. Petersburg

Oleg Moskovsky
Chelyabinsk business owner, expert on commercial risk and debt management

Natalya L. Titova
Program Officer, Moscow, Center for International Private Enterprise

3. Women in the New Arab Politics: A Conversation with Members of Parliament from Jordan, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia

Tuesday, February 25 | 10am – 11:30am

8th floor, National Democratic Institute; 455 Massachusetts Ave NW


Please join the National Democratic Institute and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution for a discussion with members of parliament from Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. The MPs will discuss the evolving role of women in politics in the Middle East and North Africa, and the potential means of enhancing the participation and leadership of women on the issues of economic development and inclusive growth in times of political transition.

The discussion will be moderated by Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy and a senior fellow at Brookings. NDI director of women’s political participation Susan Markham will provide opening remarks.

4. US diplomacy with adversaries: Dancing with the devil, or how enemies become friends

Tuesday, February 25 | 12:00pm – 1:30pm

10th floor, Center for American Progress; 1333 H St NW


Please join the Center for American Progress and AEI for a discussion marking the release of “Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes,” a new book by Michael Rubin. In the book, Rubin argues that US diplomacy with countries such as Iran and North Korea and groups such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hezbollah has significant risks.

The discussion will feature Charles Kupchan, author of the 2012 book “How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace.” In his book, Kupchan argues that diplomatic engagement with adversaries is essential for enhancing global stability and order.

The discussion is the continuation of a series of joint conversations between the Center for American Progress and AEI examining major national security issues in the coming years.

Charles Kupchan, Council on Foreign Relations
Michael Rubin, AEI

Brian Katulis, Center for American Progress

5. Civil Society in Afghanistan: Spark or Stumbling Block for Stability?

Tuesday, February 25 | 3 – 5pm

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW


With international troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, Afghan efforts to promote security will increasingly be taking center stage. This event examines the extent to which Afghan nongovernment organizations (NGOs) can help achieve stability. Speakers will discuss the appropriate balance between state, market, and civil society in fostering stability in Afghanistan; assess the U.S. military’s civil society outreach and engagement efforts in Afghanistan; present findings on how Afghan NGOs are working to counter violent extremism and build peace; and examine how Afghan civil society is preparing for 2015, and how the United States can help. 

There will be a live webcast of this event.

Clare Lockhart
Co-founder and director, Institute for State Effectiveness

David Sedney
Former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia

Mehreen Farooq
Senior fellow, World Organization for Resource Development and Education

Waleed Ziad
Director of South and Central Asia Programs, World Organization for Resource Development and Education

6. Surveillance Costs: The NSA’s Impact on the Economy, Information Security, and Internet Freedom

Tuesday, February 25 | 4 – 6:30pm

New America Foundation, 1899 L St NW


There’s a debate raging in DC and around the world about the extensive National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs that were first revealed this past summer–not only about whether the surveillance is consistent with constitutional and human rights, but also about the costs and the benefits of such mass surveillance. New America’s National Security Studies Program recently addressed the “benefits” question by releasing an in-depth research report demonstrating that the NSA programs have done little to prevent terrorism.

This event from New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) will look at the other side of the coin and examine the costs of the NSA programs. Such costs include not only the direct cost to the American taxpayer, but also the cost to the American Internet industry (by some estimates over $180 billion within the next few years), the cost to America’s foreign relations and its work to promote “Internet Freedom” globally, and finally, the cost to Internet security itself.

Join us for a lively discussion on these and other costs of surveillance, with representatives from the Internet industry and the Internet security community along with security policy experts from the left and right, moderated by a longtime legal advocate in the surveillance and privacy world and with an introduction from the US State Department’s former Director of Policy Planning, New America’s President & CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter.


