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Archive for March 2011

In another installment of the Public Health in Asia Series, Professor Carol Benedict will discuss her new book to be released in April on the smoking epidemic in China.

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Professor David Steinberg addresses the recent 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Burma/Myanmar and the lack of information about it from the Burmese government.

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Wes Mathews, Associate Professor of the Physics Department, discusses the unfolding nuclear situation in Japan, the science behind nuclear energy and radiation, and the lessons we can draw from the failures of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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In this talk, Jeroen Gunning focused on the question of engaging Hamas, and the cost of non-engagement. He looked critically at the arguments against engaging Hamas before showing how non-engagement, coupled to the international blockade of Gaza, has served – leaving aside the effect on the general population of Gaza – to strengthen the hardliners within the organisation, to expand Hamas’ control over Gaza, and to deepen the fragmentation of the Palestinian territories. The speaker then looked at an example of engagement by the Swiss government before concluding that, given the cost of non-engagement, the potential benefits of engagement outweigh the costs of engagement.

Jeroen Gunning is Reader in Middle East Politics and Conflict Studies at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University, and the Director of the Durham Global Security Institute for Defence, Development and Diplomacy (DGSi). His research focuses on the interplay between Islamist social movements, democratisation, religion and violence (both state and non-state) in the Middle East, with a particular emphasis on Hamas and Hizballah. He is one of the founders of the new field of critical terrorism studies and was co-editor of Critical Studies on Terrorism (2008-2010). He has given expert briefings to numerous governmental institutions, including the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development, the EU Commission, NATO and the US State Department, as well as to several civil society organizations. His recent publications include Hamas in Politics: Democracy, Religion, Violence (Hurst/Columbia University Press, 2007/8) – reviewed in both the New York Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement – and Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda (Routledge, 2009; co-edited with Richard Jackson and Marie Breen Smyth).

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Three different models of immigration to the United States – and their continued effects as American history has unfolded -- are considered in Susan Martin’s new book A Nation of Immigrants. The director of SFS’ Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) discussed her work in a lecture February 10 co-sponsored by ISIM and the Mortara Center for International Studies.

Martin began by discussing the Virginia colony, which welcomed immigrants as workers, but restricted their rights. Akin to indentured servants, these immigrants could even be prisoners who were working to avoid prison. Once tobacco farming took over the region, the model became more like the slavery model.

Martin said that the U.S. has not been willing to do very much in the past 30 years to stem the act of illegal migration because it’s a very comfortable labor model – and one that harks back to the Virginia model. This way, the rights of the workers is not a concern.

Massachusetts welcomed those whose beliefs were in line with the founders, but excluded those with differing beliefs. This extended from religious convictions to civic ideals. Martin said that this model persists in certain ways, especially in the blaming of immigrants as scapegoats for attacks. This was evident in the Red Scare and with the expulsion of people or black balling of people with seemingly different ideals.

“Since 1996, in the aftermath of the first World Trade Center bombing, and the Oklahoma City bombing, that had nothing to do with immigrants, a whole lot of laws were passed that tried to restrict the entry of immigrants as counterterrorism measures,” Martin said.

Pennsylvania valued pluralism, and became the most diverse colony in religion, language and culture. “I think the Pennsylvania model is at the heart of why immigration has worked in the U.S.,” Martin said. However, in each wave of immigration, there is concern among the population that this model wouldn’t persist, Martin said. The main concern that people had was: “Would these people become Americans? Would they melt into the population?”

In 1965, in the same vein as the Civil Rights movement, the U.S. went back to a Pennsylvania type of model. There was a “sense of optimism that immigrants would be able to integrate,” Martin said.

Martin then listed some of her recommendations for America’s current immigration issues. Her first recommendation was to curb illegal migration because it creates a second labor class. She said that there need to be new legal immigration channels for meeting legitimate labor needs and demands and that the U.S. needs to be careful not to move to expansion – where workers get exploited with fewer and fewer rights. In her opinion, permanent transference is better for filling long-term labor needs.

Another one of her recommendations calls for the regularization for undocumented migrants currently living in U.S., meaning bringing them out of the “underclass” and giving them access to rights. She asserted that this is the only way to make future enforcement against undocumented workers viable in the future. She said that employers wouldn’t buy in if they had to lose their current workers.

She also brought up the need for a robust refugee system.

Finally, Martin said that the U.S. needs to be paying more attention to the integration of immigrants. If they learn English, then they have more access to upward mobility. 40% of immigrants have less than a high school education, Martin said. She asserted that if immigrants are already in the U.S. and have been exploited for their labor, there is an obligation to help their children and to educate them.

Martin argued that the U.S. offers few inclusionary measures with immigration besides birthright citizenship, though that’s a step in the right direction. “You’re only an immigrant for a generation,” Martin said.

Martin is a long-time expert on immigration and refugee policy. She came to Georgetown University and the School of Foreign Service after serving as the executive director of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, issuing recommendations to reform immigration policy, institute immigrant policies to help newcomers and communities in which they settle, reinvigorate U.S. leadership in refugee policy and restructure the federal agencies responsible for implementing immigration policy.

