William & Mary’s Reves Center for International Studies in cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (CWF) will establish the Williamsburg/CSIS Forum, a ground-breaking partnership to promote the development of effective political and economic systems in parts of the world where they are currently weak or lacking.
The forum will hold a series of major international conferences jointly in Williamsburg, Va., and Washington, D.C.
The first conference, "The New Egypt: Challenges of a Post-Revolutionary Era," will take place April 21- 25, 2013, and will explore the dramatic events following the fall of the Mubarak regime and the future course of Egypt’s difficult transition to democracy.
The forum will be attended by a wide range of Egyptian participants – including politicians, diplomats, business leaders, academics, military experts, economists and media representatives – as well as U.S. authorities on the Middle East.
The forum will build on the unique assets of the partners. A significant goal of the sessions held in Williamsburg will be to assess whether lessons learned from past efforts to develop stable political cultures and institutions, such as the American Revolution and its aftermath, are helpful in considering contemporary political and economic challenges around the world.
“We believe our own history and the principles of citizenship and self-government can provide a valuable starting point for discussions about the establishment of democratic institutions and political and economic development today,” said Colin G. Campbell, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
CSIS, one of America’s leading think tanks, will contribute its bipartisan expertise in international and security issues, and its worldwide contacts and experience. Conference segments held at CSIS headquarters in Washington will focus more specifically on immediate policy challenges, such as, in the case of Egypt, the country’s future dealings with the West and other countries in the Middle East.
“This important and imaginative partnership brings together two great American institutions, CSIS and Colonial Williamsburg,” said John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS. “The partners will leverage their unique resources to promote stronger political institutions around the world, enhancing global stability. We are delighted that the College of William & Mary will join us in this exciting project.”
The objective of the forum is both to help countries and regions advance their visions of political and economic development and to familiarize experts with the latest thinking on these issues in different circles around the world - without promoting any particular system or path to better functioning governance.
Leading the Forum will be Reginald Dale, director of the Williamsburg/CSIS Forum at CSIS, James Horn, vice president of research and historical interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and Stephen E. Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies at William & Mary.
“William & Mary is excited to participate in this important new partnership with Colonial Williamsburg and CSIS,” said Hanson. “Combining the remarkable international resources of our three institutions in the Williamsburg/CSIS Forum will generate ideas and insights that can truly change our world for the better.”
The Forum is made possible by support from Anita A. and James D. Timmons and other Colonial Williamsburg supporters.