Academic Year 2015/2016
How the United States Ends Wars
23- 24 October 2015
Dr. Jack Thompson
On 23 and 24 October 2015, the UCD Clinton Institute hosted a conference with the title “How the United States Ends Wars.” Noted experts in the field gave three impressive keynotes speeches: Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs;Professor Marilyn Young, of New York University; and Professor Toby Dodge of the London School of Economics. In all, scholars from four different continents presented sixteen papers over the course of two days. Several overarching themes characterized the conference. One that recurred throughout many of the papers was that, especially in recent years in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States has found it difficult to end wars. One reason for this is a tendency for political leaders and military personnel to develop conflicting objectives. As one speaker noted, the US military is skilled in the art of killing; it has enjoyed far less success in conceptualizing military objectives that contribute to long-term political stability. One of the more frequent strategies for ending wars is that of Vietnamization, or turning the fighting over to local troops that have been trained by US (often special) forces. As in Vietnam, however, this rarely succeeds for a variety of reasons, including the unwillingness/inability of the United States to invest the long-term resources and presence necessary for such a strategy. On the home front, as several speakers noted, the Americans have a tendency to treat all US soldiers as heroes, regardless of their actions or individual experiences, and to consider them unconnected to any negative actions or consequences of the war(s) in which they fought. Indeed, there is a propensity for American society to embrace a collective amnesia about negative consequences of wars in general. In closing, a general consensus emerged that the United States in the future needs to: (1) be more careful about beginning/entering wars in the first place; (2) do a better job of connecting military and political goals once fighting has begun; and (3) do a better job of embracing accurate, including negative, narratives about wars in which it has fought.
The conference was organised jointly by UCD Clinton Institute and the School of History, University College Cork with assistance of the UCD Centre for War Studies.
Arthur Miller Centenary
10 – 11 October 2015
To mark the centenary of Aruther Miller’s birth, the Institute, the Gate Theatre and the Dublin Theatre Festival presented a weekend of events to pay tribute to the man and his works. The enthusiastic audience was treated to a series of readings, discussions and interviews about Miller, and his writing given by directors, actors, biographers and academics, including Christopher Bigsby who finished the weekend with a wonderful lecture about his time with Miller when writing his biography.
ACADEMIC YEAR 2014/2015
Global Irish Civic Forum
Irish Abroad Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and UCD Clinton Institute
3-4 June 2015
As set out in ‘Global Irish – Ireland’s Diaspora Policy’ the first Global Irish Civic Forum took place in Dublin Castle on 3-4 June 2015. It was an opportunity for organisations supporting the Irish diaspora abroad to come to Dublin to discuss their work with these communities.
Neoliberalism and American Literature
20 – 21 February 2015
Speakers included: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern University), Liam Kennedy (University College Dublin) Walter Benn Michaels (University of Illinois at Chicago), Donald Pease (Dartmouth College), Stephen Shapiro (University of Warwick)
THIS NEEDS A SHORT REPORT FROM LIAM
How has American literature responded to the political, economic and cultural dominance of neoliberalism? What does neoliberalism mean for practices of writing, reading, and selling books? This conference will focus on the production, form and consumption of literature under conditions of neoliberalism.
Disapora and Development
31 Oct – 1 Nov 2014
In association with Irish Aid (Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade), Diaspora Matters and The Irish Times
In Ireland, we have become increasingly aware in recent years of the importance of diaspora outreach to our small island, especially in the wake of the global economic crisis, and particularly in relation to our large diaspora presence in the US. At the same time, we are conscious of the responsibilities of diaspora engagement as a two-way process that must be based on recognition, respect and reciprocity. At the UCD Clinton Institute we have sought to underline this approach through our research, including a recent study for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the “next generation” of the Irish diaspora. In this we share President Clinton’s view that “diasporas can drive positive and enduring change.”
Read the full report here (NEED THE LINK)