Panel 2: Challenges to the Global Society: Armed Conflict, Terrorism, and Nuclear Proliferation


Marvin Weinbaum, Scholar-in-residence at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Panelist and Chair)

Marybeth Peterson Ulrich, Professor of Government, Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College

  • “America First” in the Era of Governing Globalization – Dr. Ulrich will explore the implications of the Order, Welfare, Legitimacy (OWL) model for US national security and foreign policy in the current domestic and international environment.  Current assumptions about state power will be assessed to see which will endure in the increasingly interdependent global society.   The future of military power as the principal means of a state “to attain its principal announced foreign policy objectives” will be considered as well as the evolving balance between hard and soft power in US foreign policy.  Particular attention will be paid to the Trump administration’s nascent “America First” strategy.  The author will highlight how the OWL doctrine predicts that strategies that fail to recognize security interdependencies and which undermine norms of international cooperation will achieve neither their domestic nor foreign policy goals.  Rather than contributing to governance of the global society, such an approach to the massing and application of national power makes citizens less secure.

Cliff Singer, Director of the Program in Arms Control & Domestic and International Security (ACDIS) and Emeritus Professor of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, and of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Partitioning the Nuclear Oceans – In a world with more than two alliances possessing nuclear-armed submarines and no limits on where they patrol, it could become difficult during or in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear attack to reliably identify the source of that attack. This situation could seriously undermine the rationale for nuclear deterrence, which relies on knowing where to threaten to retaliate. One approach to addressing this problem is a verifiable agreement to limit patrol regions for nuclear-armed submarines. Failure with this element of global governance could have catastrophic consequences.


Catherine O’Rourke, Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and Gender Research Coordinator at the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University in Northern Ireland

  • Women’s Rights in Conflict Under International Law: Doctrine, Participation, Efficacy – Dr. Rourke will present a new framework for examining the role of international law in protecting women’s rights in conflict. Whereas international law was historically defined by silence on women’s status and rights in armed conflict,  we can now credibly point to a corpus of international law governing the treatment of women in armed conflict that traverses international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international criminal law and the Women, Peace and Security Resolutions of the UN Security Council. What is less clear, however, is whether and how this prolific growth in legal and normative activity across regimes of international law has contributed to the enhanced protection of women’s rights on the ground in conflict-affected settings. The proposed framework examines, in turn, the legal doctrine, its opportunities for women’s civil society participation, and ultimately, the efficacy of this framework in scrutinising belligerent actors for violations of women’s rights in conflict.

Marvin Weinbaum, Scholar-in-residence at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Panelist and Chair)

  • The Bright and Dark Sides of Globalization: The Case of Afghanistan – Afghanistan offers a unique case for the study of globalization. For decades prior 2001, Soviet occupation, internecine conflict and international neglect left the country largely isolated from the rest of the world. Its abrupt exposure to external influences and new resources brought profound changes, making Afghanistan an apt site for investigating the net effects of rapid globalization on fragmented post-conflict societies. This paper aims to illustrate “through such examples as commerce, narcotics, media, and aid” the benefits and drawbacks from Afghanistan’s experiences with globalization. The paper will contend that an important key to success lies in there being a politically cohesive leadership equipped to manage the pace and conditions of engagement with the outside world. Afghanistan also stands to realize major gains from increased economic integration and wider access to information made possible through regional cooperation that complements global involvement in achieving a stable, peaceful, and prospering Afghanistan.