Roundtable kicks off

By Jens Tamang

Macalester’s Institute for Global Citizenship kicked off its 2008 International Roundtable yesterday. Each year the Roundtable centers on a new theme, falling under the umbrella of globalization and the modern world. This year, the Roundtable will focus on the struggles of globalization and its tensions with development.

This year the roundtable seeks to answers the questions “What is development?” “What does the concept mean in the various regions in the world?” and “Is development compatible with globalization?” according to the IGC website.

The conference began on October 2, featuring James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, syndicated author and one of the Roundtable’s three keynote speakers. Professor Scott opened with a speech titled “Globalization as North Atlantic Hegemony.”

Other headlining events will include a speech on “Oil, Development, and the Politics of the Bottom Billion” by Michael J. Watts, Professor of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, and a discussion on “The Co-Evolution of the Washington Consensus and the Economic Development Discourse” by Ravi Kanbur, Professor of Economics at Cornell University.

In past years, the Roundtable has served as a meeting place for faculty, students, guests of the college and alumni to explore and understand global citizenship in different contexts and through different academic perspectives.

The IGC’s 2008 International Roundtable will continue through Saturday, when all three speakers will entertain questions from audience members. Remarks from Ahmed Samatar, Dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship, will conclude the three-day event.