A great place to look for new insights in foreign affairs and public policy is the lecture archive of Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia (website, feed). While the all past lectures are not in the RSS feed, it’s easy to download each one individually or to watch online. Here are some of the lectures I’ve listened to lately.
Observations of a Journalist-Turned-Marine Corps Intel Officer (website)
Matt Pottinger left his journalism career behind in 2005 to join the Marine Corps because he felt compelled to be an active participant in the issues he was covering. After tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pottinger believes that America would be better served if more government decision makers had military experience. He points out that leaders with military experience are much less likely to send American troops into combat.
Progressivism’s Holy Grail – Obama and Health-Care Reform (website)
Brown University political science professor James Morone narrates the tortured history of health care reform, starting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, discussing the dramatic twists and turns and political machinations. Morone is a dynamic and entertaining speaker, and he tells a great story.
The Self in Arab Culture: Implications for Suicide Bombing, Corruption, and the Rule of Law (website)
Princeton University anthropology professor Lawrence Rosen believes that in Arab cultures the sense of self is bound up with a person’s web of relationships. If you want to know who someone is, you don’t ask what he or she does for a living. You ask about the person’s family and friends and work relationships. Rosen fleshes out this theory and what it implies for Arab societies in this fascinating presentation.