The European Union and Its Neighborhood

Event Date: May 9

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Annual Meeting 6:00 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Location: Club Room, Hoogland Center for the Arts

Speaker: Konstantinos Kourtikakis, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

The European Union is surrounded by countries with political and economic systems that do not conform to its values in two important ways. First, while the EU supports democracy and good governance, most
of its neighbors in North Africa and Eastern Europe have embraced authoritarianism, despite occasional outbursts of democratic movements, such as the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine or the Arab Spring. And second, while the EU relies on the principles of the free market economy, many of its neighbors pursue economic policies that significantly distort market competition for political purposes.

The EU actively seeks to reduce these differences with neighboring countries by promoting pro-democracy and pro-free market reforms in its foreign policy. In this talk, Dr. Kourtikakis examines two types of foreign policy action the EU takes in this regard. The first is reaching out directly to governments with formal agreements that include penalties and rewards in exchange for reforms. And the second is providing technical support to government agencies, the civil society and business organizations, with the aim of helping them adopt democratic and free market norms and practices.

Dr. Kourtikakis is Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a specialization in comparative and international politics. He also holds affiliations with the European Union Center and the Center for Global Studies. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, and his BA in European and International Economics and Politics from the University of Macedonia, in Greece, in 1997. His teaching and research interests revolve around the European Union and its external relations. His research examines the role of business and civil society networks in relations between the EU and its “international partners”, particularly the countries of Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and most recently in EU-US relations.

The Political Culture of Mexico Through the 2018 Election

Event Date: April 9

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Brookens Auditorium, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner & Reception: PAC Restaurant, University of Illinois at Springfield

Speaker: Christina Tapia Muro, Professor of Political Science, University of Colima, Mexico

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

Dr. Tapia’s presentation will explore the history of Mexico’s political leadership, placing emphasis on the political, social, and economic factors that contributed to Manuel Andres López Obrador’s 2018 election as president. She will discuss clientelism (a system of political patronage and corruption) and efforts of the current government to eradicate it. An advocate of the working class and supported by the National Regeneration Movement, President López Obrador is a critic of the Institutional Revolutionary Party that has dominated national politics.

Dr. Tapia earned a Ph.D. in economics and administrative sciences from the University of Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico. She also has a post-doctoral specialization on public policy and gender justice from the Latin American Council of Social Sciences and the Latin American College of Social Sciences, Brazil. She has written numerous peer-reviewed articles on clientelism in Mexico in such venues as Estudios Sociologicos and the Asian Journal of Latin American Studies.

“INF and the Future of US-Russia Arms Control”

Event Date: March 27

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Conference Room C/D, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner & Reception: Conference Room C/D, University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) has long stood as a symbol of the end of the Cold War. However, this icon of the arms control regime appears to be on its last legs with the announcement that the US is withdrawing from the treaty in response to Russian violations. The announced withdrawal has drawn both criticism and applause.

What are the arguments for staying in or leaving the INF Treaty? What does the end of the treaty mean for the future of the nuclear reduction treaty, New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)? What does it mean for arms control in general? Finally, what does all of this say about the relationship between the US and Russia and the international order?

Jeffrey Edmonds, an expert on Russia and Eurasia, will address these questions. Edmonds’ research focuses on the Russian military, foreign policy, Russian threat perceptions, and Russian information and cyber operations. Most recently, Edmonds served as the Director for Russia on the National Security Council (NSC) and acting Senior Director for Russia during the 2017 presidential transition. Edmonds was also the lead director during a review of United States policy towards Russia, culminating in a presidentially approved strategy that had global impact.

Prior to serving in the NSC, Edmonds served as a military analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, covering Eurasian militaries. He has served in the U.S. Army on both active duty and the reserves for 22 years, with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Edmonds holds an M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, an M.A. from Boston University in Religious Studies, and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The Opioid Epidemic:  How we got here and where to go now

Event Date: February 5

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Student Union, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner:Student Union ,University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

Dr. Kari Wolf will  trace phases of opioid epidemics in the United States and around the world with a focus on the current epidemic.  She will highlight the role the medical community plays in the current epidemic. 

