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Tuesday, November 5, 2019
8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Breakfast with Elliott: Professor Michael Barnett (Washington, DC)


Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street NW, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20052

Event Description

Join us for breakfast and an intimate conversation with Professor Michael Barnett on "What's So Wrong About International Paternalism?" Paternalism is often linked to colonialism. But while colonialism is dead, paternalism is quite alive and well. What are the different forms that paternalism takes in international affairs? And while paternalism is generally reviled, and no one wants to be accused of being a paternalist, in fact many international programs designed to improve the world are quite paternalistic, and almost necessarily so. Why is this? Are there grounds for defending paternalism? 

Michael Barnett is University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University. His research interests include the Middle East, humanitarian action, global governance, global ethics, and the United Nations. Among his many books are Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and RwandaDialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional OrderEmpire of Humanity: A History of HumanitarianismRules for the World: International Organizations in World Politics (with Martha Finnemore); Security Communities (co-edited with Emanuel Adler); Sacred Aid (co-edited with Janice Stein); Power and Global Governance (co-edited with Raymond Duvall); and Humanitarianism in Question (co-edited with Thomas Weiss). Currently, he is an Associate Editor of International Organization. His current research projects range from international paternalism to the changing architecture of global governance to the relationship between human rights and humanitarianism. His most recent book is The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of the American Jews (Princeton University Press). Professor Barnett is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of many grants and awards for his research.

Online registration for this event has now closed. However, registration will be accepted at the door. Please email Matt Donovan in Elliott School Alumni Programs at with any questions.

Online registration for this event has now closed.