Past Events

Denver Dialogues on Peace and Security

The Denver Dialogues on Peace and Security was part of a program funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This series of events created a public dialogue among academic and policy authorities on issues related to twenty-first-century challenges to global peace and security, with a particular focus on inclusion.

  • 2018

    The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Talk with Colin Kahl

    Wednesday, November 7, 2018

    In May, President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, and announced the re-imposition of crippling sanctions targeting Iran. The first round of those sanctions went into effect in August; the second, more damaging round go into effect November 5. These moves have been met with widespread opposition from the international community and steps by Iran and the other parties to the nuclear deal — China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union — to preserve the agreement. This talk discussed the prospects for the Iran nuclear deal's survival and the implications for international security if it collapses.

    The talk was followed by a conversation with Former Ambassador Christopher Hill.

    Watch on YouTube

    Learn more about Colin Kahl


    The Peacemakers and the Future of Global Order: A Discussion with Bruce Jentleson

    Thursday, October 25, 2018

    In the 20th century, great leaders played vital roles in making the world a fairer and more peaceful place. How did they do it? What lessons can be drawn for the 21st century? Bruce Jentleson, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, addressed these and related questions in a talk based on his new book, The Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from 20th Century Statesmanship, with a discussion led by Professor Deborah Avant.

    Watch on YouTube

    Learn More about Bruce Jentleson


    IGLI 2018 Keynote Talk with Traci Blackmon

    Monday, August 27, 2018

    Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister of Justice Ministries for The United Church of Christ, and a national leader in the Black Lives Matter movement. A featured voice with many national media outlets, Rev. Blackmon's communal leadership, and work in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown Jr., in Ferguson, MO has gained her both national and international recognition and audiences from the White House to the Carter Center to the Vatican.

    Watch on YouTube


    Populism as a Crisis of Representation (and a Threat to Democracy?): A Conversation with Anna Grzymala-Busse

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    In honor of International Women's Day, two women will discuss populism and its consequences in Europe and beyond as part of a larger conference on Inclusive Responses to LIberalism's Crisis. Anna Grzymala-Busse will remark on the rising support for populist parties and the threat they pose to European democracy and then Rachel Epstein will speak with her on the larger lessons her remarks for global politics.

  • 2017

    A Journey in Nonviolent Struggles: A Denver Dialogue with Mary King

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Mary Elizabeth King, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Peace in Costa Rica, will discuss her involvement in the U.S. civil rights and women's liberation movements, her research and scholarship on nonviolent civil resistance movements of the 20th century, and how social movements open political space.

    King is author of numerous books on nonviolent civil resistance, including Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr: The Power of Nonviolent Action, Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India: The 1924–25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change , A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance and The New York Times and Emerging Democracies in Eastern Europe. King also co-authored "Sex and Caste," a 1966 essay that was catalytic for the women's liberation movement and second-wave feminism.

    During the early stages of her career, she worked with civil rights leader Ella Baker, served on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and managed communications for the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. King also served as a Presidential appointee in the Carter Administration and had worldwide oversight of the Peace Corps, the domestic VISTA program, and other national volunteer service programs. She is also a Distinguished Rothermere American Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford in Britain, and Distinguished Scholar with American University's School of International Service in Washington, DCKing's collection of prestigious awards includes the Jamnalal Bajaj International Prize in Mumbai, the El-Hibri Peace Education Prize, and the James Lawson Award for Nonviolent Achievement.

    Watch on YouTube


    Global Lessons from the Women's March on Washington with Co-Chair Carmen Perez

    Monday, August 28, 2017

    Carmen Perez is the National Co-Chair of the Women's March on Washington. On January 21, 2017, the Women's March drew over 5 million people across the globe together to march in resistance of hatred and bigotry, affirming women of all identities' rights as human beings. In addition to her role in organizing the March, Ms. Perez has dedicated the past 20 years to advocating for many of today's important civil rights issues, including mass incarceration, gender equity, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative at the Sié Center, which initiates research, education, and programming centered on the work that women and other underrepresented groups are doing to advance peace and security across the world. The event is also supported by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

    Watch on YouTube


    Martha Finnemore: Constructing Cybernorms

    Thursday, May 18, 2017

    Martha Finnemore is a prominent constructivist scholar of international relations, and University Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She is best known for her books: National Interests in International Society, The Purpose of Intervention, and Rules for the World which helped to pioneer constructivism. In 2009, a survey of over 2700 international relations faculty in ten countries named her one of the twenty five most influential scholars in the discipline, and one of the five scholars whose work in the last five years has been the most interesting; an earlier survey of over 1000 American international relations faculty also ranked her similarly in both categories. In 2011 she was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Watch on YouTube


    Wednesday, April 5, 2017

    Baroness Catherine Ashton, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

    Catherine Margaret Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, GCMG, PC, is a British Labour politician who served as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and First Vice President of the European Commission in the Barroso Commission from 2009 to 2014.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence (CEUCE).

  • 2016

    Daniel Drezner: Can Academics be Relevant in the Ideas Industry?

    Friday, October 14, 2016

    Daniel Drezner, Professor of International Politics at Tufts University's Fletcher School, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a contributing editor at the Washington Post will discuss whether and how academics can be relevant in the public sphere. Prior to Fletcher, Dr. Drezner he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has written five books, including All Politics is Global and Theories of International Politics and Zombies, and edited two others, including Avoiding Trivia. His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Politico, and Foreign Affairs, and he has been a contributing editor for Foreign Policy and The National Interest. He received his B.A. in political economy from Williams College and an M.A. in economics and PhD in political science from Stanford University. His blog for Foreign Policy magazine was named by Time as one of the 25 best blogs of 2012, and he currently writes the "Spoiler Alerts" blog for the Washington Post.


    Global Peace Index 2016: A Denver Dialogue

    Thursday, October 6, 2016

    What is the state of global peace in 2016? Join the Sié Center, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), and the One Earth Future Foundation (OEF) for an engaging "Denver Dialogues" on the findings of this year's Global Peace Index (GPI), the world's leading measure of national peacefulness. This year marks 10th edition of the GPI, a statistical analysis of the state of peace in 163 countries outlining trends in peace and conflict; the economic cost of violence; and the cultural, economic and political factors that create peace. The Global Peace Index is produced annually by IEP, and Michelle Breslauer, Director of the IEP Americas Program, will be the keynote speaker, joined by Curtis Bell of OEF. Lunch will be served and RSVP is required.


    Divisiveness and Violence in the U.S.

    Monday, September 19, 2016

    This unique Denver Dialogue was intended as an internal discussion for the students, faculty, and staff of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. This event served to foster thoughtful and inclusive engagement around how we interact with each other, with our community, and in politics at the national or global levels – particularly in the wake of violence. The University of Denver's initiative to examine the role of the university in responding to tragedy presented an opportunity to team with the University of Denver's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and begin a discussion that both drew on our ongoing research but also reflected on how our own actions and understandings can foster more inclusive and productive interactions.


    Rigorous and Relevant Research in Global Affairs

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    • Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School, University of Denver
    • Ian Johnstone, Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School, Tufts University
    • Reşat Kasaba, Director of the Henry M. Jackson School University of Washington
    • Rebecca Lissner, PhD candidate at Georgetown University and participant in post-doctoral program at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University
    • Dan McIntyre, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
    • Moderator: Steve Del Rosso, Program Director for International Peace and Security, Carnegie Corporation of New York

    How can academics "bridge the gap" to make their work relevant and accessible for policymakers, practitioners, and the broader community? In October 2014, the Carnegie Corporation of New York granted five premier international affairs schools, including the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, the chance to answer this question. At this Denver Dialogue luncheon, representatives from all five schools discussed their innovative projects, shared lessons learned, and identified future opportunities for universities to contribute to the public good.


    Countering Violent Extremism: How Human Rights and Good Governance Help Prevent Terrorism

    February 29, 2016

    • Dr. Sarah Sewall, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
    • Dr. Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School

    Dr. Sarah Sewall is a longtime advocate for advancing civilian security and human rights around the world. Her engagement with both the academic and policy worlds serves as a model for those who wish to bridge the academia-policy divide. Dr. Sewall earned her PhD at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She went on to serve as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, then became the first Deputy Assistant Secretary for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance in the Department of Defense. She has taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, directed the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard, and served on President Obama's national security and foreign policy transition team. Dr. Sewall was sworn in as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on February 20, 2014.

    Dr. Sewall received our "Engaged Policy Maker" award and discussed Countering Violent Extremism, the U.S. Government's comprehensive, civilian-led approach for violent extremist threats like ISIL. The Under Secretary described how the evolution of violent extremism since the 9/11 attacks necessitates a more proactive, "whole of society" approach that emphasizes civil society, human rights and good governance to prevent the spread and emergence of violent extremism around the world.

    How can Academics and Policy Makers Best Engage?

    February 1, 2016

    • Ambassador Robert Gallucci, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
    • Dr. Samuel Popkin, Professor of Political Science, University of California San Diego
    • Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School

    These two public intellectuals have played critical roles in American policy since the Vietnam War. Samuel Popkin worked in Vietnam for the RAND Corporation and was jailed in 1972 when he refused to answer questions before a grand jury investigating the Pentagon Papers leak. Robert Gallucci's PhD dissertation on Vietnam became the book Neither Peace Nor Honor, which appeared as he worked at the U.S. State Department. Professor Popkin went on to write award-winning books on Vietnam (The Rational Peasant) and American politics (The Reasoning Voter) and advise many U.S. presidential campaigns. Robert Gallucci's career has included prominent posts in policy (at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the U.S. State Department Office of Policy Planning, and the UNSCOM overseeing the disarmament of Iraq, among others) and academia (including Dean of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service). He also led the John D. and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation. Our conversation ranged from the Pentagon Papers to Wikileaks to tap the insights of these accomplished men and their decades of experience in academia and policy.

  • 2015

    Understanding and Undermining Untouchability: An Example of Social Science and Social Justice

    October 7, 2015

    • Christian Davenport, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan
    • Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School

    Untouchability is a 4000 year old form of discrimination and violence which affects approximately 200 million in India alone. Interestingly and unfortunately, these practices have not been systematically examined to any large extent. To rectify this situation, eight years ago a research collaboration of the Indian human rights organization Navsarjan Trust and professors from the United States came together to address this limitation, paving the way to understand what untouchability was, why it varied, what could be done about it and (as an unintended consequence) how academic as well as activist worlds could intersect. Dr. Davenport's presentation discussed the research that investigated approximately 1600 rural villages in Gujarat with approximately 98,000 individuals. He also discussed some of the insights from this effort as well as some of the pitfalls.


    Wendy Pearlman: Narratives of Fear in Syria

    September 22, 2015

    • Wendy Pearlman, Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University
    • Erica Chenoweth, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the Josef Korbel School

    Wendy Pearlman conducted interviews with 200 Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey. She finds that individuals’ narratives about the upheavals in their country coalesce into a collective narrative whose arc emphasizes changes in the sources and functions of political fear. Her talk used Syrians’ personal stories to describe four types of fear which together offer a humanistic interpretation of the trajectory of the Syrian conflict, as well as the lived experience of authoritarian rule, popular revolt, civil war, and forced migration.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies.


    Global Trends in Peace and Security

    January 7, 2015

    • Suzanne Fry, Director of the Strategic Futures Group at the National Intelligence Council
    • Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School

    The event was co-sponsored by the Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

  • 2014

    Protecting Civilians and Reducing Violence

    November 19, 2014

    • Mel Duncan, founding Executive Director of Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), a civilian peacekeeping organization based in Brussels; and
    • Erica Chenoweth, Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School and Associate Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO)

Korbel Research Seminar Series

The Korbel Research Seminar Series is supported by the Sié Center in conjunction with the Pardee Center and the Office for Research and Academic Affairs. This is a forum for discussion of works in progress among Ph.D. students, faculty and researchers. Its aim is to establish an ongoing exchange between members of the Korbel community and innovative researchers from other institutions. Attendees read the papers in advance and provide constructive feedback for presenters. The Korbel Research Seminar Series, was previously called the Sié Research Seminar and was supported, in part, by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

  • 2020

    March 12, 2020

    Abigail Kabandula, Adjunct Faculty at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies & Reseacher at the Pardee Center for International Futures


    March 5, 2020

    Katharine Mach, Associate Professor University of Miami at the Rosentiel School


    February 27, 2020

    Dale Rothman, Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    February 20, 2020

    Rafael Ioris, Associate Professor at University of Denver & Affiliated faculty at the Latin American Center


    February 13, 2020

    Singumbe Muyeba, Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    February 6, 2020

    Greg Phillips, PhD Candidate at UC San Diego


    January 30, 2020

    Micheline Ishay, Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    January 23, 2020

    Isigi Kadagi, Postdoctoral Fellowt the Sié Center and Secure Fisheries


    January 16, 2020

    Dogus Aktan, PhD Candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

  • 2019

    November 14, 2019

    Emily Scott, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sié Center and Oxfam America


    November 7, 2019

    William Akoto, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sié Center and One Earth Future


    October 31, 2019

    Jonathon Moyer, Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies & Director of the Pardee Center for International Futures


    October 24, 2019

    Carla Norrlof, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto


    October 17, 2019

    Krista Wiegand, Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee


    October 10, 2019

    Sooyeon Kang, PhD Candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    October 3, 2019

    Travis Curtice, Peace Scholar Fellow at the United States Insitute of Peace & PhD Candidate at Emory University


    September 26, 2019

    Laura Hosman, PhD Candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    September 19, 2019

    Frank Laird, Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    September 12, 2019

    Deborah Avant, Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    May 30, 2019

    Marina Henke, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University


    May 23, 2019

    Joe Donnelly, Andrew Mellon Professor and John Evans Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    May 16, 2019

    David Goldfischer, Associate Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    May 9, 2019

    Gina Reynolds, Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    April 4, 2019

    Maria Lotito, PhD Candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    April 11, 2019

    Micheline Ishay, Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    April 18, 2019

    Jonathan Moyer, Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures


    February 21, 2019

    Laura Hosman, PhD Candidate and Research Fellow at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies & Tricia Olsen, Assistant Dean for Research and Academic Affairs; Associate Professor, Business Ethics & Legal Studies; Marcus Faculty Fellow


    February 14, 2019

    Paul Kemp, PhD Candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    January 31, 2019

    Austin Carson , Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago

    War crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s led to a chorus of calls for punishment of the perpetrators. Accountability advocates hoped to use international law to
    provide justice for the victims, deter future war crimes, and facilitate peace. A key challenge, however, was obtaining conclusive evidence. Locating mass graves and documenting
    who gave specific orders was often only possible by resorting to national intelligence agencies. Photos from satellites or signals intercepts, in some instances, could furnish evidence of
    wrongdoing and facilitate the international community's pursuit of justice. Yet disclosing intelligence carried a high cost: doing so could inform Serbia and other governments about sensitive intelligence collection methods. Germany's release of drone-based photographs demonstrated these dangers, "tipping [the Serbs] off to return to the killing fields and destroy the mass graves in order to remove and scatter the evidence." The risks of revealing
    intelligence meant the international community soon "found itself hampered by a lack of information about the Yugoslav high command that only government agencies can supply."


    January 24, 2019

    Barry Hughes, John Evans Professor and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures


    January 17, 2019

    George DeMartino, Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    January 10, 2019

    Juliana Restrepo Sanin, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy

  • 2018

    November 8, 2018

    Marie Berry, Assistant Professor at the Korbel School of International Studies 

    Scholarship on women in war often focuses on the devastating and disproportionate toll that conflict wreaks on the lives of women. Less studied are the openings and opportunities that frequently follow war, derived from its potential to disrupt gender power relations and open spaces for institutional reform (Berry 2018; Hughes 2009; Tripp 2015). This project compares and evaluates women's empowerment interventions that followed war in 10 countries: Afghanistan, Bosnia, DR Congo, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Nepal, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. At the core of our research is a simple question: who benefits from postwar gender reforms? We map new opportunities for women and sexual and gender minorities that have emerged after war by evaluating laws, policies, and the experiences of individuals side-by-side. Critically, we explore the conditions under which the implementation of gender egalitarian reforms can reinforce existing socio-political cleavages, aggravate conflict-era fissures, and/or serve politically expedient goals—all processes which ensue that some women gain while others remain sidelined. Through the compilation of a dataset of postwar gender reforms and fieldwork in each of the 10 cases, this project ultimately aims to develop empirically-rich theories of gender instrumentalism and intersectional empowerment.


    November 1, 2018

    Michael Horowitz, Professor of Political Science and the Associate Director of Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania

    The potential for advances in information-age technologies to undermine nuclear deterrence and influence the potential for nuclear escalation represents a critical question for international politics. One challenge is that uncertainty about the trajectory of technologies such as autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (AI) makes assessments difficult. This paper evaluates the relative impact of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence in three areas: nuclear command and control, uninhabited nuclear delivery vehicles, and conventional applications of autonomous systems with consequences for nuclear stability. The results demonstrate that significant automation in existing nuclear command and control systems means the relative consequences of AI in that arena will likely be limited. On the other hand, the potential for uninhabited nuclear delivery vehicles could substantially raise the prospect for accidents and miscalculation. Moreover, conventional military applications of autonomous systems could influence nuclear force postures and first strike stability in previously unanticipated ways. In particular, the need to fight at machine speed and the cognitive risk introduced by automation bias could influence the incentives for escalation. Finally, used properly, there should be many applications of more autonomous systems in nuclear operations that can increase reliability, reduce the risk of accidents, and buy more time for decision-makers in a crisis.


