Peace picks February 9-13

  1. A Visit to Tehran: former Congressman shares his outlook for U.S.-Iran Relations | Monday February 9 | 2:00 – 3:00 | Atlantic Council | REGISTER TO ATTEND | As nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) enter what could be their final stage, former Rep. Jim Slattery will provide insights about the attitudes in Iran toward an agreement and the obstacles a deal may face both in Tehran and in the U.S. Congress. Slattery, who made his first visit to Iran in December, will also discuss his extensive experience promoting interfaith dialogue with Iran as part of an effort coordinated by the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Norway and the Catholic University of America. The event will also feature Bharath Gopalaswamy, Acting Director, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council and Jim Moody, Associate Director-Investments, Oppenheimer Company and will be moderated by Barbara Slavin, Senior Fellow, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council.
  2. Leaderless Revolutions and their Challengers with Srdja Popovic | Tuesday February 10 | 10-11:30 am | Rome building of SAIS | RSVP to | Blueprint for Revolution is not only a spirited guide to changing the world but a breakthrough in the annals of advice for those who seek justice and democracy. It asks (and not heavy-handedly): “As long as you want to change the world, why not do it joyfully? It’s not just funny. It’s seriously funny. No joke.” – Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties and Occupy Nation
  3. Egyptian Women: Small Steps Ahead on a Very Long Journey | Tuesday February 10 | 12:00-1:00 | Woodrow Wilson Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Women were pivotal cogs in the wheel of Egypt’s political development over the past four years. Whether it was the popular uprisings against former President Hosni Mubarak or Islamic rule, or referenda or elections, women were called upon at times of the country’s greatest need and never failed to heed the call. Now that the country is gearing up for parliamentary elections, will women’s efforts finally be recognized with appropriate political representation and will their voices be heard? The Wilson Center invites to a discussion with Moushira Khattab, Chair of Women in Foreign Policy Group, Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs; former Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center; former Minister of Family and Population, Egypt; and former Egyptian Ambassador to South Africa and to the Czech and Slovak Republics.
  4. Making Sense of Yemen’s Power Crisis | Tuesday February 10 | 12:00 – 1:30 | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Houthi advances in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a and the subsequent resignation of the president and his cabinet have thrown the country into chaos in recent weeks. In this new reality, will Yemen be able to find a balance of power, or will it descend into greater violence and instability? This event will explore the factors driving the Houthis, the current government, the former regime, the Islamist Islah party, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and address how these forces will shape Yemen’s domestic political map going forward. Carnegie invites to a discussion on Yemen’s political players and the outlook for the country’s future. The discussion features Nasser Arrabyee, a Yemeni journalist based in Sana’a and founder and president of Yemen Alaan, a media production company, Nadwa Aldawsari, co-founder and executive director of the Sheba Center for International Development and Laura Kasinof, freelance journalist and author of ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets: An Accidental War Correspondent in Yemen’. Carnegie’s Intissar Fakir will moderate.
  5. The State of Islamism: The New Generation | Wednesday February 11 | 9:30 – 11:00 | Woodrow Wilson Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Over the past year, Islamists have triggered tectonic shake-ups across the Middle East. Borders have been redefined. Tactics have turned bloodier. States are unraveling under the pressure. Moderate Islamists are being sidelined as militants alter the region more than any trend since modern states became independent. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Egypt’s Sinai are flashpoints, but no country is exempt. The impact has rippled worldwide, evident in the Charlie Hebdo attack. The Woodrow Wilson Center, in cooperation with the U.S. Institute of Peace, is hosting a debate on the state of Islamism, with Robin Wright, USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar, Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, David Ottaway, Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center and Les Campbell, Senior associate and regional director, Middle East and North Africa, National Democratic Institute. Opening remarks will be made by Jane Harman, Director, President, and CEO, Woodrow Wilson Center.
  6. Managing Conflict in a World Adrift | Wednesday February 11 | 14:30-17:00 | USIP |REGISTER TO ATTEND |The recent eruptions of violence in the Middle East, parts of Africa and Eastern Europe illustrate the high hurdles of conflict management amid rapidly shifting power dynamics. Rafe Sagarin, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona, will open the event with a keynote address on what we can learn from nature about the important role of institutions in adaptive approaches to conflict management. Pamela Aall, senior fellow at Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and senior advisor for conflict prevention and management at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), will lead a lively and thought-provoking conversation examining these forces and potential approaches with one of her co-editors and two contributing authors of the new book, Managing Conflict in a World Adrift co-published by USIP and CIGI. The volume is the fourth in a landmark series by Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall.
