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  • Author: Ruba Husari, Samantha Gross, Gerald Feierstein, Jean-Francois Seznec
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: One of President Biden's most ambitious campaign promises is centered around American energy policy. Biden has vowed to shift away from a traditional focus in oil toward investments in renewable energy sources. Meanwhile, the oil industry in the Middle East is already facing severe repercussions from the coronavirus pandemic. States like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon are struggling to replace oil revenue, cutting social benefits and worsening social unrest in the process. Oil has been the economic backbone on which the U.S. and nations in the Middle East have built diplomatic relationships and maintained mutual security interests. How will these crucial bonds be affected by a greener Biden presidency?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Energy Policy, Oil, Pandemic, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, United States of America
  • Author: Abe Denmark
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This event was held on September 21, 2020 and featured Abe Denmark, Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Senior Fellow at the Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States; and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The event was moderated by Tom Christensen, Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University As the Indo-Pacific emerges as the world’s most strategically consequential region and competition with China intensifies, the United States must adapt its approach if it seeks to preserve its power and sustain regional stability and prosperity. Yet as China grows more powerful and aggressive and the United States appears increasingly unreliable, the Indo-Pacific has become riven with uncertainty. These dynamics threaten to undermine the region’s unprecedented peace and prosperity. U.S. Strategy in the Asian Century offers vital perspective on the future of power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on the critical roles that American allies and partners can play. Abraham M. Denmark argues that these alliances and partnerships represent indispensable strategic assets for the United States. They will be necessary in any effort by Washington to compete with China, promote prosperity, and preserve a liberal order in the Indo-Pacific. Blending academic rigor and practical policy experience, Denmark analyzes the future of major-power competition in the region, with an eye toward American security interests. He details a pragmatic approach for the United States to harness the power of its allies and partners to ensure long-term regional stability and successfully navigate the complexities of the new era. This event was cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and the Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Partnerships, Alliance, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Bi-khim Hsiao
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 6, 2020, newly appointed Representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the United States, Bi-khim Hsiao discussed the challenges and opportunities in US-Taiwan relations with Professor Tom Christensen. Representative Bi-khim Hsiao assumed her position as Taiwan’s Representative to the United States in July 2020, after serving as a Senior Adviser to the President at the National Security Council of Taiwan. Representative Hsiao previously served four terms in the Taiwan Legislature, representing overseas citizens for the first term, and then the constituents of Taipei City and Hualien County through different terms. For many years she was ranking member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and previously the chair of the USA Caucus in the Legislative Yuan. She began her political career serving as Director of the Democratic Progressive Party International Affairs Department. After Taiwan’s first democratic change of government in 2000, she became an Adviser in the Office of the President, and was international spokesperson for all DPP presidential elections between 2000 and 2012. Representative Hsiao has taken on numerous leadership roles in international organizations. She was the Chair of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), an organization representing Asian democratic political parties. Between 2005 and 2012, she was elected Vice President on the Bureau of Liberal International (LI), a London-based global political party organization. She is also a founding Board Member of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. Born in Kobe, Japan, Representative Hsiao grew up in Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan. She has an MA in Political Science from Columbia University in New York and BA in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College, Ohio.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ronald Schramm
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Ronald Schramm, Visiting Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Moderated by: Shang-Jin Wei, N. T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School Professor Jin Wei will interview Ron Schramm about new and important developments in China’s financial and economic system since the first edition of Schramm's textbook in 2015 (Routledge/Taylor&Francis): China Macro Finance: A US Perspective. Both new reforms and retrenchments in the Chinese economy will be discussed as well as the fraught economic relationship with the United States. Students and scholars of China will benefit by putting their own research in the context of how far China has come and where it is going in terms of economic and financial reform.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Reform, Finance, Business
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Noriyuki Shikata, Takako Hikotani, Gerald Curtis
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The Abe administration (2012-) and its diplomacy has been remarkably stable despite the geopolitical challenges and instability of its alliance partner, the United States. Is Japan going to stay its course, or are we going to witness major changes in the years ahead? How will Japan respond to recent developments, such as the Coronavirus outbreak? Noriyuki Shikata, Former Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Beijing, will discuss how he forecasts Japan’s diplomacy in 2030.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Geopolitics, Alliance, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Syed Mohammed Ali, Gerald Feierstein, Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, Marvin G. Weinbaum
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The relationship between Pakistan and the United States has never been easy or stable, and in recent years has come under increasing strain. Yet both countries have a vital stake in the maintenance of a working relationship. Several factors have complicated prospects for bilateral cooperation in the past, leading to a growing strategic divergence in how both countries view one another, and their interests vis-a-vis other regional players. Perhaps the biggest shortcoming in the Pakistan-US relationship has been that both sides have tried to address the issues between them without common frames of reference, resulting in differences of perceptions and policies. An expert group of academics, policy analysts, and retired government officials have recently convened at the Middle East institute to study the Pakistan-US relationship. The product of their discussions is a paper that explores a range of ideas and concrete proposals designed to move the relationship in a positive and stable direction. With support from the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation, and hosted by the Middle East Institute, we are pleased to invite you to this presentation by a team of former government officials and analysts, and other experts involved in this effort. This event will take place over a light lunch on March 3rd from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm at the Middle East Institute.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Khaled Elgindy, Martin Indyk, Nour Odeh, Shibley Telhami
