Mansfield Dialogues

The Mansfield Dialogues bring community and international experts to local audiences for the opportunity to discuss critical issues in U.S.-Asia relations and ethics in public affairs. Each semester will feature a different theme that ties all the topics together and provides a launching point for those wishing to gain more information.

These informal sessions take place over the lunch hour, and audience members are encouraged to bring both lunch and their questions.

Spring 2019 Theme: Challenges to a Peaceful World in 2019

Each year since 2008, the Council on Foreign Relations' Center for Preventive Action (CPA) has asked foreign policy experts to rank thirty ongoing or potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring or escalating in the next year and their potential impact on U.S. national interests. This semester's Dialogues will explore some of the top conflict prevention priorities identified in the 2019 Preventative Priorities Survey.

Spring 2019 Schedule

Man in black hoodie typing on a computer with with Russian flag and coding in the backgroundRussia’s Role in the Digital World

Wednesday, February 27 at Noon
University Center Room 330

Speaker: Julie Sirrs, Attorney, Co-Founder of Montanans for National Security, and former Defense Intelligence Agency Analyst.

While certain Russian actions such as its hacking related to the 2016 U.S. elections are now well-known, few people realize the depth and breadth of Russia's targeting of Americans and others through cyberspace. The reasons Russia engages in such tactics are also not well understood. The "what" and "why" of Russia's cyber campaign need to be further explored in order to effectively counter it.

President Trump shaking hands with North Korea’s Kim Jong UnThe Future of Denuclearization in North Korea

Wednesday, March 13 at Noon
University Center Room 225

Speaker: Featuring a North Korean Defector as well as faculty from the Mansfield Defense Critical Language and Culture Program: Dr. Byeong-Keun You, Jisoo Han, Owen Sirrs, and Sanghyup Lee

Since Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump's historic summit in Singapore, North Korea has suspended nuclear missile tests, deconstructed an ICBM launch facility, demolished a nuclear test site, released American hostages, and sent American remains home. The Trump administration in turn has postponed or reduced joint South Korea and U.S. military exercises. However, after a second summit in February failed to reach an agreement, new questions are raised about the possibility of renewed tensions on the Korean Peninsula even as both sides hope to continue negotiations. This presentation reviews how much progress has been made since the historic summit in Singapore and explores the possible scenarios in case the denuclearization deal fails. In addition, the audience will be able to learn various issues such as the current situation in the Korean Peninsula, reunification, and human rights in North Korea from the perspectives of a North Korean defector, a South Korean, a Korean American, and a Canadian American.

cyberBeyond the Cyber Hype: What We Know and What is New About the Politics of Cyber Security

Wednesday, March 20 at Noon
Theta Rho Room, Mansfield Library

Speaker: Dr. Eva-Maria Maggi, Visiting Assistant Professor for the Department of Political Science at the University of Montana.

Global networks connecting everyone and everything enable threats to national security from anywhere on anyone. No wonder that the debate around cyber security is often blurred by an all-encompassing angst about an unknown threat that can attack from anywhere. What is behind the cyber hype and what do we know on how to deal with threats from cyber space?

Men with guns around a tankYemen’s Spiraling Humanitarian Disaster

Wednesday, April 10 at Noon
University Center Room 332

Speaker: Owen Sirrs, Adjunct Faculty, Mansfield Defense Critical Language and Culture Program

The world has all but chosen to ignore Yemen's multiple wars even though the United Nations calculates that three-quarters of Yemen's people need sustained humanitarian aid if they are to survive famine and the world's largest outbreak of cholera in nearly fifty years. What is happening in Yemen and how can the world community do more to prevent it from becoming another failed state like Somalia?

Two Asian women speaking in front of a hutConflicting Claims: The Challenges of Managing Shared Natural Resources

Wednesday, April 24 at Noon
University Center Room 330

Speakers: Fellows in the U.S. Department of State's Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative on Global Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management. This is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.

While global environmental issues frequently demand regional and global responses, global natural resource management challenges many countries' desires to work together as they all draw on finite, shared resources critical for each country's natural development. As economics need and military power threaten to tip the scales, particularly in areas like the South China Sea, the next generation of leaders discuss the situation in their home countries and the future they hope to achieve.

Past Mansfield Center Lecture Series