Peace picks, January 22-26

  1. Ending Civil Wars | Monday, January 22 | 2:30pm – 4:00pm | U.S. Institute of Peace | Register here |

The cause of civil wars and effective policy responses have been debated extensively for decades, and the United States has often stressed counterinsurgency doctrine and state-building to restore political and societal stability. However, 21st century rebel movements, shifting geopolitics, and the high costs of intervention bring the “standard treatment regime” for resolving civil wars into question. Join us as experts discuss their findings and recommendations on how the United States can better respond to intrastate conflict and promote both development and stability to create lasting peace. Featuring former Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry (Stanford University), Nancy Lindborg (President, U.S. Institute of Peace), Steve Krasner (Stanford University), Stephen Biddle (George Washington University), Susanna Campbell (American University), Clare Lockhart (Director and Co-Founder, Institute for State Effectiveness), and Paul Wise (Stanford University).


  1. Turkey, the Kurds, and the Struggle for Order in the Middle East | Tuesday, January 23 | 12:00pm – 1:30pm | Hudson Institute | Register here |

The American-led campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) has empowered Syria’s Kurds and, as a result, alienated Turkey. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran have expanded their presence in Syria. Washington, Moscow, and Tehran now find themselves in a complicated diplomatic contest over the orientation of Turkey and various Kurdish polities and factions. How should the U.S. manage its role in this contest? Hudson Senior Fellows Eric Brown and Michael Doran will discuss the current state of affairs in the region and offer recommendations for future U.S. policies. Hudson Fellow Peter Rough will moderate the conversation.


  1. What Does 2018 Have in Store for Turkey? | Wednesday, January 24 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm | Middle East Institute | Register here |

Turkey began 2018 embroiled in domestic dissent and diplomatic friction. Last April’s constitutional referendum was met with widespread criticism as an attempt by President Erdogan to consolidate power. Activists and journalists face increasing restrictions on their rights, the government continues its crackdown on the opposition, and debates swirl over the future of Turkey’s economy, the Kurdish question, and relations with the United States and European Union. These various issues are coming to a head in advance of 2019’s presidential election. The Middle East Institute (MEI) will convene a panel of experts to examine these key issues and more, featuring Soner Captagay (Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy), Howard Eissenstat (St. Lawrence University), and Max Hoffman (Center for American Progress). MEI’s Director for Turkish Studies Gönül Tol will moderate the discussion.


  1. Bringing Armed Groups into the Peace Process in Afghanistan | Thursday, January 25 | 9:30am – 11:00am | U.S. Institute of Peace | Register here | 

Peace negotiations to end the war in Afghanistan remain elusive, despite years of effort and a growing consensus that no side is likely able to defeat the other militarily.  The Afghan government, United States, and Taliban leadership all profess openness to a peace deal, but efforts have suffered from mistrust, conflicting objectives, and each party’s efforts to break the military stalemate.  Afghanistan in the meantime continues to face widespread violence, insurgent control of large swathes of the countryside, and major economic challenges. The Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum at the U.S. Institute of Peace will host a panel of leading experts to discuss options for advancing peace talks, reaching an inclusive political settlement, and transitioning Taliban and other insurgents off the battlefield and into nonviolent politics. Featuring Johnny Walsh (U.S. Institute of Peace) as moderator, with speakers Alexander Ramsbotham (Conciliation Resources), Laurel E. Miller (RAND Corporation), and Javid Ahmad (Atlantic Council).


  1. The Impact of Trump’s Jerusalem Move: A Conversation with PLO Ambassador Husam Zomlot | Thursday, January 25 | 12:00pm – 1:15pm | Middle East Institute | Register here |

President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to relocate the U.S. embassy there was met with Arab and international censure. The United Nations General Assembly voted 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, for a resolution demanding that the United States rescind this declaration. Human rights groups decry the decision as a death knell for the two-state solution. The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host a conversation with Ambassador Husam Zomlot, head of the PLO General Delegation to the United States. Ambassador Zomlot will address the implications of this announcement on Palestinians as well as their Arab neighbors, and how a future peace process might be revived. MEI’s Senior Vice President for Policy Research and Programs, Paul Salem, will moderate the discussion.


  1. Current Challenges in US-Turkey Relations | Thursday, January 25 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm | SETA Foundation | Register here |

President Trump’s win in the November 2016 election was met with cautious optimism in Turkey, however, as the first year of his administration draws to a close, the bilateral relationship still faces a number of challenges. The National Security Strategy issued in December 2017 promises a “dramatic rethinking” of US foreign policy as National Security Advisor HR McMaster put it, but it is unclear what prospects it holds for US-Turkey relations. Moving forward into 2018, how will the divergent approaches between the US and Turkey in Syria affect the broader bilateral relationship? Please join the SETA Foundation at Washington DC for a discussion on the challenges facing the bilateral relationship between the US and Turkey. Featuring speakers Luke Coffey (The Heritage Center), James Jeffrey (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), Kilic B. Kanat (SETA Foundation), with moderator Kadir Ustun (SETA Foundation).


  1. People Power Movements and International Human Rights: ICNC Monograph Launch | Thursday, January 25 | 4:00pm – 5:15pm | Atlantic Council| Register here |

From winning freedom for slaves to achieving recognition of women’s rights, the real source of many historical breakthroughs in international human rights has been the bottom-up resistance efforts of ordinary people to collectively and nonviolently fight injustice and lack of freedoms. The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict’s (ICNC) monograph author and legal scholar Elizabeth A. Wilson (Rutgers University) will explore a legal framework for understanding the relationship between civil resistance movements and international human rights. A moderated discussion will follow, featuring Maria Stephan (U.S. Institute of Peace) and Sean Murphy (The George Washington University Law School), moderated by Maciej Bartkowski (International Center on Nonviolent Conflict). Mathew Burrows (Atlantic Council) and Maciej Bartkowski will deliver welcoming remarks.

  1. Islamist Politics in the Middle East and North Africa | Thursday, January 25 | 5:30pm– 7:00pm| Project on Middle East Democracy (Elliott School of International Affairs) | Register here |

The past decade has witnessed major changes as Islamist parties and movements across the Middle East and North Africa were democratically elected, ousted from power, formed coalitions, splintered internally, faced increasing repression, and governed. This panel of top scholars will discuss innovative new political science research on Islamist movements and parties, examining who votes for these organizations, their internal dynamics, and how our study of them continues to evolve. Featuring panelists Lindsay Benstead (Portland State University), Steven Brooke (University of Louisville), Quinn Mecham (Brigham Young University), Jillian Schwedler, (Hunter College, CUNY), and Joas Wagemakers (Utrecht University), moderated by Marc Lynch (George Washington University).

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