Camden Conference in the World ~ October
To explain the survival and wide domestic acceptance of China’s communist regime, Yasheng Huang looks back to a system of civil-service exams first implemented in the 6th Century that to this day drills “Chinese minds in autocratic values and deference.” In his new book, The Rise and Fall of the East, MIT professor and 2019 China conference speaker Huang uses his deep knowledge of Chinese history to explain how this system led to “sclerosis” and the loss of China’s earlier technological lead over the West – a loss that persisted until the late 1970s. Subscribers to Foreign Affairs can also read Huang’s account of the role of entrepreneurs in China’s rapid growth after 1980 and its recent economic setbacks.
Brown University economics professor and 2022 Europe conference speaker Mark Blyth talks to National Public Radio’s “Make Me Smart” about why President Joe Biden is “struggling” to sell Bidenomics to American voters as a successful economic and environmental strategy. As Blyth sees it, the problem in large part is that Biden’s activist reindustrialization policy doesn’t easily resonate in a country in which only 11% of the economy is industrial and the rest is in the service sector.
Sergei Medvedev, exiled Russian author and two-time time Camden Conference speaker, explained to CNBC in late September his concern that “the West is tiring” of the Ukraine war and may not maintain its strong political and military support for the embattled country. Medvedev will be returning to the Opera House Oct. 21 for a conference-sponsored talk on “Putin’s World War III: Why War in Ukraine is War on the West.” Medvedev’s fellow 2022 Conference speaker John Herbst has expressed similar concern about US willingness to provide “the more advanced weapons Ukraine needs to increase the odds of success” on the battlefield.
However, the “moral calculus” of the Ukraine situation is not simple, Belfer Professor of international affairs at Harvard and 2018 Camden Conference keynoter Stephen Walt argues in his latest piece in Foreign Policy. A glimpse at the complexities as Walt sees them can also be found in this excerpt available to non-subscribers, including the “unsavory elements” in the Ukraine government and the “risible” nature of claims that Western policy had nothing to do with Russia’s attack – even accepting that the attack “deserves to be condemned.”
University of Exeter professor, climate activist, and 2021 Arctic Camden Conference speaker Gail Whiteman was using everything from pop culture to virtual reality last month to try and bring the dangers of climate inaction home to people wherever they are. During Climate Week in New York last month, Whiteman and actor Rainn Wilson, co-founders of Climate Basecamp, were giving away ice cream in climate-endangered flavors “before they’re gone… for good.” They talked to Forbes about using pop culture to engage people with the climate crisis. True to her long-standing engagement with the Arctic, Whiteman last month also co-authored a piece describing the immersive virtual environment known as Polar Tipping Points Hub she has helped develop in her work with the Davos-based World Economic Forum.