November 30, 2006 - News
For more information contact
Judith K. Paulus
FSI International Conference brings scholars, policymakers to discuss global security threats
FSI convened its second annual international conference on November 16, bringing scholars from across the university together with visiting security experts, policymakers, members of the international community, and practitioners in the fields of political science, economics, law, business, and medicine. The theme of this year's conference was "A World at Risk," juxtaposing debate and discussion on hard security issues such as nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and failed states with problems presented by "softer" security threats such as pandemic diseases, energy shocks, natural disasters, and food security and the environment.
The conference opened with welcoming remarks from Stanford Provost John Etchemendy and FSI director Coit Blacker, who shared their perspectives on pressing global issues and their sense of how Stanford's mission of interdisciplinary research and teaching fits into a changing world. Rounding out the opening session were remarks from former secretary of defense William J. Perry and former secretaries of state Warren Christopher and George Shultz. Secretary Perry analyzed how security threats have evolved in the 10 years since he was secretary of defense, while Secretary Christopher addressed the strategic importance of the Middle East and need for renewed diplomacy and Secretary Shultz discussed the opportunity and imperative for the United States to assume a global leadership role. The three secretaries' institutional knowledge and experience collectively established a rich context for discussion in the plenary and breakout sessions that followed.
The morning and afternoon plenary sessions offered scholarly analysis of two types of risk, with the morning session focusing on systemic issues - measuring risk, managing the nuclear nonproliferation regime, and controlling fissile materials - and the afternoon, on human security issues - improving the resiliency of critical infrastructure and managing energy shocks to oil, natural gas, and electricity markets. Plenary I was moderated by Coit Blacker, with Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, Scott Sagan, and Siegfried Hecker as panelists; Plenary II was moderated by Michael McFaul, with Stephen Flynn and David Victor as panelists.
Drawing on Pate-Cornell's earlier discussion of statistical risk analysis, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, assured conference participants over lunch that unlike other issues being debated that day, the risk of a human influenza pandemic "is one; it is going to happen...the issue is what will it mean when it happens." His assessment showed how our global just-in-time economy makes our world extremely vulnerable to an influenza pandemic. This vulnerability, Osterholm argued, will need to be managed on a local level through family preparedness, community leadership, and business preparedness and continuity.
Overlapping breakout sessions followed the morning and afternoon plenary sessions, allowing for interaction and dialogue in smaller, less formal settings. FSI's five centers and two of FSI's programs sponsored sessions that drilled down into some of the issues discussed in the larger forum throughout the day, including:
- Center for Environmental Science and Policy (CESP): "Food Security and the Environment"
Rosamond Naylor, Kenneth Cassman, and Scott Rozelle
- Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research (CHP/PCOR): "Pandemics, Infectious Diseases, and Bioterrorism"
Alan Garber, Michael Osterholm, Douglas K. Owens, and Lawrence Wein
- Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC): "Insurgencies, Failed States, and the Challenge of Governance"
Jeremy Weinstein, Larry Diamond, and Stephen Stedman
- Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL): "Responding to a World at Risk: U.S. Efforts at Democracy Promotion in Russia, Iraq, and Iran"
Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani, David Patel, and Kathryn Stoner
- Forum on Contemporary Europe (FCE): "The European Union: Politics, Economics, Terrorism"
Amir Eshel, Josef Joffe, Hugo Paemen, and James Sheehan
- Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD): "China's Rise: Implications for the World Economy and Energy Markets"
Thomas Heller, Fred Hu, and Edgard Habib
- Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC): "Cross Currents: Nationalism and Regionalism in Northeast Asia"
Daniel Sneider, Michael Armacost, Gi-Wook Shin, and Xiyu Yang
The conference concluded with a cocktail reception and dinner. Peter Bergen, CNN's counterterrorism analyst and the first Western journalist to have interviewed Osama bin Laden, offered closing remarks on the successes and failures in the war on terrorism since 9/11.
- Audio - John Etchemendy and Chip Blacker: Breakfast and Welcome
- Audio - Warren Christopher: Opening remarks
- Audio - Bill Perry: Opening remarks
- Audio - George Shultz: Opening remarks
- Audio - Chip Blacker, Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, Scott Sagan, Siegfried Hecker: Plenary I
- Audio - Michael Osterholm: "Infectious Diseases, Avian Influenza, and Bioterrorism: Risks to the Global Community"
- Audio - Michael McFaul, Stephen Flynn, David Victor: Plenary II
- Audio - Peter Bergen: "A World at Risk"
- Audio - Rosamond Naylor: "Food Security and the Environment" (Breakout Session)
- Audio - Alan Garber: "Pandemics, Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism" (Breakout Session)
- Audio - Jeremy Weinstein: "Insurgencies, Failed States, and the Challenge of Governance" (Breakout Session)
- Audio - Michael McFaul: "Responding to a World at Risk: U.S. Efforts at Democracy Promotion in Russia, Iraq, and Iran" (Breakout Session)
- Audio - Amir Eshel: "The European Union: Politics, Economics, Terrorism" (Breakout Session)
- Audio - Tom Heller: "China's Rise: Implications for the World Economy and Energy Markets" (Breakout Session)
- Audio - Dan Sneider: "Cross Currents: Nationalism and Regionalism in Northeast Asia" (Breakout Session)
- Meeting Agenda (modified September 2006)
PDF: World_at_Risk_Agenda.pdf (29.2KB)
- Program, Speaker Biographies (modified November 2006)
PDF: FSI_International_Conf_2006_-_...pdf (460.5KB)
Download from the event:
Topics: Bioterrorism | Business | Democracy | Democracy in the Arab world | Democracy promotion | Diplomacy | Economics | Electricity | Energy | Food Security | Governance | Health and Medicine | Health policy | International Security and Defense | Natural gas | Nuclear nonproliferation | Oil | Pandemics and global responses | Regionalism | Regionalism and Nationalism | Rule of law and corruption | Sustainable development | Terrorism and counterterrorism | Iran | Iraq | Middle East & North Africa | Russia | United States | Western Europe