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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 inclusion. Please contact  to receive invitations to Denver Dialogues events.

Past Events

Denver Dialogues Talk with Colin Kahl

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

In May, President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, and announced the re-imposition of crippling sanctions targeting Iran. The first round of those sanctions went into effect in August; the second, more damaging round go into effect November 5. These moves have been met with widespread opposition from the international community and steps by Iran and the other parties to the nuclear deal—China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union—to preserve the agreement. This talk discussed the prospects for the Iran nuclear deal's survival and the implications for international security if it collapses.

The talk was followed by a conversation with Former Ambassador Christopher Hill.

Read more about Colin Kahl here >>

The Peacemakers and the Future of Global Order: A Discussion with Bruce Jentleson

Thursday, October 25, 2018

In the 20th century, great leaders played vital roles in making the world a fairer and more peaceful place. How did they do it? What lessons can be drawn for the 21st century? Bruce Jentleson, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, addressed these and related questions in a talk based on his new book, The Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from 20th Century Statesmanship, with a discussion led by Professor Deborah Avant.  

Read more about Bruce Jentleson here >> 

IGLI 2018 Keynote Talk with Traci Blackmon

Monday, August 27, 2018 

Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister of Justice Ministries for The United Church of Christ, and a national leader in the Black Lives Matter movement. A featured voice with many national media outlets, Rev. Blackmon's communal leadership, and work in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown Jr., in Ferguson, MO has gained her both national and international recognition and audiences from the White House to the Carter Center to the Vatican.

Populism as a Crisis of Representation (and a Threat to Democracy)?: A Conversation with Anna Grzymala-Busse

Thursday, March 8, 2018 

In honor of International Women's Day, two women will discuss populism and its consequences in Europe and beyond as part of a larger conference on Inclusive Responses to LIberalism's Crisis. Anna Grzymala-Busse will remark on the rising support for populist parties and the threat they pose to European democracy and then Rachel Epstein will speak with her on the larger lessons her remarks for global politics.

A Journey in Nonviolent Struggles: A Denver Dialogue with Mary King  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mary Elizabeth King, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Peace in Costa Rica, will discuss her involvement in the U.S. civil rights and women's liberation movements, her research and scholarship on nonviolent civil resistance movements of the 20th century, and how social movements open political space.

King is author of numerous books on nonviolent civil resistance, including Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr: The Power of Nonviolent Action, Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India: The 1924–25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change , A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance and The New York Times and Emerging Democracies in Eastern Europe. King also co-authored "Sex and Caste," a 1966 essay that was catalytic for the women's liberation movement and second-wave feminism.

During the early stages of her career, she worked with civil rights leader Ella Baker, served on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and managed communications for the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. King also served as a Presidential appointee in the Carter Administration and had worldwide oversight of the Peace Corps, the domestic VISTA program, and other national volunteer service programs. She is also a Distinguished Rothermere American Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford in Britain, and Distinguished Scholar with American University's School of International Service in Washington, DCKing's collection of prestigious awards includes the Jamnalal Bajaj International Prize in Mumbai, the El-Hibri Peace Education Prize, and the James Lawson Award for Nonviolent Achievement.

Global Lessons from the Women's March on Washington with Co-Chair Carmen Perez

Monday, August 28

Carmen Perez is the National Co-Chair of the Women's March on Washington. On January 21, 2017, the Women's March drew over 5 million people across the globe together to march in resistance of hatred and bigotry, affirming women of all identities' rights as human beings. In addition to her role in organizing the March, Ms. Perez has dedicated the past 20 years to advocating for many of today's important civil rights issues, including mass incarceration, gender equity, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing.

This event was co-sponsored by the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative at the Sié Center, which initiates research, education, and programming centered on the work that women and other underrepresented groups are doing to advance peace and security across the world. The event is also supported by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Denver Dialogue with Martha Finnemore: Constructing Cybernorms

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Martha Finnemore is a prominent constructivist scholar of international relations, and University Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She is best known for her books: National Interests in International Society, The Purpose of Intervention, and Rules for the World which helped to pioneer constructivism. In 2009, a survey of over 2700 international relations faculty in ten countries named her one of the twenty five most influential scholars in the discipline, and one of the five scholars whose work in the last five years has been the most interesting; an earlier survey of over 1000 American international relations faculty also ranked her similarly in both categories. In 2011 she was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A Denver Dialogue with Baroness Catherine Ashton, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

(co-sponsored with the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence "CEUCE")

Catherine Margaret Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, GCMG, PC is a British Labour politician who served as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and First Vice President of the European Commission in the Barroso Commission from 2009 to 2014.

A Denver Dialogue with Daniel Drezner: Can Academics be Relevant in the Ideas Industry?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Daniel Drezner, Professor of International Politics, at Tufts University's Fletcher School, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a contributing editor at the Washington Post will discuss whether and how academics can be relevant in the public sphere. Prior to Fletcher, Dr. Drezner he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has written five books, including All Politics is Global and Theories of International Politics and Zombies, and edited two others, including Avoiding Trivia. His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Politico, and Foreign Affairs, and he has been a contributing editor for Foreign Policy and The National Interest. He received his B.A. in political economy from Williams College and an M.A. in economics and PhD in political science from Stanford University. His blog for Foreign Policy magazine was named by Time as one of the 25 best blogs of 2012, and he currently writes the "Spoiler Alerts" blog for the Washington Post.

Global Peace Index 2016: A Denver Dialogue

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What is the state of global peace in 2016? Join the Sié Center, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), and the One Earth Future Foundation (OEF) for an engaging "Denver Dialogues" on the findings of this year's Global Peace Index (GPI), the world's leading measure of national peacefulness. This year marks 10th edition of the GPI, a statistical analysis of the state of peace in 163 countries outlining trends in peace and conflict; the economic cost of violence; and the cultural, economic and political factors that create peace. The Global Peace Index is produced annually by IEP, and Michelle Breslauer, Director of the IEP Americas Program, will be the keynote speaker, joined by Curtis Bell of OEF. Lunch will be served and RSVP is required.

DIVISIVENESS AND VIOLENCE IN THE U.S.: A Denver Dialogue for the Students, Faculty, and Staff of the Korbel School

Monday, September 19, 2016

This unique Denver Dialogue was intended as an internal discussion for the students, faculty, and staff of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. This event served to foster thoughtful and inclusive engagement around how we interact with each other, with our community, and in politics at the national or global levels – particularly in the wake of violence. The University of Denver's initiative to examine the role of the university in responding to tragedy presented an opportunity to team with the University of Denver's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and begin a discussion that both drew on our ongoing research but also reflected on how our own actions and understandings can foster more inclusive and productive interactions.

Rigorous and Relevant Research in Global Affairs

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

  • Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School, University of Denver
  • Ian Johnstone, Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Reşat Kasaba, Director of the Henry M. Jackson School University of Washington
  • Rebecca Lissner, PhD candidate at Georgetown University and participant in post-doctoral program at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University
  • Dan McIntyre, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Moderator: Steve Del Rosso, Program Director for International Peace and Security, Carnegie Corporation of New York
Source: DU VideoManager

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. At this Denver Dialogue luncheon, representatives from all five schools discussed their innovative projects, shared lessons learned, and identified future opportunities for universities to contribute to the public good.

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