Friday, February 15th, 2019 marked the launch of a new innovative global research partnership between the World Bank Group and the School of Foreign Service, led by the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS), Global Human Development (GHD), and Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) programs. SFS students will be invited to contribute to an upcoming flagship report—a publication by the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations—on how digital technology is transforming agriculture around the world.
“Trade works. Tariffs don’t. It’s as simple as that.” John Murphy (MSFS’92), senior vice president for international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, penned an op-ed arguing that tariffs are hurting American families and workers.
Professor Robert Lieber discusses what’s driving anti-Semitic attacks in France with CGTN.
President Trump claimed that as Obama was exiting office, he was told that Obama was near starting a war with North Korea, a claim that’s been disproved by the CIA Director during the Obama administration, and the Korea expert from the Council on Foreign Relations. SFS Professor Victor Cha said, “We were near the brink of war in the first 12 months of the Trump administration” but “that dangerous state of affairs at that time was not entirely Trump’s fault despite his fire and fury rhetoric and actions.”
Two major candidates are running for president in Nigeria: the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar, People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Associate professor Ken Opalo said: “[Buhari’s] been unwell, he hasn’t been as bold as he had promised in terms of needed reforms that could push the Nigerian economy, and despite his personal record as a non-corrupt person, there’s definitely lots of corrupt people around him.”
Shireen Hunter’s op-ed argues that throughout the years, “Iran’s punishment has far exceeded its crime.” A U.S. sponsored conference in Warsaw just finished, but “the real objective of the conference was to garner international support for even more pressure on Tehran.” Hunter provided a number of examples in which Iran was consistently punished, through war and economic sanctions.
Even with the government shutdown over, there are still concerns regarding retention, morale, finances of diplomats and their families, and more. According to Nancy McEldowney, the shutdown’s impacts sent a message to State Department employees: “What it said to many people is, our work is not valued, our contributions are not wanted, why should I work in a place that doesn’t care about what I do — whether I come to work or not?”
On Wednesday, February 6, the Walsh School of Foreign Service, in partnership with the Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy, hosted a half-day symposium on “The Future of Diplomacy.” The day began of two panels, the first on “The Essential Diplomat” and the second on “Values in U.S. Foreign Policy,” and ended with a keynote conversation with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In an Op-ed, in Fortune, Mario Daniels, visiting DAAD professor in the BMW Center for German and European Studies and an expert in the history of technology, notes the similarities between U.S. actions against Chinese tech companies, notably the indictment of Huawei, and the dynamic between the U.S. and Japan in the 1980s. In both cases, fears over a loss of tech supremacy dominated discussion. However, he notes that the tech economy is more interdependent than 30 years ago.
The Georgetown Institute for the Study of Migration (ISIM) and Center for Contemporary Arab Studies partnered with the International Organization for Migration in Iraq to publish “Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq,” the second installation of a two-part study about challenges and survival strategies of Iraqi IDPs who were displaced by ISIL between January 2014 and December 2015 to the 4 governorates of Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniyah.
On February 2, 2019, we welcomed back Georgetown alumni for the SFS Centennial College. Alumni returned to the Hilltop for class, but without the exams!
The SFS hosted the founders of Anduril Industries, Palmer Luckey and Trae Stephens (SFS ‘06), for a discussion on technology and the future of national security with Toni Gidwani (SFS’04, SSP’08), Adjunct Assistant Professor for the Center for Security Studies.
In this article published on Newsweek, Professor Bruce Hoffman discusses Iran’s “crazy obsession” with the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a political front of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK. According to Hoffman, Iran’s obsession is “divorced from reality,” because while the MEK is indeed “a subversive threat, so are other groups.”
In this article published by AP News, Professor Daniel Byman discusses the rise of pan-Arab nationalists, who Byman said “see themselves often as critical of religion because religion is ‘backward.’ It’s what’s been holding the Arab world back.” Byman added, “that’s kind of the dominant divide, and Islamists of all stripes are pushing back against this.”
In this article published on The Daily Sabah, Farid Hafez, a Senior Researcher with Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, discusses structural racism and the challenge of Muslim identity in party politics. Hafez discusses a number of incidents where politicians have “deploy[ed] Islamophobic conspiracy theories against members of their opposing political party,” adding that “if we want Western societies to stand for human dignity, equality and freedom of religion, then these tendencies have to be fought.”
In this article published on The National Interest, SFS freshman Chas Goldman discusses the potential “advantages that Russia could reap from the political and economic instability caused by climate change and a global refugee crisis.” Goldman touches on a number of different benefits Russia can look forward to in response to rising temperatures and the thawing of the Arctic Ocean, from the opening up of lucrative trade routes to newfound access to expansive oil reserves.
In this interview, Kojo Adjepong-Boateng (MSFS’19) discusses his experiences growing up on multiple continents, the most rewarding aspect of his time in the MSFS program so far, and his plans for after graduation.
