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Faculty/Experts

“The Only Solution for Europe is Enhanced Cooperation”: A Conversation with President Romano Prodi

in Faculty/Experts
Photo by Yuri Serafini

By UTPALA MENON and ILIAS KALOTYCHOS It was about 6:30 pm in Bologna, with the sun finally showing signs of setting. Another long Tuesday had taken its toll on a group of tired Bolognesi. Nonetheless, they packed the auditorium for a rare conversation presented by  the Bologna Institute of Policy Research last week. The conversation began with a simple question from a student in the audience:  “Do you think this is the end of the Euro?” President Romano Prodi, the former Italian Prime-Minister and President of the European Commission, gave an unequivocal answer. “No!” After an illustrious career, Prodi has settled in Bologna, though he continues to serve as the U.N. Special Envoy for the Sahel and teaches economics at the University of Bologna where people affectionately refer to him as “Il Professore.” On the evening of April 4, BIPR invited Mr. Prodi to engage with SAIS students in a…

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Alumni Continue Giving Back to the HNC by Transitioning to Staff

in Faculty/Experts/SAIS Life/SAIS Matters/SAIS Profiles

by: Caroline Yarber NANJING–The Hopkins-Nanjing Center provides a unique opportunity for SAIS students. Not only do students receive an immersive perspective on US-China relations, but also become a part of a tight-knit community of likeminded people. A significant portion of the current staff are former students of the Center who wish to remain a lasting part of this community. We spoke with two young alumni of the Center to find out why they chose to start their careers at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and what they have learned about the Center from the staff perspective. Niu Xiaohu (left) and Lauren Syzmanski (right). Source: author Lauren Szymanski and Niu Xiaohu both joined the HNC staff in 2012. Based in DC, Szymanski is the Deputy Director for the HNC Washington Office. She graduated from the HNC Certificate program in 2012 and joined the admissions side of the Center two weeks after graduation as…

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Interview with Marie-Lucie Spoke, founder of the CSR Consulting Company “Community Roots China”

in Faculty/Experts/SAIS Events

by: ANNA WOODS NANJING–Community Roots China works with underprivileged children in 12 provinces around China. Their programmes include the One Heart Gift Bag, which gives bags to primary aged children, the Bookworm programme, which provides books for schools, and the Educational Sponsorship, which pays the fees for students to attend high school or university. Marie-Lucie Spoke speaking at the HNC. Source: author Anna: Hello Marie-Lucie. To start, I wanted to ask you about how you became interested in the social welfare or non-profit sector? Was there an event or experience in your life that convinced you that this was what you wanted as your career? Marie-Lucie: I started doing charity on my own. We were in Brasilia [where Spoke’s husband was a diplomat for the Canadian government] and everyone had a seamstress, because there were no stores to buy ready-made clothes. I helped my seamstress, I helped her to build a house,…

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Eating for Your Country: The Irresistible Rise of Gastro-Diplomacy

in Faculty/Experts
Pizza Gastronomy Italian Cuisine Flat Food

By DAVID ELLWOOD You only have to spend a few minutes in the streets of Bologna to see that food around here is serious business. The city has always had a foodie air about its image, and since the financial crisis, the opportunities for eating out have multiplied like mushrooms after rain. As a form of comfort and consolation, food has always been a great unifying resource for this city – and for Italy in general – in good times and bad. A recent conference at Nomisma, a leading economic think-tank based in Bologna, revealed just how big the stakes are in the production and marketing of food in Italy. Diplomats, businesspeople and experts described the effort that the country’s food brands and key ministries are investing in building influence and fortunes in the world’s wine and food markets. This year, the sector brought €37 billion into the economy. A…

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U.S. Ambassador Baucus Visits the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

in Faculty/Experts

by CHELSEA TOCZAUER NANJING – U.S. Ambassador to China, Max Baucus, visited the Hopkins-Nanjing Center on Thursday, October 13, 2016. Before President Barack Obama nominated Baucus for Ambassador to China in January 2014, Baucus served as the longest Senator for Montana in U.S. history. During his tenure as senator, Amb. Baucus served on several committees including finance, taxation, deficit reduction, foresting and infrastructure. He also helped the United States push through Free Trade Agreements with several countries, permanently establish a relationship with China in 2000 and actively support China’s entrance to the World Trade Organization in 2001. During his time visiting the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Amb. Baucus shared a dinner with current students before giving a speech to the student body. Kathryn Miles, a second-year Master’s student at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center says, “I really appreciated the opportunity to eat with the ambassador, Consul General, HNC administrators and students. The ambassador was eager…

