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The Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs


Tuesday, March 12th at the Parma Payne Goodall

Adela de la Torre
President, San Diego State University

Lance Nail
Thomas and Evelyn Page Dean, Fowler College of Business

Four-Star Admiral Eric Olson, U.S. Navy (Retired)

“The World at Night”

Admiral Eric Olson Admiral Eric Olson retired from the United States Navy in 2011 after more than 38 years of military service. He served in special operations units throughout his career, was engaged in several contingency operations and commanded at every level.

Olson’s military career culminated as the head of the United States Special Operations Command, where he was responsible for the mission readiness and deployment of all Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces. In this capacity, he led over 60,000 people and managed an annual budget in excess of $10 billion dollars. His duties involved much interagency and international collaboration.

Olson’s military career culminated as the head of the United States Special Operations Command, where he was responsible for the mission readiness and deployment of all Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces. In this capacity, he led over 60,000 people and managed an annual budget in excess of $10 billion dollars. His duties involved much interagency and international collaboration.

Olson graduated from the United States Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School and has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of both institutions. He is a designated specialist in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

He received numerous military decorations including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star for gallantry in combat, and the Bronze Star for valor. His foreign awards include appointment as an Officer in the French Legion of Honor.

Olson is now an independent consultant who supports a wide range of private and public sector organizations. Currently, he serves as an adjunct professor and senior research scholar in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, a director of Iridium Communications, Inc. and Under Armour, Inc., a senior advisor to the Department of Homeland Security, and chairman of the nonprofit Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Lessons from Korea

with Ambassador Kathleen Stephens Ambassador Kathleen Stephens

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
J. Keith Behner & Catherine M. Stiefel Auditorium (Storm Hall West 011)

Drawing from her experience in Korea over three decades, Stephens will reflect on South Korea's extraordinary economic rise, and its democratic and cultural transformation.

Kathleen Stephens was American ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2008 to 2011. Before her nomination to be U.S. ambassador to Seoul, Stephens was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 to 2007, involved in the Six-Party Talks efforts with North Korea.

Ambassador Stephens was the first Korean-speaker and first woman to hold the top U.S. job in Seoul. Her other diplomatic assignments over thirty-plus years included postings in India, China, and fracturing Yugoslavia. She was U.S. Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland from 1995 to 1998 during the consolidation of ceasefires and the negotiations leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. In Washington, she was Director for European Affairs during the Clinton Administration, negotiator on post-conflict issues on the Balkans as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (2003-2005), and acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2012). She led the U.S. diplomatic mission to India as interim ambassador (Charge) in working with the newly-elected Indian government led by Prime Minister Modi.

Ambassador Stephens is currently the William J. Perry Fellow at Stanford University in California.

Read the article on SDSU NewsCenter

75th Anniversary Celebration

75th Anniversary Celebration75th Anniversary CelebrationChukuka S. Enwemeka, Provost and Senior Vice President, San Diego State University cordially invites you to be a part of the celebration, featuring forums on some of today’s most compelling issues and regions with:

  • Ambassador Nicholas Burns- Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and former U.S. Ambassador to Greece; Professor, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government (at 1:30 pm)
  • Ambassador John Bass - Current U.S. Ambassador to Turkey; Former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia (at 3:15 pm)

Friday, February 24th at Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center, Fowler Family Ballroom

Ambassador Earl Anthony "Tony" Wayne, Building a Partnership with Mexico

A talk about the state of the US-Mexico relations, its economic and commercial relations, public security, law enforcement, energy, the environment, and other exchanges.

