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International Law and Peace Among Nations For almost a century, international law has tried to prevent interstate armed conflict—war among nations. The system is far from perfect, but empirical measures suggest significant success, particularly by reducing conflict over territory. Today, international law’s prohibition on the use of force is under pressure from all sides, including from the doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” used to justify President Trump’s airstrikes in Syria; territorial disputes including those in Ukraine and the South China Sea; the so-called “Thucydides Trap” created by China’s rise in global power; and the overall weakening of international law more generally, in part through human rights. A look at the actions of China, Russia, and the United States over the past several years will illustrate the growing threat to peace among nations—and also the opportunities available to strengthen international law in order to reduce this threat. Ingrid Brunk Wuerth is a leading scholar of foreign affairs and public international law. She serves as the Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law and director of the International Legal Studies Program at Vanderbilt University. Professor Wuerth’s work has appeared in the Harvard, Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern, and Texas law reviews, among numerous other publications. She is a member of the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law and of the Lawfare blog and is a reporter for the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States.
Dan Egan, reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes A two-time Pulitzer finalist, reporter Dan Egan has been writing about the Great Lakes for years. His deep knowledge of the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth is on full display in his 2017 book, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. The book has received substantial critical praise. A reviewer for the New York Times called it “deeply researched and sharply written,” comparing it favorably to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. The importance of the Great Lakes is hard to overstate, with more than 35 million people depending on them for drinking water. Yet the lakes face significant man-made threats, from invasive species to algal blooms. The story of the Great Lakes is complex and ever-changing, and Dan Egan will help tell it during his visit to the Law School.
Rob Henken, president of the Public Policy Forum Like many cities, Milwaukee has to deliver core public services for its residents, businesses, and visitors. It has to meet the city’s retirement obligations, repair its aging infrastructure, and keep its streets safe. But unlike many cities, Milwaukee has few options for generating the revenue needed to pay for those core services, forcing the city to lean increasingly on property owners. The Public Policy Forum calls the city’s tax structure “broken” and says it has outlived its effectiveness. So what can be done about it? In a new report, the PPF looks at how other cities are generating revenue to pay the bills, and whether any of those approaches might work in Milwaukee. Join us for this important community conversation, when PPF President Rob Henken visits the Lubar Center at Eckstein Hall.
Prof. Ingrid Wuerth, Vanderbilt University Law School; Prof. Ryan Scoville, Marquette University Law School; Robbie Gramer, State Department reporter for Foreign Policy magazine What will the Trump administration mean for international law and human rights, previously negotiated agreements with other nations, and U.S. foreign policy? Vanderbilt’s Professor Ingrid Wuerth is a leading scholar of foreign affairs and public international law. Marquette’s Professor Ryan Scoville teaches and writes on U.S. foreign relations law and international law. Robbie Gramer covers the State Department for Foreign Policy magazine. Together, the three experts will explore a variety of questions related to international law, current U.S. foreign policy, and the Trump administration’s priorities.