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Archive for February 2012

Michael Green discusses the context surrounding Obama's so-called "Asia Pivot," a term that seems to do more for the White House's message, than represent an actual shift in public policy.

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What does the Obama administration's defense budget for 2013 mean for a nation that is shifting its focus towards China and the Western Pacific? Dr Thomas McNaugher, Former Director, Center for Asia Pacific Policy (RAND Corporation) and Georgetown visiting Professor in the Security Studies Program, throws light on its implications.

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Speakers: Hooshang Amirahmadi and Shireen Hunter.

In this panel, speakers will discuss some of the key forces competing for power in Iran’s upcoming parliamentary elections. The March 2012 elections for the ninth parliament since the Islamic Revolution in Iran will take place under the shadow of international sanctions and the threat of war. The ruling elite, although highly divided, is looking for large-scale participation in the elections as sign of popular support for the Islamic system. Meanwhile, the reformist camp is officially absent from the scene and aims at discrediting the elections as useless by claiming that the results are determined not by the people, but by powerful elements of the regime. Yet the elections will be hotly contested because of the deep splits which have emerged within the conservative ranks and the strong likelihood that some reformists will take part in the elections under the banner of some of the more moderate conservatives. The forthcoming elections are also significant because their result will indicate which tendency is more likely to win the next presidential elections in 2013.

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Dr. Seter studies twentieth-century music and specializes in Israeli art music. Dr. Seter currently serves as both the Chapter Representative of the American Musicological Society, Capital Chapter, and as a visiting scholar at the Jewish Music Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Her presentation will focus on the music by local and international Israeli women composers: Shulamit Ran; Chaya Czernowin; and Betty Olivero, now one of Israel's leading composers.

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President Obama recently announced his intent to  to nominate Richard Norland as ambassador to Georgia. Congrats to a BSFS grad!

Ambassador Richard Norland, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, serves as the International Affairs Advisor and Deputy Commandant at the National War College.  From September 2007 to July 2010, he was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan.  Prior to which, he served for two years as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Additional overseas assignments have included: Deputy Chief of Mission in Riga, Latvia; Diplomat with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs team in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan; Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin; and Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  He was Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council for two years during the Clinton and Bush administrations.  Ambassador Norland has a B.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and master's degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and National War College. 

Read more about Richard Norland.

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NPR's Neal Conan interviewed Professor Daniel Byman about his Washington Post piece, "Can We Help Syria Without Making Things Worse?"

CONAN: ...[Y]ou said, quote, "The United States should present a cohesive front, use tough love to cajole and reward the opposition for unity and cooperation, while recognizing that some fissures will be inevitable." In order - in other words, to work with the opposition?

BYMAN: That's correct. For the United States - right now, at least - direct intervention is not in the cards. You mentioned Russia blocking various international efforts at the Security Council. I think there's no appetite in the United States for a sustained U.S. military intervention. So if we want to get Assad out, we have to work with the Syrians for them to do it, and the opposition is the key to that.

CONAN: And work with them how? Provide them with money, with weapons, what?

BYMAN: Yes. The opposition has many problems. They are divided. They are untrained. They are not ready to go directly up against Assad. And we see this on a daily basis, where they're being shot down in the streets. And the first thing to do is to get them unified. And while that's going on, the United States can also train them.

Read the transcript (or listen to the interview) from NPR's Talk of the Nation -- and see the full op-ed in the Post.

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While politics has long been studied from a modernist systemic approach, sociology has been trying to relate the form to relations of power, and ideologies have addressed power and thought as being in a dialectical multi-dimensional relation. Yet even the shift from old to new social movements did not grasp the emergence of a new rationale of political agency. Informality is a concept that needs to be introduced here to allow better understanding of the political in its different manifestations and transformations. Dr. Raouf discussed how the Egyptian revolution can be approached through the lenses of informality, how the old social movements paved the way to new ones, and how the moment of change crystallized through informal actions.

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In her discussion about Guantanamo Bay, internationally renowned criminal defense lawyer Nancy Hollander provided an update on the pending military commission cases, pending habeas cases, and the continuing flexibility of the rules that apply in those cases.

*Due to technical difficulties, the first 15 minutes of this presentation was not recorded. ACMCU apologizes for this inconvenience.

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Withdrawal from Courses: Deadline is Monday, March 19th. If you are having trouble in a course and contemplating a withdrawal, please contact your dean. Information on enrollment can be found at http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/policies/enrollment/.

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A reminder that the deadline for turning in all work for Incompletes from fall 2011 is March 15, 2012.

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