Lectures on critical topics in international affairs
IU established the Patrick O'Meara Lecture Series in 2011 in honor of IU's first Vice President for International Affairs. The lecture series brings distinguished guests to the Bloomington campus to address timely topics in international affairs.
To be determined.
President, Mexico Business Forum "Towards a Prosperous North American Partnership: Issues and Challenges" March 21, 2018
Roberto Salinas-León, president of the Mexico Business Forum in Mexico City, where he works on a variety of projects of policy analysis, investment advisory and economic consultancy, delivered the 7th annual Patrick O’Meara International Lecture on March 21, 2018, in Presidents Hall on the Bloomington campus.
Salinas-León holds a B.A. in political economy, history, and philosophy from Hillsdale College and an M.A. and Ph. D. in philosophy from Purdue University. He has been an adjunct professor and visiting professor of political economy at the Escuela Libre de Derecho (1989-2002), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1989-1992) and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City (since 2004). He is currently senior debate fellow and debate lecturer at Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation in Vermont.
Salinas-León has organized a number of the most important policy and academic forums in the past 25 years in Mexico, including the annual roundtable of The Economist Group, which he directed from 1997 until 2009. He is president of Alamos Alliance, which organizes an annual economic and policy symposium in Álamos, Sonora. For 25 years, this gathering has hosted the most recognized names in economic policy in Latin America and the world, as well as some of the most distinguished minds in the field of economics.
He has published more than 2,000 editorials (English and Spanish) on public policy topics, including occasional op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal, The Journal of Commerce, Investor’s Business Daily, Barron’s, and others. He was a weekly editorial columnist in El Economista from 1993 to 2011. He is an occasional commentator for CNN, CNN Latin America, CNCB, the BBC, and others.
Salinas-León has delivered more than 900 lectures in Mexico, the United States, Canada, several countries in Central and South America, and throughout Europe and Asia. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on three occasions—on NAFTA and free trade, structural reform in Mexico, and monetary and exchange rate policy.
Member of Parliament of India, economist, policy maker, and author "India and the United States: Caste, Race, and Economic Growth November 14, 2016
Narendra Jadhav, an IU alumnus, economist, writer, and educator and a member of India's parliament, addressed a large audience in Presidents Hall on November 14, 2016. After completing his doctorate in economics at IU in 1986, Jadhav worked at the Reserve Bank of India, rising to the position of chief economist. He later became vice chancellor of the University of Pune, a member of the National Planning Commission and the National Advisory Council of India. He now serves in India’s parliament. He is broadly recognized in India for two works detailing his family’s rise out of the caste system. In total, he has published 21 books ranging from biography and poetry to political economy.
In the sixth annual Patrick O’Meara International Lecture, Jadhav connected the U.S. historical treatment of African Americans with India’s caste system and explored the economic implications of a society that disenfranchises large segments of its population.
Although the “two largest democracies in the world” were established in radically different ways—the United States a frontier society seen as a land of opportunity; India, an old civilization characterized by a caste-ridden hierarchical society—they share a long history of “stigmatization, discrimination, and disenfranchisement against a large segment of their own people.” Jadhav noted that the “most striking difference is that the color caste system in the United States is based on social recognition whereas the caste system in India has been based on a religious sanction.” The disenfranchised in both systems “were not allowed to carve out for themselves a place in the mainstream. Both had to fight for a place.”
Jadhav traced this progress through the work of major figures—Booker T. Washington, William Dubois, and Martin Luther King in the United States and B. R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi in India. Despite differences between the countries, these figures found inspiration in the work of each other.
From detailing the history and slow progress towards social equality, Jadhav moved to the topic of economic impact. The traditional view, Jadhav explained, is that social identities do not matter in the economic market. Jadhav countered that view. “Group identities are invariably reflected in economic outcomes, such as income, wages, and credit. The groups face discrimination in almost every walk of life. We must take a holistic view of the pernicious effect of race and caste on their respective economies.”