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: As Americans head to the polls in November the results will have far reaching implications for Americans and the global community alike—perhaps none more so than Israelis and especially Palestinians. Insofar as Israelis and Palestinians are concerned, the differences between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden could not be more stark. While Trump has upended one sacred pillar of the peace process after another Biden has pledged to reverse the most destructive of these policies in the hope of salvaging what remains of a two-state solution and to restore U.S.-Palestinian relations, now at an all-time low. Even as the Trump administration has worked to preempt virtually all issues of concern to the Palestinians—from Jerusalem and refugees to the prospect of self-determination—Palestinians are themselves beset by a host of internal and external challenges. Internal political division, institutional paralysis, and a chronic economic crisis, have brought the Palestinian Authority (PA) to the verge of collapse and sapped its legitimacy. Meanwhile, the recent normalization deals between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, and the possibility further normalizations, have underscored the marginalization of the Palestinian cause, both in the region and in the global policy discussion. What is—or should be—the Palestinian national strategy in light of these unprecedented challenges? Can the PA survive another Trump term? Would an ostensible return to the status quo ante by a Biden administration be enough to save the two-state solution?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Elections, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, United States of America
  • Author: Alex Vatanka, Hannah Kaviani, Behnam Ben Talebiu, Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The looming arrival of the Joe Biden administration in January 2021 provides the leadership in Tehran with an opportunity to seek a qualitatively different relationship with the United States. President-elect Biden has already expressed a desire to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, which the Trump administration abandoned in 2018. While Tehran awaits to see what, if any, conditions the Biden team has for the resumption of the diplomatic track and removal of US-led sanctions, a policy fight is already under way inside the Iranian state about the future of US-Iran relations. The American question in Tehran is not just a foreign policy file but ultimately linked to the question of whether the Islamic Republic opts to continue a revolutionary and militant foreign policy or settles for a path of de-escalation with Washington and other rivals. How much of this policy competition in Tehran will shape Washington’s next steps vis-à-vis Iran? To discuss these matters and other key challenges in the path of US-Iran relations in the coming Biden administration, we are delighted to host a panel of experts.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Geopolitics, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Khaled Elgindy, Sam Bahour, Tareq Baconi, Mustafa Barghouti, Noura Erakat
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Part 1 – Reviving Palestinian Political Life Former Vice President Joe Biden’s election victory over President Donald Trump is likely to produce a major reset in American-Palestinian relations as well as in Washington’s role in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. No U.S. president had done more to isolate Palestinians and delegitimize Palestinian national aspirations than Trump. Meanwhile, Biden has pledged to reverse the most destructive aspects of Trump’s policies and restore U.S.-Palestinian relations in the hope of salvaging what remains of a two-state solution. Yet even as the Palestinians breathe a collective sigh of relief at Trump’s departure, the Palestinians’ internal house remains in a state of disarray and decline. The Palestinian national movement, now at one of the lowest points in its history, continues to be racked by political division, institutional stagnation, and a lack of strategic clarity.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Politics, Negotiation, Peace, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, United States of America
  • Author: Alex Vatanka, Amin Tarzi, Laila Bokhari, Madiha Afzai, Fatemeh Aman
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: As the United States continues to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, even as Washington considers its future military presence in Afghanistan, the country’s uncertain future provides an opportunity for regional power competition. Recent developments have laid the groundwork for coordination between Iran and Russia in this space, a cooperation which has implications for Iran’s rivalry with Pakistan. At stake in this interplay of regional interests are long-term geopolitical, military and economic interests that can be shaped for years to come. How might Iran approach the divergent and common interests of Iran, Russia and Pakistan in Afghanistan? What are Iran’s priorities, and where might opportunities emerge for cooperation or conflict? How might Iran balance these competing interests, and what will be the impact on the ground in Afghanistan? The Middle East Institute (MEI) is proud to host a group of experts to address these questions and more.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Military Strategy, Geopolitics, Negotiation, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, United States of America
  • Author: Douglas London, Scott Modell, Alex Vatanka, Mohsen Sazegara
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The Trump administration’s unprecedented “maximum pressure” campaign has so far failed to result in a breakthrough in the long-running US-Iran standoff. This simple reality leaves the US with very few fresh policy options as Washington looks to navigate the various challenges it considers the Islamic Republic to pose to American interests. Among remaining untested policy options is the idea that the United States should commit to pursue a policy of regime change in Tehran. This should be led by a combination of efforts spearheaded by American intelligence services. Advocates of such a policy course favor this path as they see no realistic chance for any kind of deal with the Islamist ruling class in Tehran. How would such a US-led covert action agenda against Iran look like? What are the key components of such a policy of “regime change”? Would it really represent a risk-free transition from the militant theocracy that is the Islamic Republic to a democracy? The Middle East Institute (MEI) is delighted to host a panel of experts to address these questions
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regime Change, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Andrew J. Nathan
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Andrew J. Nathan, the Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, discusses Donald Trump's conversation with Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen and what it may mean for U.S.-China relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Political Science, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia, North America, United States of America