Thursday, October 20, 2011

The 2011 Camden Conference topic

From the conference web page:

The U.S. in a 21st Century World: Do We Have What it Takes?
CONTEXT: At a time of major transitions in global alignments, an unstable world order, the rise of new economic power centers amid prolonged economic distress, a fractured domestic political discourse which hampers clear policy decisions, and widespread doubt and anxiety among Americans–what are the prospects for our future role on the world stage and the continued effective exercise of our diplomatic, military, economic, and political powers in the years ahead?

THEME AND SPECIFIC TOPICS: Under the overall theme—“The U.S. in a 21st Century World: Do We Have What it Takes?”—the following topics will be explored:

  • The U.S. Political System: How does gridlock in Washington affect US foreign policy? What can be done about it?
  • Media: What is the role of media in influencing foreign policy?
  • Economy: What will it take to be an economic superpower in the Twenty-First Century? The current situation and future prospects for the U. S. in the global economy?
  • Education: What skills will Americans need to remain competitive in the Twenty-First Century? How does the US educational system perform in producing them?
  • National Security: (This could be one topic or broken down into separate issues)
  • Military: What are the likely threats the U. S. will face in the Twenty-First Century? What kind of military does it need to meet them?
  • Intelligence: What kind of intelligence structure does the US need in the Twenty-First Century?
  • Energy: How secure is the energy future of the U.S.?
  • Diplomacy: Is the United States still the “indispensible nation” to help resolve seemingly intractable problems? What is our appropriate diplomatic role?
  • Social Issues: Does American society have what it takes to be a Twenty-First Century “world citizen?” This could address issues such as demographic trends, immigration, and minorities.
  • Technology: What is the future of the U.S. Space Program and our role in international cooperation in this realm?

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Setting up the program

You have arrived at a "virtual classroom" of Unity College, specifically the organizational, comment, and student work web page for the Unity College presence at Maine's Camden Conference. In the next few days and weeks we will add to these pages with the organizational details students will need to pay attention to, the readings for the program, and the first of many posts addressing the central question for this year's conference.