    October 25, 2018

    Brian O'Neill and the Pardee Center, Pardee Center Director of Research and Professor at the Korbel School of International Studies


    October 18, 2018

    Kai Thaler, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy

    In civil wars, predatory, violent rebel groups sometimes gain the support of politically-motivated individuals or groups who should, by outside appearances, logically oppose the rebels. I explain this counterintuitive result through a principal-agent logic in which rebel leaders (the agents) pander to aggrieved civilian populations (the principals), presenting themselves as in sympathy with and providing solutions to grievances, even if the leaders are purely self-interested. Leaders take advantage of an information asymmetry about their true preferences to gain allegiance using cheap sociopolitical appeals, rather than more costly material incentives. Strategic pandering is particularly useful for opportunistic leaders pursuing private political-economic interests and for ideologically-motivated, but highly violent groups. For civilians with anti-state grievances, mobilization may be rational even if rebel leaders are insincere, due to the ability to take up arms against the government and to the threat of violence by both state and rebels. I inductively developed the theory through a case study of Renamo, a predatory, foreign-sponsored proxy group in Mozambique that pandered to rural populations with grievances against state repression of traditional life to gain a voluntary domestic constituency. I then test the generalizability of the logic through two case studies—drawing on interviews, archival materials, and secondary sources—of the Nicaraguan FDN, a proxy group similar to Renamo, and the NPFL in Liberia, which developed independently. The article explicates a previously undertheorized phenomenon in the study of rebel recruitment and mobilization. I demonstrate how apparent popular support for rebels may be more tenuous than it appears, creating openings for peacemaking and counterinsurgency efforts.


    October 11, 2018

    Pamina Firchow, Assistant Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University

    Several policy and scholarly efforts are underway to reevaluate the current use of indicators for evaluation and measurement in peacebuilding, human rights and governance. Policymakers, practitioners and scholars working in these areas have come to the conclusion that current top-down indicators are not sufficient for both measurement and monitoring and evaluation purposes (Firchow 2018; Merry 2016; Schaffer 1998). This insufficiency has to do in large part with the difficulty of measuring concepts related to social life such as peace (Schaffer 2016). As a result, scholars have called for more bottom-up and representative indicators of difficult to define concepts such as peace, arguing that measurement validity necessitates the inclusion of local voices (Merry 2016; Schaffer 2016; Willis 2017; Holt 2013). However, indicators generated from the bottom-up necessarily provide a highly localized lens. As such, they speak less to the regional context in which those localities reside. They also cannot be used as tools to advocate on behalf of people vis-à-vis governments because indicators collected at such a local level are inherently different than top-down indicators. They are often anecdotal or point to specific issues in a locality rather than identifying more general trends, and are therefore more useful for programmatic planning and evaluation purposes. They also only allow us to draw conclusions about the localities in which the indicators were collected. If, however, a method of scaling up these local level indicators could be devised, allowing for a higher level of analysis that is representative of larger populations, then bottom-up indicators could be widely leveraged by policymakers and practitioners. The goal of this paper is to establish a methodology by which a set of locally-sourced indicators can be applied in a wider set of communities, thus rendering the data gathered using bottom-up indicators representative of larger populations and more comparable to existing top-down indices and barometers.


    October 4, 2018

    Christopher Shay, Ph.D. Candidate at the Korbel School of International Studies


    September 27, 2018

    Kara Neu, Adjunct Professor at the Korbel School of International Studies


    September 20, 2018

    Tom Farer, University Professor at the Korbel School of International Studies


    September 13, 2018

    Nader Hashemi, Director for the Center on Middle East Studies and Associate Professor at the Korbel School of International Studies


    Transatlantic Cooperation on Terrorism and Islamist Radicalisation in Africa: The Franco–Amerian Axis

    May 24, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1108

    Gorm Rye Olsen, Professor of Global Politics at the Institute of Society and Globalization, Roskilde University, Denmark

    Transatlantic cooperation on security has a long history. In Africa, transatlantic cooperation on security is basically between France and the United States. This paper asks why the two former competitors in Africa started to cooperate and also why they are so willing to engage militarily. The central argument in this paper poses that France and the US cooperate because it is indispensable to both parties. To France, the cooperation is indispensable because the US is the only power with sufficient financial means and with sufficient air-lift capacity to transport French and African troops into conflict-ridden countries. To Washington, cooperation with Paris is indispensable because the French authorities have unique access to intelligence and knowledge about large parts of Africa. By applying a foreign policy analysis framework, the paper analyses how perceptions of decision-makers, the role of personality and leadership, the role of government institutions and political systems have impacted the relevant decisions. It is emphasized that the two different decision-making systems – the French "state dominated" and the American "society dominated" – produce the same result, namely collaboration. It suggests that the perception of a serious threat from terrorism and Islamist radicalization overrules differences in decision-making systems.


    Changing Motivations or Capabilities? Migration Deterrence in the Global Context

    May 3, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Katherine Tennis, Teaching Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, with Kelsey Norman, Postdoctoral Fellow the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy, University of Denver

    Over the last thirty-five years, Western liberal democracies have exerted more control over their borders through an array of innovative migration control practices. Scholars have taken stock of these efforts and referred to them collectively as "deterrence" measures, ignoring the fact that deterrence is an established concept with a focused definition and meaning. We argue that in the context of migration, the concept of deterrence has been stretched beyond meaningful parameters. In order to restore conceptual clarity and develop a more useful framework, we build on the fourth wave of deterrence literature and apply its insights to these new migration control practices. We construct a theoretically-informed typology that differentiates between deterrence policies, which aim to change the motivations of migrants, and defense policies, which change migrants' capabilities, while also differentiating between the timing and location of the interventions. We then elaborate on each category of policy with examples drawn from various geographic regions and propose a framework for expanding this analysis through a systematic exploration of global practices.


    From Violent Capital to Social Capital? Ex-Combatant Networks in Eastern Congo

    April 12, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Si´Complex 1108

    Zoe Marks, Chancellor's Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh

    Surviving war – whether within or outside an armed group – is a deeply social process. Yet, leading theories of post-conflict peacebuilding only vaguely engage with the complex relationships and group dynamics that shape people's lives through war. This paper presents a relational approach to measuring "post-conflict" integration at the individual and group level using new data on the social networks of active and de-mobilized combatants and civilians in Eastern Congo. We examine how armed group affiliation, gender, and mobilization status shape social support networks. Working with a team of Congolese enumerators, we collected original data on the networks and personal war experiences of over 300 members of three armed group aggregations in DRC: regional rebels, local militias, and state security forces, alongside never-mobilized civilians. We find that ex-combatants have significantly different patterns of social support and cohesion than civilians living in the same communities. Our gender-disaggregated analysis sheds light on how self-reinforcing mobilization and socialization pathways can affect social and economic wellbeing and collective peacebuilding in mixed communities. We argue that patterns of bonding and brokerage that support fighters during war persist after war, sustaining mobilization and putting community-level integration at odds with individual reintegration. These findings have valuable policy implications for designing DDR, SSR, and peacebuilding programs that account for underlying formal and informal social networks. We hope the project also sets an agenda for more multilevel data collection and analysis in conflict and peacebuilding processes.


    The Long March: Contentious Mobilization & Deep Democracy

    February 22, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    M. Ali Kadivar, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute, Brown University

    Over the last several decades, dozens of authoritarian regimes have fallen and been replaced by formal democracies. These new democracies are not all of identical quality. Some have made substantially greater progress than others towards deepening democratic institutions. We argue that prolonged unarmed contentious mobilization prior to transition drives democratic progress in each of these five dimensions. Mobilization matters because it generates a new, democratically-oriented political elite and because it furnishes non-elites with the capacity for autonomous collective action. In panel regressions spanning the 1950 to 2010 period and using original data, we show that the duration of anti-authoritarian mobilization is a significant and consistent predictor of subsequent democratic deepening. To illustrate the mechanisms, we present a historical analysis of democratic transition in Brazil. This case study shows how both political elites and non-elite collective actors, emboldened by prolonged mobilization, drove the deepening of democracy post-transition.


    Rwanda Case Study: Localizing Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda

    February 8, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Yolande Bouka, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy, University of Denver

    Following civil war and genocide in 1994, Rwanda established one of the most expansive transitional justice projects in Africa. The new government, led by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), centered its transitional justice efforts on reconciliation through a modern adaptation of a traditional conflict resolution mechanism, while holding all who participated in genocide criminally accountable. As a Tutsi minority-led party that came to power by defeating the previous Hutu regime, the RPF had the daunting task of restoring peace and security while attempting to legitimize its control of the state. While the transitional justice project incorporated international norms of personal accountability and punishment of genocide crimes, it also served another purpose: it allowed the RPF to entrench its political control. Between 1996 and 2012 Rwanda prosecuted well over one million genocide suspects in two million cases, most of which took place in gacaca courts at the village level under the supervision of the central government. As we seek to understand the impact of Rwanda's transitional justice on peacebuilding, this article argues that this exercise cannot be divorced from analysis of the RPF's political imperatives in the design and implementation of the legal framework. This report explores how and why the RPF co-opted international norms to achieve its peacebuilding objectives while buttressing its legitimacy. It argues that other laws and institutions buttressed gacaca to achieve peace and reconciliatory objectives. It also emphasizes that violence and coercion during the transition played an essential role in Rwandans' participation in transitional justice. Finally, it argues that at the community level, local dynamics impacted how justice was rendered and, at times, yielded outcomes that ran counter to national and international peacebuilding goals.


    How Government Reactions to Violence Worsen Social Welfare: Evidence from Peru

    January 25, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Michael Findley, Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin

    Dissident violence inflicts direct harm on civilians. The longest-lasting consequences may be indirect, however, due to the government's response. We explore how government engagement following dissident violence affects social welfare, specifically through budgetary shifts. Using new subnational violence and government budgeting data for Peru, we demonstrate that attacks on soldiers during the budget negotiation period drive a shift from local health to defense spending. One soldier killed implies a shift of 1.1 percent out of local health budgets (2008–2012). Health budget cuts due to a single soldier casualty result in 67 predicted additional infant deaths two years later. We show that the effect on health budgeting operates through decreases in women's use of health facilities and postnatal services. We offer evidence that Peru's coercive response indirectly harms civilians due to butter-to-guns budgetary shifts. Our results identify a budgetary mechanism that translates dissident violence into a deterioration in social welfare.

  • 2017

    Mobilizing Non-Nationals in Mena Host States: Egypt and Morocco in Comparison

    November 9, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Kelsey Norman, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy, University of Denver

    Scholarly work on migration to Europe and North America asserts that states adopt liberal migration policies when migrants are able to mobilize and capitalize on political opportunities. To what extent does this explanation for migrant or refugee mobilization transfer to the Global South where illiberal state structures might be in place, thereby constraining certain political behaviors? This paper examines mobilization among migrant and refugee populations residing in post-revolutionary Middle East and North Africa (MENA) host states, using Egypt and Morocco as exploratory cases. These two MENA countries host migrant and refugee diaspora populations from both sub-Saharan Africa as well as other Middle Eastern countries, and both states can be classified as having illiberal government systems in place, yet migrants and refugees have been able to mobilize to a far greater extent in Morocco than in Egypt. What explains this variation? Drawing primarily on semi-structured interviews conducted with government officials, civil society actors and individual migrants and refugees in Egypt and Morocco, this paper uses a political opportunity and neo-institutionalist framework to examine the formal and informal rules that constrain or permit certain political behaviors among diaspora populations in each host state. The findings of this paper address the question of whether explanations for migration policy reform derived from the experiences of Global North host states travel to the Global South, and also contribute to understandings of whether and how the political mobilization of non-nationals takes place in illiberal spaces.

    Anarchy Emergent? Political Collapse in the Shadow of Hierarchy

    October 26, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Bridget Coggins, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara

    Nearly 25 years have passed since the term, "failed state" was coined by Helman and Ratner (1992). Though volumes and volumes have been written on the topic and policies have been implemented to address them, many of the most important issues regarding failure remain unresolved. One of the most pressing is, "are failed states a significant source of international insecurity?" After an extensive study using new cross-national data to identify broad patterns and detailed case studies to investigate the causal mechanism connecting domestic anarchy to threat, I demonstrate that state failure is not very threatening. Failed states are fewer in number, and their negative externalities less frequent or acute, than many believe. Instead, failure's most pernicious effect on international politics was entirely unanticipated and is rooted in outsiders' response, not in failure itself. The failed state discourse is eroding external sovereignty. Weak states' borders may be "fixed" in the contemporary world, but non-traditional threats have now given strong states virtual carte blanche to intervene there. Further, if political leaders' steadfast belief that threat inheres in failure cannot be undone, they will increasingly involve themselves in unnecessary, expensive, and possibly self-defeating, military interventions.


    Checkpoints, Connections and Resistance: Freedom-of-Moement Restrictions and Civilian Preference for Militancy

    October 9, 2017

    Emily Gade, Visiting Scholar at the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy, University of Denver


    Nation Building

    October 5, 2017

    Andreas Wimmer, Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy at Columbia University


    Biting the Hand That Feeds? External Support, Population Dependence and Rebel Groups' Portfolio of Killings

    May 25, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Margherita Begioioso, Ph.D. Student at the University of Essex

    What motivates some rebel group to seek cooperation with local populations rather than using them as a target for coercive purposes? Whatexplain the variation in the portfolio of killings across rebel groups? This study implements and actor oriented approach toexplain how different types of non-state actors transnational support affect rebel groups' relative allocation betweenterrorist and conventional violence. Rebels receiving fungible financial support are less likely to target civilians than combatants. Rebels haveincentive to invest financial support domestically rather than internationally. This is more economically efficient and it maximizes the possibility to secure less volatile resources from the population in the future. In turn, increased rebel dependency on local population generates incentives to restrain the use of terrorism. Rebels receiving military support are more likely to target more civilians than combatants. Military resources are efficiently invested in warfare activities without the need to increase reliance on the population and it is hard to convert military resources in assets to be invested in future, less volatile returns from the population. I model rebel groups' portfolio of killings as a proportion of terrorist-related deaths and battle-related deaths. The empirics support all the hypotheses and are consistent with the argument that the counterproductive effects of terrorism offset its tactical advantages when rebels depend on local population.


    May 11, 2017

    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Jessica Maves Braithwaite, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Arizona

    Please contact to request a copy of the paper.


    April 13, 2017

    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    James Robinson, Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict and Faculty Director at the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, University of Chicago

    This seminar was co-sponsored by the Latin America Center.

    Please contact to request a copy of the paper.


    Politics After War: The Peacebuilder's Dilemma with (Limited) Evidence from Rwanda and Côte d'Ivoire

    April 6, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Scott Straus, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison

    After civil wars, trust in institutions is a pervasive problem. Wars erode legitimacy, given the commission of wartime violence by authorities, the wartime prevalence of criminal processes, and the nature of fractured sovereignty in war. Closing the legitimacy gap is key to building a durable peace. The paper develops the concept of the "peacebuilder's dilemma" to capture this problem. Ruling after war almost always requires authorities to govern populations that were previously aligned with enemies. Persuading former opposition areas to accept the legitimacy of the government, I contend, is key to restoring confidence in institutions and ultimately to building a durable peace. Yet solving the problem is exceedingly difficult because governments after war must satisfy the coalitions that are responsible for putting them in power, coalitions that could in turn remove them from power. Governments also are concerned that if they grant too much power to their former enemies the latter will overthrow them. In the context of scarce resources and fragile security environments, peacebuilders tend to reward their own constituencies, thereby deepening the legitimacy problem and failing to build a durable peace. In the paper, I unpack the legitimacy problem as it applies to post-civil war states, define the peacebuilder's dilemma, drawing on recent literature, and illustrate the arguments through limited evidence from Côte d'Ivoire and Rwanda.

    Please contact to request a copy of the paper.


    Irregular Regime Transitions and Democratization

    March 9, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 3110

    Evan Perkoski, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

    The existing scholarship on irregular regime transitions tends to explore the causes and consequences of each variant in isolation of the others. There is a distinct literature for coups, for uprisings, and for foreign-imposed regime change. This article proposes a theoretical framework that ties these various transitions together. We do this by investigating how the size of the coalition that brings a leader to power --- the transitional coalition --- combined with the presence or absence of outside influence affects the prospects for democratization. Irregular transitions involving large transitional coalitions are the most likely to result in democratic gains. The opposite is true for transitions with small coalitions. External influence can be a mixed blessing, exerting a democratizing effect in some contexts and an autocratic effect in others. Analyzing the universe of successful irregular regime transitions since 1955, we find strong support for our theoretical claims. These findings advance understanding of the major drivers and inhibitors of democratization following irregular transitions.