Anne-Marie Slaughter
President & CEO, New America Foundation

Featured Speakers:
Daniel Castro
Senior Analyst, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)

Mieke Eoyang
National Security Program Director, Third Way

Richard Fontaine
President, The Center for a New American Security (CNAS)

Ross Schulman
Public Policy and Regulatory Counsel,
The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA)

Micah Sherr
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Georgetown University

Kevin Bankston
Policy Director, New America Foundation, Open Technology Institute

7. Ongoing Political Unrest in Bosnia: Drivers of Change and Future Implications
Sponsored by the George Washington University Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) and the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tuesday, February 25 | 4 – 5pm

Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412; 1957 E St NW


Recent public protests have once again turned international attention to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the site of the 1992-1995 war that left 2 million people displaced and more than 100,000 killed. Almost twenty years after the war, Bosnians across the country have taken to the streets to demand an end to corruption and the ineffective system of governance that have paralyzed the state and robbed its citizens of economic prosperity and a brighter future. The panel will examine the path that led to this crisis, what lies ahead for the postwar state, including its prospects for EU and NATO membership, and broader implications for the region.

Nidžara Ahmetašević, Slobodna Bosna (via Skype)

Janusz Bugajski, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Jasmin Mujanović, Harriman Institute, Columbia University

Moderated by:
Sarah Wagner, George Washington University Deptartment of Anthropology

8. Modern Africa: A Symposium on Opportunities for Women in Energy and Water Access

Wednesday, February 26 | 8:30am – 1:30pm

Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW

To register for this event, please email

Please join us for a conference on women’s access to water and clean energy in Africa. Practitioners, thought leaders, experts, entrepreneurs, and policy makers will discuss and explore the opportunities in water-energy access in Africa, and give examples of successful policies and entrepreneurial ventures that are helping to increase women’s participation in, and contribution to, the water and energy sectors in Africa. The panel sessions will focus on removing barriers to women’s access to energy and water, and on harnessing opportunities at the water-energy access nexus through innovative social, impact, and for-profit investment models, and diaspora networks and platforms to establish business ventures and relationships that catalyze more investments.

Panel discussions will cover:
Women’s Access to Energy
Women’s Access to Water
Harnessing Opportunities to Increase Access to Energy and Water through Partnerships and Innovative Investment Models

The event will be webcast.


Pepukaye Bardouille, International Finance Corporation

Tim Boersma, The Brookings Institution

Jennifer Cooke, Africa Program, CSIS

Agnes Dasewicz, USAID, Power Africa

Alexander Dixon, The Aspen Institute

M. Eric V. Guichard, Homestrings Ltd

Maya Harris, U.S. Department of Energy

Rachel Ishofsky, InnoAfrica

Paula Jackson, American Association of Blacks in Energy

Dr. Lawrence Jones, Center for Sustainable Development in Africa

Richenda Van Leeuwen, U.N. Foundation

Katherine Lucey, Solar Sister

Radha Muthiah, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Dr. Jacques Sebisaho, Amani Global Works

Frank Verrastro, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS

9. Rached Ghannouchi on Tunisia’s Democratic Transition

Wednesday, February 26 | 12pm – 1:30pm

Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW


Amid a series of setbacks for pluralism and citizen rights in the Middle East, Tunisia has again provided a positive example for the region. In a landmark step, the country’s Islamic and secular political forces reached agreement on a constitution that embraces equal rights and provides a foundation for Tunisia’s transition to democracy. But while progress has been made, the country still faces serious economic and political challenges, as well as simmering ideological tensions and the rise of radical Salafism.

Rached Ghannouchi, co-founder and president of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, will give an address on what lies ahead for his country. Carnegie’s Marwan Muasher will moderate the discussion.

Rached Ghannouchi
Rached Ghannouchi co-founded the Ennahda Movement, an Islamist group that is currently Tunisia’s largest political party and the dominant participant in a coalition that has governed the country since the October 2011 elections. After spending more than two decades in exile for his political activism, Ghannouchi returned to Tunisia in January 2011 to participate in the country’s democratic transition. Widely recognized as one of the world’s most influential Islamic thinkers, he was named one of TIME’s one hundred most influential people in the world in 2012.

