Mansfield Dialogues

The Mansfield Dialogues is a public lecture series designed to bring community together to discuss critical issues in international engagement and ethics in public affairs.


All talks will be held at 7pm through Zoom.  Use the links below to register and receive a link to the meeting.  Shakespeare and Company will donate a portion of the proceeds of Never Trump, The Myth of Chinese Capitalism, and The Jakarta Method to the United Way. Co-Sponsored by The Project on American Democracy and Citizenship.

The Mansfield Dialogues now offer Renewal Credits for teachers through OPI. Please contact Randi Edwards in advance if you plan to take advantage of this opportunity.

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Japan-U.S.-China: Japan's Indo-Pacific Diplomacy

Wednesday, October 28

Mie ObaDr. Mie Oba, Professor at Kanagawa University, will reflect on critical relations between our three nations given the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus disease pandemic has made clearer various trends and contradictions that emerged in the last decade. Japan had searched for a new direction in its diplomacy by proposing a free and open Indo-Pacific, while facing the transformation of regional order. Under the new administration, Japan will have to continue to address various severe problems to promote the free and open regional and international order. This lecture will review Japan’s Indo-Pacific diplomacy, with a focus on the U.S. and China.

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Election Post-Mortem

Wednesday, November 4

Sally MaukHolly MichelsRob Saldin






 The MTPR Campaign Beat Crew of Sally Mauk, Holly Michels, and Rob Saldin will analyze election results and what they mean for the future of politics and governing in Helena and Washington.

Sally Mauk is News Director Emerita of Montana Public Radio and currently hosts “Campaign Beat,” a weekly political analysis program on MTPR.

Holly Michels is the statehouse and political reporter for Lee Newspapers in Helena.

Robert Saldin is UM Professor of Political Science, a Mansfield Fellow, and co-author of Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites, co-authored with Steven Teles.

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The Myth of Chinese Capitalism

Wednesday, November 18

Dexter RobersBay FangThe Myth of Chinese Capitalism






 As discussed in his new book, "The Myth of Chinese Capitalism", Missoula native Dexter Roberts will describe how surging income inequality, an unfair social welfare system, and rising social tensions block China’s continued economic rise with implications for companies and countries around the world. Moderated by special guest Bay Fang, recently President of Radio Free Asia.

Roberts is an award-winning writer and speaker who previously spent more than two decades as China bureau chief and Asia news editor of Bloomberg Businessweek. He now serves as a UM Mansfield Fellow and instructor in political science, and as a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative. He has recently launched a China newsletter called Trade War; his book "The Myth of Chinese Capitalism: the Worker, the Factory and the Future of the World" was published in March 2020.

Bay Fang was until recently President of Radio Free Asia, where she oversaw award-winning journalism with the mission of bringing free press to closed societies in Asia. A former Beijing bureau chief for US News and World Report who also covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, she has the added perspective of having served in government under the Obama Administration as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for press and public diplomacy. Ms. Fang earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard University, was a visiting fellow at Oxford University and a Fulbright scholar in Hong Kong. She trained as a French chef at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and holds a brown belt in kung fu.

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Montana Legislative Session Preview

Wednesday, December 2

Montana Capitol BuildingNewly-elected legislators will share how election results will shape the coming session, discussing issues both prominent and contentious.

The 2021 Montana Legislative Session begins next month. How will the election results shape the coming session? What issues will be the most prominent and contentious? What partisan dynamics will legislators the governor need to navigate? How will COVID-19 impact the session?

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Cold War Imperialism: U.S.-Backed Anticommunism Movements and The Jakarta Method

Wednesday, December 16

Vincent BlevinsAndreas HarsonoJody PavilackThe Jakarta MethodRace, Islam, Power 










Author Vincent Bevins will discuss his new book, "The Jakarta Method", detailing a genocidal approach to anticommunism, while journalist and human rights advocate Andreas Harsono reviews political change and bloody conflict in Indonesia, drawing from his book "Race, Islam and Power". The conversation will be moderated by UM Latin America Professor Jody Pavilack. 

Vincent Bevins has worked as a correspondent in South America and Southeast Asia. His book, "The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World", was published in May 2020.

Andreas Harsono has covered Indonesia for Human Rights Watch since 2008. He's an ardent supporter of the press freedom, helping set up some organizations in Indonesia.

Jody Pavilack teaches courses in Colonial and Modern Latin American history, addressing such topics as U.S.-Latin American relations, labor and working-class history, and human rights and the politics of memory in Latin America.

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Past Dialogues

The Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Thursday, October 8

Elizabeth Porter

Ruth Bater GinsburgAn event of the Justice, Policy and Public Service Community of Excellence and Co-Sponsored by the Baucus Institute of the UM Blewett School of Law.

A former law clerk for Justice Ginsburg, University of Washington Professor Elizabeth Porter will reflect on the Ginsburg legacy in a conversation moderated by UM Constitutional Law Professor Anthony Johnstone.

Liz Porter is Associate Dean for Academic Administration and the Charles I. Stone Professor of Law at the University of Washington, where she teaches and writes on Civil Procedure, Complex Litigation, Torts, and Federal Courts. Professor Porter has a J.D. from Columbia Law School, a B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University, and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Following law school, Professor Porter served as a law clerk for Judge Sidney R. Thomas at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the United States Supreme Court. After her clerkships, she practiced commercial litigation at Jenner & Block LLP in Washington, D.C. 

Anthony Johnstone is the Helen and David Mason Professor of Law and an affiliated Professor of Public Administration at the University of Montana's Blewett School of Law. He teaches and writes about Federal and State Constitutional Law, Legislation, Election Law, Jurisprudence, and related subjects. Before joining the School of Law, Professor Johnstone served as the Solicitor for the State of Montana, practiced litigation as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, New York, and clerked for the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School. 


The Never Trump Revolt and the Future of American Democracy

Wednesday, October 14

Rob SaldinNever Trumpers

Drawing from his book, "Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites", author and UM Political Science Professor Rob Saldin will provide a guide to the long-term consequences that the unprecedented Never Trump revolt holds for the Republican and Democratic parties, conservatism, and American democracy. Moderated by Mansfield Center Executive Director Deena Mansour. 

Never Trump, co-authored with Steven Teles, is Saldin’s third book. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New Republic, National Affairs, The American Interest, and elsewhere.


Jim Messina: An Insider Assessment of the 2020 Election

Wednesday, October 21

Jim MessinaRamona Grey

 Pi Sigma Alpha





 Former Obama official and political strategist Jim Messina will discuss the state of the 2020 Presidential election, how Biden and Trump are campaigning amidst a pandemic, and how each of them are framing their final message to the American people. Moderated by UM Political Science Professor Ramona Grey and co-sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha.

Jim Messina is CEO of The Messina Group, a leading political and strategic consulting firm to businesses and political leaders around the world. Previously, Messina served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff, where he was integral to the passage of the historic health care bill, the economic stimulus act credited with saving the US economy, and the landmark repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Messina also ran President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, described by Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt as “the best-run campaign ever.”

Moderated by UM Political Science Professor Ramona Grey and co-sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha.  

Professor Ramona Grey teaches courses in American political thought, classical and contemporary political theory, and utopianism in the Department of Political Science. Her scholarly interests include teaching political philosophy in an age of partisan divide, politics and art, and American nature writers. Her articles have appeared in Higher Education Theory and Practice, American Studies, and Antioch Review.