FOCUS Students, Duke Alumni Join for DC Conversation on Diplomacy, Security and the Limits of Globalism

Journalist and Duke alumnus Mark Mazzetti discusses the global refugee crisis at a Duke in DC panel. Photo by Jeff Harris
Journalist and Duke alumnus Mark Mazzetti discusses the global refugee crisis at a Duke in DC panel. Photo by Jeff Harris

Twenty-five students from the Kenan Institute’s Ethics, Leadership and Global Citizenship FOCUS cluster joined 50 alumni in Washington, DC, for a discussion on recent reactions against the free flow of people across borders in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere.

The conversation, titled Build Up this Wall? Diplomacy, Security and the Limits of Globalism, featured Stuart Jones '82, former ambassador to Iraq and Jordan; Mark Mazzetti ’96, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the New York Times; William Davis ’84, ’87, former director of the US Global Leadership Coalition and the UN Development Programme; and moderator Tosin Agbabiaka ’10, graduate of Yale Law School Class of 2016.

After years of trends toward greater cross-border trade and migration, 2016 has seen a sharp rise in the rhetoric of isolationism across Europe and the United States. Discussing the tension between isolationism and globalization, Jones said, “There is no isolation in the 21st century world for the United States.”

The panelists all agreed that the forces behind globalization are inevitable and that the challenges will be, as William Davis said, “how we come together to manage its effects.” Davis added that the role of government is to manage the results, both positive and negative, from globalization.

The conversation also touched on immigration, expansive borders, and how countries can think about tackling the refugee crisis.