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Symposium to consider potential outcomes of U.S.-Iran relationship

Symposium to consider potential outcomes of U.S.-Iran relationship

Thought leaders Flynt Leverett, professor at Penn State Law and School of International Affairs, and Hillary Mann Leverett, authors of the new book Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, will headline a symposium, “The U.S.-Iranian Relationship and the Future of International Order.” The event will assess how the course of U.S.-Iranian relations will affect the rules-based regimes and legal frameworks that shape international order in the 21st century. The Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs (JLIA) will sponsor the event, to be held in the Greg Sutliff Auditorium of the Lewis Katz Building in University Park, PA, with simulcast to Lewis Katz Hall in Carlisle, PA, on February 15, 2013, beginning at 9 a.m.

“Hillary and I wrote Going to Tehran out of a conviction that how Washington deals with Iran over the next few years will largely determine America’s standing as a great power, in the Middle East and globally, for at least the next quarter century," Leverett said. "We also recognized that the course of U.S.-Iranian relations will have enormous implications for the future of international order," he said. 

Program highlights include: 

  • Professor Flynt Leverett on the intersection of the Iranian nuclear issue, the end of the American century and the future of international order.
  • Professor Daniel Joyner and Ambassador Richard Butler AC (Ret.) on Iran and the future of nuclear nonproliferation. Ambassador Butler is a renowned expert on nuclear arms control and disarmament.
  • A session on Iran and use of force doctrine as a constraint on state behaviorwill focus on US-Iranian relations during the second Obama administration. It includes former National Security Council Iranian specialist Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell, the former head of the Navy JAG corps Vice Admiral James Houck (Ret.), and will be moderated by David Andelman the Editor of World Policy Journal, a former New York Times and CBS News correspondent.
  • Hillary Mann Leverett on U.S.-Iranian relations and the transition from American primacy 
The proceedings and related essays will be published in JLIA’s symposium issue slated for release in Fall 2013.
Professor Leverett describes Going to Tehran as challenging much of the prevailing orthodoxy in Washington about Iran and how the United States should deal with it, offering a provocative but uniquely informed depiction of the Islamic Republic as a rational and fundamentally defensive political order that retains the support of most Iranians. The book also argues that the United States needs to come to terms with the Islamic Republic to avert strategic catastrophe in the Middle East. Before its publication, Going to Tehran was excerpted in Harper's, highlighted as a “New and Noteworthy” book by Politico, and featured in Foreign Policy’s “What to Read in 2013” list. Since then, the authors have given presentations at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, the East-West Institute (to be rebroadcast on C-Span), and Politics & Prose and have discussed Going to Tehran on CNN’s Newsroom, Andrew Sullivan’s “Ask Anything” video series, and HuffPost Live.     

The Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs is a digital, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal, jointly published by Penn State's School of Law and School of International Affairs. The journal promotes academic and public discourse at the intersection of law and international affairs, featuring contributions in the areas of public and private international law, international relations, comparative law and politics, geography, economics, history, and policy issues in the various sciences.

This program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 4.5 hours of substantive law, practice, and procedure CLE credit and 0 hours of ethics, professionalism, and substance abuse CLE credit. Lunch will be provided.

The cost to attend is $99 (reduced to $49 for Penn State Law alumni) for those seeking CLE credit. Students, faculty, and non-lawyers may attend at no cost but are asked to register.


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