Guarini Institute for Public Affairs Holds Advisory Council Meeting

The participants of the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs Advisory Meeting

The participants of the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs Advisory Meeting

On January 22, the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs held a seminar to discuss current issues of relevance with members of the Institute, student representatives, professors and guests.

Present were the Institute’s Director Prof. Argentieri and advisers Dr. Doaa Abdel-Motaal and John Fanti, President and Vice-President of Student Government Thomas Roper-Curzon and Katherine Kehoe, Christine Legault, Dr. Lucio Martino (invited speaker), Dr. Carolina Zincone, and professor Pejman Abdolmohammadi (invited speaker). Also present were invited guests Fabio Filocamo, professor Seth Jaffe, professor Eszter Salgo, journalist Leonida Valeri and professor Bridget Welsh; alumna Daniela Busenti (class of 1998) and students Nastassja Biles (intern at the Guarini Institute), Flavia Loner (student assistant for the Guarini Institute) Mihail Iotov (President of the International Relations Society), and Sara Sheibani (Vice-President of the International Relations Society).

Established through the generosity of the Honorable Frank J. Guarini, Chair of the John Cabot University Board of Trustees. The Institute offers an annual series of lectures, seminars, and encounters aimed at enhancing knowledge and understanding of the key issues and challenges facing the world today, in particular those affecting the United States and Europe.

Prof. Argentieri opened the meeting by describing the nature and activities of the Institute, which always invites speakers based on expertise and international prestige.  Distinguished past guests have included: sociologist Lord Anthony Giddens, political scientist Dr. Joseph Nye and former Assistant Secretary of State Dr. Esther Brimmer.

Advisory council member Lucio Martino, who specializes in international relations and military and strategic issues, spoke next. Firstly, he analyzed the factors that brought to Trump’s victory in the Presidential elections. Secondly, he indicated the people who will have, in his opinion, the greatest influence on Trump’s presidency: Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior advisor, Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council, Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager and now counselor, and Stephen Miller, senior advisor.

Martino then passed the floor to JCU Professor and scholar Dr. Pejman Abdolmohammadi. Abdolmohammadi, an analyst and expert on the Middle East, explored the delicate political situation of the region. Trump’s adversarial stance on Islam, he said, will likely radicalize countries in the area, such as Iran. Moreover, the civil wars in Syria and Libya, coupled with ISIS’s presence, will continue being the center of attractions of global powers and interests. Finally, Prof. Abdolmohammadi predicted that China and Russia will be influential actors in the dramatic escalation yet to come to the region.

After the speeches, the table was opened for discussion where various guests and advisers discussed what role the EU would play in the future as well as how the UK’s relationship with Europe and the United States might change after Brexit becomes effective.