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An Interview with John Pasden

in Faculty/Experts/On the Front Page

BY LOGAN PAULEY John Pasden is the founder and head consultant of AllSet Learning in Shanghai, China. Over the years, John has led and worked for many successful Mandarin language acquisition outfits, such as being the international host of ChinesePod for many years and publishing Mandarin learning resources through his own consultancy and Mandarin Companion. John received his Master’s in applied linguistics from East China Normal University in 2008. Can you provide an overview of your career path so far? Sure… I should start by saying that my career was not really planned. I initially majored in microbiology at University of Florida, then switched to Japanese after studying a year in Japan. Despite getting fairly fluent in Japanese over my four-year college education, I basically jumped ship and went to China after graduating. I had studied three semesters of Chinese as an elective before going to China, so I already had…

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Professor Gary Sick: What We Talk About When We Talk About the Iran Nuclear Treaty

in Faculty/Experts

BY LISA MARTINE JENKINS & RAPHAËL BOUSQUET In this United States election cycle, the issue of Iran has loomed large. The Iran nuclear treaty in particular has figured prominently into the two candidates’ sparring over foreign policy, with Hillary Clinton generally defending the treaty and Donald Trump pledging to tear it up upon arriving in the Oval Office. However, to what extent does this focus actually reflect the country’s knowledge on the subject? What influence does this treaty, which represents a relatively distant and obscure set of international weapon and energy interests, have on American foreign policy, both during the election and after? In order to begin to answer some of these questions, the SAIS Observer consulted SAIS Europe visiting professor Gary Sick, who is teaching a mini-course entitled “United States in the Persian Gulf: From Outlier to Empire.” When not in Bologna, Professor Sick is a senior research scholar…

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Professor Hua Tao on Islam in China

in Faculty/Experts
Dr. Hua Tao, professor of Chinese Studies at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (Photo Courtesy: Professor Hua Tao)

BY JONATHAN HALL-EASTMAN Hua Tao earned his Ph.D. in History from Nanjing University’s Department of History in 1989. He currently serves as a professor of Chinese Studies at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and professor and doctoral advisor at Nanjing University. From 1992-1993, he was a visiting scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute. His research interests include the history of ethnic minorities in Northwest China and the contemporary development of China’s ethnic minorities. He has taught at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center since 1994. During your time studying China’s minorities, in what ways has your focus changed? When I started out at Nanjing University and also during my year at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, I was a historian of northern Chinese minorities during the medieval period. I focused on the inhabitants of Northern China, the Mongolian steppe, Central Asia, as well as on the interaction of these regions with agricultural areas to the south and the process…

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Eliot Cohen and the Fight Against Trump

in Faculty/Experts

BY SHAWN DOYLE Donald Trump is careening towards the Republican nomination, with the conservative establishment left watching in horror as the failed meat salesman and former reality television star hijacks the party. A last-ditch movement to stop Trump before the convention has materialized to prevent this reality. The SAIS community has played a significant role in these efforts, as Strategic Studies program director Eliot Cohen helped organize an open letter for this purpose. Signed by a diverse set of leaders from throughout the Republican foreign policy spectrum, the letter remains a key moment of dissent crystallized within the campaign. We sat down with Dr. Cohen to discuss the letter, the public reaction to it, and what the broader significance of Trump’s rise might be. Can you describe the the process of how the letter came together? It originated the way things often do. I was emailing a bunch of friends…

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Is Trade Evil?

in Faculty/Experts

Trade has driven the U.S. presidential debate in 2016. Criticizing free trade as the cause of declining U.S. manufacturing, both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have sparked serious discussion throughout the electorate on free trade, globalization and the recreation of tariff barriers. In search of reasoned expertise to explain the trade phenomena, we sat down with SAIS economics and trade professor Mine Senses. Many of the candidates in this election cycle have offered severe criticism for trade and the effects it has had on the U.S. economy. Is trade evil? Why is there a disconnect between the economists and the voters? Trade is not evil. Large overall gains from international trade are widely documented. These gains include low prices to consumers, productivity gains following re-allocation of factors of production and access to a wider variety of goods. Moreover, U.S. imports from China do not only result in lower prices for…

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