Eventful summer/fall 2012 at the Institute of International Affairs and Centre for Small State Studies at the University of Iceland

IIA-CENTRE-FOR-ARCTIC-POLICI-ENSThe fall calendar has been very full with a wide selection of differing and highly interesting topics. In late August Ingo Heidbrink, Professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, gave a lecture on new insights into the history of the Cod Wars after the opening of the NATO archives. In early September, Damien Degeorges focused on the state-building process in Greenland and Michael Minkenberg from the European University Viadrina í Frankfurt (Oder) gave a lecture on The Radical Right and the Politics of Xenophobia in Europe. Michael McGowan, a former member of the European Parliament and a former BBC Television and Radio reporter and producer, talked about the potential in development cooperation. September 21 the Institute hosted a conference on Constitutions of the EU and Nordic States – Multilevel Constitutional Order and Democratic Challenges in cooperation with the Human Rights Institute, Reykjavik University and the EU Info Centre at the Nordic house with Allan Rosas, Judge at the European Court of Justice, as keynote speaker. September 28, Joseph Maila, Director of Policy Planning at the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, gave a lecture on the crisis in Syria in the context of the Near and Middle East.

October was also action packed with Gareth Evans, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia, focusing our attention on why we should eliminate nuclear weapons, in a highly interesting and well attended open seminar October 4.

Focusing on the US Elections

The IIA scheduled three events leading up to the elections on the United States. The first was a lecture by Michael T. Corgan from Boston University tackling the topic of democracy in the American elections. The second event was a seminar with two political consultants representing the two major parties discussing the campaign and the strategies. In the third event, Professor James A. Thurber from American University discussed the most likely results and the make-up of the US electorate a day prior to the elections.

The Europe Dialogues

Of ten scheduled seminars focusing on Iceland, European intergration and small states, we have so far hosted three. The next seven are to take place in the spring. Our guests have so far discussed the EU´s regional policy, gender mainstreaming in Europe and energy security. The speakers were Amelia Hadfield from Vriije University in Brussels, Romas Svedas, energy advisor from Lithuania, John Bachtler from Strathclyde University in the UK, Kari Aalto from the EU Office of Northern Finland, Jenny Claesson from Add Gender in Sweden and Joni Seager from Bentley University.