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Dr. Klara Bilgin – Dean, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia International University.
The School for Public and International Affairs, and the Center for Democracy at Virginia International University are organizing a Conference on Politics, Conflict and Development to take place on April 15th and 16th, 2016 at Virginia International University in Fairfax, VA. This year’s theme is Power Shifts: Conflict, Emergencies, and Global Response. We are expecting about 100-120 participants from around the world working mainly on these key thematic areas:
• International Emergency Response to Complex Crises
• Political Conflicts and Regional Implications
• Political Transitions, Democratization, and the Spread of Authoritarianism
• New Trends in International Relations
• Changing Roles of International Organizations
• Development Challenges in Conflict Areas
MUNPlanet: For the ones in hurry, can you tell us in one sentence why your conference should be in everyone's calendar?
It tackles the top key issues in International Relations: Conflicts, Emergencies, and the Global Response.
MUNPlanet: Power Shifts: Conflict, Emergencies, and Global Response is your theme. Even though we are pretty sure that it’s the global state of affairs nowadays, could you tell us what influenced picking
this topic and what’s the idea behind it?
The idea for this year’s conference theme is based mainly on the worsening situation in the Middle East -- the war in Syria, the collapse of order in places like Lydia and Yemen, the growing authoritarianism in Egypt and Turkey, and the refugee crises now affecting all of Europe. The slow and hesitant European and American response in the last few year has only served to make these problem more intractable and entrenched.
MUNPlanet: Students attend conferences such as yours to improve some of their existing skills or acquire the new ones altogether. What are some key skills that the participants will be able to improve/acquire by attending your conference?
Expect knowledge in the area of regional studies, conflict resolution,
terrorism and counterterrorism and other IR themes
Am opportunity to hear experts in the IR field
MUNPlanet: Behind every great project, there is a great organizing team. Tell us more about yours and share a few tips on what makes it outstanding?
The team includes three faculty members and two assistants. Our experience from last year is making it much easier for us this year.
Mostly academics, associate and assistant professors and advanced graduate students. Our keynote speakers come from some of the top think tanks in Washington DC.
MUNPlanet: Being a university city, Fairfax certainly does sound interesting and exciting to visit! What should be on sightseeing list?
The US capital, Washington DC
MUNPlanet: What do you have prepared for participants after the conference hours?
Presidential Reception and an option to visit an authentic Irish Bar Pub on (day 1) Optional Tour of Washington Dc (day 2)
MUNPlanet: Can we look forward to more projects like this in the future?
This is an annual event- so there would be one every year.
MUNPlanet: How do you see new technologies, especially communities such as MUNPlanet, changing the landscape of knowledge and education in the coming years?
Helping us reach more participants, all across the globe.
MUNPlanet: What is the most important lesson that each of your participants will be taking with them once the conference is over?
Hopefully a new understanding of the multiple issues in IR and the scope and direction of the ongoing Power Shifts, as well information about new lines of research and a expanded network of contacts and friends.
Image 2 - Courtesy of CPCD
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