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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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'Good and evil' colloquium planned for April 25-26

In his address at the West Point commencement in June 2002, President Bush declared America to be "in a conflict between good and evil," insisting that "America will call evil by its name." On April 25-26, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs will present a colloquium titled "A World of Good and Evil? The Return to Morality in Public and International Affairs."

The event will explore the implications of a return to morality -- or at least the rhetoric of morality -- in public life by bringing together prominent scholars, policymakers and practitioners from around the globe. Lectures, panels and roundtable discussions will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in McCosh Hall, Robertson Hall and the Computer Science Building.

Participants will address the ethical and policy considerations underlying key foreign and domestic policies, ranging from homeland security and the confrontation with Iraq to the Monterrey Declaration and global public health. In all these areas, speakers will ask the fundamental question: Is the dichotomy of good and evil the appropriate way to view the challenges facing the global community?

Centers, programs and departments across the University will sponsor sessions. Historians will consider the antecedents of American unilateralism; philosophers will debate the moral and ethical dimensions of the good and evil dichotomy; economists and practitioners will analyze its effects on global welfare; and political scientists and diplomats will discuss its effects on the structure of the international system and America's place.

Keynote speakers will include: Brady Kiesling, a career diplomat who has served in U.S. embassies from Tel Aviv to Athens and who made international headlines in late February after resigning in protest against Bush administration policies on Iraq; and Dennis Ross, the former special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton and a point person in both the Bush and Clinton administrations responsible for exploring ways to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A complete schedule is available online, and much of the conference will be Webcast .

Following the colloquium, which is free and open to the public, a report will be posted on the site to stimulate debate in both academic and policy circles.

Contact: Tom Bartus (609) 258-3601

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