  • Lia Tarachansky, Collective Denial, Moral Responsibility and the Nakba of 1948.
  • Peter Beinart, Can Zionism be Saved? Lessons from the Past
  • Amira Hass, New Forms of Dissent in Israel-Palestine
  • Avner Gvaryahu, Breaking the Silence on the Realities of Israel’s Military Occupation
  • Yuval Evri, Mizrahi political alternatives to mainstream Zionism in early 20th Century Palestine/Land of Israel
  • Seyom Brown, Faces of Power: Obama’s Foreign Policy in Historical Perspective
  • Ambassador Peter Dorman, The Challenges of the U.S. Higher Education Model in a Dynamic, Contentious Middle East
  • Fredy Peccerelli, Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala: Truth from the graves, the power of identification, and history clarified
  • Trita Parsi, Avoiding War and Nuclear Armageddon in the Middle East: Iran, Israel, and Regional Unrest
  • Harold Koh, Human Rights, US Foreign Policy, and International Law.
  • Ambassador Mark G. Hambley, Morality V. Reality in US Foreign Policy in the Middle East.
  • Harriette Williams Bright, Engendering Peace, Empowering Women in Africa.
  • Nick Turse, Kill Anything That Moves: Reviewing the US War on Vietnam.
  • Clara Long and Everard Meade, Migration and Violence in Central America: A Conversation between Trans-Border Institute and Human Rights Watch.
  • Almudena Bernabeu, Genocide on Trial in Spain: Prosecuting ex-Guatemalan Dictator and Former US Ally Ríos Montt
  • Theodore Postol, Syria and the Use of Chemical Weapons: Reasons to Distrust US Government Claims
  • Palestine and the Right to Education Under Occupation, Two Palestinian students from Birzeit University, located in the Israeli-occupied territory of the West Bank, will discuss the impact of Israel’s occupation on their ability to receive a proper university education. The event is part of the Right to Education tour.
  • Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis, Beans, Bullets and Bitter Fruit
  • Josef Olmert, Historical Narrative, Political Solutions, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Huwaida Arraf, International Solidarity on Behalf of Palestinian Human Rights and Self-Determination
  • Katherine Gallagher, Making the World’s Superpower and the Military-Industrial Complex Accountable for War Crimes
  • Richard Falk, Building a Global Framework for Human Rights and Justice: Looking Back, Moving Forward
  • Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Responsibility to Protect and the US Role in the World
  • Tod Lindberg, The United States and Moral Accountability
  • Mouin Rabbani, How to Resolve the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
  • October 8: A Forum on Syria and Intervention
    • Dr. Michael Provence
      Department of History, University of California-San Diego (UCSD)
      "Historical and Contemporary Developments in Syria"
    • Dr. Ibrahim Al-Marashi
      Department of History, California State University-San Marcos
      "Weapons Proliferation in the Middle East"
    • Dr. Jonathan Graubart
      Director of ISCOR and Hostler Institute for World Affairs, SDSU
      "Legal and Normative Assessment of Intervening in Syria"
    • Dr. Farid Abdel-Nour
      Political Science Department, SDSU
  • October 24: Chase Madar- "Cluelessness, National Security, and Chelsea Manning: Why the Biggest Security Breach in US History is Good for You"
  • November 13: Ambassador Bruno de Rísios Bath, Consul General of Brazil in Los Angeles- "Brazil: A Current Perspective"
  • November 19: Dr. William B. Quandt- "The Prospects for Peace in the Holy Land
  • Dr. David Price, "The Covert Return of the Military-Intelligence Complex to Campus: Why Universities Should Be Very Afraid"
  • Irakli Kakabadze, "The Role of Transformative Political Theater in Bringing About the Rose Revolution in Georgia"

International Law and Global Justice: Friends, Acquaintances, or Enemies?

  • Pierre-Richard Prosper
  • Noura Erakat
  • Balakrishnan Rajagopal
  • Ramesh Thakur
  • Elise Keppler
  • Richard Goldstone

American Foreign Policy and the Challenges of the New Century

  • Galia Golan, Professor, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, Herzliya, Darwin Professor Emerita, Hebrew University
    Title: “Is there a chance for Israeli-Palestinian peace?
  • Roberto Toscano, Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Former Italian Ambassador to India and Iran, former Head of Policy Planning, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Title: “Iran and Democracy”
  • Michael Klare, Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, and Director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), Hampshire College
    Title: “Power Struggles: Energy, Resource Scarcity, and Global Security”
  • Arif Ali Khan, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Homeland Security at the National Defense University's College of International Affairs, Former Assistant Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, former Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety for the City of Los Angeles
    Title: “From Foreign Insurgencies to Transnational Terrorism in the United States: Reducing Violence and the Importance of Community-Oriented Strategies”
  • Rajiv Chandrasekharan, National Editor of The Washington Post, best-selling author of the critically lauded, “Imperial life in the Emerald City”
    Title: “The Longest War: A journalist's front-line assessment of America's entanglement in Afghanistan”
  • Dipak Gupta Fred J. Hansen Professor of Peace Studies, Department of Political Science, San Diego State University
    Title: “Trapped! US foreign policy in the era of terrorism”
  • Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law, Princeton University, Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara
    Title: “Can Soft Power Resolve the Israel/Palestine Conflict?”
  • Bruce Cumings, Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Professor of History, University of Chicago
    Title: “Dominion From Sea to Sea: Pacific Ascendancy and American Power”
  • Jorge Heine, CIGI Chair of Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Distinguished Fellow at CIGI and Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, Former Ambassador of Chile to India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, former Ambassador to South Africa
    Title: “Looking Sideways: Latin America, Emerging Powers and the U.S. in the New Century”
  • Brian Loveman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, San Diego State University
    Title: “No Higher Law: American Foreign Policy in Myth and Practice”
  • Mike Shuster Award-winning diplomatic correspondent and roving foreign correspondent NPR News
    Title: “Combating the Spread of Nuclear Weapons: Is it a losing battle?”