Dr. Kari Wolf joined SIU School of Medicine in 2016 to serve as Chair of Psychiatry. Dr. Wolf came to SIU from Austin, Texas, where she built the psychiatry department to support the new University of Texas Austin Dell Medical School. Dr. Wolf served as CEO of Seton Mind Institute, CMO for Seton Shoal Creek Hospital, and as Associate Professor of Medicine at UT Austin. Prior to the creation of UT Austin Dell Medical School, Dr. Wolf led the Austin Psychiatry Department for UT Southwestern Medical School. During her tenure in Austin, she dramatically expanded educational programs for psychologists, psychopharmacologists, medical students, and psychiatry residents and fellows. She also led the development of numerous new clinical services including outpatient clinics, telemedicine, integrated behavioral health clinics, consult-liaison services, school-based services, and a psychiatric emergency department.

Dr. Wolf completed a psychiatry residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics after earning her medical degree at the University of Iowa. Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, she is a member of numerous organizations including the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry. Dr. Wolf has significant expertise in curriculum development, mentoring, quality improvement processes, health policy development, change management and strategic planning. 

 

Colombia after the Drug War

Event Date: December 12

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Club Room , Hoogland Center for the Arts

Dinner:Club Room , Hoogland Center for the Arts

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

 

Dr. Stan Ruecker is the Anthony J. Petullo Professor in Design at the University of Illinois. For the past three years, he has been working with colleagues at the National University of Colombia, focusing most recently on design for peace in post-conflict zones. Dr. Ruecker will discuss the 50 years of civil war in Colombia involving jungle fighting among four armies. In July 2017 the communist guerrillas known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace treaty with the government. FARC unilaterally disarmed and began a process toward reincorporation into society that led to convening a diverse group of people to attend the International Development Design Summit, “Building Peace, Reconciliation through Co-creation”. It envisioned the design for a new future for all stakeholders to achieve reconciliation.

Mr. Andrew Koch was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a minor in Spanish. From 2016 through 2018, Mr. Koch served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia where he supported small business development, micro-finance projects, and financial literacy initiatives. He will share his experience and perspective on day-to-day lives of people in the rural Caribbean region of Colombia, the Peace Corps, and small business development and micro-finance in Colombia. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Mr Koch lived and worked for two years in the community of Fundación, Magdalena, Colombia. It has an estimated population of 60,000 residents, the majority of them are living in vulnerable conditions at or below the poverty line.

Dr. Adriana Piatti-Crocker joined the UIS faculty in 2006. A native Argentinean, she is a professor of Political Science and teaches comparative politics and international relations courses with an emphasis on Latin American politics. Her 2017 book, Gender Quotas in South America’s Big Three: National and Subnational Impacts, focuses on policies intended to promote the inclusion of women in Latin America’s legislatures and their effects. Dr. Piatti-Crocker received the distinguished 2016 Pearson Faculty Award that recognizes a faculty member whose performance exemplifies UIS commitment to excellence in teaching. In 2018, she became the first Presidential Fellow from UIS. Dr. Piatti-Crocker will moderate a panel discussion during the Question & Answer session.

“How World War I Changed the World”

Event Date: November 26

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Student Union Ballroom, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner: Student Union Ballroom,University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I – “The Great War,” the “War to End All Wars.” However, the 20th century continued to be scarred by devastating wars among nations. In commemorating the armistice on November 11, 1918 that ended World War I, the following interdisciplinary presentation illustrates the significant international and domestic effects of the world’s first global war.

Mr. Karl L. Rubis will discuss how World War I witnessed the appearance of modern, mechanized warfare, yet the massive destructiveness over four years resulted in a stalemate with no clear victor. Following the war, each major country innovated new military systems and coped with the new international political regimes.

Mr. Rubis has a M.A degree in American History and Military History from the University of Kansas and a B.A. degree in History from Pepperdine University. He also has a Certificate in International Relations from Johns Hopkins’ University School of Advanced International Studies. Mr. Rubis has taught courses at the University of Kansas, University of California at Los Angeles, Pepperdine University, and the University of Richmond. He is a member of the Society for Military History and has presented at its annual conferences. He has published articles and book reviews in Army History and other publications on military history and logistics. Mr. Rubis also is a graduate of the Naval War College who retired in 2016 from the U.S. Navy as a Naval Intelligence Officer.

