Roundtable Discussion Series

Roundtable discussions address issues in global affairs that cut across disciplinary areas and/or regions of the world. These forums are open to faculty, visiting scholars, students and the local community.


The roots of the Rohingya crisis: The eradication of a Myanmar ethnic group

November 7, 2017

Featuring a keynote address by Michael W. Charney, professor of Asian and military history at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He was joined by Eaint Thiri Thi, human rights researcher and graduate student at the University of Minnesota. The panel was moderated by Ann Blackburn, professor of Asian studies and director of the South Asia Program.

Cornell Chronicle; Einaudi Center website


Indian Ocean politics in the 21st century

Robert Blake

October 31, 2017

Featuring a panel discussion by Robert Blake, former U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka and Indonesia, and Tissa Jayatilaka, Director of the Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission. Blake and Jayatilaka addressed the contemporary geopolitical dynamics of the Indian Ocean region, with special attention to U.S. and Sri Lankan positions and interests. The panel was moderated by Anne Blackburn, professor of Asian studies and director of the South Asia Program.

Cornell Sun


World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law

September 25, 2017

Featured a keynote address by Luis-Felipe López-Calva, co-director of the World Development Report 2017, and practice manager for Europe and Central Asia, Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank. He was joined by a panel that consisted of Cornell professors Robert Hockett, Ravi Kanbur, and Nicolas van de Walle. López-Calva explored why some policies fail to achieve desired outcomes while others work. He also addressed the question of how economic growth might be achieved amid violence and inequality.

Cornell Daily Sun


The potential of geothermal energy: Lessons from Iceland

October 17, 2016

Featuring a keynote address by Thorleikur Johannesson, an engineer with more than 20 years of experience designing and operating geothermal facilities in Iceland. He was joined by Kyu-Jung Whang, Cornell’s vice president for infrastructure, properties,and planning, and Edwin A. (Todd) Cowen, professor of civil and environmental engineering. The moderator was Jefferson W. Tester, Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems and director of the Cornell Energy Institute. The event was co-organized by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and co-sponsored by the Cornell Energy Institute. 

CornellCast videoCornell Chroncile; Cornell Daily SunEinaudi Center website


The future of the World Bank and the architecture of multilateral development banks

April 4, 2016

Panelists were former World Bank economists Caroline Freund, Homi Kharas, and Johannes Linn. The moderator was Cornell economist Ravi Kanbur, the bank's former chief economist for Africa. Linn discussed the structure and architecture of Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). Freund discussed the changed povery map of the world and Kharas stressed on the importance of collective action.

CornellCast video; Einaudi Center website


Syria and the Middle East: Refugees, internally displaced persons, and asylum seekers


March 22, 2016

Law professor Chantal Thomas moderated a discussion among Ambassador Lakdhar Brahimi, professor T. Alexander Aleinikoff, and Einaudi Center postdoctoral fellow Lisel Hintz. The event was jointly organized by the Einaudi Center, the Berger Center for International Legal Studies, and the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Cornell Daily Sun; CornellCast video; Einaudi Center website 


Five years after Fukushima: What have we learned from the nuclear accidents?


March 11, 2016

Featuring a keynote by Kiyoshi Kurokawa, chief investigator of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan. Other panelists were Charles Perrow of Yale, a sociologist and expert on the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, and Sonja Schmid of Virginia Tech, who has studied the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Rebecca Slayton (science and technology studies) and Hirokazu Miyazaki (Einaudi Center) moderated. 

Einaudi Center websiteCornell Chronicle; CornellCast video


US-Cuba diplomatic relations

May 4, 2015 

Organized by the Latin American Studies Program and the Einaudi Center, the discussion featured Skype appearances by Lynn Roche, public affairs officer for the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, and two Cornell students currently studying in Cuba. Cornell professors Kenneth Roberts (Government), Gustavo Flores-Macías (Government), Timothy DeVoogd (Psychology, and director of the Latin American Studies Program), and Eduardo Inigo-Elias (Laboratory of Ornithology) commented on their remarks.

CornellCast videoCollege of Arts & Sciences website


Ebola burdens African governments, health systems


November 10, 2014

This discussion of the impact of the Ebola pandemic featured Chinua Akukwe (public health, George Washington University), John Panzer (International Trade Department, World Bank), Nathaniel Hupert (public health and medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College), and Nicolas van de Walle (Government, Cornell). Muna Ndulo, professor at the Cornell Law School and director of the Institute for African Development, moderated.

CornellCast videoCornell Chronicle 


20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide


April 17, 2014

Featuring a keynote address by Adama Dieng, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, followed by a panel discussion on the relevance of the Rwandan genocide for current conflicts.

CornellCast videoCornell Chronicle


Kurds in the age of Middle Eastern revolutions

March 21, 2014

An interdisciplinary panel of experts gathered to examine Kurdish issues from historical, sociological, and political perspectives. The discussion touched on the role that Kurds are playing in the Middle East as well as the future of Kurdish populations in light of the dramatic developments taking place in the region.


The EU financial crisis: Implications inside and outside the Euro Zone

March 30, 2012

Participants described current and proposed institutional arrangements and examined the impacts of the crisis on the EU and the broader world. The event was supported by the European Union Commission.

CornellCast video Part 1 and Part 2


Food, politics, and society: Alternative futures

October 30, 2009

In a kick-off event for a new Oxford handbook on food, politics, and society, speakers raised issues of ethics, alternative food movements, technology, nutrition, and risk. The forum was organized by the Einaudi Center and the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) and co-sponsored by the Polson Institute for Global Development; Department of Government; Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences; and the Development, Governance, and Nature Initiative.