Students studying outside the library

Past Events

100 Years of Communism
Mr. Marion Smith
October 25, 2016

Marion Smith (’07), the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, spoke about which forms of government are best for people and why he believes capitalism and democracy, though not perfect, are the most beneficial to citizens. Smith argued that the events and consequences of the Soviet Union and Cold War have been forgotten, but urged the audience to not forget the perils caused by communism.

The Politics of International Business
Mr. Paul Atkins
October 13, 2016

Paul S. Atkins (’80) spoke about the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), financial markets, and government regulation. A former SEC commissioner, Mr. Atkins provided some overview of the work of the SEC, including how it is an independent federal agency that bridges the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) and discussed the origins and consequences of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and the Consumer Protection Act.

The Secret Post 9/11 Conflicts and the World the Next President Will Inherit

Mr. Mark Mazzetti
September 20, 2016

Mark Mazzetti is a national security correspondent for the New York Times and a winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on violence and unrest in Afghanistan and Pakistan. During his visit to Wofford, he discussed “The Shadow War,” the covert operations that the CIA has been waging since September 11th and the changing nature of American warfare.

Roundtable on Executive Power and Terrorism: The Future of Law and Constitution after 9/11
Dr. David Alvis, Professor Amos Guiora (College of Law, University of Utah), Professor Thomas Crocker (University of South Carolina School of Law) and Judge Henry F. Floyd, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
March 28, 2016

Co-hosted with the South Carolina Bar Association and moderated by Dr. Alvis a panel of speakers discussed the growing power of the executive branch in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Professor Guiora expressed concern over unrestrained executive power, especially over the use of drones, and suggested the creation of Drone Courts to check this expansion. Professor Crocker’s presentation focused on the discretion of the executive branch in regards to not only drone strikes but also interrogation, surveillance, and detention—all major issues since September 11th. He proposed that historically-rooted values, especially a commitment to civil liberties, may provide a constraint on leaders. Judge Floyd’s comments acknowledged how the changing nature of security had presented a multitude of challenges to the judiciary. 

Liquidating Syria, Fracking Europe
Dr. Leila Hudson
March 3, 2016

Dr. Leila Hudson, an associate professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, gave a talk on the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Her talk examined the effects of the Refugee Crisis on Syria, Turkey and Europe. Dr. Hudson stressed the importance of avoiding dehumanizing language when discussing the migration crisis, and described in detail the many hardships facing migrants on their treacherous journey to Europe. 

Faculty Panel on the Arab Spring
Dr. DeMars, Dr. Vanderhill, Dr. Jed Anderson, and a professor from the Middle East
February 25, 2016

Almost fifty people attended a panel talk given by Government Department professors Dr. Vanderhill, Dr. DeMars, and Dr. Anderson, and guest speaker from the Middle East (name withheld for safety reasons). The panel discussed a wide range of topics relating to the Arab Spring, including recent developments in Egypt, the consequences of the uprisings in countries which did not experience revolution, especially Lebanon, and the ongoing effects of the Syrian Civil War. 

Ethnic Cleansing and Its Aftermath
Dr. Sandra Joireman
October 13, 2015

Dr. Sandra Joireman, the Weinstein Chair of International Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond, gave a thorough and stimulating talk which discussed the changing nature of modern warfare and its impact on civilians. Using the case studies of Northern Uganda and Kosovo, Dr. Joireman analyzed both the idealistic U.N. policy for resettling and repatriating refugees and how this policy comes to be practiced in reality. She was particularly concerned as to how ethnic cleansing and the repatriation process affected issues of property rights.

Constitution Day Speaker
Dr. David Clinton
September 17, 2015 

Political Science Professor David Clinton of Baylor University gave the 2015 Constitution Day Lecture “Pacificus and Helvidius Today: The Constitution and U.S. Foreign Policy.” Clinton eloquently argued that a fierce debate between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison over the President’s constitutional authority in foreign affairs, specifically the power to declare neutrality, still resonates in America today. “You would be surprised” he said “how an event which seems so far removed from modern politics could still have so much to teach us, even regarding modern political questions like the debate surrounding the international deal on Iran’s nuclear program.”

War on Whistleblowers
Jesselyn Radack
February 23-27, 2015

Jesselyn Radack, National Security and Human Rights Director at the Government Accountability Project, attorney for Eric Snowden, and former whistleblower, recently spent a week at Wofford as the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. During her visit to campus, Radack took time to visit classes, screen the documentary film “War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State,” and present a campus wide talk about the ethics of whistleblowing. During her campus wide talk, Radack discussed her own experience as a whistleblower. While serving as an ethics attorney for the Department of Justice, Radack revealed that accused terrorist John Walker Lindh had been interrogated without his attorney present, even though Radack had advised against engaging in this practice. After blowing the whistle, Radack’s life was turned upside down. She became the subject of a federal investigation, was placed on the “No-Fly” list, and was subsequently unable to find employment. When introducing Ms. Radack, Dr. William DeMars, chair of the Department of Government, stated that “we have to think critically about the claims of those who present themselves as whistleblowers. Jesselyn Radack raises essential and controversial questions about how we have fought our enemies since the attacks of 9/11, under both Presidents Bush and Obama.”

The Challenge of Leadership
Former New York Governor George Pataki
December 1, 2014

Former New York Governor Pataki spoke at Wofford on December 1, 2014, as part of the Hipp Lecture Series on International Affairs. Serving as governor during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pataki is an expert on terrorism, energy policy, and Eastern European affairs. Speaking on leadership, Pataki says in order to be successful, “you have to know where you want to end up.” Expanding on his experience during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pataki says that the overwhelming support and collaboration between the New York State Government, the New York City Government, and the Federal Government allowed the city to recover in its time of dire need. In addition to his evening talk, Gov. Pataki met with students over lunch and visited Dr. Alvis’ American Presidency class.

The Second Person to Walk on the Moon
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
March 4, 2014

As part of the endowed Hipp Lecture Series on International Affairs and National Security, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon and the lunar module pilot on Apollo 11 - the first manned lunar landing in history - spoke to students, faculty, and members of the public about his moon walk and other experiences in space. In addition to speaking on his trip to the moon, Aldrin spoke at length about his lobbying efforts for a trip to Mars. Aldrin, a native of Montclair, NJ, is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and as a member of the US Air Force, he flew F86 Sabre jets in 66 combat missions in Korea before earning his doctorate of science in astronautics at MIT.