    How Does International Intervention Work? Mechanisms for Securing Peace Settlements in Civil Conflicts

    March 2, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Aila Matanock, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley

    There is emerging consensus that international intervention can secure peace by helping combatants overcome commitment problems following civil wars. But how do interveners accomplish this? Common wisdom suggests that intervention primarily works through coercion. We theorize an alternative mechanism: monitoring and conditioning incentives on compliance with peace processes. Despite a rich literature on intervention, little effort has been made to systematically identify and test the underlying mechanisms. This paper takes a first step toward this end, using cross-national data on United Nations peacekeeping and case evidence on El Salvador. Contrary to common wisdom, our analysis suggests that coercion is neither frequently employed nor necessary to overcome commitment problems, particularly in post-conflict settings. Conditional incentives are effective in prolonging peace — in fact, even when controlling for potential selection effects, they are more consistently correlated with less risk of conflict recurrence than coercion. This research has important implications for external efforts to secure peace in civil conflicts worldwide.


    Religious Authority and the Promotion of Tolerance: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Pakistan

    February 16, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Michael Kalin, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

    Can messages from religious elites reduce intergroup prejudice and promote social norms conducive to conflict resolution? We carry out a survey experiment in two regions in Pakistan where sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias has claimed hundreds of lives in recent years. By experimentally manipulating the endorsement of messages by religious clerics, we estimate how the sectarian affiliation and political involvement of religious authorities affects their ability to influence popular perceptions of Shia-Sunni relations. Contrary to expectations from the literature on Islamic authority and the persuasive power of religious elites, but in line with the mixed results from recent experimental studies, we find that Sunni respondents are unresponsive to religious endorsements with limited support for a cosectarian treatment effect of Shia clerics on Shia respondents.


    Transparency Trap: Global Development and the Politics of Open Data

    January 26, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Catherine Weaver, Associate Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

    Over the past decade, the aid transparency movement has promised tremendous dividends for global development. Greater openness in the $350 billion aid industry is widely expected to yield better decision-making and management of scarce resources, more inclusive and accountable development processes, and ultimately more effective aid to improve the lives of the world's poor. After nearly seventy year of aid working in a black box, how has the international community managed to make aid transparency happen? And has aid transparency worked? Do we in fact see today persuasive evidence of real demand for, use and impact of this open data, as aspired in the movement's powerful theory of change? Transparency Traps draws from over 400 interviews, fieldwork in eight countries, and participant observation in the international aid transparency movement between 2010–2016. In this book manuscript (in progress), Dr. Kate Weaver examines the burgeoning gap between the supply and the demand and use of open aid data, exposing the looming risks of aid's "transparency traps."

    In this presentation, Dr. Weaver focused on chapter three of her manuscript, "Transparency Race: The Aid Transparency Index and the Politics of Global Rankings." This chapter examines the soft power of global ratings and rankings in international politics, focusing on the role of Publish What You Fund's Aid Transparency Index in driving donor compliance towards emerging aid transparency norms and standards. Specifically, the paper delineates three key pathways to the ATI's influence: peer naming and shaming amongst aid agencies, the reduction of uncertainty and information asymmetries that clarify reform goals and introduce the shadow of (if not actual) principal oversight and control, and participatory processes of monitoring and review that enhance organizational learning and policy diffusion. Ironically, at the same time that the ATI may be having a discernibly positive effect on increasing the global supply of aid transparency, its push towards donor convergence may be introducing a form of commensuration (Espeland and Saunders 2007) that is enabling aid transparency's traps.

  • 2016

    Pacifism and the Ethical Imagination in International Relations

    October 17, 2016
    5:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Richard Jackson, Deputy Director at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago

    The aim of this article is to explore why pacifist theory is neglected as a potential resource for thinking about the use of force and the protection of the vulnerable in IR, particularly when it deals directly with all the main issues involved. More specifically, it explores some of the consequences of excluding pacifist perspectives, and discusses how pacifist theory can expand the ethical horizons of debate over how to respond to violent threats in IR. My conclusion is that pacifism is currently a form of "subjugated knowledge" within IR, but taking pacifism seriously could help to expand the ethical imagination and range of policy options in considerations about civilian protection, among others. Moreover, investing in the exploration of pacifist approaches has the potential to go beyond short-term protection measures in violent conflicts, taking us instead towards the goal of breaking the long-term cycles of violence which perpetuate vulnerability in the first instance.


    Threat Perception and American Support for Torture

    October 13, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Courtenay Conrad, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Merced

    Can public opinion constrain democratic governments from engaging in torture? The authors argue that perceptions of threat undermine the extent to which American public opinion is a strong bulwark against government torture. Although surveys demonstrate that a slim majority of the American public generally opposes torture, the authors show that Americans are considerably more supportive of abuse when it is directed at individuals who they perceive as threatening: when the detainee has an Arabic name, when the alleged crime is terrorism, and when an intelligence agency is responsible for the interrogation of a detainee. The results underscore the importance of institutional protections of human rights given the malleability of public opinion as a constraint.


    Policing Ethnicity: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence on Discrimination, Cooperation and Ethnic Balancing in the Liberian National Police

    September 22, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Kyle Beardsley, Associate Professor of Political Science at Duke University

    Peace agreements often include provisions for integrating minority ethnic groups into security sector institutions. Advocates argue that "ethnic balancing" reduces discrimination; opponents counter that it erodes unit cohesion. We test these predictions against each other using surveys and lab-in-the-field experiments implemented with teams of Liberian National Police officers. We find that teams that include minority police officers are no more or less cooperative than those that do not, and that heterogeneous teams are no more or less cooperative than homogeneous ones. We also find, however, that teams with minority police officers are more rather than less discriminatory against minority civilians—a substantively large and highly statistically significant adverse effect. We show that this effect is not driven by heterogeneity, but rather by the presence of minority police officers per se. We explore potential mechanisms and provide reasons for both optimism and caution towards ethnic balancing in deeply divided societies.


    If Torture is Wrong, What About 24? Torture and the Hollywood Effect

    May 19, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Joseph Young, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Justice, Law and Criminology at American University

    How do dramatic depictions of counterterrorism practices impact public opinion and policy? Since 9/11, media depictions of these practices have also grown precipitously. Do media depictions impact how the public views torture? This study is a randomized control trial that examines how the framing of torture in pop culture impacts support for this practice. Using a mixed within-subjects and between-subjects design, participants (n = 150) were randomly assigned to a condition for dramatic depictions showing (1) torture as effective, (2) torture is ineffective, or (3) a neutral (control) condition. Participants who saw torture as being effective increased their stated support for it. We also found that participants who saw torture – regardless of whether or not it was effective – were more likely to sign a petition in line with their stated beliefs on torture. These findings may indicate people are more likely to take action about aggressive policies after seeing violence.


    Social Identity and Non-Material Payoffs: A Review

    May 12, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150 (formerly Sié 150)

    Michael Kalin, Ph.D. Candidate at Yale University and Sié Center Visiting Scholar

    What is the existing evidence for non-material payoffs driven by group attachments that we call social identity? When do these matter and for what sorts of behaviors? We highlight findings across political science, ranging from voting and redistribution to violence and conflict, that focus on the non-material, identity-based, motivations for behavior in these domains. Doing so allows us to draw out commonalities across research areas often held in isolation from one another and which frequently employ overlapping terminology. We attempt to summarize important findings, and identify open questions; these include the role played by elites in shaping mass mobilization around identities and the relationship between social identities and social norms.


    The Survival of Militant Splinter Groups

    April 28, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150 (formerly Sié 150)

    Evan Perkoski, Research Fellow at the International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

    When militant groups fragment, why do some emerging organizations survive while others quickly collapse? I argue that characteristics of group breakdown drive the convergence or divergence of preferences within these new organizations, leading to the observed variation in rates of survival. Splinters forming factionally around a shared disagreement or worldview attract a relatively homogeneous core of recruits both from their parent organization and the broader community. On the other hand, splinters forming multidimensionally --absent a clear, shared vision of their organizational trajectory -- attract a more diverse membership base. Militants with strongly aligned preferences for their organizational future are less likely to experience defection, infiltration, and internal feuds, while their cohesion facilitates structural decentralization that further bolsters their resilience. Analyzing a new data set of militant fragmentation, I find strong evidence to support this intuition. In particular, schisms over strategic differences produce new groups that are especially long-lived. The ramifications of this research are significant: while existing studies attest to the influence of internal group preferences, I demonstrate that how militants form|itself a surprisingly understudied topic|strongly shapes their long-term trajectory including the odds that preferences diverge or converge. This research also refocuses the study of conflict fragmentation on individual groups (and particular schisms), showing that how conflicts become fragmented is an important consideration. Finally, and to the potential benefit of policymakers, this project sheds light on a particularly threatening subset of militant groups. However, the results do call into question the utility, and indeed the conventional wisdom, of fragmentation as a counterinsurgency strategy.


    Truth Replaced by Silence: A Field Experiment on Private Censorship in Russia

    April 21, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Christopher Fariss, Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde with the Political Science Board of Visitors' Early Career Professor in Political Science at Penn State University

    Through highly visible acts of repression, authoritarian regimes can send informative signals to private actors about what types of speech are off-limits and might draw the punitive attention of the state. These acts not only encourage private actors to censor themselves but also to censor other private actors, a behavior we refer to as regime-induced private censorship. Our paper is the first to provide systematic empirical evidence on the extent and targets of such censorship behavior. We use a field experiment conducted throughout the Russian Federation in September 2014 to investigate the private censorship behavior of private media firms. The results suggest that private actors censor the messages of other private actors when those messages include anti-regime language, calls for collective action, or both. These results are partially consistent with previous empirical findings in that they show that private actors censor content with a collective action appeal even when the message itself is non-political. Our results, however, build upon previous work by showing that anti-regime messages that do not contain a call for collective action are still censored under some authoritarian regimes. Our results highlight the importance of forms of censorship other than state censorship when discussing repression, dissent, and public opinion formation in authoritarian regimes.

    This seminar was co-sponsored by the Human Trafficking Center.


    Expanding Governance as Development: Evidence on Child Nutrition in the Philippines

    April 7, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150 (formerly Sié 150)

    Eli Berman, Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego

    Worldwide, extreme poverty is often concentrated in spaces where people and property are not safe enough to sustain effective markets, and where development assistance is dangerous – and might even induce violence. Expanding governance by coercively taking control of territory may enable markets and development programs, but costs to local residents may exceed benefits, especially if that expansion is violent. We estimate for the first time whether a large counterinsurgency program improves welfare. We exploit the staggered roll-out of the Philippine "Peace and Development Teams" counterinsurgency program, which treated 12% of the population between 2002 and 2010. Though treatment temporarily increased violence, the program progressively reduced child malnutrition: by 10% in the first year, and by 30% from year three onwards. Improved nutritional status was not due to increased health and welfare expenditures, but instead to improved governance. Treatment effects are comparable to those of conventional child health interventions, though conventional programs are likely infeasible in this setting. Rebels apparently react to treatment by shifting to neighboring municipalities, as malnutrition worsens there – with statistically significant 'treatment' effects of similar size. Thus overall program effects are close to zero. These findings invite an evidence-based discussion of governance expansion, an extensive margin of development.


    With Friends Like These: Strategic Interactions Among Ingos

    March 31, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 3110 (formerly Cherrington room 301)

    Wendy Wong, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director at the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict & Justice, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

    This paper is an offshoot of a bigger book project, where we measure differences in INGO authority using indicators of deference before four audiences: states, corporations, other INGOs, and "the public." In the book, we argue that INGOs working on global advocacy are caught in an "authority trap," which shapes their strategic choices. INGOs with authority across all of these different audiences, those we call "leading INGOs," are are more moderate in their asks and strategies because of a need to balance the needs of all of the audiences to whom they are speaking and therefore, are equally (if not more) concerned with maintaining their status as leading INGOs. INGOs that do not have authority can be as radical as they would like in their asks, but because they have no authority, their demands are bypassed.


    The Structures of International Societies: Formal Differentiation

    March 10, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

     Jack Donnelly

    Jack Donnelly, Andrew Mellon Professor and John Evans Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

    This paper is a chapter from a book ms. that develops a radically new multidimensional conception of the structures of international societies. In the three preceding chapters I argue that the Waltzian tripartite (ordering principle, functional differentiation, distribution of capabilities) conception of structure fails to accurately depict the structure of any international system. This chapter begins to develop and apply an alternative account — a multidimensional structural framework — by looking at differences of form in social positions and their relations. Because the formal arrangement of the parts of a system is often especially well expressed in visual models, I use them extensively.

    The chapter is divided into four principal parts. Sections 5.1 and 5.2 identify two types of polities ("states" and "empires") and four types of international systems ("states systems," "empires," "world states," and "heterarchies"). Sections 5.3-5.7 consider the structural dimensions of centralization, functional differentiation, stratification, and spatio-political organization. Sections 5.8 and 5.9 examine states systems and heterarchies, the two types of international systems with the most immediate contemporary relevance. Sections 5.10-5.13 then step back and reflect on the general character and some of the implications of these models.


    Tactical Diversity in Militant Violence

    February 25, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Phil Potter

    Phil Potter, Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia

    Militant groups, like all organizations, carefully consider the tactics and strategies that they employ. In this article, we assess why some militant organizations diversify into multiple tactics while others limit themselves to just one or a few. This is an important puzzle because militant organizations that employ multiple approaches to violence are more likely to stretch state defenses, achieve tactical success, and threaten state security. We theorize that militant organizations respond to external pressure by diversifying their tactics in order to ensure their survival and continued relevance, and that the primary sources of such pressure are government repression and inter-organizational competition. We find consistent support for these propositions in tests of both the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) datasets. To address the possible endogeneity of repression and diversification we then confirm these findings in a more fully identified specification that employs ethnic fractionalization as an instrument in a multi-process recursive model. Finally, we demonstrate that organizations that diversify under pressure adopt more disruptive tactics such as hijacking and suicide bombing, rather than devolving into less threatening approaches such as isolated shootings and kidnappings. The policy implication is that while countries cannot anticipate the character of future tactical innovations, they may be able to anticipate which groups will most readily adopt them.


    Rivalry and Revenge: The Politics of Violence in Civil War

    February 18, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Laia Balcells

    Laia Balcells, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University

    What explains violence against civilians in civil wars? Why do armed groups use violence in some places but not in neighboring places with similar characteristics? Why do they kill more civilians in some places than in others? More specifically, why do groups kill civilians in areas where they have full military control and their rivals have no military presence? The theoretical argument is that armed groups target civilians who have been politically mobilized by the enemy group, as they perceive threats behind the frontlines. I propose a distinction between indirect and direct violence against civilians, and I argue that the distribution of political loyalties relates differently with respect to each of these types. These differences emanate from their diverging form of production: indirect violence is perpetrated with heavy weapons is unilaterally carried out by the armed group. In contrast, direct violence is perpetrated with small weapons and is produced by armed groups in collaboration with local civilians. Direct (or face-to-face) violence occurs when enemy supporters are located in zones controlled by the armed group, whereas indirect violence occurs when enemy supporters are located in zones controlled by the adversary. When targeting enemy supporters behind enemy lines, the armed group aims to kill as many of them as possible, hence they target locations with high concentrations of enemy supporters. In territory the armed group controls, in contrast, the group must take into account the preferences of its own supporters, whose collaboration is crucial. Group supporters are likely to collaborate in the killing of their neighbors if and only if it is in their own interest to do so, which is the case when eliminating enemy supporters can decisively shift the demographic balance and help them gain or consolidate political control of the locality. Because of the latter, direct violence is likely to occur where the balance between group supporters and enemy supporters is relatively even. Thus, the main prediction in the book is that indirect violence increases with rival supporters' domination of a locality whereas direct violence increases with parity between supporters of the two rival groups.

    The hypotheses are tested with a multi-method empirical strategy. The research design consists of exploring intra-country variation (with large-n sub-national data) of violence during the Spanish civil war (1936–1939) and the Ivorian civil wars (2002–2011), and combining it with additional secondary evidence from other cases in order to provide external validity. For the case studies, I draw on archival and historiographic sources to construct a set of novel databases of victims of lethal violence, pre-war elections results, and geographical and socioeconomic variables. I also us qualitative evidence collected from oral sources and from over a hundred published sources, including general history books, as well as regional and local studies.


    The Political Economy of Territorial Ambitions

    February 4, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Jeff Colgan

    Jeff Colgan, Richard Holbrook Assistant Professor of Political Science and International & Public Affairs at the Watson Institute, Brown University

    The 20th century witnessed a remarkable change in the territorial preferences of powerful states. Empires declined, and advanced states rarely sought to annex or permanently occupy foreign territory, even after overseas military victories. One part of the story is surely the rise of colonial nationalism, but another part of the explanation, less well understood, has to do with changing interests within the advanced states. I argue that two factors help account for this change in territorial preferences: energy modernity and regime type. High energy consumption per capita, relative to 19th century standards, signifies an underlying economic transition that changes the political balance of power away from those who benefit economically from imperialism and toward groups who are more sensitive to its costs. Regime type affects the ease with which domestic groups that would benefit from aggressive imperialism can engage in state capture. When a state is both democratic and energy modern, its preferences for imperialism (long‐term occupation of foreign territories) are likely to be low. When a state is energy traditional, however, a state is likely to have strong territorial preferences even when it is democratic. This theory is tested with a broad historical analysis over the period of 1850–2000, focusing on the six major combatants of World War II: Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Each of these states started with strong imperial preferences, but there is significant variation in the timing of the subsequent change in each state's preferences.


