Ohio Wesleyan Professor to Discuss Africa’s Wars, Global Security

Sean Kay, Ph.D., to Present Sagan National Colloquium Lecture on Sept. 27

OWU Professor Sean Kay spoke recently in Ireland before Dublin City Council. He is shown with the Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague. Kay will speak Sept. 27 at Ohio Wesleyan as part of the 2011 Sagan National Colloquium. (Photo courtesy of Sean Kay)

DELAWARE, OH – Ohio Wesleyan University Professor Sean Kay, Ph.D., will discuss “Africa’s Wars: What Somalia, Rwanda, and Libya tell us about Global Security,” when he speaks as part of the university’s 2011 Sagan National Colloquium.

Kay, author of the newly published second edition of “Global Security in the Twenty-First Century: The Quest for Power and the Search for Peace,” will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Benes Rooms in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of Ohio Wesleyan’s year-long exploration of the Colloquium topic, “Africa: Governance, Equity, and Global Citizenship.”

“I’ll be placing the ongoing war in Libya in a broader context of humanitarian intervention and the role of the international community in managing, or not managing, serious crises affecting Africa,” said Kay, a politics and government professor and chair of OWU’s International Studies Program.

(Image courtesy of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.)

“The talk also will detail the lessons of Somalia, Rwanda, and Libya and place them in the context of decision-making in the United Nations and explore how the United States thinks about its interests in Africa. The talk will draw on my new book by looking more broadly at the nature of modern security challenges and opportunities in Africa by asking what lessons Africa has to reflect back on to the international community—especially here in the United States.”

Of the book, Kay said one of his major challenges was to place situations such as those in Africa into context within the world’s new economic realities. Another challenge was the constant change in the Middle East.

“Bin Laden, amazingly, was resolved on the day I finished the page proofs,” Kay said, “so we were able to include that and put it in some perspective. Probably the most challenging part is realizing how much out there requires real and immediate attention by those of us who are blessed with comforts in the world by nature of where we were born.”

As part of that realization, Kay sought to provide information to help students and others have a positive effect on society. And if comments by Robert Pape, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago are any indication, Kay succeeded.

Of the book, Pape writes: “With clear-eyed prose, sober intelligence, and scholarly depth, [Kay] examines a comprehensive array of today’s new global security challenges—illuminating every important issue of the day related to international peace and stability, from crucial new areas such as the security consequences of global warming and energy scarcity to perennial problems in the search for international peace and prosperity. Anyone looking to make an impact on international affairs should start here!”

In addition to participating in the Sagan National Colloquium, Kay will sign books during Ohio Wesleyan’s Homecoming and Family Weekend from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30 in the OWU Bookstore, located in the lower level of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. In addition to “Global Security in the Twenty-First Century,” Kay will sign copies of “Celtic Revival? The Rise, Fall, and Renewal of Global Ireland,” published this spring.

Kay, who is on sabbatical this semester, spent much of the past month touring Ireland and Europe discussing “Celtic Revival?”, which explores Ireland’s place and potential in the international community. While abroad, Kay spoke at venues including the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies in Oslo; Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy; and Dublin City Council. He will return to the classroom in spring, when he teaches a travel-learning course, “Seeing Europe through Ireland’s Eyes.” Students will spend two weeks in Ireland, studying how Ireland has responded to political, economic, and military integration in modern Europe.

Each year, the Sagan National Colloquium explores an issue of global importance. It is funded through an endowment from the late Margaret (Pickett) Sagan and the late John Sagan, both members of the OWU Class of 1948. Past Colloquium speakers have included social activist Gloria Steinem, authors Barbara Ehrenreich and Kurt Vonnegut, Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, and former President Gerald Ford.

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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