Tracing the pattern of economic growth in the two countries across the centuries, Jadhav compiled an impressive array of statistics that point to the economic value of inclusion. He noted that the United States faces a future of slow growth while India’s young population offers the opportunity for double-digit growth through the availability of a growing workforce at a time when the working population of other major economic powers is shrinking.
However, despite different economic prospects, both the United States and India face similar challenges. For the United States to realize its potential for growth, its “policy would have to reflect the country’s diversity and represent all social groups.” India must also assure that large segments of its population are not excluded from developing their “talent, potential, and skills. If we want to harness India’s demographic dividend, we must invest in education and in skill development. If we don’t do this, we will be producing the mouths to feed but not the hands that can work. There is no way we can sustain economic growth unless this growth is inclusive.”
The U.S. and India face a war against class discrimination, illiteracy, and poverty, and their weapons are democracy, education, and self-empowerment. —Narendra Jadhav
Former U.S. Ambassador to China and Singapore and former Governor of Utah "U.S. and China: Challenges and Opportunities" September 16, 2015
Jon Huntsman, Jr., governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009 and U.S. ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011, delivered the 2015 Patrick O’Meara International Lecture. He spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the Whittenberger Auditorium in September. Huntsman’s brief was the state of U.S. and China. He began on an optimistic note. “We’re a blue sky optimistic problem-solving people, and we have been for generations, and that hasn’t changed. Don’t buy the gloomy outlook being pedaled by politicians. We in the U.S. have issues, but look at the balance sheet. The asset side of the balance sheet of this country is so much stronger than the liabilities side. There is not even one issue that is unsolvable by human beings.”
At the moment, however, we are at “an inflection point,” Huntsman continued. “This I feel is like the day before the Renaissance. The changes ahead are going to be mind numbing.” The difficulty lies in our readiness to face these changes. “Science is progressing exponentially. Our brains are progressing linearly. And our public policy and regulatory responses are progressing glacially. We have sound institutions of governance. The problem is human failure. People won’t work together in solving our most pressing issues.”
What is needed is a willingness of political opponents to “cut a deal at the table, knowing full well that you’re going to have to give up something, and they’re going to have to give up something. We can rip other people down, be boastful and theatric in debates, but we’re not going to put the pieces together until human beings step up and fix it. We don’t need to hear what politicians want to do; we need to hear how they are going to do it. That requires building a thoughtful strategy and building coalitions of those with differing philosophies and world views. The choices we make now are going to be with us for a very long time.”
Among the global issues that need immediate attention are “a huge diffusion of power,” the “rise of individual empowerment,” and “worsening demographic trends and patterns.” Using the examples of cybercrime and ISIS, Huntsman noted that “non-state actors can drive an agenda like never before.” At the same time, “anyone today, it seems, can call for a revolution, and people will show up.” Finally, the rapid growth of cities has created problems with “hard choices”: air quality, health care, education, and infrastructure.
China is facing special problems of its own, Huntsman said. “It is moving from an old economic model of cheap labor, discounted currency, and exports to the biggest markets of the world, to a new, consumption model which presupposes that you have a stronger sense of stability, business adjudication, a legal structure that guides the actions of organizations, and civil society.” Chinese leadership must decide what to do about state-owned enterprise reform, about enterprises that are doing business the old fashioned way with no transparency, no rules guiding their behavior in the marketplace, with preferential access to discounted costs of capital, and raw material discounts.”
China is also engaged in a massive anti-corruption campaign that is touching individuals who previously seemed untouchable. People are unsure where that campaign will end, and that is creating an overall freeze on the ability to do business.” The challenge for the Chinese leadership is the “gap between expectations and the reality of what can be delivered.” President Xi Jinping’s government “has to articulate a message of confidence so that citizens will take money out of savings and invest in the future of the country. That is the long-term strategy to promote regional stability and prosperity.”
