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University of Iowa News Release


April 15, 2008

Provost's Forum will examine 'Civil Society and Terrorism' April 18-20

"Civil Society and Terrorism: The Impact of Anti-Terrorism Policy and Law on Civil Society in Comparative Perspective" will be the theme of the second annual University of Iowa Provost's Forum on International Affairs Friday, April 18, through Sunday, April 20. The forum will be held in the Richey Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI campus and will be free and open to the public.

This year's forum is an international symposium on anti-terrorism policy and its effects on civil society on countries where civil society has come under pressure since 2001. These include Afghanistan, Canada, India, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Russia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States and elsewhere. Senior scholars and policy makers from these countries will write, present and discuss papers on the effects of counter-terrorism measures on civil society and the voluntary sector in their countries and at regional levels.

The 2008 Provost's Forum on International Affairs is sponsored by the UI Office of the Provost and UI International Programs and has received additional support from the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the UI College of Law and the UI Center for Credit Programs.

"The impact of counter-terrorism policy and law on society -- particularly civil society, the nonprofit sector and philanthropy -- is an understudied topic in the new world we've entered since the attacks of September 11, 2001," Mark Sidel (photo, left), UI law professor and forum organizer, said. "This conference will help the academic and policy communities move beyond a general sense of these impacts to understand realities in a number of key countries and regions."

The forum will open at 1 p.m. Friday, April 18, with remarks by Lola Lopes, UI interim executive vice president and provost, and William Reisinger, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs. The opening remarks will be followed by a keynote lecture by Jude Howell, professor and director of the Centre for Civil Society at London School of Economics. For more information and a complete forum schedule, visit

International Studies Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts students and other UI students are invited to join all symposium events. Special opportunities will be provided for student dialogue with the participants. Symposium essays will appear in an academic volume to be published by a university press.

Each year, the provost sponsors a Forum for International Affairs, which provides an opportunity to debate, discuss and reflect upon urgent international issues of significant importance for our time by melding scholarly expertise, public intellectuals and community engagement in high impact ways. In addition to serving the UI community broadly, the forum will be an annual event that positions the UI as a national focal point for discussions of international affairs.

The organizers and topic of the annual forum are selected by the provost upon the recommendation of a committee selected by the dean of International Programs. In announcing the competition, the provost may from time to time give priority to a specific issue in, or approach to, international affairs.

Reisinger praised the Provost Forum series for allowing members of the campus and community to grapple with urgent international issues.

"Universities make a vital contribution to world affairs when they promote informed debate about our changing world," Reisinger said.

The Office of the Provost provides academic leadership to the university. Its fundamental mission is to champion innovation and excellence in teaching, research, creative production and service.

International Programs enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Mark Sidel, UI College of Law, 319-384-4640,; Kelli Andresen, 319-335-2026,; Writer: Lini Ge