When Ukraine Meets Russia Head-On
To register for the 2023 Symposium, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with names of registrants, days attending and whether paying by check to SFWAF and mailed to: The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum PO Box 31965, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87594. Or to by Paypal or credit card through our website at https://sfwaf.org/payment
April 13-14, 2023
Ambassador William B Taylor, Vice President for Russia and Europe,
The Warming World: Rising Temperatures, Rising Tides, Rising Turbulence
Dates to be determined
Scientific study after study demonstrates the enormity of the impact of climate change on earth’s biosphere. These changes range from the Arctic’s melting icecap and the desertification of parts of Africa to rising sea levels submerging Pacific islands and parts of populous countries like Bangladesh. The increase and intensity
Rising Authoritarianism: Can Democracy Meet the Challenge?
This year’s symposium on April 11 and 12 will address an issue of especially vital concern to us all: “Rising Authoritarianism: Can Democracy Meet the Challenge?” Taking place on the campus of Santa Fe Community College, the Symposium will bring together six specialists who will speak individually, introducing a global overview of the underlying causes of authoritarianism and of countervailing measures against its rise, followed by sessions focusing on the specific circumstances in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. Also included will be a student panel of foreign and dual-national students studying at colleges and universities here in New Mexico. As in the past the Symposium will offer all attendees ample opportunity for questions, discussions, and informal exchanges with speakers. For more than two centuries, America has advocated for democratic principles starting with its Founding Fathers who proclaimed our nation to be created by and for the people, to joining with the liberal world to fight for our beliefs in two world wars. Following those wars, the United States was in the forefront of international efforts to create global institutions dedicated to peace, prosperity and justice. Our leaders have sometimes badly faltered or made poor decisions in seeking to preserve American leadership and universal values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. But we have for the most part tried to move forward towards such aspirational goals throughout our history. Other nations have not always agreed with our individual policies, but no one doubted the American example of strong democratic institutions, a robust civil society and a desire to build a world based on common values and interests. Now, as a new era of international strongmen emerges, are America’s traditions and institutions capable of ensuring that democratic principles continue to push back on the tyranny that has threatened every generation? The symposium examines this moment with open eyes, asking tough questions about the global authoritarian threat, its underlying causes, and how it can be, and is being, countered. When strong democratic institutions and civil society perform their essential functions, society enjoys a good faith debate about the best way to advance global and national interests. However, when rule of law is eroded, nationalism politicized, alliances strained, the press demonized and society fractured by rising hate crimes and attacks on electoral integrity, the norms that promote and preserve a resilient democratic society become frayed. International institutions based on shared democratic values can also be undermined and weakened when the U.S. government appears to question their continuing relevance. Can the U.S. continue to be a leader that holds others to account when we ourselves falter in meeting these challenges? What causes the authoritarian impulse to break out of the democratic norm, and why do so many here and abroad find these demagogic appeals so attractive? Has a decline in American global leadership inadvertently given other nations permission to erode their own democratic institutions? Will a fractured and divided America be able, or willing, to work with other democracies holding others accountable when we fail to do so at home? Focusing on Europe, Latin America and the US, the symposium will examine these questions in order to better understand not only the causes and symptoms that bring us to this moment, but just as importantly, to explore what can be done to meet these authoritarian challenges to democracy.