The Institute for the Study of International Migration is part of the School of Foreign Service and affiliated with the Law Center at Georgetown University. ISIM focuses on all aspects of international migration, including the causes of and potential responses to population movements, immigration and refugee law and policy, comparative migration studies, the integration of immigrants into their host societies, and the effects of international migration on social, economic, demographic, foreign policy and national security concerns. To learn more, visit http://isim.georgetown.edu.

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Andrew Natsios, Distinguished Professor of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, discusses the situation in Japan nearly two weeks after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit the northeastern part of the Kanto region.

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EuroParlTV -- a service of the European Parliament -- recently prepared a video piece focusing on a day in the life of ambassador João Vale de Almeida, who is posted in Washington.  A stop at Georgetown was on his agenda that day, so GU, SFS, the BMW Center and several students are mentioned/featured in this interesting piece.

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Timothy Barbari is being tapped to lead the Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) program within the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) at Georgetown University.

Professor Barbari has been dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Provost for Research for the Main Campus of Georgetown University. He will conclude his service in that role at the end of the 2010-2011 academic year, having decided not to consider a second term as dean.  His appointment is effective January 1, 2012. Between July 1, 2011, when his service as dean and associate provost ends, and December 31, 2011, Barbari will be on research leave at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., under the co-sponsorship of the National Bioenergy Center and the Strategic Energy Analysis Center.

As director of STIA, Barbari will succeed Elizabeth Stephen, who has been a member of the Georgetown University faculty since 1987 and has served as STIA director since 2007.  “We are indebted to Betsi Stephen for her remarkable leadership.  As the face and voice of the STIA program, she has been its greatest champion, and her visionary approach to a complex academic discipline has yielded enormous benefits for our students,” Dean Lancaster said.  “Even as she has led STIA, Professor Stephen has been a pioneer in developing a student writing portfolio, which has guided students from her freshman proseminar students throughout their four years at Georgetown.”

Professor Stephen will serve as associate director of STIA during the spring 2012 semester to assist Professor Barbari during the transition.

“Since Tim Barbari arrived at Georgetown in 2006, he has had an enormous positive impact on GU as an institution.  I know that he will bring the same commitment to leadership and innovation to the one-of-a-kind STIA program,” said SFS Dean Carol Lancaster.

STIA is a unique, multi- and inter-disciplinary liberal arts program whose focus is science and technology – the environment, health, energy, security and development – as these topics are interwoven with the historical, political, economic, cultural and social concerns of international affairs.  STIA is one of seven majors within the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) program and offers related stand-alone programming, such as the annual Loewy Lecture.

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Faced with anti-government protests in numerous Middle Eastern countries, religious leaders, both Muslim and Christian, have had to state their positions. This has raised the historically fraught questions of how these religious traditions view political activism in general and how they conceive of their relationship with the state. State appointed muftis and state-approved clerics have offered opinions. Exiled religious intellectuals and third-country scholars have all spoken. The dramatic successes of protests in Egypt and Tunisia have forced religious figures to revise their opinions and challenged decades-old assumptions. This panel will examine the stances and pronouncements of influential Muslim and Christian religious figures in the context of the current protests in the Middle East.

Wednesday, March 16th 12:30pm - ICC 270

Jonathan Brown received his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia and Iran, and he is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His book publications include The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007), Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009) and Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011). He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry and is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Law. Dr. Brown’s current research interests include the history of forgery and historical criticism in Islamic civilization, comparison with the Western tradition; and modern conflicts between Late Sunni Traditionalism and Salafism in Islamic thought.

Grégoire Delhaye is finishing his dissertation on diasporic activism using American Copts as a case study. His most recent writing includes 'Contemporary Muslim-Christian Relations in Egypt: Local Dynamics and Foreign Influences' in Power and Powerlessness: Religious Minorities in the Middle East, edited by Anh Nga Longva and Anne Sofie Roald (Forthcoming): E. J. Brill. and 'The image of 'the force conversion and marriage of Coptic girls' in the discourse of Coptic activist in diaspora.' (in French) in Conversions religieuses et mutations politiques en Égypte: Tares et avatars du communautarisme égyptien edited by Laure Guirguis, Mai 2008: Editions Non Lieu, Paris.

Yvonne Haddad is Professor of the History of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Professor Haddad's fields of expertise include twentieth-century Islam; intellectual, social and political history in the Arab world; and Islam in North America and the West. Currently, Professor Haddad is conducting research on Muslims in the West and on Islamic Revolutionary Movements. She also teaches courses on Muslim-Christian Relations and Arab Intellectuals.

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SFS graduates are high achievers!

Michael Daignault -- an alumnus of the Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) major within BSFS -- had his scan was selected as "Ultrasound of the Month" at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York.

Michael is the only medical student to date (he is a fourth-year) to have an ultrasound selected by the Emergency Medicine Ultrasound Department.

Michael is pursuing a specialty in Emergency Medicine. He and other fourth-year medical students at the MSIH take their electives at Columbia University Medical Center and its affiliates such as SLR, through the collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Columbia University Medical Center.

As a former United States Peace Corps volunteer in St. Lucia and as cofounder of DIRECT (Delivering Immediate Relief Education Care and Treatment), Michael made significant contributions to improving access to antiretroviral treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the Eastern Caribbean region. While working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) on its Campaign for Access to Essential Medicine, Michael continued to advocate for access to affordable diagnostics and treatment for MSF patients in resource-limited areas.

Click here to read the press release.

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