2000 Merriam Symposium
Some Speakers in the Symposium
Can the World Cope?
The Challenge of Ethnopolitical Conflict
Can the World Cope? The Challenge of Ethnopolitical Conflict was presented by the School of Arts & Sciences on November 29, 2000. The daylong conference investigated recent conflicts in Kosovo, Rwanda, Kashmir and Jerusalem from anthropological, historical, political and psychological points of view. Reporters, like Christopher Hedges of The New York Times who witnessed events in Bosnia and Kosovo, scholars, like Penn professor Ian Lustick, whose studies are concentrated in the Middle East, and diplomats like Joseph Montville of the Center for Strategic and International Studies who is an expert on conflict resolution, discussed the critical issues that arise before, during and after ethnopolitical conflict and attempted to answer these questions: Why does this happen? Why is this happening now? Is reconciliation possible?
Penn Press plans to publish the proceedings of the Symposium.
The 2000 Merriam Symposium highlighted the work of Penn's Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict. The Center has taken the lead in creating a multi-disciplinary approach to training and research in the area of ethnic group conflict. The Asch Center was established in 1997, when Martin E. P. Seligman, Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at Penn, was president of the American Psychological Association and Peter Suedfeld was president of the Canadian Psychological Association. They jointly called for new initiatives to understand and ameliorate the devastating conflicts caused by ethnopolitical violence.
The Asch Center has established collaborative arrangements with a network of international sites that currently include organizations in Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
The Merriam Symposium is one of many programs and activities of SAS made possible by a generous bequest from John Merriam, one of the Delaware Valley's leading real estate developers. Mr. Merriam graduated from Penn in 1931.
Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 14, December 5, 2000