Dr. Christine A. Anderson will explore the war that provided a rapid turning point in the women’s movement and the rise of modern feminism in the Western world. The women’s movement experienced an array of achievements and setbacks, and had vast social and cultural implications upon people’s daily lives.

Dr. Anderson has a Ph.D. in British History, a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, a M.A. in British History from the University of Kansas, and a B.A. in History from the College of Wooster. Her research interests include late 19th and early 20th century cultural history and women’s history. Dr. Anderson has published several book reviews and anthology chapters in Feminist Writings from Ancient Times to the Modern World: A Global Sourcebook and History, Volume II: 1900-2009. She has taught courses at the University of Kansas, Marymount University, Richard Bland College of William and Mary, University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Anderson is a member of the North American Conference on British Studies, The Victorians Institute, the American Historical Association and the National Women Studies Association.

“Great Britain’s Decision to Leave the European Union”

Event Date: October 16

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Brookens Auditorium, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner: Public Affairs Restaurant ,University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

Professor Chris McDonald will  present this program on Brexit. 

In this presentation and discussion, Dr. Chris McDonald will examine several aspects of the chaotic “Brexit” situation. He will start with a review of the origins of Britain’s decision to break away from the European Union (EU) and a consideration of the referendum campaign and results, and then identify some of the key moments since the vote as the various actors have struggled to come to terms with the outcome. Finally, he will consider the current situation and sketch out some alternative paths that EU- GB relations may follow, and what the consequences may be.

Chris McDonald joined the Political Science faculty at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) in 1998 after completing his doctorate in Political Science at the University of Georgia. McDonald has conducted research into the nature of European institutions including the European Union in cooperation with a colleague in the Netherlands, publishing several articles examining the attitude of European labor unions toward EU immigration policy and also the status of Turkey regarding the EU. For many years McDonald spoke in the World A airs Council’s “Great Decisions” series and continues to be active in examining international issues with his Model UN students.

More recently McDonald’s focus has shifted towards a more historical consideration of broader patterns of conflict within Europe and globally. Much of McDonald’s teaching at LLCC is in entry level political science classes; however, he has had a number of opportunities to teach about the EU and has, on four occasions, led student groups to visit European countries. McDonald lives in Rochester with his wife, pianist Maria Horvath, and their son.

Sino-American Relations: Competition or Conflict?

Event Date: September 17

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Student Union, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner:Student Union ,University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

Professor Michael Swaine will  present on the relationship between the U.S. and China. 

Michael Swaine is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and one of the most prominent American analysts in Chinese security studies. Formerly a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, Swaine is a specialist in Chinese defense and foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international relations.

Dr. Swaine has authored and edited more than a dozen books and monographs and many journal articles and book chapters in these areas. These include America’s Challenge: Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century (2011) and Sino-American Crisis Management and the U.S.-Japan Alliance (2009).

His latest analysis includes: “The U.S. Can’t Afford to Demonize China” for Foreign Policy, “Chinese Views on the U.S. National Security and National Defense Strategies” for China Leadership Monitor, and “Creating an Unstable Asia: the U.S. ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ Strategy” for Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Swaine directs several security-related projects with Chinese partners, and advises the U.S. government on Asian security issues. He received his doctorate in government and a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.

 

From Russia with Love: Combating Human Trafficking from the Post-Soviet Region to Central Illinois

Event Date: May 23

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Hoogland Center –  Club Room

Dinner: Hoogland Center – Club Room

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

Laura A. Dean is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Millikin University. From 2014-2016 she was an Assistant Professor at Clayton State University in Georgia. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2014 with a Ph.D. in Political Science. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2013) and a Master of Arts in Political Science (2011) from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in International Studies focusing on Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (2006) from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts in World Politics (2003) from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

Dr. Dean researches gender and politics issues focusing on public policy, migration, and gender based violence in the former Soviet Union. Her research has been supported by the American Asso- ciation of University Women, Social Science Research Council, Fulbright Program, Rotary Foundation, and appeared in The Journal of Comparative

Policy Analysis, Human Rights Review, Journal Teorija in Praksa and Femina Politica, the Feminist Journal of Political Science. In the summer of 2016, she was a Title VIII Summer Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute, part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

She is the adviser of the Model United Nations Club, a member of the Gender Studies Committee and the Leadership Planning Committee.