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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy


Conferences & Events

Denver Dialogues on Peace and Security

The Denver Dialogues on Peace and Security is part of a program funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This series of events is designed to create 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 nonviolent action in violent contexts. Please contact  to receive invitations to Denver Dialogues events.

Upcoming Events 

Denver Dialogues: Rigorous and Relevant Research in Global Affairs

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
12:00pm, Anna and John J. Sie International Relations Complex, Fifth floor
Lunch will be served. Please RSVP using the form below.

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. Join us for a Denver Dialogue luncheon, where representatives from all five schools will discuss their innovative projects, share lessons learned, and identify future opportunities for universities to contribute to the public good.


  • Deborah Avant, University of Denver
  • Ian Johnstone, Tufts University
  • Resat Kasaba, University of Washington
  • Rebecca Lissner, Syracuse University
  • Dan McIntyre, Columbia University
  • Moderator: Steve Del Rosso, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Past Events 

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
Source: DU VideoManager

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 
Source: DU VideoManager

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.

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
Source: DU VideoManager

Untouchability is a 4000 year old form of discrimination and violence which effects 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.

Narratives of Fear in Syria
Wendy Pearlman 

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
Source: DU VideoManager

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.

Co-sponsored with 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; and
  • 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.  

Source: DU VideoManager

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)
Source: DU VideoManager