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Global Citizen Student Dialogues: Shifting Architecture in Global Systems

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Music Room, Second Floor, Hart House

7 Hart House Circle

Toronto, ON M5S 3H3

Canada

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Hart House Senior Members Committee presents a new Global Citizen Student Dialogue Series, Shifting Architecture in Global Systems. This series, led by international students, brings together faculty along with members of the business and government sectors to share their perspectives on current international issues and facilitate student discussion.

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Global Citizen Student Dialogues Series

Theme of the Year 2017-2018:“Shifting Architecture in Global Systems”

In this Hart House dialogue series, experts from University of Toronto, business sector and Canadian government will be invited to share their perspectives on current international issues and facilitate our student panelists on background researches to provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the trends and currents regarding present hot-button issues around the globe.

Depiction of Event I: “Rising Powers: China, India and Russia”

Despite Europe’s continued concerns about China’s human rights issues and its stand on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese president Xi Jinping aligned with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and rest of the world to the exacerbating environmental challenges during the Paris Climate Conference, putting a new collective leadership into concrete terms. Meanwhile, as the wave of anti-globalization sentiment swerving the developed world, the largest overseas investment drive ever launched by a single country, the Belt Road Initiative deemed to boost global trade, demonstrates the growing economic capacity and diplomatic heft of the People’s Republic, while aggravating concerns regarding China's geopolitical design at the same time. But the questions really are: will China be a responsible stakeholder? and how would China write what they called “the New Chapters of Major-Country Diplomacy” in a world that requires cooperative and multilateral solutions?

Since March 2014 when Crimea was annexed into the Russian Federation, conflicts and bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine have never been alleviated. The actions of the Kremlin in 2014 and beyond should be seen in the context of Russian domestic and foreign policy developments of the “late” Putin era, including increased authoritarian tendencies and the consolidation of the power structure with the Kremlin indisputably at its center. Russia embraced nationalism and positioned itself as the protector of the so-called “Russian world” beyond its borders (including ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers in the former Soviet Union) and of the Orthodox faith. For President Vladimir Putin, violence and political finesse are instrumental in for their emergence as an independent center of power, as well as in securing Moscow’s influence in Europe, North America and the Middle East. While sanctions toward Russia fairly proved the transatlantic unity and resolve, they also demonstrated the limits of such approach, in a time of uncertainties such as U.S. leadership under President Trump and Brexit. What emboldened Kremlin to engage more and more substantially in geopolitical maneuvering in the Eurasia theater? How will Western military cohesion adjust to the new changes in diplomatic relations and political standing? What are the prospects of Russian internal politics?

While the rise of China has been the hot story over the past 30 years, some believe that the next 30 will be India’s time to shine. Although its economical indices have seemed to be quite promising over the past decade, India remains somehow absent on the global stage. The underdeveloped diplomatic service, the ignorance toward Chinese economic partnerships, the unwillingness to lead on international issues, a rather weak military in terms of strategic industrial support, a growing sense of nationalism and poor governance amid its 27 states and 7 union territories, all together provide a rather intricate and somewhat elusive depiction of India. Moreover, with its much-touted economic boom now faltering, will the rise of India be consistent and linear? If so, whom would the South Asia giant dance with and what role will it take at the global stage?

Guest Speakers

Professor Victor Falkenheim (China Aspect)

Victor C. Falkenheim is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto where he has taught since 1972. Educated at Princeton (B.A) and Columbia (MA & Ph.D), Professor Falkenheim has previously served twice as Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies as well as Director of the Joint Centre for Modern East Asia. Furthermore, he has given lectures in China, and has worked on several projects over the past twenty years for the Canadian International Development Agency and the World Bank, in China. Currently, his research and interests focus on contemporary Chinese politics, and issues dealing with migration and urbanization. His publications include articles on contemporary China in China Quarterly, Asian Survey, Studies in Comparative Communism, and Problems of Communism, and chapters in a number of edited volumes.

Professor Seva Gunitsky (Russia Aspect)

Seva Gunitsky is Associate Professor of Political Science and Graduate Coordinator at Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Munk School of Global Affairs. His research examines how global disruptions like major wars and economic shocks shape modern democracy. His first book, Aftershocks: Great Powers and Domestic Reforms in the 20th Century, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. The book offers a new theory of modern regime change, focusing on great power transitions as drivers of sweeping waves of domestic transformations. His research has also appeared in International Organization, International Theory, and Perspectives on Politics, among others. A native of Russia, Seva is a graduate of Columbia University and a former post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University.

Professor Kanta Murali (India Aspect)

Kanta Murali is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, educated at Smith College (MESc,), London School of Economics and Political Science (M.Sc.) and Princeton University (Ph.D.). Her research interests include comparative political economy of development, Indian politics, politics of growth and economic policy, state-business relations and labor policy. Her Ph.D. dissertation (“Economic Liberalization, Electoral Coalitions and Private Investment in India”) at Princeton University aims to understand the political conditions favourable to growth-oriented policies in poor democracies by focusing on a specific empirical puzzle related to India. It examines sub-national policy variation in the competition for private investment in India after the country undertook market reforms in 1991 and analyzes the political factors behind why some subnational governments have been more pro-active in undertaking investment promotion policies than their counterparts. Other projects include “Development, Democratization and Democratic Deepening” (with Noam Lupu).

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Music Room, Second Floor, Hart House

7 Hart House Circle

Toronto, ON M5S 3H3

Canada

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