Killing for a higher cause: Political violence in a world in crisis

  • Farhana Ali, Senior Analyst, RAND corporation [M. C. Madhavan Lecture]
    "Radical Islam: An Examination of the Global Threat"
  • Marc Sageman, Sageman Consulting LLC, Adjunct associate professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
    "The Turn to Political Violence" [Hansen-Hostler distinguished lecture]
  • Mike Ramsdell, Director
    "The Anatomy of Hate" (Documentary flim)
  • Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca
    "The Causes of Terrorist Violence."
  • David Gibbs, Associate Professor of History and Government, University of Arizona
    "The Srebrenica Massacre: Evaluating its significance for Post-Cold War International Relations"
  • Ariel Merari, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University. Israel
    "In their own voice: Interviews with, and psychological tests of suicide bombers, their commanders and families"
  • Lee Ann Fujii, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University,
    "Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda"
  • Richard English, Queen’s University Belfast,
    "Terrorism: How should we respond"
  • Zachariah Mampilly, Assistant Professor, Political Science Department, Vassar College,
    "Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life During War"
  • Shampa Biswas, Chair, Department of Politics, Whitman College,
    "Re-thinking political violence: Torture, democracy, and complicity"
  • Nick Beams, International Editorial Board, World Socialist Web Site
    "Imperialism and the political economy of the Holocaust"

Foreign Policy Challenges for the Obama Administration

  • John Stoessinger, University of San Diego. “Why Nations Go To War: Perspectives of A Holocaust Survivor.”
  • Christine Fair, Georgetown University “Why the U.S. Cannot Help Pakistan”
  • Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, "US and Mexico: Challenges for the Obama Administration."
  • David Rapoport, UCLA, Professor Emeritus, “Waves of International Terrorism.”
  • Tony Perry, LA Times, “Into the War Zone: Iraq and Afghanistan.”.
    Walt Oechel, SDSU “Global Climate Change.”
  • Sumit Ganguly , Indiana University. “India”
  • Cosponsored by: M. C. Madhavan Distinguished Lecture Series.
    Barnett Rubin, Council on Foreign Relations and New York University. “Afghanistan”
  • Andranik Migranian, Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, New York. “Russia”
  • Michael Provence (UCSD), Farid Abdel-Nour (SDSU), Uri Ben-Eliezer (Haifa University). “Israeli/Palestinian Conflict”
  • Mahmood Mamdani, Columbia University. “Africa and Darfur: Humanitarian intervention” Cosponsored by: The Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies.
  • Dali Yang, University of Chicago. “China”
  • Eli Berman, UCSD. “Constructive Counterterrorism: Theory and Evidence.”
  • Ambassador Reno Harnish, Assistant Secretary (acting) for Oceans Environment and Science. “Energy and Climate Policy: Getting the Balance Right”

In the Name of God: Religion in Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, and Terrorism

  • Dipak K. Gupta, San Diego State University. “In Our Own Image: Religion in the Context of Political Action.”

  • Benjamin Ajak. “Lost Boy” of Sudan, “When Religion Fills Refugee Camps: The Case of Sudan.”
  • David Rapoport, UCLA, “Religion and Modern Terrorism”
    Mohammed Hafez, University of Missouri at Kansas, “Suicide Bombers in Iraq” Cosponsored by the Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies. (Monday night lecture. NH 100, 4:00-6:00 pm).
  • Peter Balakian, Professor, Colgate University. "Lessons of the Armenian Genocide." Co-sponsored by the Baron Lecture in Ethics Education and Kathy Justice.
  • Lawrence Baron, San Diego State University. "Christianities of Complicity and of Compassion: Religious Reasons for Persecuting and Protecting Jews during the Holocaust."
  • Richard English. Queens University, London. "For God and Ireland: Religion, Terrorism and Nationalism in Modern Ireland" (Monday night lecture, NH 100, 4:00-6:00 pm)
  • The Honorable Mahmud Ali Durrani, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the United States (Invited) (Lecture in ENS 280)
  • Partha Ghosh, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. "Limits of Religious Politics in India." Cosponsored by MC Madhavan Distinguished lecture series.
  • Chris Soper, Pepperdine University, "Muslims in Europe: Singing God’s Song in a Strange Land."
  • Common Chords
    A musical celebration exploring the common roots of Muslim and Jewish music SDSU Music Bldg - Smith Recital Hall at 7pm
  • The Honorable Dr. Naser M.Y. Al Belooshi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States
  • Ahmet Kuru, SDSU, " Islam and the Secular State: Turkey between French and American Models"
  • “The Importance of Restorative Justice and Forgiveness: From Personal Tragedy to National Strategy.” Azim Khamisa and Brian Loveman, Professor, Department of Political Science, SDSU.
  • Roundtable wrap-up discussion: William Headley, Dean, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, USD; Rebecca Moore, Professor of Religious Studies, SDSU; Khaleel Mohammed, Professor of Religious Studies, SDSU.