|Introduction to the Warburg 2000 Conference|
by Erik Jensen
THE WARBURG CHAIR in International Relations was endowed by Joan M. Warburg, herself a Simmons alumna, jointly in her own name and that of her husband James P. Warburg, to bring to Simmons a personality of some eminence in international affairs. Over the years the incumbents have nearly all been former U.S. diplomats, ambassadors to a range of countries. The other Warburg Professors have been a distinguished writer and journalist on international issues, a former ambassador to Washington and former Under-Secretary-General of the UN.
It was this breadth of experience and the insights derived from it which made possible the Warburg 2000 Conference to mark the centenary of the founding of Simmons College. It was I myself, as the current Warburg professor, who devised the Warburg 2000 Conference as a special event, recognizing that my predecessors between them were uniquely qualified to address, from various perspectives and drawing on their knowledge of all the main regions, the critical problem of the U.S. and global security in today's world.
As the sole remaining superpower, the U.S. is faced with difficult decisions when crises arise: whether to act alone; or to tackle them in collaboration with like-minded allies, for example, through NATO; or to work for collective security principally in the United Nations Security Council. Hence the conference title: Collective Security, Posse or Global Cop.
Professor Stanley Hoffmann of Harvard University, the eminent authority on international relations, introduced the proceedings by analysing collective security in theory and practice before touching on recent ramifications. Sir Kieran Prendergast, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, delivered the keynote address providing an international perspective.
Each of the other speakers, all Warburg Professors, took a particular geographical area with which he or she was especially familiar and also tackled general issues:
Sir Kieran's presentation and those of the first three Warburg professors listed above are available to readers of this issue of American Diplomacy (you may reach them by clicking on their names, above, or in the column to the left). The remaining four will be offered in the Summer 2000 issue of the journal. [Unfortunately, Professor Hoffmann's excellent presentation is not available at this time. ~ Ed.]
Gwen Ifill, moderator of "Washington Week in Review" and also a Simmons alumna, served as moderator during the morning session. The conference hall was packed throughout the day and a lively discussion followed the speakers.