    "Sideshows," a Chapter from the Manuscript, Show Time: The Logic and Power of Violent Display

    January 28, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Lee Ann Fujii

    Lee Ann Fuji, Associate Professor and Associate Chair at the University of Toronto Mississauga

    This book asks what explains violent display. To answer this question, I examine various displays that occurred in three different settings: the Bosnian war, Jim Crow Maryland, and the Rwandan genocide. Not all displays involved what I call "extra-lethal" violence but this chapter focuses exclusively on such displays. The chapter also references two lynching cases that I discuss in previous chapters. One is the lynching of black factory worker, Matthew Williams, that took place in December 1931 in Salisbury, Maryland and the other was the lynching of black farmhand, George Armwood, that took place in October 1933 in Princess Anne, a neighboring town.


    The Effectiveness of Sanctioning Foreign Terrorist Organizations

    January 14, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Jakana Thomas and Ben Appel

    Ben Appel and Jakana Thomas, Assistant Professors of Political Science at Michigan State University

    Both the UN and the U.S. have sought to disrupt the activity of terrorist groups by enacting economic sanctions against them. While both have devoted significant resources to their sanctions program, very little is known about how this counterterrorism strategy actually influences the activities of targeted terrorist groups. In this study, we examine systematically the impact of U.S. and UN sanctions on both the frequency and severity of terrorist attacks in a cross-national study from 1989–2014. Focusing on a broad array of economic/diplomatic policy tools that may fall under the broad umbrella of sanctions (i.e., seizing/freezing assets, embargos [arms, goods, services], travel bans), we expect that sanctions will curtail terrorist activity. We test our argument on a new data including information on both U.S. and UN sanctions. Using difference-in-differences estimation to account for concerns related to selection effects, we find consistent support for our argument, UN and U.S sanctions reduce both the frequency and severity of terrorist attacks.

  • 2015

    Moral Spaces and Sexual Transgression: The "Event," the "Ordinary" and "Logics" of Sexual Violence in Northern Uganda

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015
    9:30 a.m. Ben Cherrington Hall 141

    Holly Porter, Lead Researdher for Northern Uganda at the Justice and Security Research Programme, London School of Economics

    When it comes to rape in the context of war, evocative language describing rape as a "weapon of war" and the female body as a battlefield is now commonplace. Yet scholars also note the similarities with violence before, during and after conflict, with a key issue being the relationship between rape in war and "normal" male-female relationships -- in other words, between "the event" and "the ordinary." This paper explores these relationships by considering sexual violence in Acholi, northern Uganda. Building on research focusing on forced sex from over seven years of fieldwork, the paper foregrounds the ways sexual violence variously works to continue, exaggerate and/or rupture ³normal² social and gender orderings of Acholi society. However, examining rape and its aftermath solely through the prism of "the event" and "the ordinary" leaves the picture blurry: people carve out moral spaces of agency to assert moral probity, as modes of governance, and as ways of making sense of the choices and actions of themselves and others. Deliberate distinction of space works to separate events from essence and actions from morality. In Acholi, these moral spaces are delineated by temporalities (olden times, the time of war, these days, and a continuous frozen ideal of Acholi life), in turn associated with specific physical localities (the village, the camp, the bush, town, home). By mapping ideas of what constitutes sex and sexual transgression onto these moral spaces, this paper sheds light on the relationship between event and ordinary, rape and war.


    Better the Devil You Know: Why Incumbents Delegate Violence to Ethnic Militias

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Luke Abbs, Visiting Scholar

    The traditional "Weberian" conception of statehood suggests that elites should rely on official state agents to suppress potential challengers (Ahram 2011), as irregular militia groups dilute the state's monopoly over force. For pro-government militias are organized armed actors that support the government, but operate outside of conventional security structures (Carey et al, 2013). In principle, the usage of militia should be particularly unnecessary for elites that maintain executive power, as they have exclusive control over the conventional state forces. Maintaining a monopoly of force depends on concentrating power at the center, and therefore we should not expect to see elites delegate state violence to irregular militia groups. However, between 1981 and 2007, forty-two states have relied on the support of ethnic militias, which are a unique form of pro-government militia that are exclusively recruited along ethnic lines. This is puzzling, since ethnic leaders with access to conventional forces still delegate security roles to militia groups that operate outside of their direct control. This article builds on this puzzle, focusing on the research question: why do ruling ethnic elites delegate state violence to ethnic militias?  


    Non-State Territorial Armed Groups and State Capacity

    October 22, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Ana Arjona, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science

    Different kinds of non-state armed groups are behind the most violent conflicts of today: the FARC in Colombia, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and drug traffickers in Mexico. While we often study these groups separately, policy recommendations to counter their expansion often point to the same solution: improving state capacity. Yet, what state capacity entails, and which specific components are more crucial, is seldom theorized. This ambiguity has led to policy recommendations that are too broad and ambitious, as they call for interventions that bring security, public goods provision, institutions, and development. In this paper I propose the concept of "non-state territorial armed groups", and develop a theoretical framework to assess the relative importance of different components of state capacity in preventing these groups from ruling civilian populations. I argue that improving local justice institutions should be a priority—more so than providing public goods and implementing projects for local development, which seems the dominant policy. Justice institutions are an essential building block of social order, and they also provide the cement for civilian resistance to armed group rule. I test the main implications of the argument with original data on conflict zones throughout Colombia, where different kinds of non-state armed groups have operated for decades.


    Collusion at the Grassroots in Kenya's 2007–08 Post-Election Violence

    September 17, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Amy Grubb

    Amy Grubb, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences in the Department of Security Studies & International Affairs, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    Human security challenges such as Kenya’s post-election violence in 2007-08 necessitate research on geographical levels below the state and the particular local actors and processes crucial in providing or threatening that security.  The factors most indicated as causes of Kenya’s violence, namely neopatrimonialism, elite fragmentation, and ethnicity, can be manifested in actor behaviors differently across communities.  This study examines two districts in the Rift Valley where I find distinct dynamics in relationships between perpetrators and grassroots state officials.  The paper shows that where state officials collude with perpetrators, the effect can be deleterious on the state goal of reducing a threat.  Instead, this behavior can lead to a cycle of continuous violence.   Consequently, the containment of conflict, and thereby the provision of human security, depends on impartial state officials at the grassroots level able and willing to offer protection to targeted groups.  



    Karen Adams

    Karen Ruth Adams, Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Montana


    A New Approach to Security Studies: The Threat, Vulnerability and Assistance Framework

    May 28, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    In this paper, I offer a new approach to organize, apply, and evaluate the concepts and arguments of security studies. I call it the Threat, Vulnerability, and Assistance Framework (TVAF). Although elements of the framework can be discerned throughout the scholarly literature on security, its logic has never been made explicit. The paper has four parts. In Part I, I provide a brief overview of the history and current structure of security studies, which Alan Collins has aptly summarized as “pick ‘n mix.”2 In Part II, I explain that if security studies is going to become a normal science capable of informing effective action by policy makers and practitioners, some kind of conceptual framework is needed. In Part III, I deduce the TVAF from the ordinary language definitions of security and insecurity, and from the social context in which actors and units operate. The framework depicts the fundamental claim of security studies, which is that the level of security a particular actor or unit experiences is a result of three factors: the existence of threats to actors and units of its type, the vulnerabilities of the actor or unit in question, and the availability of external assistance. In Part IV, I demonstrate that the TVAF can be applied to a variety of actors and units (including people, states, and ecosystems), and I argue that it is best applied to the full array threats, vulnerabilities, and forms of assistance.


    More Than Just Victims: Civilian Resistance During Internal Armed Conflict in Peru

    May 7, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Steve Zech

    Steve Zech, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

    What explains civilian resistance to insurgent violence? Why do some communities resort to violence while others facing similar situations do not? I argue that how actors address the tension between their community’s ideas about violence and their own use of violence is key to understanding violent action. Community narratives interpret events and define inter-group relations: discourse that legitimizes violence makes violence more likely. The form this resistance takes — whether large-scale mobilization or disorganized individual acts — depends on a community’s institutional capacity to generate collective action. I test my argument against realist and rationalist arguments that emphasize power, threat, and incentive structures.

    Research on internal armed conflict focuses on violence perpetrated by insurgent groups and state security forces, often ignoring other armed civilian actors. But, militias, paramilitary groups, and civilian self-defense forces represent important third parties in most armed conflicts. In the 1980s and 1990s, Peruvian civilian self-defense forces played a crucial role in defeating the insurgent threat challenging the state. My dissertation explains divergent outcomes in civilian resistance during Peru’s internal armed conflict. To examine the origins and evolution of civilian self-defense forces I use a mixed-methods approach that combines a quantitative analysis of regional civilian violence with community case studies. I use in-depth case studies to explain the timing of civilian resistance as well as the underlying social processes behind decisions to take violent action. I evaluate my argument using historical cases from Peru’s internal armed conflict in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as contemporary cases in the Ayacucho and Junín regions of Peru. I draw from hundreds of testimonies in the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission archives, as well as nearly two hundred personal interviews with self-defense force members, community leaders, military officials, and civilians.


    Dynamic Networks of Conflictual Events: The Mexican Criminal Conflict

    April 23, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Cassy Dorff

    Cassy Dorff, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

    I present an aggregated analysis on the evolution of armed conflict in Mexico. The criminal war in Mexico is extremely complex: Drug Trafficking Organizations, citizens, government agents, amongst others, are all relevant actors within the dynamic evolution of the conflict. Existing research, however, typically ignores the interdependencies inherent to these networks. Using a new collection of machine-coded event data, I generate conflict networks for each year from 2004 to 2010. In doing so, I make three major contributions. First, I offer insights into the potential promise and pitfalls of using machine-coded data for country-level analysis. Next, after cleaning and improving upon the original data, I generate dynamic yearly networks, which include a wide variety of violent-related actors. Importantly, I demonstrate how these networks capture the independent nature of the Mexican conflict and present new insights, such as how government coordination changes in response to cartel violence over time. Finally, I use a latent space approach to uncover previously unobservable violence between government actors, criminal groups, and civilians. This research design serves as a platform for future research to investigate the effects of other major events — such as mass protests — on the evolution of armed conflict.


    Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence on Adult Noncognitive Investments in Liberia

    April 9, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Chris Blattman

    Chris Blattman, Associate Professor of Political Science and International & Public Affairs at Columbia University

    We show that noncognitive skills and identity are malleable in adulthood, and investments can reduce costly antisocial behaviors. We recruited 999 Liberian men engaged in crime, violence, and drug trafficking. We randomized half to eight weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy to foster self control skills (anger management, self-discipline) and a noncriminal self-image and values. We also randomized a $200 grant. Cash led to short-lived income gains. Therapy increased self control and noncriminal values, and led to large, sustained falls in crime and violence. Therapy’s impacts were greatest when followed by cash, as the short-lived boost to income reinforced behavioral changes. 


    Bombing to Lose? Airpower, Civilian Casualties and the Dynamics of Violence in Counterinsurgency Wars

    April 2, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Ben M. Cherrington Hall 301

    Jason Lyall

    Jason Lyall, Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University

    Are airstrikes an effective tool against insurgent organizations? Despite the question’s historical and contemporary relevance, we have few dedicated studies, and even less consensus, about airpower’s effectiveness in counterinsurgency wars. To answer this question, I draw on declassified United States Air Force records of nearly 23,000 airstrikes and non-lethal shows of force in Afghanistan (2006-11), satellite imagery, and a new SQL-enabled form of dynamic matching to estimate the causal effects of airstrikes on insurgent attacks over variable temporal and spatial windows. Evidence consistently indicates that airstrikes markedly increase insurgent attacks relative to non-bombed locations for at least 90 days after a strike. Civilian casualties play little role in explaining post-strike insurgent responses, however. Instead, these attacks appear driven by reputational concerns, as insurgent organizations step up their violence after air operations to maintain their reputations for resolve in the eyes of local populations.


    Participation in Violent Politics During Peru's Internal Armed Conflict: Ayacucho and Puno in Comparative Historical Perspective

    March 26, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Devin Finn

    Devin Finn, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

    In this paper, I examine the nature of political participation in Peru prior to and during its internal armed conflict. Participation is defined in terms of its range of articulation — the extent to which individuals and groups are organized, cohesive, and expressive. I argue that it is not necessarily how much people participate in politics — but how they do — that helps explain the nature of social and political relations between rebels and civilians. Attention to historical forms of mobilization in a given context — and their continuity and disjuncture with modes of participation observed during the war — has ontological implications for how we study violence and politics; these overlapping practices are critical to our understanding of participatory processes in democratic states. I suggest we adopt an ontology of violence and politics that facilitates studying citizens’ participation in violent acts as integrated or disjointed components of political and social practices. I argue that strongly articulated participation of peasants and civil society in one region of southern Peru ultimately prevented Sendero rebels from co-opting social struggles and gaining support. In Ayacucho, weak articulation of peasant interests and forms of political mobilization in the decades leading up to the outbreak of Sendero Luminoso’s violent guerra popular resulted in the rebels’ ability to penetrate social networks and wage a political struggle for minds and blood. Intensified violence against civilians occurred there in the mid-to-late 1980s, when peasant communities began turning against rebels’ oppressive rule. 


    Writing in a Time of War: Journalism, Oversight and Colombia's Intelligence Community

    March 5, 2015
    12:00 p.m. BMC 301

    Zakia Shiraz

    Zakia Shiraz, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Warwick

    Arguably Colombia’s journalists have provided the main “intelligence oversight system” during a civil conflict has persisted for almost seven decades. Journalists in particular have suffered at the hands of all armed actors: narcotraffickers, insurgents, paramilitaries and the Colombian state. Despite the precarious nature of reporting, throughout the conflict journalists have risked their lives and persisted with their efforts to report human rights abuses. In recent years, the sectors of the Colombian press have extended their reporting of the murky activities of the Colombian intelligence services. In an era of whistleblowing and Wikileaks this is an important and neglected area of scholarship on the Colombian intelligence services. This paper seeks to explore the nature and texture of the relationship between the Colombian press and the country’s intelligence services through an analysis of recent intelligence scandals and abuse of power in which the press have questioned the very existence of some of the country’s intelligence bodies.


    Choosing Ungoverned Space: Pakistan's Frontier Crimes Regulation

    February 5, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Jacob Shapiro

    Jacob N. Shapiro, Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and Co-Director of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project

    Why do substantial swathes of territory within the boundaries of administratively competent sovereign states remain ungoverned for long periods of time? We explore this question in the context of a unique set of legal institutions in Pakistan that clearly demarcate spaces that are to be left ungoverned. During colonial rule, the British divided Pakistan into two distinct regions. The first was the Raj, where the British built modern political and bureaucratic institutions. In the second region, the British put a small number of political agents in charge of tribal areas and codified pre-colonial institutions in the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). Legal decisions were left to customary law carried out by local tribal councils, or jirgas. Though the area under FCR has steadily decreased, FCR is still in place in the tribal areas of Pakistan today. Pakistan therefore offers a prime case in why governments leave certain territory ungoverned. Using primary legal documents we create a dataset of when and where FCR applied in Pakistan between 1901 and 2012 at the sub-district level. We then exploit the differential impact of the Green Revolution on potential land revenue at the sub-district level to empirically model the choice to leave territory ungoverned. We find that sub districts that we would see a disproportionate increase in potential land revenue as a result of the Green Revolution are disproportionately more likely to have FCR removed following the advent of the Green Revolution.


    Political/Science/Fiction and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

    January 22, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Charli Carpenter, Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

    A burgeoning literature in IR asserts there is a relationship between pop cultural artifacts and global policy processes, but this relationship is rarely explored empirically. This paper provides an evidence-based exploration of the relationship between science fiction narratives and global public policy in an important emerging political arena: norm-building efforts around the prohibition of fully autonomous weapons. Drawing on content analysis of media and campaign frames, new experimental survey data, interviews with advocacy elites, and participant-observation at campaign events, the paper explores causal and constitutive hypotheses about the impact of science fiction on 'real-world' politics.


    Accountability and Responsiveness in Rebel Regimes

    January 15, 2015
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Michael Rubin, Ph.D. Candidate at the Columbia University Political Science Department

    Why do rebels use civilian-targeted violence to establish control over territory in some communities while in others rebels provide governance and public goods? In what forms of collective action do civilians engage to shape rebel behavior, and under what conditions are they effective? Recent events in peripheral regions of weak states from Iraq and Syria to Ukraine have made us painfully aware of the potential negative consequences for civilians when rebel organizations control territory. However, it is also clear that rebels elsewhere establish local governance otherwise crucially under-provided by a weak state: the LTTE in Tamil-majority Sri Lanka and the EPLF in pre-independence Eritrea provided security, justice, health and education services to constituent civilians. These counterexamples debunk the myth that territory outside state control is necessarily “ungoverned space.” Moreover, there appears to be tremendous variation in rebel governance and violence practices even across localities within a particular rebel group's sphere of influence during conflict.

