Beyond the immediacy of a stagnant American economy and other domestic woes, many parts of the world are enduring the burdens of conflict and post-conflict strife. In Kenya, the most recent general election sparked riots and clashes between the nation’s diverse ethnic groups. In Latin America, government responses to violence have proven ineffective and the state must find a new way to provide security for its citizens. Somewhere in Africa, Joseph Kony is still plotting attacks and barking orders to a disciplined, albeit diminished storm of child combatants. In Liberia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, steps taken to implement security coordination have succeeded in some respects, but failed in others — offering valuable lessons for future improvement.
This fall, NYU’s Conflict, Security and Development Series, now beginning its seventh year, is hosting another lineup of relevant and engaging speakers who want to impart insight into these issues and more.
Bringing four distinguished university programs together, the series aims to create a space in which the latest developments in research, policy and practice can be shared to highlight the growing convergence between security and development issues around the world.
Launched after the 2006 collaboration between the Wagner School for Public Service and the School for Continuing and Professional Studies’ Center for Global Affairs, the series has since grown to include the Master of Public Health Program and NYU Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. The result is a unique opportunity to hear from leaders in the field who come in to address some of the world’s most pressing concerns. Speakers are associated with different departments, so a wide range of perspectives are presented in each collaboration.
“We wanted to give security and international development more of a presence here at NYU and produce more visibility for these important issues on campus,” said Katty Jones, director of Program Services at Wagner, who is one of the individuals who began the first series.
Notable past speakers include Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush; John Keys, vice president of International Programs at the International Rescue Committee; and Chris Blattman, a professor at Columbia University and author of a popular international development blog.
While all lectures in the series share a common theme in security and policy, this year’s speakers will also discuss topics ranging from media coverage and human rights abuses to experiential peace-building and the role of business in reducing violence.
Wagner professor John Gershman, who helped start the series and co-organizes it every year, described the talks as providing the perfect mix of theory and practice on some of the most important sets of issues in the 21st century.
“It’s the best 60 minutes you can spend all week,” Gershman said about the lectures.
The first speaker of the series, Colette Mazzucelli from the Center for Global Affairs, will present her talk, “Crisis Mapping in Elections: What Kenya Can Teach Us,” on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 12:30 p.m. in the Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue on the second floor of the Puck Building. The lecture series continues through Oct. 16.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 10 print edition. Daniel Huang is a contributing writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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