Tuesday, February 28 at 2:00 pm
Keynote Address: Paul James: The World Is on the Move, and We Have No Idea How to Respond.
More than 65 million people are now on the move, seeking food, safety, and better lives for themselves and their families. They are fleeing for a variety of reasons: wars, ethnic and religious conflicts, corruption and crime, and the devastating consequences of climate change. The post–World War II international framework—created to meet what was then an unprecedented flow of humanity across borders—is now facing its severest crisis.
The 2017 Camden Conference—“Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity’s Crisis” —will feature lively discussions with speakers chosen for their firsthand knowledge and strong views on migrant and refugee issues. They will explore the varied causes of the current international crisis and the unique challenges that come with accepting immigrants from particular countries, regions, and demographic groups. Speakers will also examine the political, economic, and social consequences of population flight for the countries they have abandoned in the Middle East, Africa, and Central America. Going beyond the present crisis, conference speakers will examine the factors that will likely drive migration in the coming decades—from dramatic demographic shifts to climate change, natural disasters, and ethnic, territorial, and political conflicts. And, turning the spotlight in our direction, speakers will discuss the role that should be played by the United States, a country built by immigrants.
These volatile issues dominate the media today, and they will undoubtedly be unresolved in 2017, when a new administration will be in place in Washington and the next Camden Conference is convened.
Keynote Address: The World is on the Move, and We Have No Idea How to Respond
Director and Professor, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Australia
Paul James is Director and Professor in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University (Australia). He also serves as Research Director of Global Reconciliation, an international organization based in Australia that has been bringing people together in ongoing dialogue in global zones of conflict, including Sri Lanka and the Middle East. He is the author of many articles and 31 books, including Urban Sustainability in Theory and Practice (2015) and Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism (2006). Dr. James’s research interests include globalization and its impact upon social relations; the impact of modernization on customary and traditional ways of being; and sustainable urbanization. He has been an adviser to agencies and governments, including the Helsinki Process, the Canadian Prime Minister’s G20 Forum, and the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor. An Honorary Professor of King’s College, London, and an editor or board member of 10 journals, he earned his PhD at the University of Melbourne. For the last decade, Dr. James has been engaged in bringing out Central Currents in Globalization, a 16-volume series that maps the contours of a field that now crosses the boundaries of all the older disciplines in the social sciences and humanities.