Values, Myths and Interests: Debating American Foreign Policy in an Unstable World
American foreign policy since World War II has relied upon soft power – the ability to influence others based on key human values. Since World War II, the US goal has been to project its image as a nation that is not only strong, but also “good,” drawing on the idea of American Exceptionalism to persuade others that the country is the “shining city on the hill” and a democratic “beacon of freedom” in a troubled world. Yet U.S. foreign policy has also been guided by national self-interest. This pursuit has at times conflicted with our aspirations and led to less than admirable policies implemented through counter-productive means that diminished America’s standing in the world. Today a debate over fundamental values rages within the U.S. and abroad. The world’s view of America is no longer favorable. Forty-nine percent of the globe views the United States and President Trump’s “America First” slogan unfavorably. Yet Americans themselves are still admired by fifty-nine percent according to that same Pew “gold standard” poll of international opinion. Can we change this increasingly negative view of our country overall, or if not, will it spread to individual Americans? What can we do to regain the world’s trust? Barack Obama’s 2008 election was a source of hope at home and overseas. While his administration fell short of expectations, the U.S. did regain and retain much of the international community’s respect. But in the past year, many question if the United States’ foreign policy is guided by its aspirational values. Are there fundamental human values that all nations and cultures can agree upon or are they idiosyncratic? How are such values interpreted in U.N. documents and organizations of which the U.S. was an instrumental drafter? Many American aspirational values are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. Do democracy, human rights, the rejection of tyranny, equality for all, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, constitutional government, freedom of the press and worship continue to call for respect domestically and internationally? How can we maintain a free media but deal with concerted efforts to undermine this bedrock of democracy? What about the value and importance of scientific inquiry, which has underpinned economic, health, national security, educational, social and technological foundations of the American success story since before the founding of the Republic? Finally, can America still be influential on the international stage, or have we yielded that role to others through an “America First” form of isolationism that has diminished US stature with allies to the delight of our competitors and adversaries? What options do we have to navigate today’s unstable world?
World Order Under Threat: Protectionism, Nationalism and Extremism
April 24 – 25, 2017
Dr. Patricia Kushlis, President, Santa Fe World Affairs Forum; Santa Fe Community College Representative; Javier Gonzales, Mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico, since 2014, after serving two terms on the City Council. He was the first Hispanic President of the National Association of Counties; Robin Raphel, US Ambassador (rtd) to Tunisia and former Assistant
Crisis in Human Migration: A New World of Walls?
April 18-19, 2016
Dr. Demetrios Papademetriou, Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus, Migration Policy Institute and President MPI Europe; Joseph C. Wilson IV, US Ambassador (rtd); Andrew Purvis, former Beirut Managing Editor,UNHCR, and former bureau chief TIME Magazine; Chick Keller, Climate and Botanical Consultant to Pajarito Environmental Educational Center, Los Alamos; William J Garvelink, US Ambassador
A Climate of Change: the Global Imperative
April 20-21, 2015
Jeff Bingaman, Jr, former United States Senator from New Mexico; Judy Garber, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science (OES); Douglas Fox, freelance science writer; Charles Keller, retired scientist with degrees in Philosophy, Physics and Mathematics, and a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics; Shana McDermott, Assistant Professor Dept. of Economics, University of New Mexico and Senior Research Associate, Robert
Talking with Enemies, Cultivating Friends: Diplomacy Revisited
April 28-29, 2014
Thomas E McNamara, Ambassador; Gregory Hicks, US Deputy Chief of Mission to Libya in 2012; James Michel, Ambassador, international development consultant, Latin American specialist and senior US AID officer; James Farwell, political consultant; Donald Bishop, Public Diplomacy Council President and former US Public Affairs Officer in Afghanistan and Beijing.
United States and East Asia
April 8-9, 2013
William Itoh , former U.S. Ambassador to Thailand; Chris Nelson, Vice President of Samuels International, Washington, D.C.; Dr. Suisheng Zhao, Director of the Center for US-China Cooperation Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver; Dennis Blasco, international analyst; Frances Zwenig, President, US –ASEAN Business Council, LLC.
Our World in Ferment: Views from China. Russia, Europe and Mexico
April 16-17, 2012
Dr. Dieter Dettke, Foreign and Defense Policy Professor; Teri Schultz, Brussels-based, freelance international reporter for NPR, CBS, News Radio and EU correspondent for “Global Post”; Dr. Raymond F. Smith, University of North Texas, former State Department political analyst specializing in Russian affairs; Dr. Douglas Spelman, Deputy Director of the Kissinger Institute on China, former State Department Foreign
Spotlight on Iran
January 25, 2010
Mozafer Banihashemi, Consultant to Sandia National Laboratories Middle East Program; Arvid Lundy, Adviser to the International Atomic Energy Committee.
This all-afternoon program featured two speakers. Speakers’ Dialogue on Iran Today. General Discussion.