  7. Conflict and Convergence: Toward Common Interests in the Troubled Middle East | Wednesday February 11 | 4:00-5:30 | Atlantic Council | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The Paris attacks earlier last month were the most recent in a spate of violence connected to the proliferation of extremist groups throughout the Middle East. When coupled with trends like rising sectarianism, the dark side of individual empowerment, the diffusion of power, and demographic shifts, the outlook for the region remains murky: ISIS and other terrorist groups are upending regional security; Iran is moving closer to having a nuclear weapons capability; Libya is disintegrating; and the “promise” of the Arab Spring has clearly been unfulfilled. While ISIS’s advances have led to the formation of an international coalition led by the United States to counter this virulent extremist group, some of the underlying causes of ISIS’s rise and growth – state failure, political illegitimacy, and economic underdevelopment – remain unaddressed.  Too often, the West attends to the region in reaction to its ills, with a view to containing them. The Atlantic Council invites to a discussion on the major strategic issues at stake in the Middle East and a long-term assessment of the opportunities and challenges for 2015 and beyond. Panelist are Salam Fayyad, Former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, The Hon. Stephen J. Hadley, Former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and The Hon. Francis Ricciardone, Vice President and Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council.
  8. 2015 Sheikh Abdullah Saleh Kamel Symposium: An Energy Revolution? The Political Ecologies of Shale Oil in the Middle East, US and China | Wednesday February 11 – Friday February 13 | Georgetown University | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) is hosting its annual Sheikh Abdullah Saleh Kamel Symposium, this year looking at the impact of the shale oil revolution on the Middle East. The symposium will feature panels on environmental, social and political economy implications of shale oil as well as ramifications on foreign policy issues. It also features a wide range of scholars, including Osama Abi-Mershed, Director Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, Dr. Peter Gleick, President and Co-founder, Pacific Institute, Dr. Jeremy Boak, Director of the Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research at the Colorado School of Mines, Dr. Mark Giordano, Director of the Program in Science, Technology and International Affairs, Georgetown University, Dr. Mohamed Ramady, Visiting Associate Professor of Finance and Economics at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Dr. Eckart Woertz, Senior Research Fellow at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs and Mr. Fawzi Aloulou, Energy Economist at the Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy.
  9. High Stakes: How This Year’s Climate Negotiations Will Impact National Security | Thursday February 12 | 9:00 – 10:30 | Woodrow Wilson Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it,” said President Obama in his recent State of the Union Address. But what does that mean for international climate negotiations? The Wilson Center invites to a discussion with Nick Mabey, chief executive of the environmental NGO E3G, who will present new analysis on the relationship between successful climate diplomacy and national security. Mabey will discuss how critical the next year is in climate diplomacy and how the UNFCCC and Montreal Protocol processes can help improve international risk management. As climate change negotiations accelerate leading up to this fall’s UN climate conference in Paris, it is essential that decision-makers in the executive and legislative branch understand these delicate connections and how their actions may have unintended security consequences.
  10. Nuclear Bargains Reviewed: Washington’s Cold War nuclear deals and what they mean for Iran | Friday February 13 | 1:00 – 2:30 | Woodrow Wilson Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Or Rabinowitz, author of ‘Bargaining on Nuclear Tests’, will discuss her research in the context of the looming dead-line for the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 on the future of Iran’s nuclear program. Bargaining on Nuclear Tests demonstrates that the 1969 bilateral American-Israeli deal on Israel’s nuclear ambiguity was not an exception; it served as the model for two following nuclear bargains with Pakistan and South Africa. Dr. Rabinowitz’s research demonstrates that Washington’s willingness to reach such nuclear bargains is influenced by superior geo-strategic considerations that override non-proliferation policies. The fate of the Pakistani and the South African deals should serve as a stark reminder to Israeli policymakers that understandings can expire when bilateral interests no longer converge.
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