    Despite a welcome growth in the social scientific study of rebel governance, the literature leaves unexplained the role for civilian political action to constrain rebel rulers. In this chapter of the dissertation project, I offer an accountability theory of rebel group behavior in the context of state weakness or civil war. Civilian coordination capacity, or local communities’ ability to achieve collective action to serve common interests despite competing preferences, is crucial to explaining rebel behavior. Communities that enjoy high coordination capacity are those in which there exist strong institutions and norms for political consensus-building and conflict management across distributional conflict cleavages. These communities will be more successful at disciplining rebels: they will experience less predatory violence and receive higher levels of goods provision. In these communities, groups may coordinate on credible incentive schemes; pledging material support for rebels conditional on good governance and resistance conditional on predation. Through coordinating their demands and their responses to rebel actions, civilians increase their power to affect rebels’ decision-making process.

  • 2014

    December 4, 2014

    12:00 p.m. Room 301

    Abdullah Al-Arian, Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar


    No News is Good News? Mark and Recapture for Event Data When Reporting Probabilities Are Less Than One

    September 18, 2014
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Idean Salehyan, Department of Political Science at the University of North Texas

    Salehyan and his co-author Cullen S. Hendrix discuss a common, but often ignored, problem in event data: underreporting bias. When collecting data, it is often not the case that source materials capture all events of interest, leading to an undercount of the true number of events. To address this issue, they propose a common method first used to estimate the size of animal populations when a complete census is not feasible: mark and recapture. By taking multiple sources into consideration, one can estimate the rate of missing data across sources and come up with an estimate of the true number of events. To demonstrate the utility of the approach, they compare Associated Press and Agence France Press reports on conflict events, as contained in the Social Conflict in Africa Database. They show that these sources capture approximately 76% of all events in Africa, but that the non-detection rate declines dramatically when considering more significant events. They also show through regression analysis that deadly events, events of a larger magnitude, and events with government repression, among others, are significant predictors of overlapping reporting. Ultimately, the approach can be used to correct for undercounting in event data and to assess the quality of sources used.


    Justice During Armed Conflict from 1949 through 2011: A New Dataset

    May 13, 2014
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Helga Malmin Binningsbø, Senior Researcher at PRIO

    Work in the field of transitional justice focuses on institutions implemented following political transitions or armed conflict. This research has often assumed that transitional justice is put in place once armed conflict has ended, yet often transitional justice is implemented while conflict is ongoing without any political transition or shift in power taking place. Research on during-conflict justice (DCJ) processes has been hindered by a lack of data. To address this limitation the authors have created a new global, cross-national dataset on the use of DCJ. In this paper they introduce the dataset which includes the use of trials, truth commissions, reparations, amnesties, purges, and exiles implemented during 156 internal armed conflicts from 1946 through 2011. In addition to determining the presence or absence of DCJ in each conflict year they have collected descriptive variables for each DCJ including information on the target of the process, its scope and timing. Following a presentation of the data, their paper draws attention to the conditions under which DCJ is used and the type of process most likely to be put in place. This dataset is of use to scholars working directly on the issue of transitional justice, as well as those interested in the tactics governments use during armed conflict.


    The Dynamics of Cyber Conflict Between Rival Antagonists

    April 10, 2014
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Brandon Valeriano

    In 2011, the United States government declared a cyber attack similar to an act of war, punishable with conventional military means. Cyber engagements directed by one state against another are now considered part of the normal relations range of combat and conflict. Cyber is thought to be just another piece in the arsenal. This paper, co-authored with Ryan C. Maness, examines these processes and determines which rival states have been using cyber tactics and where these actions are directed. The authors also examine the level and seriousness of cyber interactions to discern the level of impact of the incident or dispute.


    Improving Cooperation and Avoiding Breakdown in Complex Operations

    February 12, 2014
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Damon Coletta and John Riley

    John Riley (DFPS/DVP, Kutztown University) and Damon Coletta (DFPS) presented a noontime seminar on "Improving Cooperation and Avoiding Breakdown in Complex Operations," at the Sie Center. The session was hosted by Chaired Professor Deborah Avant, director of the Sie Center and project lead for research on "Networks, Governance and Global Security." Discussion focused around recommendations appearing in a May 2013 Special Issue of a journal edited at University of Cambridge (UK), Small Wars & Insurgencies, in which Dr. Coletta had contributed an article. Drs. Riley and Coletta, along with former DFPS faculty member Lt. Pete Tolles (USN), led debate on state-centric versus networked-based approaches for improving performance of various entities within the international community in crisis situations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. The Sie Center audience of advanced graduate students split along career lines — nongovernmental organization (NGO) versus military — with military officers holding out greater optimism that state-centric approaches could be sufficiently adaptable to address complex crisis management operations.


    Jus Ad Vim & Cyberattacks: Governing the Use of Force in Cyberspace

    January 22, 2014
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Heather M. Roff Perkins

    The debate on cyber warfare is characterized by two broad discussions: whether cyber attacks are governable through traditional just war principles, and if they are, to what extent the existing principles can adequately apply. This paper argues that the debate is misguided because cyber attacks occupy an area of coercive activity that sometimes amounts to force, but not necessarily "war" proper. I thus claim the just war tradition is not always the most appropriate framework for understanding how to govern this new type of weapon. Proffering a more nuanced view of cyber coercion, I contend we should classify cyber attacks into three discrete categories: cyber attacks with nonkinetic effects, cyber attacks with indirect kinetic effects, and cyber attacks that accompany or are precursors to kinetic war. When attacks are adjuncts or precursors to traditional kinetic war, they can be coopted into the traditional just war theory. However, the first two categories represent "uses of force," but are not "armed attacks" or "uses of armed force." They are thus better evaluated by jus ad vim — or force-short-of-war — framework that is more attuned to the ethical concerns of limited force.

  • 2013

    Explaining Recidivism of Ex-Combatants in Colombia

    November 12, 2013
    12:00 p.m. Sié 150

    Oliver Kaplan

    What determines the recidivism of ex-combatants from armed conflicts? In post-conflict settings around the world there has been growing interest in reintegration programs to prevent ex-combatants from returning to illegal activities or to armed groups, yet little is known about who decides to "go bad." In this paper, Oliver Kaplan and co-author Enzo Nussio, Department of Political Science, Universidad de Los Andes, draw on theories from criminology and conflict studies to develop hypotheses about which kinds of individuals are most likely to return to illegal activities and when. They evaluate various individual-level, community-level, and broader security environment predictors of recidivism by combining data from a representative survey of ex-combatants of various armed groups from Colombia with police records that indicate which among the respondents returned to belligerent or illegal activities. By analyzing data on the observed behaviors of ex-combatants, the authors avoid some of the validity pitfalls of existing studies of reintegration that only rely on perceptions about why ex-combatants might go astray. The results suggest which individual and community-level factors are most highly correlated with various kinds of recidivism and hold implications for programs and policies to successfully reintegrate ex-combatants into society. Interviews with ex-combatants provide additional evidence about their motivations for recidivism.


    Improvised Communities: Transnational Practice and National Performances Along the Migration Route Through Mexico

    September 30, 2013

    Noelle Brigden

    To travel undetected by state authorities and criminal predators, Central Americans pass as Mexican during their journey to the United States. This "passing" underscores the ambiguities of social roles, such as nationality. Over time, these performances partially reconstruct imagined communities, blurring the boundaries between foreigners and citizens. However, International Relations scholarship tends to overlook how uncoordinated everyday practice complicates state control of territory in a globalized world. By tracing the co-constitutive relationship between migration policing, national performances and transnational routes, this paper reveals the makeshift nature of identity. In so doing, it argues for the continued inclusion of ethnography as a method for exploring the dynamic relationship between territory, state and nation.


    Rethinking Collective Action: The Case of Microfinance in Brazil and Mexico

    May 17, 2013

    Tricia Olsen

    Microfinance — the provision of small loans to low-income individuals — has gained substantial attention from both domestic and international actors because of its perceived capacity to alleviate poverty and inequality. Though the basic premise of microfinance is widely accepted, there is no consensus on microfinance regulation, which has important implications for not only who has access to microfinance services but also for the sustainability of microfinance institutions. In previous research, Professor Olsen shows that a focus on power and political contestation around microfinance points to the importance of domestic interests and organized groups in explaining microfinance regulatory outcomes. This study builds on that work and provides important steps in furthering our understanding about the variation in microfinance regulation. In particular, it asks: Why do domestic actors organize to shape regulation in some countries but not in others? Once organized, what determines their effectiveness? Contributing to the collective action literature, this study asserts that the formation of microfinance associations is a function of actors' ability to access the state and is not determined by its size or homogeneity, as traditional explanations would suggest. Parsing out collective action from what she terms "collective influence," this research demonstrates that, contingent upon organizing, microfinance associations' strength emerges from the innovative tactics they employ.


    Peacebuilders: An Ethnography of International Intervention

    April 26, 2013

    Séverine Autesserre

    Séverine Autesserre presented her work-in-progress "Peacebuilders: An Ethnography of International Intervention" on April 26. Why do international peace interventions so often fail to reach their full potential? Based on several years of ethnographic inquiry in conflict zones around the world, she demonstrated that everyday elements—such as the expatriates' social habits, standard security procedures, and habitual approaches to collecting information on violence – strongly impact the effectiveness of intervention efforts.


    Negotiating with Rebel Governments: The Effect of Service Provision on Conflict Negotiations

    February 4, 2013

    Lindsay Heger

    In her paper and presentation, Dr. Lindsay Heger, Research Associate at the One Earth Future Foundation, explored the question: When rebels provide social services, do they have more leverage negotiating terms of a peace deal? The literature suggests that service-providing groups may, on average, have a wider base of support and a more centralized organizational structure. Heger and co-author Danielle Jung argue that these features deter potential spoilers from breaking away from the organization during negotiation processes. This, in turn, makes governments more willing to engage in negotiations since the threat from spoilers is smaller. Thus, service providing rebels are more likely to engage in stable negotiation processes compared to non-providers. This paper analyzes these propositions by gathering service provision data on nearly 400 terrorist and groups and their involvement in and behavior during peace talks. It also serves as an introduction to a larger project about the implications of rebel service provision on conflict outcomes.

  • 2012

    The Bureaucratic Politics of Outsourcing Security: The Privatization of Diplomatic Protection in the U.S. and the U.K.

    October 22, 2012

    Eugenio Cusumano

    Eugenio Cusumano, Fulbright-Schuman Scholar at the Korbel School of International Studies, will present in the second installment of the Sié Research Seminar Series. His research focuses on the global private military and security industry. In his paper, co-authored with Christopher Kinsey, he argues that states' increasing resort to private military and security companies (PMSCs) does not merely distort the balance of power between different branches of government, strengthening the executive vis-à-vis the legislative. It also redistributes authority and resources within the executive branch, changing the relationship between civilian foreign policy bureaucracies and military organizations. Although the use of PMSCs provides foreign policy bureaucracies with new avenues to pursue their parochial interests, a scholarly analysis of the bureaucratic politics of outsourcing is still missing. His paper probes the hypothesis that the outsourcing of diplomatic security in the US and the UK has been affected by bureaucratic competition and inter-agency rivalries, responding to foreign policy bureaucracies and development agencies' attempt to maximize their institutional autonomy vis-à-vis military organizations.


    Community Counts: The Social Reintegration of Ex-Combatants in Colombia

    September 10, 2012

    Oliver Kaplan

    Oliver Kaplan, Lecturer at the Korbel School, will present in the first installment of the Sié Center's monthly Research Seminar Series. His research, conducted with with Enzo Nussio, analyzes the determinants of the social reintegration of ex-combatants from armed conflicts. Social and political participation is seen as a critical factor for preventing civil war recurrence. Participation can help ex-combatants feel socially fulfilled and acceptance by their communities can reduce their needs to maintain social connections to their former armed group networks and bosses. Kaplan and Nussio hypothesize that the strength of community organization and social relations among residents are associated with increased participation of ex-combatants in their communities. They test various individual, community and environmental factors using data from a survey of randomly sampled ex-combatants from Colombia, a survey of ordinary civilians, and observational datasets. The results suggest which ex-combatants are most likely to socially reintegrate and where. The results also provide insight on how ex-combatants' levels of participation compare with that of ordinary civilians. Kaplan and Nussio also examine how the social participation of ex-combatants and related social reintegration programs in Colombia may contribute to meeting broader definitions of successful reintegration.

    When it comes to rape in the context of war, evocative language describing rape as a "weapon of war" and the female body as a battlefield is now commonplace. Yet scholars also note the similarities with violence before, during and after conflict, with a key issue being the relationship between rape in war and "normal" male-female relationships — in other words, between the event and the ordinary.

    This paper explores these relationships by considering sexual violence in Acholi, northern Uganda. Building on research focusing on forced sex from over seven years of fieldwork, the paper foregrounds the ways sexual violence variously works to continue, exaggerate and/or rupture normal social and gender orderings of Acholi society.

    However, examining rape and its aftermath solely through the prism of the event and the ordinary leaves the picture blurry: people carve out moral spaces of agency to assert moral probity, as modes of governance, and as ways of making sense of the choices and actions of themselves and others. Deliberate distinction of space works to separate events from essence and actions from morality.

    In Acholi, these moral spaces are delineated by temporalities (olden times, the time of war, these days, and a continuous frozen ideal of Acholi life), in turn associated with specific physical localities (the village, the camp, the bush, town, home). By mapping ideas of what constitutes sex and sexual transgression onto these moral spaces, this paper sheds light on the relationship between event and ordinary, rape and war.

Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative's Summer Institute

The Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative's annual Summer Institute brings women-identified activists working on the frontlines to promote peace, justice, and human rights around the world to Colorado to receive advanced training in waging successful nonviolent movements for social change. The Institute is designed to strengthen their role as leaders in movements by offering women activists evidence-based training, networking opportunities, and a space to exchange stories about their particular struggles and successes. The IGLI Summer Institute receives support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Science Foundation, the Arca Foundation, the Compton Foundation, the Jewish Women's Fund of Colorado, the Social Sciences Foundation of the University of Denver, and local philanthropists.

The Institute is one component of the larger Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative (IGLI) (inline link to: 2.2 IGLI) that initiates research, education, and programming aimed at elevating and amplifying the work that women and marginalized communities do to lead movements for social change around the world.

IGLI is directed by Professor Marie Berry, and was co-founded with Erica Chenoweth (now at Harvard’s Kennedy School).

IGLI Summer Institute Video

  • 2019

    The 2019 IGLI Summer Institute took place from August 24–30, 2019, in both Colorado and Washington D.C. This year's institute was co-partnered with the United States Insitute of Peace (USIP).

    Learn More

  • 2018

    The 2018 IGLI Summer Institute took place from August 26–29, 2018 at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. The 2018 Summer Institute convened 14 women activists from 13 countries who are leading movements to promote peace, security, justice, and human rights. Over the course of the three-day workshop, these activists had opportunities to interact, to share stories about their particular struggles and successes, and to receive advanced training from some of the world's leading experts on waging effective nonviolent civil resistance campaigns.

    The 2018 IGLI Summer Institute was the second in an annual tradition of bringing frontline, women-identified activists to the University of Denver to receive education, training, and networking opportunities designed to strengthen their role as leaders in movements for progressive social change. The Institute featured facilitated exercises, participant-led discussions, and lectures on topics such as developing effective movement strategies, inclusive approaches to sustained coalition-building and harnessing technology for social change. It also provided opportunities for the participants to communicate the types of research that would be most useful for their campaigns.

    Read the 2018 Annual Report

    What Participants Said About 2018 IGLI Summer Institute

    "Sié Center's 'IGLI' is the groundbreaking world-class training of the life is forever changed, my spirit is made stronger and even more determined now with the tools and selflessness. Thank you."

    "It's so powerful to hear women's stories of courage, transformation, mobilizing and effecting change whether from a personal level to the societal/institutional level. It is also very good to hear of other struggles and to gain perspective on the challenges so many [women], especially in very authoritative and repressive societies."

    "I really liked the takeaway message about the meaning of organizing and building leadership. It was helpful to think how leadership is cultivated, developing [different] types of leaders and thinking about how to build an organization structure and systems as an effective campaign."

    2018 IGLI Summer Institute Public Events

    Denver Dialogues Keynote with Traci Blackmon

    Watch on YouTube

    The Power of Strategic Storytelling with Just Vision's Suhad Babaa

    Watch on YouTube

  • 2017

    The inaugural IGLI Summer Institute in 2017 brought together 15 activists from 14 countries — including India, Cameroon, Indonesia, Colombia, and the U.S. — to exchange and learn from each other and eight faculty members, including some of the world's foremost experts on civil resistance. Keynotes talks from Carmen Perez, Co-Chair of the Women's March on Washington, Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented activist and organizer, and Suhad Babaa, Executive Director of Just Vision, expanded the community built during the Institute even further. At the end of the Institute, participants were invited to attend a restorative retreat in the Rocky Mountains.