Julia Friedmann (SFS’19) is the first Georgetown recipient of the Pulitzer Center International Reporting Fellowship, offered annually through the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. In this article, Friedmann, a regional and comparative studies major who studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador, reflects on her return to South America in summer 2018 to cover the role of religion in the Colombian peace process.
In this article published on Catholic Philly, Jesuit Father David Hollenbach discussed important considerations that he said should be kept in mind when it comes to U.S. border policy. Specifically, Father Hollenbach said, “We are all part of one human family. The family of humanity reaches across borders…There are connections between human beings across borders that enable us to see one another as brothers and sisters, member of the same family, created by the same God, in the image of the same God.”
David Edelstein, Associate Professor of International Affairs in the Center for Security Studies, published an essay about the future of great power politics and the potential for conflict as part of a policy roundtable following a Perry World House colloquium. As the U.S. is in relative decline and Russia and China become more assertive, Edelstein says, “the implications are likely to be more competition and, indeed, the possibility of great power war.”
Considering the indictment of Huawei, US-China relations have been rockier than ever. SFS Professor Marc Busch pointed out that technology is “at the heart of the debate.” Trump also imposed a $200 billion tariff on Chinese goods, and recent incidents of intellectual property theft have also caused issues. SFS Professor Marc Busch said: “Politically you can run against trade because trade has this one convenient feature of coming with a flag. So a Trump or an elected official can look competent by identifying the source of all evil as being trade with Mexico. It’s hard to rail against your iPhone.”
This article, published by Peak Magazine, discusses Parag Khanna’s latest book, “The Future is Asian.” According to the article, “[Khanna’s] sixth book takes a deep dive into the premise that all of Asia, from Saudi Arabia to Japan and Russia to Australia, is set to be the world’s most important region, following centuries of European and American dominance.”
CreditEnable, founded by CEO, Nadia Sood (SFS’97), and Varun Sahni, is partnering with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), “to help its members raise finance to be competitive at a global level.” The partnership will help 70 million Indian businesses (small and medium-sized businesses, “SMEs”), and if they are successful, SMEs would be able to expand and modernize, which would lead to an increase in jobs and wealth.
The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security hosted First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon on February 4. Sturgeon reiterated her call for a second referendum on EU membership and spoke about the negative effects Brexit would have on Scotland. The First Minister also called for Scottish independence. “Scottish national interests are not being served by a Westminster system that often sees our interests as an afterthought.”
In this article published by Lake Shore Public Radio, Professor Matthew Kroenig describes the recent resurgence of U.S. interest in battlefield nukes. These smaller, more strategic battlefield weapons were stockpiled by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, at a time when both sides assumed the future of combat would involve the utilization of these lower yield nuclear weapons. After the Cold War, though, the U.S. “dismantled nearly all its battlefield nuclear weapons” while Russia “took a different path” and “kept thousands of battlefield nukes.” Discussing why the U.S. has returned to their efforts of battlefield nuke development, Kroenig explained the U.S. needs a third method of recourse besides “backing down to avoid nuclear war” or “retaliating with…large strategic nuclear weapons, potentially risking a larger nuclear attack” in the event that Russia was to use some of its stockpiled battlefield nukes.
Congressman Mike Gallagher (SSP’12) was published in the National Review, arguing in defense of NATO. NATO in terms of U.S. alliances really started with President Eisenhower; his commitment “became a baseline for successful Republican foreign-policy presidencies after his, including Ronald Reagan’s.” Today, there are more debates for and against NATO; however, Congressman Gallagher claims that the conservative case for NATO is that it “bolsters American National Interests.”
Professor Ken Opalo recently published an article that looks at how institutions constrain presidential power in Africa. Opalo uses original data on the exercise of presidential authority to examine how legislative independence conditions presidential rule making in Kenya.
Professor Angela Stent recently spoke to NPR about Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as “Putin’s chef.” He runs a number of high-end restaurants in Russia, but that’s not all—he also ran the Internet Research Agency and runs Wagner, one of the largest mercenary private military groups in Russia.
The city of Montgomery, New Jersey recently swore in the first female South Asian mayor in the United States’ east coast.
Sadaf Jaffer (SFS’05) has dedicated herself to social justice and education, and says her background as the child of immigrants inspired her to learn about other cultures.
In this op-ed published on Thomson Reuters Foundation News, Olivia Enos (MASIA’17) discusses why businesses should care about the use of forced labor in Xinjiang. Specifically, Enos notes that importing goods from Xinjiang “not only poses reputational risks but may have tangible, legal consequences.” Further, “the events transpiring in Xinjiang add additional weight to China’s designation in the TIP report and up the ante for businesses with suppliers in China to more closely monitor their supply chain for forced labor.”