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International Seminar Series: Parodi to talk transitional peace

The Spring 2017 International Seminar Series will highlight “Peace and Conflict Resolution.” The seminar series will take place at noon on Wednesdays in the Bone Student Center throughout the semester. The talks are free and open to the public.

Carlos Parodi, professor of politics and government at Illinois State, will present “Transitional Justice and the Peace Process” March 29 in the Prairie Room.

How much justice can be achieved in a process of transition from war to peace, or from authoritarianism to democracy? Should societies demand full justice even if it is at the price of peace? Is it right for governments to grant amnesty for human rights violations in exchange for guarantees of peace and democracy? Has there been a full process of truth, justice, reparation, and reconciliation after the end of the Cold War? Transitional justice is a field of study and practice developed to answer these questions. This presentation will discuss the experiences of transitional justice in Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, and more recently, Brazil and Colombia) and draw some lessons for the United States.

Parodi is a professor of politics and government at Illinois State. He teaches courses in international political economy, human rights, and Latin American politics. Since 2006, he has been responsible for organizing a one-month study abroad program in Peru. His most recent publications are about human rights and transitional justice in Latin America and Peru. He is currently working on a project about the impact Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the 21st Century is having on Latin America.

Other scheduled speakers and topics include:

April 5: Angela Puentes, third secretary at the Embassy of Colombia in Washington, D.C., will present “Colombia’s Historic Moment” in the Prairie Room.

Puentes joined the Colombian Embassy in Washington, D.C., in June 2016. She leads the post conflict area, and manages the private sector projects at the embassy.

Before her diplomatic job, Puentes worked as a researcher at the Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP) where she followed closely the demobilization process of the paramilitary groups (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia) during the administration of President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). She studied on the one hand the role of the Colombian Public Agency for Reintegration, and on the other the role of the Colombian private sector in the economic reintegration of former combatants. Also during her time at the FIP, she studied the relationship between the Colombian government, unions, and private companies, and how to build trust among those three actors.

In December 2016 the Colombian Congress approved the Peace Agreement signed between the Colombian government, led by President Juan Manuel Santos, and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia FARC. Two months before, the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Peace Prize for 2016 to President Santos “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-yearlong civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220,000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.”

The presentation will go over the path that Colombia followed before reaching this peace agreement. Starting in the 1960s with the rise of left-wing guerrilla groups, passing through the 1990s Constitutional Reform (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente) where peace agreements were signed with some of these groups, including challenges like the empty seat left by the FARC during the negotiation process with President Andrés Pastrana.  It also seeks to highlight the importance of the United States and the international community to support Colombia’s transformation.

April 12: Tim Wedig, interim director of the Center for Global Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present “From Diplomats to Troops: Considering the Range of Conflict Prevention Options” in the Prairie Room.

April 19: Toril Rokseth, director of education and Adeline Cuvelier, educator at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, will give a talk titled “The Nobel Peace Prize: 100 Years of Ideas for a Better World.”

April 26: A panel discussion with current and past faculty coordinators of the ISU peace and conflict resolution studies minor, including Illinois State’s Joe Grabill, emeritus professor of history; Dawn Beichner, professor of criminal justice sciences, and Noha Shawki, associate professor of politics and government.

The series will continue through April 26. The talks are co-sponsored by the Office of International Studies, and the Department of Politics and Government. They are free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the Office of International Studies and Programs at (309) 438-5276.

This story will be updated with speakers and topics as they are confirmed. 


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