    What Participants Said About 2017 IGLI Summer Institute

    "Thank you so much for the opportunity to be vulnerable, to be human and allowed to be cared for. Your expertise is invaluable. Your work will have lasting and replicating effects."
    –Immigrant rights activist from the U.S.

    "This is a great experience that every woman leader should have access to."
    –Gender, youth and migrant rights activist from Kenya

    "The Summer Institute is a program that feeds the needs of activists. It increased our theoretical and practical knowledge on civil resistance and also allowed us to learn the experiences and lessons of other participants."
    –Gender and peacebuilding activist from Colombia

Practitioner Talks

The Sié Center brings prominent practitioners from governments, civil society groups, activist organizations and beyond to the Korbel School for a set time — whether several days, weeks, or a quarter — to share practical insight and expertise with students and faculty. Depending on the length of their stay, practitioners may teach a class, guest lecture, share field knowledge or policy conundrums, and give career advice to students. They also give a public talk to share their experiences.

  • 2019

    The Creative Use of Media in Peace and War with Honey Al Sayed

    September 23, 2019
    12:00 p.m. Sié 5025, Maglione Hall

    This was the IGLI Practitioner-in-Residence talk featuring Honey Al Sayed, Founder and CEO of Media & Arts for Peace (MAP).

    Eight years ago, Honey Al Sayed had the opportunity to say, "Good morning, Syria!" to millions of listeners across Syria during her 3-hour live radio show. She broke new ground in Syria's media scene with her #1 rated morning show, but was forced to leave her homeland in 2012 when the conflict escalated. After arriving in the U.S., Honey had to rebuild her life from scratch. She successfully co-founded an online radio station, SouriaLi, reaching 500,000 Syrians daily.

    Today, Honey is the Founder and CEO of Media & Arts for Peace, a creative consulting and talent agency representing media and arts professionals from conflict zones and diasporas. She shares her experiences with the next generation through courses at Georgetown University, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, U.S. Institute of Peace, and this quarter at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies as an inaugural practitioner-in-residence with the Sié Center's Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative (IGLI).

    A refugee twice in her lifetime, join us September 23rd to hear Honey speak about her work and life in the media, arts, peace, and conflict.

  • 2018

    Financing Peace: An Explainer with Riva Kantowitz

    November 5, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié 1020, "The Forum"

    This was a Practitioner-in-Residence talk featuring Riva Kantowitz, who is a Visiting Scholar at NYU's Center for International Cooperation.

    Innovative finance tools are gaining traction in addressing humanitarian and conflict-related issues, yet a systematic, rigorous, and well-tested framework and examination of key assumptions are needed to apply them effectively. Riva Kantowitz, Visiting Scholar at New York University and former Team Lead for Conflict Response at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, will explore innovative finance from a peacebuilding perspective by describing important related conversations in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, and efforts and tools in finance that could be utilized for sustaining peace. Riva will also look at a few "game changers" that connect the tools of innovative finance with peacebuilding.


    Hungry Planet, Sustainable Future?

    October 26, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié 1020, "The Forum"

    This was a panel featuring our practitioner-in-Residence, Kimberly Pfeifer, Head of Research at Oxfam America.

    As the global population surges toward 9 billion, how can we feed the future in sustainable, just ways? Alongside Kimberly Pfeifer is Hussein Amery, Professor at the Colorado School of Mines, and Brian O'Neill, Professor at the Korbel School of International Studies and the Director of Research for the Korbel's Pardee Center for International Futures.

  • 2017

    Effective Development in National Security Policy-Making

    Wednesday, November 1, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex, "The Forum"


    A Practitioner-in-Residence Talk with Barbara Smith

    There is a growing recognition in policy making circles that sustainable, resilient short, medium and long term development programming can play a critical role in mitigating fragility, preserving gains and preventing further erosion of confidence in conflict-prone countries. However, despite this recognition and some notable efforts made to elevate development within the previous administration, our development institutions still lack adequate and appropriate resources and expertise needed to help national leaders address the world's most pressing national security challenges.

    Drawing on her own experience working in Washington and abroad - from country contexts to thematic areas - Barbara Smith will discuss what steps have been taken and what more might be done to further integrate development into the policy making process.


    Civilian Peace Operations: Reflections on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

    Tuesday, September 19, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Josef Korbel School's Maglione Hall, 5th Floor

    A Practitioner-in-Residence Talk with Ambassador Fred Tanner

    How effective are civilian peace operations by international organizations in civil wars? International organizations such as the United Nations and regional bodies such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have deployed civilian peace operations in zones of conflict to monitor compliance with peace agreements and to backstop efforts to build a lasting peace. Sié Center Practitioner-in-Residence Ambassador Fred Tanner of Switzerland will present his reflections on the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. Among the issues he will address are the safety of monitors, their role in dialogue facilitation, and the use of new technologies such as drones. When can civilian peace missions contribute to lasting peace in the wake of civil wars? What is the prognosis for the Ukraine and for the OSCE's efforts to prevent the conflict from erupting anew and for its long-term resolution in a volatile region.


    How to Design and Facilitate Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships

    Thursday, September 14, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Josef Korbel School First Floor Forum, Room 1020


    A Practitioner-in-Residence Talk with Herman Brouwer

    In recent years, multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) have become popular for tackling the complex challenges of sustainable development. This lecture provides a practical framework for the design and facilitation of these collaborative processes that work across the boundaries of business, government, civil society and science. Based on experience of working as a facilitator with MSPs in many countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, as well as global MSPs, Herman Brouwer of Wageningen University, The Netherlands, will speak about success- and failure factors of MSPs. The lecture also covers how to deal with power differences and conflicts between stakeholders, and which skills, competencies and methodologies are required to design and facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration. The current question is: in which situations can an MSP be an effective, efficient and legitimate strategy? MSPs are currently seen as an important way to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and contribute to global governance — therefore expectations are high. But the jury is still out on whether MSPs can live up to these expectations. Herman Brouwer, the lead author of The MSP Guide, will also share examples from the fields of agriculture and natural resource management.

    Watch on YouTube

  • 2016

    Suits and Punks: How Corporations, Investors, Activists and Governments Clash but Change the World

    Thursday, November 10, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Josef Korbel School First Floor Forum, Room 1020

    Bennett Freeman

    A Practitioner-in-Residence Talk with Bennett Freeman

    Over the last 15 years of a three decade-plus career, Bennett Freeman has worked at the intersection of governments, international institutions, multinational companies, investors and NGOs to improve corporate conduct and to promote human rights and sustainable development.Bennett Freeman is an innovative leader in business and human rights, natural resource governance and responsible investment, and has played key roles in developing several major multi-stakeholder initiatives and global standards. Throughout his career, he has worked as a consultant, board member and speaker on business and human rights, sustainability, and responsible investment, and served in three positions as a Clinton presidential appointee in the State Department, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999 to early 2001 with responsibility for bilateral human rights diplomacy.


    From Principles to Practice: Supporting On-the-Ground Implementation of Business and Human Rights Multistakeholder Initiatives

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié Complex 1150 (formerly Sié 150)

    Anne-Marie Buzatu

    A Practitioner-in-Residence talk by Anne-Marie Buzatu, Deputy Head of the Operations IV division (Public-Private Partnerships), Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

    This talk presented current efforts of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces' (DCAF) Public-Private Partnerships Division to support effective, on-the-ground implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. It also considered more broadly the contribution of these and similar efforts to the global policy process.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Daniels College of Business.


    The New Faces of Human Rights: Google as Government and Newmont as a Transnational Norm Entrepreneur

    Friday, April 29, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Jason Pielemeier

    A Practitioner-in-Residence talk by Jason Pielemeier, Special Advisor and Head of the Internet Freedom, Business and Human Rights Section in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

    Mr. Pielemeier discussed his career path and the Department's work in emerging areas of human rights policy and practice.


    Nonviolent Campaigns for Democracy and Human Rights: Is There a Right or Responsibility to Assist?

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié 150

    Hardy Merriman

    Hardy Merriman, practitioner-in-residence and President of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

    Ordinary people in countries around the world are increasingly engaging in nonviolent civil resistance — involving actions such as strikes, boycotts, mass demonstrations, and a wide variety of other forms of noncooperation — to hold powerholders accountable and win rights, freedom, and justice. In response, many governments are systematically attempting to repress these movements by sharing resources, information, and best practices, as well as providing each other with political, economic, and military support. As nonviolent movements encounter this active backlash, there is renewed urgency around the question of what actions sympathetic external actors can take to support these movements.

    This talk made the case that external actors have a right to provide certain forms of assistance to nonviolent movements struggling for democracy and human rights. It discussed the challenges, risks, and advisability of certain kinds of support.


    Developing and Sharing Knowledge about Civil Resistance with Grassroots Organizers

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Ben Cherrington Hall, Room 301

    Hardy Merriman

    Hardy Merriman

    Civil resistance campaigns for rights, freedom, and justice are capturing the world's attention as never before. Nonviolent campaigns against corruption and dictatorship and for women's rights, indigenous rights, minority rights, labor rights, and government and corporate accountability are all examples in recent years of a profound global shift in how political power is developed and applied.

    Learning best practices from activists around the world and from academic research can increase a campaign's chances of success. This presentation focused on the importance of developing and sharing knowledge about civil resistance with grassroots organizers, and looked at the complexities and nuances of working in this field.

    Hardy Merriman is President of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). His work focuses on how grassroots civil resistance movements around the world can successfully fight for rights, freedom, and justice. He lectures widely to practitioners, scholars, and members of civil society. He visited as a practitioner-in-residence February 29 - March 4, 2016.


    Engaged Scholarship

    February 11, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié 150

    Celestino Perez, Jr., Colonel, U.S. Army; Matthew Taylor, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment; Karin Wedig, Assistant Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies; Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou-Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

    How should academic scholarship inform and be informed by policy and practice? Who has responsibility to "bridge the gap" between academia and the policy world? How does academia reach beyond policy elites to impact companies, NGOs, local civilian groups, and others? This panel brought several different perspectives and vantage points on the relationship between academics and the "real world" into conversation with one another.


    Gender, Peace and Security: What's Next?

    January 13, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié 150

    Julie Arostegui

    Julie Arostegui

    Despite UN and national commitments, there is still significant progress to be made in the full inclusion of women in peace and security processes – ranging from political participation to police reform. With the state of world affairs, it is more important than ever to advance gender equality and inclusive processes in order to establish sustainable peace. Julie Arostegui, a lawyer and expert in gender and international human rights, highlighted the current issues and opportunities promoting women and gender in international security. Drawing on her extensive experience in the field, she shared strategies for students and professionals to get involved in these pressing issues.

    Julie L. Arostegui, J.D., is a member of Women in International Security and serves as an international advocate, advisor, trainer, speaker, researcher, and writer for the civil society, political, security, and justice sectors. She has worked with a wide range of institutions and most recently led the Women, Peace and Security program at Women's Action for New Directions (WAND), working to empower women politically both in the U.S. and in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East and North Africa as leaders on critical issues of conflict prevention, peace building, violence against women, and national and global security. Previously she worked with groups in the Great Lakes region of Africa to integrate gender equality and women's rights into post-conflict legal structures.

    View PowerPoint

    CORD logo           WIIS Denver
    This event is co-sponsored by the Center on Rights Development and the Denver chapter of Women in International Security.

  • 2015

    The Cost of War, The Price of Peace

    November 9, 2015

    Kathy Kelly

    Kathy Kelly

    Drawing from experiences living alongside ordinary people trapped in war zones, Kathy Kelly recommends heightened empathy and suggests practical steps toward abolishing all wars.

    Kathy Kelly and her companions with Voices for Creative Nonviolence believe that where you stand determines what you see. They oppose all forms of war, and try to help educate people about the cost of war and "the price" of peace. As a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, Kathy Kelly has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She most recently traveled to Kabul in September of 2015. On April 21st Kelly was released from federal prison after serving a three month sentence for non-violently protesting drone warfare at Whiteman AFB which operates weaponized drones in Afghanistan.

    She lived in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead and immediately following Israel's Pillar of Cloud attacks on Gaza. As a member of international peace teams, she has traveled to Sarajevo, Lebanon, the West Bank and Iraq. She lived in Iraq throughout the "Shock and Awe" bombing and traveled there 27 times between 1996 and 2003 to break the economic sanctions against Iraq. In 1988, she was sentenced to one year served in a maximum security prison for planting corn on nuclear weapon sites. Since 1981, as a war tax refuser, she has successfully refused all payment of federal income tax, primarily through lowering her income beneath the taxable level.


    Revolution of Justice

    October 1, 2015

    Claudia Paz y Paz

    Claudia Paz y Paz

    As Guatemala’s first female Attorney General, Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey prosecuted organized criminals and perpetrators of mass human rights abuses despite threats to her own safety. She was a 2013 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.


    Claudia Paz y Paz ~ En Español

    October 1, 2015
    Highlands Methodist Church, 3131 Osceola St. Denver

    Latin America Center

    A pesar de las amenazas a su propia seguridad, la Dra. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey, primera mujer Procuradora General de Guatemala, procesó criminales organizados y perpetradores de abusos masivos de derechos humanos. Ella fue candidata en el 2013 para el Permio Novel de la Paz. La Dra. Paz y Paz también ha sido miembro del Grupo de Expertos de la Comisión Interamericana sobre los 43 desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa.


    The Revolution Is Not a Protest Movement

    August 26, 2015

    Rhize logo

    Erin Mazursky

    Studies show that the number of protest movements have increased exponentially over the last decade. But are these movements the Civil Rights, Anti-Apartheid, independence movements of our time? Or are they simply flashes of trending topics on Twitter?

    This talk discussed what happens after the protest and if we can really point to these mass mobilizations as a means for structural change. Erin examined historical examples of successful social movements while discussing present-day examples of the inner-workings and struggles of some of today's movements to arrive at Rhize's current approach for supporting movements around the world.

    Erin Mazursky is the Founder and Executive Director of Rhize, a new venture that is re-designing and the function and experience of democracy towards more participatory, just and flourishing communities through the innovation of collective action. She is visiting the Sié Center as a practitioner-in-residence with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


    Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback?

    May 21, 2015

    Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback?

    A Book Launch and Discussion with Maria Stephan

    Maria Stephan, a practitioner-in-residence at the Sié Center, is a senior policy fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. She is co-leading an initiative at the Atlantic Council on how external actors can reverse authoritarianism's recent gains by boosting democracy's prospects. Her new co-edited book Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback?  explains why the world is experiencing a global democratic recession and how civil resistance movements can effectively combat authoritarian regimes.

    This event was part of the Sié Center initiative to "bridge the gap" between academia and policy supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


The Sié Center hosts workshops complement individual or group research programs. These workshops bring in subject-matter experts from around the world to collaborate and exchange ideas on a specific topic.

  • 2020

    Responsible Public Engagement Institute

    May 20–23, 2020

    The Sié Center at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies introduces the Responsible Public Engagement Institute. This Institute, generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will address challenges around both direct engagement with policy actors at various stages of the research process and disseminating research to policy audiences. The Institute is geared toward early-career academics from various disciplinary backgrounds and taught by experienced academics from the Josef Korbel School and other institutions.

  • 2019

    Working Group on Responsible Engagement

    May 15–17, 2019

    This goal of this workshop was to inform and craft the design of a curriculum packet for the 2020 Issues in Responsible Public Engagement Institute. The three-day institute was designed for international relations scholars and dedicated to addressing responsible policy engagement. As a complement to existing "bridging the gap" training programs for early-career international relations scholars, the institute will address challenges around both navigating direct engagement with different sets of policy consequential actors at various stages of the research process and disseminating research for policy audiences. This workshop is a part of a Carnegie Corporation sponsored grant titled, "Rigor, Relevance, and Responsibility".

  • 2018

    Inclusive Global Leadership Summer Institute

    August 27–30, 2018

    The 2018 IGLI Summer Institute convened 13 women activists from around the world (including the U.S.) who are currently involved in civil resistance campaigns to promote peace, human rights, and freedom. Over the course of the two and a half-day workshop, these activists had the chance to meet each other, share stories about their particular struggles and successes, and receive advanced training on best strategies and tactics from some of the world's leading experts on nonviolent civil resistance campaigns.


    Fostering Inclusive Responses to the Liberal Order's "Crisis" Conference

    March 7–9, 2018

    In partnership with CSIS, the Sié Chéou-Kang Center and Center for Europe and the World at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies hosted a workshop exploring the roots of discontent with the liberal international order. The workshop brought together the different perspectives on this question from political science scholars that study international relations, comparative politics, and American politics along with anthropologists and sociologists. The goal was to examine why some citizens have lost faith in democratic institutions and explore potential ways in which faith can be built around inclusive processes that maintain openness while serving the needs of local, national, and global publics.