Marwan Muasher
Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as foreign minister and deputy prime minister of Jordan.

10. Egypt’s Economy: Addressing the Challenges Ahead

Wednesday, February 26 | 12 – 1:30pm

SEIU Conference Center, 1800 Massachusetts Ave NW


Three years after Egypt’s January 25 revolution, triggered in part by a demand for greater economic opportunity, Egypt’s economy remains fragile, with slowing GDP growth, declining foreign investment, and youth unemployment at levels that threaten ongoing social unrest. With presidential elections expected this spring, The Middle East Institute will host a discussion about the economic challenges and opportunities faced by Egypt’s future leadership and what more the international community can do to help encourage growth. The discussion will feature Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist of the Middle East and North Africa Region at the World Bank, Ahmed Ghoneim, professor of economics at Cairo University, Zubair Iqbal, adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute, and Steve Lutes, director of Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. MEI vice president for policy and research Paul Salem will moderate the event.

11. Getting Beyond 2014 in Afghanistan

Friday, February 28 | 9am – 12:30pm

U.S. Institute of Peace 2301 Constitution Ave NW


Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace, Voice of America, and Alliance in Support of the Afghan People for this two panel public event that will examine the U.S.-Afghan relationship, both its history and its future potential.

9:00am to 9:15am | Welcome & Introduction

9:15am to 9:35am | Keynote Address

Ambassador James F. Dobbins (TBC)
Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. Department of State

9:35am to 10:50am | Afghanistan and the United States: The Long View

Clare Lockhart
Director and Founder, Institute for State Effectiveness

David Sedney
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, U.S. Department of Defense

Alex Thier
Assistant to the Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Dr. Andrew Wilder, Moderator
Vice President, Center for South and Central Asia, U.S. Institute of Peace

10:50am to 11:05am | Coffee Break

11:05am to 12:30pm | The Future of Media in Afghanistan

(This session will be introduced by a short film produced by VOA)

Peter Bergen
Director, National Security Program, New America Foundation

Danish Karokhel
Director, Pajhwok Afghan News

Najib Sharifi
Director, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee/Afghan Voices

David Ensor
Director, Voice of America

12. North Korea after Jang Sung Taek and the Outlook for Inter-Korean Relations

Friday, February 28 | 3:30 – 5pm

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW


The purge and execution of Jang Sung Taek was caused by the combination of a struggle over economic interests and political power as well as shortcomings of the Military-first System. While it is too early to determine what the consequences of Jang’s execution are in terms of the political stability and future policy directions of the Kim Jong Un regime, this panel will explore some possibilities, particularly in terms of inter-Korean relations.

Jinwook Choi is a senior fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU), which he joined in 1993. He was formerly KINU’s acting President and President of the Korea Association for North Korean Studies (KANKS). Dr. Choi is currently a member of various policy advisory committees of the ROK government: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Unification, Korea Communications Commission, and the National Unification Advisory Group. His research interests include North Korean politics and unification policy. Dr. Choi received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Cincinnati in 1992.

Hazel Smith is Professor and Director of Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. She was previously a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Professor of Humanitarianism and Security at Cranfield University, UK, a member of the Research Committee of the UK Economic and Social Research Council and an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her core area of research is on the economics, society, politics and international relations of North Korea. She has researched the country for over twenty years and lived and worked in North Korea for nearly two years, on secondment to UNICEF and the World Food Programme.

James F. Person is the Senior Program Associate for the History and Public Policy Program and coordinator of the North Korea International Documentation Project. Person is co-editor of the NKIDP Working Paper Series and the History and Public Policy Program Critical Oral History Conference Series and has worked as a consultant on historical documentaries. He received his Ph.D. in Modern Korean History from The George Washington University

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