Huntsman concluded his talk with a view of the future: “When the history books are written about the 21st century, we are going to read about the rise of China, how the world responded, and whether that left the world in a more peaceful and stable place or whether it resulted in war and bloodshed and the disaggregation of the existing order.” Huntsman noted that by the turn of the next century, Asians will outnumber the rest of the world by almost five to one. The Indian Ocean will be the main maritime thoroughfare, and for a long-term investment, he recommended “some beachfront property in Sri Lanka.”
Professor, School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews “The Centenary of the First World War: Commemoration or Celebration?” April 15, 2015
Sir Hew Strachan, Professor of International Relations in the School of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews, and former Chichele Professor of the History of War at All Souls College, Oxford, addressed the impact of World War I in the 4th annual Patrick O’Meara International Lecture. Sir Hew is a distinguished military historian and an authority on the First World War.
Sir Hew Strachan was Chichele Professor of the History of War and a fellow of All Souls College at the University of Oxford before joining the faculty at the University of St. Andrews in 2015. He was director of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War between 2003 and 2012. He serves on the Strategic Advisory Panel of the Chief of the Defence Staff and on the U.K. Defence Academy Advisory Board. He is a trustee of the Imperial War Museum, a commonwealth war graves commissioner, and a member of both the National Committee for the Centenary of the First World War and the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
He is a fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2003; and was awarded an Hon. D. Univ. by the University of Paisley in 2005. In 2010, he chaired a task force on the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant for the prime minister. He was the inaugural Humanitas Visiting Professor in War Studies at the University of Cambridge in 2011 and was appointed specialist adviser to the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy. Sir Strachan is a brigadier in the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers). In December 2012, Foreign Policy magazine included him in its list of top global thinkers. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year's Honours and was appointed lord lieutenant of Tweeddale in 2014.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Poland and founding dean of the IU School of Global and International Studies, College of Arts and Sciences “Back to the Future: Old Challenges and New, and the Capacity of International Institutions to Cope” April 1, 2014
Lee A. Feinstein, founding dean of the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, presented the third annual Patrick O’Meara International Lecture on April 1, 2014 at IU Bloomington.
A U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Poland from 2009 to 2012, Feinstein has had a distinguished career in and out of government. A noted scholar-practitioner, Feinstein has served two secretaries of state and a secretary of defense and has worked at the nation’s top research institutes, including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution.
Addressing international institutions’ ability to cope with new challenges, Feinstein traced the development of a new idea of sovereignty. The phrase responsibility to protect was coined by an international group of scholars assembled by the U.N. in response to the massacres in Bosnia. Responsibility to protect is “the idea that mass atrocities that take place in one state are the concern of all states.” The principle has two parts: first, it asserts “the basic human rights obligation of all states to those living within their borders” and second, “when a state fails in that obligation, the rest of the world has the responsibility to do something. The actions could be diplomatic; they could involve public pressure, embarrassment, naming and shaming, economic sanctions. The actions could be military.”
For Feinstein, this new U.N. principle represents “the biggest change in the definition of sovereignty since the Treaty of Westphalia. The adoption by the U.N. begins to remove some of the classic excuses for doing nothing. It is not illegal to take action when a state has failed.” This notion does not justify individual states taking unilateral action when they perceive violations elsewhere. “It is important to work within the U.N. system. The results will be more effective and more sustainable.”
Feinstein concluded with his belief in the power of ideas. “Changes in norms and legal obligations have only an indirect effect on how states behave, but they matter, and it is worth the effort to keep pressing to change norms in order to evolve the international system so that it can effectively grapple with the challenges we face today.”
The Patrick O’Meara International Lecture was established in 2011 to honor IU’s first Vice President for International Affairs, by bringing to the Bloomington campus distinguished speakers who address critical topics in international affairs.
Former U.S. senator from Indiana “American Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities” February 18, 2013
Former representative from Indiana and former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of India “India: Geopolitical, Economic, and Strategic Partner for the 21st Century” November 9, 2011
Support the series
Consider making a donation to help fund the lecture series.