  • 2017

    Inclusive Global Leadership Summer Institute

    August 28–30, 2017

    The 2017 IGLI Summer Institute convened 15 women activists from around the world (including the U.S.) who are currently involved in civil resistance campaigns to promote peace, human rights, and freedom. Over the course of the two and a half-day workshop, these activists had the chance to meet each other, share stories about their particular struggles and successes, and receive advanced training on best strategies and tactics from some of the world's leading experts on nonviolent civil resistance campaigns.


    Four Corners Conflict Network Annual Conference

    March 31, 2017

    This is the second annual conference of the network of peace and conflict scholars residing in the Four Corners states: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.  


    Innovations in Peacebuilding in Latin America

    February 3, 2017

    In collaboration with the Latin America Center, this Americas symposium included panelists who shared research findings from El Salvador and Colombia, together with an evaluation of the global norms and local dynamics interactions in Haiti.

    Learn More

  • 2016

    Nonviolent Strategies in Violent Settings Case Study Workshop

    August, 2016

    Cullen Hendrix and Erica Chenoweth

    This workshop is part of a large research-to-policy program supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It explores how nonviolent actions by non-state actors (companies, NGOs of various sorts, religious organizations, local civilian groups, labor organizations and international organizations) affect violence in conflict. Thus far we have created a concept paper, held an initial project conference, commissioned case studies (a list of authors and titles is below), and developed a dataset on conflicts in Africa. This workshop will be the first time that all the research is presented together. It will bring together project researchers with leading academics and practitioners working in these areas to provide feedback for the final research products (an edited volume, a set of case studies and accompanying policy briefs).


    Drafting a Guide for Cooperative Multistakeholder Action in Global Governance

    August, 2016

    Cooperative multistakeholder action is a vital area of global governance, but one where key developments are often not understood. The Stanley Foundation plans to produce a 25–30 page document that will help advocates and officials better understand and use multistakeholder approaches to global governance to achieve policy change. This workshop will bring together a small number of participants to contribute to a draft for this document that will: Place cooperative multistakeholder action in the context of global governance as a viable approach to policy change, potentially able to break through gridlock, and here to stay, describe the "craft" of multistakeholder processes in global governance, provide guiding principles for different types of multistakeholder action, and recommend ways in which particular practitioners could enhance the effect of multistakeholder processes.

    Stanley Foundation

    One Earth Future


    Rigor and Relevance

    May, 2016

    Rigor and Relevance

    How can academics "bridge the gap" to make their work relevant and accessible for policymakers, practitioners, and the broader community? In October 2014, the Carnegie Corporation of New York granted five premier international affairs schools, including the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, the chance to answer this question. During this workshop and public luncheon, representatives from all five schools discussed their innovative projects, shared lessons learned, and identified future opportunities for universities to contribute to the public good.


    Creative Multilateral/Multistakeholder Initiatives

    May, 2016

    This workshop brought together academics thinking about new forms of governance and practitioners who have been closely involved in particular initiatives related to human rights, democracy, and good governance — including the Open Government Partnership, the Freedom Online Coalition, the Community of Democracies, the International Code of Conduct Association, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade, and the Voluntary Principles. The aim of the workshop was to inform recommendations on how the U.S. can improve its engagement with these kinds of initiatives moving forward. This workshop was co-sponsored by the Sié Center and the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York's "Rigor and Relevance" initiative, and generously hosted by GWU's Elliott School.

  • 2015

    Forging a Social Contract: States and Societies Building Peace in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries

    November, 2015


    Project Working Group Symposium

    Of all of the new Sustainable Development Goals, number 16 — envisioning more "peaceful and inclusive societies" — may be among the most challenging to achieve, or even to evaluate progress toward. Forging a Social Contract is two-year research and policy dialogue project examining the utility of a more broadly inclusive concept, that of the social contract, as a strategic approach to peacebuilding and statebuilding in conflict-affected countries. The workshop is supported by the Oslo Governance Centre, United Nations Development Program, The Social Sciences Foundation at the University of Denver, and the Julien J. Studley Graduate Program of the New School.


    Journal of Global Security Studies Special Issue Workshop: The Future of Global Security (Studies)

    May, 2015


    The Sié Center hosted a workshop with authors of articles being considered for the special issue of the Journal of Global Security Studies , the newest journal of the International Studies Association.


    Nonviolent Strategies in Violent Settings

    April, 2015

    Nonviolent Strategies conference

    With support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Sié Center hosted a workshop to further research on nonviolent strategies employed by non-state actors that affect conflict


    Research in Conflict-Affected Countries and Contexts: Ethics, Risks and Practicalities

    March 2, 2015

    Research Workshop

    A Capacity-Building Workshop for Josef Korbel School Faculty, Students and Staff

    Social scientists across a wide range of disciplines are engaged in research on conflict-affected countries and in other contexts, such as research on community-level and interpersonal violence.  This workshop was designed to explore more fully the ethics, risks, and practicalities of conducting research in such environments.  The workshop featured presentations by invited presenters, University of Denver faculty, and advanced graduate students with experience researching in conflict-affected countries and contexts.

    Workshop Agenda


    Terms of Engagement: How to Better Engage in Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives

    January 15–16, 2015

    MSI Workshop

    The Sié Center, in cooperation with the Daniels College of Business, hosted a two-day workshop to explore how civil society, business, and government can contribute to multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) aimed at improving business behavior related to human rights. The Sié-Daniels workshop convened academics and practitioners to explore the most current empirical and theoretical work on MSIs and the business and human rights field. It focused particularly on the different roles civil society and business organizations play.

    Workshop Agenda

    Conference Report

  • 2014

    Religion, Peacebuidling and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries

    October 20, 2014

    A Symposium to Present Research Findings

    This was the final event associated with a 2-year research project, sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Religion and International Affairs. This symposium featured the presentation of the principal findings of the seven-country research project on religion and ethnicity, social cohesion, and peacebuilding in seven conflict-affected countries (Guatemala, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka). Partners from the University of Bielefeld presented findings on the United Nations and Iraq. The purpose of the workshop was to review and validate the policy-relevant findings and recommendations emanating from the research.


    Shaping the State Through the Social Contract in Situations of Conflict and Fragility

    January 15–17, 2014

    The Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-affected Countries research project at the Sié Center, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, co-sponsors, presents key project findings, and engages in policy dialogue with expert development practitioners at a conference in Glen Cove, New York. The meeting titled, "Shaping the State through the Social Contract in Situations of Conflict and Fragility" brought together practitioners from across the UN system, as well as international NGOs, development partners, and civil society groups, experts from the global south, academia and policy research centers to: 1) clarify the relevance of the Social Contract as an approach to guide responses in fragile and conflict affected contexts; 2) agree on principles that can guide a Social Contract approach; 3) identify implications of the Social Contract approach for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, and; 4) define methodologies and indicators to measure progress and results in this area of work. The practitioners' meeting provided a unique opportunity for a community of development and peacebuilding actors to question assumptions on how the international community links peacebuilding and state-building processes in conflict-affected contexts.

  • 2013

    Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Societies Project: Authors' Workshop at the International Peace Institute

    October 18, 2013

    The Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-affected Societies research project at the Sié Center hosted a Case-Study Author and Specialist Review Symposium at the International Peace Institute in New York. The Religion and Social Cohesion project is a six-country analysis of how international development partners interact with religious communities and actors in fragile states in efforts to build social cohesion. As the field research phase of the project came to a close, the symposium brought together the case study authors, along with outside experts from the International Peace Institute and the UN Development Program, among others, to move toward integrating the research findings for the forthcoming book project and policy report.


    The Role of Non-Violent Strategies in Violent Contexts

    October 10–12, 2013

    "The Role of Non-Violent Strategies in Violent Contexts" was a two-day conference to be held at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies exploring how non-violent groups in violent environments affect security outcomes. Non-violent actors—particularly local civilians, NGOs, and transnational corporations—affect stability in conflict zones and the prospects for post-conflict development and governance. The conference analyzed the behavior of these actors as a group so as to better inform U.S. efforts to shape security environments, reduce asymmetric violence, and create conditions for long-term peace and stability.

    Conference Report


    The New Power Politics: Networks, Governance and Global Security

    March 1–2, 2013

    The workshop series "The New Power Politics: Networks, Governance, and Global Security" examined how various associations of state and non-state actors addressing security issues might be thought of as networks or governance systems. Participants were an international group of scholars focused on a wide range of contemporary security issues, and each participant was responsible for a paper addressing the interaction between networks, governance and power. The final papers will be published as a special issue of a journal or as an edited volume at a top-tier university press.

    The "New Power Politics" workshop was held in two parts; the first meeting on this topic was held March 31, 2012 at the International Studies Association Annual Conference in San Diego, California. In March 2013 the second part of the workshop was held at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center at the University of Denver.

    The "New Power Politics" workshops were led by Deborah Avant, Sié Chair and Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center, and Oliver Westerwinter, lecturer at the European University Institute. Support was provided by the International Studies Association and the One Earth Future Foundation

  • 2012

    Symposium on Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries

    October 4–6, 2012

    The Symposium convened the Steering Committee for a new research project of the at the Sié Center, "Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries." This research project explores the relationships and linkages between development assistance and religious actors and organizations in order to build a more rigorously derived knowledge base on how "informal" group participation in national dialogues, development policy-making, and project implementation affects social cohesion and peace and development outcomes.

    With the global development agenda increasingly focused on aid effectiveness in conflict-affected, or "fragile," states, peacemakers and donors have learned that they must include in peace processes and indeed strengthen through development aid "informal institutions" in order to improve service delivery; in this pursuit, "social cohesion" is needed to more effectively strengthen the state as a long-term strategy to facilitating peace and fostering development. However, working with religious leaders and organizations has been problematic. Such leaders may legitimize illiberal views contrary to international human rights; strengthening faith-based service delivery may weaken the state; and the inclusion of externally identified religious leaders in dialogue does not automatically lead to more cohesive societies.

    This project explores how development and peace practitioners manage the dilemmas that emerge in working with religious leaders and organizations and ascertains how development assistance policies and programs can more effectively involve them in the pursuit of development and conflict-mitigating social-cohesion outcomes in countries emerging from war. Under what conditions can engaging religious leaders and organizations in development and peacebuilding programming in conflict-affected countries foster "social cohesion" as a prerequisite to peace and development?

    The project builds on a prior Luce Foundation-supported research, education, and policy program that produced in part the recently published volume Between Terror and Tolerance: Religion, Conflict, and Peacemaking (Georgetown University Press, 2011).

    The project is led by co-principal investigators Fletcher Cox and Timothy D. Sisk of the Korbel School, with project administration led by Jennifer Wilson.


    Transparency and Governance of Private Military and Security Services

    May 30–June 1, 2012

    The workshop "Transparency and Governance of Private Military and Security Services" was held May 30–June 1, 2012 at the Sié Center. The workshop was held in cooperation with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and part of an ongoing series of workshops aimed at enhancing the information available about private military and security services and their regulation. In addition to unveiling a new web portal developed by the Sié Center — the Private Security Monitor — the workshop focused on recent developments in governance of the private security sector and the various roles that different participants in the governance process play. Many have recognized that the clients purchasing private security services — whether states, international organizations, corporations or non-governmental organizations — are often also attempting to "govern" the industry. The workshop explored this and other issues surrounding efforts to regulate private military and security companies.

    Workshop Agenda

    Conference Report

2019 ISSS-IS Annual Conference

The Sié Center hosted the 2019 ISSS-IS Annual Conference on October 18–19, 2019. This was a joint annual meeting of ISA’s International Security Studies Section and the International Security Section of APSA. The theme of the conference was “A Transformed Security Environment?” and it was chaired by Deborah Avant, David Goldfischer, Julia Macdonald and Paul Viotti. To see more information and past conference details, please visit the ISA’s Conference Homepage

Other Events

  • 2020

    Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs

    March 5, 2020
    5:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Book Talk with Peter Andreas

    Join us for a book talk with Peter Andreas, John Hay Professor of International Studies and Political Science at Brown University, and discussion about the growing alarm over how drugs empower terrorists, insurgents, militias and gangs. In his path-breaking Killer High, Andreas shows how six psychoactive drugs — ranging from old to relatively new, mild to potent, licit to illicit, natural to synthetic — have proven to be particularly important war ingredients. This sweeping history tells the story of war from antiquity to the modern age through the lens of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, opium, amphetamines and cocaine.

  • 2019

    The Political Economy of Ethnicity in Africa with Philip Roessler

    April 26, 2019
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1020

    A Lunchtime Talk with Philip Roessler, Associate Professor of Government and Co-Director of the Center for African Development at William & Mary

    What factors have shaped the ethnic landscapes that structure modern societies? Ethnicity — social identity based, principally, on shared descent — is found to profoundly influence economic and political processes, from the allocation of state resources to public goods provision to civil war. Professor Philip Roessler, Associate Professor of Government and Co-Director of the Center for African Development at William & Mary, will explain how in Africa countries' ethnic landscapes were powerfully shaped by dual economic revolutions, the spread of cash crop agriculture, and the diffusion of printing and writing technologies.

    Roessler will describe the new geospatial data he and his collaborators have assembled to map out the spread of these economic transformations and test their effects ongroup and individual-level data on ethnic politicization, salience, polarization, and conflict. Overall, this research holds the promise of providing new insights into the economic processes driving ethnic politicization.


    Ethiopia's Agricultural Transformation Agency: A Model for Country-Led Smallholder Agricultural Development?

    May 1, 2019
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1020

    Christian Man

    Despite the challenges posed in recent years by El Niño-induced droughts, Ethiopia's economy is rapidly expanding. According to the World Bank, growth averaged 10.3% a year between 2006/07 and 2016/17, compared to a regional average of 5.4%. Agriculture is at the center of this story, accounting for about a third of real annual GDP growth, on average. In 2010, to ensure development would accompany growth in the agricultural sector, Ethiopia's Council of Ministers established the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). Modeled after Taiwanese and Korean "acceleration units," the vision of the ATA is that, by 2025, "smallholder farmers are commercialized with greater incomes, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability, contributing to Ethiopia's achievement of middle-income country status." Based on interviews and focus groups with over fifty respondents, this study analyzes the institution's unique past accomplishments and future challenges. In doing so, it explores the viability of an Agricultural Transformation Agency, writ broadly, as a model for country-led smallholder agricultural development.

    Christian Man is a research fellow with the CSIS Global Food Security Project. His research interests at CSIS center on the political economy of agricultural livelihoods and food security. Prior to joining CSIS, Christian worked with Catholic Relief Services, helping with the design, implementation, and analysis of Seed System Security Assessments throughout East Africa. Prior to his work in international development, Christian was a community development practitioner in Memphis, Tennessee, where he helped organize an urban agriculture program, a food policy council, and a local foods distributor. He received a Ph.D. in rural sociology and international agriculture and development from Penn State, where he studied seed aid programs in Ethiopia.


    The United States' Approach to Fragile States

    April 24, 2019
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    A Conversation with Dr. Patrick Quirk, Member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State

    The Trump administration released its first National Security Strategy (NSS) in 2017 which recognizes the importance of confronting challenges related to conflict and fragility to protect U.S. national security interests. This strategy was complemented by the release of the Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR) in 2018 which serves as a framework to improve interagency coordination and effectiveness in fragile states. The SAR delineates the roles and responsibilities of the Department of State, USAID, and the Department of Defense in stabilization operations.


    The Competing Logics of Political and Military Defection

    February 18
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex 1020, "The Forum"

    Lunchtime Talk with Evan Perkoski

    Why do military and government defectors abandon their regimes during national uprisings? Existing explanations overwhelmingly focus on the military and the institutional dynamics that shape their relationship with regime elites. Here, I argue that the characteristics of uprisings and dissident strategies are equally important. Defections become more likely when uprisings threaten regime elites but not their political and military agents, and less likely when all are equally threatened.

    Combining alarge-n quantitative analysis of regime change campaigns from 1946–2006 with case studies of uprisings in Serbia and Kyrgyzstan, I show how campaign dynamics critically influence the odds of regime cohesion and collapse. This study is the first to compare the competing logics of defection among political and military agents, and the results have implications for understanding popular uprisings, mass atrocities, elite cohesion, authoritarian politics, and for designing effective strategies of resistance.


    Latin America's Democratic Decline and Possibilities For Resistance

    January 9, 2019
    12:00 p.m. Sié 1020, "The Forum"

    Kai Thaler (Chair), Consuelo AmatAndy Baker, and Rafael Ioris

    From January 1, 2019, Jair Bolsonaro will be President of Brazil. A former military officer who glorifies Brazil's military dictatorship promotes violent responses to crime, and has little regard for democratic institutions or norms will govern Latin America's largest country. Venezuela and Nicaragua have become repressive, militarized single-party dictatorships. Bolivian President Evo Morales seeks a fourth term in contravention of a popular referendum, and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera is using dictatorship-era anti-terrorism laws to persecute indigenous activists. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández suppressed protests following credible allegations his 2017 reelection was fraudulent, while Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has repeatedly interfered with anti-corruption investigations. Why is democracy in crisis in Latin America? Is Brazil likely to return to dictatorship under Bolsonaro? And what are the prospects for civil resistance in an increasingly authoritarian region?

