PS21 update week ending March 12

Apologies for the slightly later than usual running of this e-mail this week. As many of you know, I’m currently in Washington DC and the place is just a remarkably target rich environment for interesting people, meetings and thoughts. On that night, we have a really great upcoming discussion on Tuesday evening this week on the US election and foreign policy. Details below but it’s definitely worth attending.

Also worth a look is this week’s Imagining 2030 piece by Shannon Tiezzi imagining the life of a thirtysomething woman in 2030 China.

Some people have also said nice things about my Reuters column on how America could [probably] survive a President Trump. Others, though, have been rather blunt in telling me I’m wrong. Given the violence today at a Trump rally in Chicago, I’m wondering if they may have a point. Certainly interested to hear your thoughts.



Foreign Policy — How Much Does the US Election Really Matter?

Tuesday, March 15. 6 PM. Thomson Reuters, 1333 H St. NW.

From a resurgent Russia to the fight against ISIS, foreign policy has — periodically at least — been firmly on the agenda for the 2016 election. But what impact will the vote really have on what the US does? What do the various advisers of candidates tell us about how they would operate in office? What do the American people actually want? And how much difference can any US president make on the really big issues facing the country.

Peter Apps [moderator] — global affairs columnist , Thomson Reuters

Nikolas Gvosdev — professor of national security studies, US Naval War College

Julia Clark —  pollster and senior vice president, Ipsos

Alex Ward — associate director, Brett Scowcroft Center, Atlantic Council

Asha Castleberry — former US Army officer, PS21 global fellow

Sign up here


Think tanks, what are they really for?

Monday, March 28, 6 PM. Washington DC location tbc

Washington DC is to think tanks while Detroit once was to the global auto industry. But what do these institutions really bring to the table? Are they best thought of as academic institutions like universities, simple generators for policy or a storage center for those temporarily outside government.  How useful are they to policymakers, journalists and others? What kind of people do they attract — and who do they marginalize or do without? Do they operate differently in other countries or even cities? PS21 and a great panel of think tank types will be getting more even more introspective than usual…
Negar Razavi [moderator] — Anthropologist, University of Pennsylvania. PS21 global fellow
Andrew Selee — Executive Vice President, Woodrow Wilson Center
Peter Apps — Global Affairs Columnist, Reuters. Executive Director, PS21
Maria Stephan — Senior Policy Fellow, United States Institute for Peace. Former US State Department official

Sign up here



Managing Strategic Shocks

Thursday, March 31. Kings College London

This year marks the 15th anniversary off 9/11 and the 75th of Pearl Harbor. PS 21 examines how major shocks such as these —  also including natural disasters such as Fukushima –can be managed by both government and others. How do they change our actions, how do they shift public opinion? PS21 will host another world class panel, while introducing two new Global Fellows.
Tom Bruxner [moderator] – former British Army officer

Group Captain Ian Shields – former RAF officer with experience in Afghanistan, currently teaching at Anglia Ruskin University

Frederic Ischebeck-Baum — former UNODC Counter-Piracy Advisor, Fellow of the Cambridge Security Initiative

John Bassett– former GCHQ official and head of London and Washington stations

This is a joint event between the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War at King’s College London and PS21.

Guests can arrive from 5.30pm and the discussion starts at 6.00pm.

Sign up here



We regret that the March 15 events on geopolitics and commodity prices has been rescheduled. Details to follow.




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