    Watch on YouTube

  • 2018

    International Day of Peace Panel with Our Secure Future

    September 20, 2018
    12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Sié 1020, "The Forum"

    Chantal Pierrat, Founder and CEO of Emerging Women; Jamie Dobie, Executive Director of Peace is Loud; Christina Foust, Associate Director at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Denver; Marie Berry, Moderator


    Muslims in America: Examining the Facts

    September 14, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sturm 281 (Lindsey Auditorium)

    Please join the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy, the Center for Middle East Studies, and the University of Denver's Department of Religious Studies for a public talk featuring Dr. Craig Considine of Rice University. Dr. Considine will discuss his latest book, Muslims in America: Examining the Facts.

    This event was co-sponsered by the Center for Middle East Studies and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Denver.


    The Good Friday Agreement, Brexit and British-Irish Relations with Dr. Etain Tannam

    September 13, 2018
    2:00 p.m Sié 1020, "The Forum"



    Refugee Rights in the Era of Mass Migration: A Talk with Devon Cone

    Tuesday, April 17, 2018
    12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sié 1020, "The Forum"

    Devon Cone is a seasoned refugee protection expert who has focused her career on forced displacement, legal remedies to address refugee protection concerns, empowering displaced individuals, individual case management and training of NGO staff, UN staff and government officials on implementing international refugee protection principles in the field.

    Ms. Cone's lecture will examine the current state of refugee protection, examining refugee rights as enshrined in the international refugee legal framework and the extent to which these rights are upheld in various regions of the world. Given the unprecedented number of refugees in the world at present, Ms. Cone will highlight particular gaps in the protection of refugee rights and will provide ideas on how to reframe refugee protection in light of mass migration. She will also place this discussion within the context of the current global political climate which is generally becoming more restrictive towards individuals seeking international protection or asylum.

  • 2017

    Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative Speaker Series: When Women Lead, We All Thrive

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017



    A Conversation with Ambassador Shinkai Karokhail and the Honorable Iyabo Obasanjo

    There is a growing consensus that women's leadership is necessary to build more prosperou, peaceful, and healthy societies. Yet, women remain profoundly underrepresented in decision-making roles worldwide. Join the Sie Center, Peace is Loud, and Our Secure Future for a conversation with Hon. Shinkai Karokhail, Afghan Ambassador to Canada and former Member of Parliament, and the Hon. Iyabo Obasanjo, former Senator of Nigeria, to discuss their firsthand experiences with the hardships of running for political office as women candidates and serving as leaders in their countries. This intimate conversation will address why women's leadership is important, how these changemakers overcame the obstacles they faced, and ways that we can each contribute to a more just and equitable world.

    This event was co-sponsored by Peace is Loud and Our Secure Future: Women Make the Difference.

    Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves

    Tuesday, September 19

    Book Launch with Professor Oliver Kaplan

    Join Professor Oliver Kaplan for a discussion about his new book Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves. In civil conflicts around the world, unarmed civilians take enormous risks to protect themselves and confront heavily armed combatants. Kaplan explores cases from Colombia, with extensions to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and the Philippines, to show how and why civilians influence armed actors and limit violence. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The event will be moderated by Faculty Co-Director of the Latin America Center Aaron Schneider, and include an audience Q&A session followed by a reception. 


    Amplifying Stories of Women's Grassroots Leadership

    Tuesday, August 29, 2017


    Film Preview and Conversation with Just Vision's Suhad Babaa

    Join the Sié Center for a sneak peek of exclusive footage from Just Vision's untitled documentary on women leaders of the First Intifada, and a panel conversation with Suhad Babaa, the Executive Director of Just Vision. As communities and organizers across the globe rise up to challenge the onslaught of repressive policies, now is a crucial moment to look at models of visionary grassroots leadership and draw inspiration from the resilience, creativity and sacrifice of women working on the frontlines of movements for rights and dignity. From the creators of the award-winning documentaries Budrus and My Neighbourhood, Just Vision's forthcoming documentary tells the story of the courageous women who secretly led the largest, most coordinated civil resistance movement in Palestinian history. In the summer of 1988, a clandestine network of women activists emerged from the fringes of society to lead a vibrant nonviolent social movement. Thirty years later, this film will bring the remarkable, untold story of these women to the world stage for the first time.

    This event was sponsored by the Sié Center's Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative, which initiates research, education, and programming centered on the role of women and other underrepresented groups in movements related to the advancement of peace and security across the world. Just Vision is a team of human rights advocates, journalists, and filmmakers that increases the power and reach of Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, dignity and equality for all.


    Sovereignty, Security and Conflict Resolution: The Case of Cyprus

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Room 1020

    Dr. Yiorghos Leventis, Director, International Security Forum

    This talk will review the history of the Cyprus conflict and subsequent attempts at resolution, including the current round of negotiations, as well as the roles of the EU, US, and the UN in the current situation. Dr. Leventis will also share his predictions about the likely outcome of negotiations and geopolitical repercussions in the EU and Middle East and North Africa.

    Yiorghos Leventis, Ph.D., is Director of the International Security Forum, an independent non-for-profit think tank based in Lefkosia, Cyprus.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Colorado European Union Centre of Excellence (CEUCE).


    International Women's Day: Inclusion and Leadership in 2017

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Maglione Hall

    This panel showcased the views of women leaders in Denver on the importance of (and challenges to) implementing inclusive policies, both throughout their careers and in this political moment:

    • Leslie Herod, Representative of Colorado House District 8

    • Joelle Martinez, Executive Director of the University of Denver's Latino Leadership Institute

    • Debra Masters, Senior Vice President of Edelman

    • Beth McCann, District Attorney of Denver

    • Carlotta Walls LaNier, One of the Little Rock Nine

    Participants wore red in solidarity with A Day Without a Woman, and lunch was be provided by the women-run catering collective at El Centro Humanitario

    This event was co-sponsored with Colorado Women's College CollaboratoryDenver Women in International Security, and the Our Secure Future initiative at the One Earth Foundation.


    Inclusivity and Peace Negotiations: Engaging Armed Groups and Civil Society

    Wednesday, February 8, 2017
    12:00 p.m. First Floor Forum

    Suzanne Ghais

    Suzanne Ghais and Timothy Sisk

    For peace processes, is more inclusive always better? Or is it better to streamline the number of parties at the table? In this presentation, Suzanne Ghais will overview her doctoral research comparing peace processes in Liberia, Chad, and the Philippines to understand the impact of inclusion or exclusion of civil society and the full range of armed groups. In these cases, civil society, when included, pressed for addressing underlying sources of conflict and helped build public support for the peace process. The study also found that excluded armed groups rejected peace agreements and continued fighting. Suzanne will discuss the practical implications, including the many different ways civil society can be included, and whether extremist groups should be brought into the process.

    Suzanne Ghais Ph.D., is a mediator, facilitator, trainer, and scholar with over 25 years in the field of conflict resolution including international, workplace, environmental, public policy, and interpersonal issues. Dr. Timothy Sisk is Professor of International and Comparative Politics and an affiliate of the Sié Center at the Josef Korbel School of International Relations, University of Denver.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Conflict Resolution Institute.


    The Strategy of Nonviolence

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017

    David Cortright

    David Cortright

    Are Gandhian methods of nonviolent action still relevant in today's world? What factors account for the success or failure of civil resistance campaigns? Respected scholar and long-time peace activist David Cortright examined these and related questions and reviews recent research on the strategy of nonviolence. He connected the empirical findings of Chenoweth and Stephan to the philosophical principles of Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Deming and other advocates of nonviolent change. He addressed the debate about 'diversity of tactics' within social movements and emphasizes the importance of nonviolent discipline for achieving political progress.

    David Cortright is the Director of Policy Studies at Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Special Adviser for Policy Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs. He is author or editor of 20 books, including Civil Society, Peace and Power (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), Gandhi and Beyond (Paradigm, 2009) and Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Cortright has written widely about nonviolent social change, peace history, nuclear disarmament, and the use of multilateral sanctions and incentives as tools of international peacemaking. As an active duty soldier during the Vietnam War, he spoke against that conflict. Cortright is the former Executive Director of SANE and has a long history of public advocacy for disarmament and the prevention of war.


    The Election of 2016, Powerlessness and the Politics of Blame

    Monday, January 30, 2017

    Martha Nussbaum

    Martha Nussbaum

    Martha Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School. She has received honorary degrees from over 50 colleges/universities and is widely regarded as a leading global scholar, philosopher and public intellectual. Her most recent publications include Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice (2013) and Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice (2016). She was recently awarded the highly prestigious Kyoto Prize for her contributions to improving the human condition.

    This event was co-sponsored by: Korbel Political Theory Initiative, Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy, Center for Judaic Studies, Conflict Resolution In-stitute, Gender & Women's Studies Program, Department of Religious Studies, Depart-ment of Political Science, Center for Middle East Studies, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.


    The Trump Administration and the Middle East: Policy Issues and Key Players

    Thursday January 12, 2017

    The Sié Center was pleased to join forces with the Department of Religious Studies, the Center of Middle East Studies, the Middle East Discussion Group, the Organization of Security Students, and the Institute for Public Policy Studies to present this timely faculty panel. Speakers included:

    • Professor Nader Hashemi on Iran

    • Professor Jonathan Sciarcon on Israel

    • Professor Andrea Stanton on Syria

    • Professor Carole Woodall (UCCS) on Turkey

  • 2016

    Obama's Legacy in the Middle East — Lessons for the Next President

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016

    A Korbel Panel Discussion Co-Sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies

    This panel discussion featured Ambassador Christopher Hill, Dean of the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Erica Chenoweth, Professor of International Studies and Associate Dean for Research at the Korbel School, Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of International Studies at the Korbel School, and Tom Farer, Professor and former Dean of the Korbel School. The four had an open conversation on the topic followed by a Q&A session with the audience.


    Epidemic of Fear: The Ebola Epidemic, Political Psychology and International Security

    January 26, 2016

    Andrew Price-Smith

    Andrew Price-Smith

    Professor Andrew Price-Smith argues that much of the economic and political dislocation generated by the Ebola epidemic of 2014–15 was generated by fear, and that fear induced destabilization is frequently more destructive than the actual morbidity and mortality generated by a given illness. Using the lens of political psychology, Price-Smith analyzes the epidemic through the application of affective states, the availability heuristic, and probability neglect. He also examines the intense securitization of the epidemic (quarantine and cordons sanitaires) and the corresponding rioting by affected populations, all largely as a product of fear. Price-Smith concludes that the epidemic constituted a threat to international security (as per two UNSC resolutions), but not in the conventional manner prevalent among most scholars of the discipline.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Certificate Program in Global Health Affairs.

  • 2015

    Public Diplomacy Speaker Series

    November 10, 2015

    Enver Hoxhaj

    A Conversation with Dean Christopher Hill and Dr. Enver Hoxhaj, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Parliamant of Kosovo and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo

    This event was co-sponsored by the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence.


    Identity and Protest in the Syrian Uprising

    September 23, 2015

    Wendy Pearlman

    As uprisings swept through the Middle East in early 2011, many analysts and Syrians themselves judged Syria to be a "kingdom of silence" immune from the regional tide. How did Syrians nonetheless launch a revolt that continues until this day? Rationalist models of protest cascades hold that a few first movers can encourage others to follow by altering their expectations about the potential effectiveness and risks of dissent. Pulling upon original interviews with Syrian protestors, Pearlman argued that early risers can also impel others to follow by intensifying their awareness of and willingness to act upon the values central to their sense of self. Protestors' stories illustrate that expressing political voice after denying it for years -- or a lifetime -- entails more than merely revealing hidden preferences. It means discovery and fulfilment of an identity that had been subjugated.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies.


    Emotive Content and the Societal-System Dynamics of Protracted Social Conflict

    July 14, 2015

    Dr. Monty Marshall

    Dr. Monty G. Marshall

    While armed conflict has continued to diminish across most of the globe since the end of the Cold War and the resulting "peace dividend" has contributed to measurable progress in reducing state fragility, the Middle East and Sahel regions have diverged from the global trends since 2001 and teeter on the brink of unprecedented humanitarian disaster. Dr. Marshall discussed the regional dynamics within the framework of Societal-System Dynamics, which stresses the importance of Emotive Content and System Dynamics in understanding the problem of collective violence in the Era of Globalization. 

    Co-sponsored by the Josef Korbel School's Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures.

    Pardee logo


    Forecasting China's Rise

    May 27, 2015

    Karen Adams

    Some say that China will not rise to be a great power and peer of the U.S. for decades. Professor Karen Ruth Adams argued that China rose to great power status this spring and offered predictions about how international relations and international security will change now that we are back to bipolarity.

    Karen Ruth Adams is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Montana. She teaches and writes about international relations and human, national, and international security. In 2014, Professor Adams was named a “super forecaster” in the Good Judgment Project, a four-year study of international geopolitical forecasting. She has written and been interviewed about her experience as a female subject matter expert, and she has briefed members of the U.S. defense and intelligence community on her approach to security forecasting. 

    This event was co-sponsored by the Josef Korbel School’s Center for China-U.S. Cooperation, the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, and the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy.


    International Security Studies Distinguished Scholar Reception

    February 20, 2015

    ISA logo

    The Sié Center was pleased to be among the co-sponsors of the International Security Studies (ISSS) Distinguished Scholar Reception at the 2015 International Studies Association (ISA) conference in New Orleans.


    Ukraine and Russia: Lessons in Diplomacy and Statecraft

    February 23, 2015

    Paul Jones

    The Sié Center hosted Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Paul W. Jones.


    Rewriting Immigration Narratives

    January 21, 2015

    On January 21, 2015, the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy co-sponsored a community conversation and call to action on family detention and deportation. A panel discussed how dominant and unheard immigration narratives affect individuals and society, and an additional panel moderated by Erica Chenoweth identified ideas for taking action. The discussion was followed by a film screening of Tania Manarca.

  • 2014

    The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide: Where We Stand

    October 16, 2014

    On October 16, 2014, the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy welcomed Joshua Goldstein, author of Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide to speak to students, faculty and members of the DU community.


    Transformational Voices: An Afternoon with Leading Global Thinkers

    March 6, 2014

    On March 6, 2014, the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy hosted Transformational Voices: An Afternoon with Leading Global Thinkers. The speakers at the engaging afternoon included 6 of Foreign Policy magazine's 100 Leading Global Thinkers:

    • Political scientist and Josef Korbel School associate professor, Erica Chenoweth

    • Economics PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Thomas Herndon

    • Economic professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Michael Ash

    • Women's rights activist and founder of the Pakistan-based NGO Aware Girls, Saba Ismail

    • Climate Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Stephanie Herring

    • Documentary Film maker at UTL Productions LLC, Steve Elkins

    Throughout the three-session afternoon the speakers discussed a range of today's most pressing topics. These included climate change, economic and political volatility, women's empowerment in the Muslim world, and the ways that technology allows us to document our stories.


    The United Nations in Civil Wars: Mandates, Missions and Minefields

    February 26, 2014

    Timothy Sisk

    In an event organized and sponsored by the Organization for Security Students, Professor Sisk presented his research on rethinking and reinvigorating the global peacekeeping system. He drew on civil war case studies to explain the UN's impetus for intervention, new horizons in peacekeeping missions, democratization and state-building, and how we can move beyond "exit strategies" and toward more sustainable peace-building and improvements in UN response.

  • 2013

    Sié Fellow Graduation

    June 7, 2013

    The 2013 class of Sié Fellows graduated from the Korbel School of International Studies on June 7. Sié Fellows are outstanding master's degree-seeking students from the U.S. and abroad who receive a a two-year, free-tuition scholarship to the Korbel School of International Studies. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the commencement speaker.


    Major General Buster Howes, OBE

    May 14, 2013

    In cooperation with the One Earth Future Foundation, Major General Buster Howes spoke to students and staff on the "Shape of Future Coalitions through a British Prism." Major General Howes is the Defence Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington. The Defence Attaché is responsible for bilateral military and defense relations. His work focuses on operations and contingency planning, defense intelligence, cyber and space, and defense education.

    Learn More


    Advocating for Civilians in Conflict

    April 11, 2013

    The Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy welcomed Sarah Holewinski, the Executive Director of CIVIC, or the Center for Civilians in Conflict. The Center advocates for warring parties to be more responsible for civilians before, during, and after armed conflict.


    Iraq: 10 Years On

    April 3, 2013

    Over 200 students, professors, and community members from across Colorado filled the Anderson Academic Commons on Wednesday, April 3 for two panel discussions on Lessons from the Iraq War, 10 Years On.


    Religion and Violence Speaker Series: Jack Snyder

    February 22, 2013

    As part of the Religion and Violence Speaker Series, Jack Snyder discussed "Religion in International Relations Theory." Dr. Snyder is a Professor of International Relations at Columbia University, he specializes in democracy, ideology and conflict.

    Learn More