Nov 282015
 November 28, 2015

Professor Michael DworkinEnJustice will discuss the ways in which classical ‘justice-theorists’ can help resolve the ethical issues of developing and operating energy systems that meet the common statutory standard of being ‘just and reasonable.’ His comments will link both 1) concrete specific scenarios faced by energy regulators with 2) the differing advice that theorists such as Aristotle, Bentham, Mills and Rawls would give for how to resolve those specific decisions. The talk will draw on his recent book with Benjamin Sovacool, Global Energy Justice (Cambridge Univ Press 2014).

Dworkin is a Professor of Law at Vermont Law School since 2005 and has also been a litigator for the US EPA, a management partner in an engineering firm, and a utility regulator. He is the Direct of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at VLS, which is an international resource for energy law and policy. He serves on the board of Vermont Energy Investment Corp and Vermont Electric Power Company and has served on the boards of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Electric Power Research Institute (ACEEE).

Co-sponsored by the Duke Energy Initiative, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Thursday, April 28
3:30-5:00 pm
West Duke, 08C

To receive the handouts and parking instructions for this event, please Please RSVP to Kay Jowers,



Nov 262015
 November 26, 2015

Tools for Change-01Please join us at 6pm on April 26th for the opening reception of the Citizenship Lab’s PhotoVoice Exhibition.

As part of their year-long project, students involved in the “Citizenship Lab” Bass Connections team have worked with locally resettled refugees to create an exhibit the theme of community. Twelve resettled refugees will offer their interpretations of the meaning of community through photographs and statements they have created.

The Lab is one of three Bass Connections teams this year to receive support through the Silver Family Fund at KIE. Throughout the year, the team has partnered with Durham Public Schools and the Durham City Council on the development of a set of proposals to ease the transition of refugee youth into local schools.

Tuesday April 26 at 6pm
Keohane Kenan Gallery
West Duke Building
Parking on East Campus is free after 5pm.

Nov 252015
 November 25, 2015

Grad-Working-400Kenan Graduate Scholars and Kenan Graduate Affiliates of Rethinking Regulation are invited to the next meeting of the Graduate Student Working Group on April 25th. Please contact Mercy DeMenno, Program Coordinator for the Rethinking Regulation Graduate Student Working Group, with any questions.

Monday, April 25
Gross Hall 230C (West Campus)

Parking: Closest public parking to Gross Hall is in the Bryan Center Parking Garage, Bryan Center Visitor Lot, and Science Drive Visitor Lot.

Nov 242015
 November 24, 2015

20160424 Immerse MonologuesThe six Duke University students enrolled in KIE’s DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted semester-long program will perform dramatic readings of refugee life stories collected during their recent field work in Jordan and the surrounding region. During their month of research, the students conducted interviews with refugees, mostly Syrian. Come hear the human stories of refugees attempting to find asylum as told by our students.

Sunday, April 24, 6:00pm
Reception to follow
Nasher Museum of Art Auditorium (map here)

Co-sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Duke Office of Undergraduate Education


Nov 212015
 November 21, 2015

2016Reg-GraphicThe Rethinking Regulation Program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University is hosting a two-day workshop on “US-EU Regulatory Cooperation:  TTIP and Beyond,” organized by RR Co-Directors Jonathan Wiener and Lori Bennear together with Lamb Fellow Andrea Renda, and Lamb Fellow PractitionerJohn Graham.

Program agenda schedule and speakers: here.

Posted below are papers from the event speakers:

Richard B. Stewart, “State Regulatory Capacity and Administrative Law and Governance Under Globalization”

Reeve T. Bull, Neysun A. Mahboubi, Richard B. Stewart, Jonathan B. Wiener, “New approaches to International Regulatory Cooperation: The Challenge of TTIP, TPP, and Mega-Regional Trade Agreements”

Reeve T. Bull, “Developing a Domestic Framework for International Regulatory Cooperation”

Jonathan B. Wiener, Alberto Alemanno, “The Future of International Regulatory Cooperation: TTIP as a Learning Process Toward Global Policy Laboratory”

Jonathan Wiener, Brendon Swedlow, James K. Hammitt, Michael D. Rogers and Peter H. Sand, “Better Ways to Study Regulatory Elephants”

Richard W. Parker, “Facilitating Regulatory Cooperation Between the United States and the European Union: A Case Study of Aviation Safety Regulation”
Presentation available here.

Richard W. Parker, “Four Challenges for TTIP Regulatory Cooperation”

Richard W. Parker, Alberto Alemanno, “A Comparative Overview of EU and US Legislative and Regulatory Systems: Implications for Domestic Governance & The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”

Lawrence E. McCray, Kenneth A. Oye, Arthur C. Petersen, “Planned adaptation in risk regulation: An initial survey of US environmental, health, and safety regulation”

Hans-Georg Eichler, Kenneth A. Oye, LG Baird, et al, “Adaptive Licensing: Taking the next step in the evolution of drug approval”

Kenneth A. Oye, LG Baird, A Chia, et al, “Legal foundations of adaptive licensing”

Kenneth A. Oye, Mark Pearson, Hans-Georg Eichler, Theresa Mullin, and Anton Hoos, “Managing uncertainty in drug development and use: Enhancing adaptability and flexibility in pharmaceuticals regulation”



For more information, contact Bashar Alobaidi.

US-EU Regulatory Cooperation: TTIP and Beyond
Thursday, April 21-Friday, April 22
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room: West Duke 101 (East Campus)
Download speaker bios here.

Free parking for the event is available in the GA Drive Circle Lot both days.

Nov 202015
 November 20, 2015

MontiStoryTellingwebpostCome watch Duke University students and a professor along with a Durham community member tell their true stories live for an evening exploring the theme of race. The Monti is a non-profit organization that invites people to tell personal stories without the use of notes. It’s simple storytelling. Each month, The Monti holds events around the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and as far away as Greensboro. The goal is to create an intimate, open, and fun atmosphere where people can relate their personal experiences to one another through narrative.

Abhi Shah, Duke Undergrad
Derwin Dubose, Managing partner of New Majority Community Labs
Emily Brockman, Duke Undergrad
Ray Barfield, Duke Associate Professor of Pediatrics (School of Medicine) and of Christian Philosophy (Divinity School)
Torang Asadi, Duke PhD student

This event is being produced by the Monti in partnership with The Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for all others and may be purchased through the Monti website:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
The Rickhouse, 609 Foster St, Durham

Nov 192015
 November 19, 2015

Please join the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC) for a roundtable discussion with Amit Sen, the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Regional Protection Officer on Statelessness for the MENA region, to explore the new and unprecedented risks of statelessness, especially among refugee and internally-displaced children. While an array of non-State actors and parties to the conflict in Syria now perform functions which are “state responsibilities,” such as presiding over criminal law and family law matters, and issuing individuals with identity documentation, this ad hoc functioning of parallel systems raises an additional set of questions — including what shape Syria may take in the future, whether it is already operating as a de facto partitioned State, and how the international community can ethically and responsibly engage with this complex set of challenges. Mr. Sen has worked in Asia as well as the Middle East, and previously adjudicated asylum claims for the United Nations in Turkey.

Tuesday, April 19
6:30-8:00 pm
Room 240 of the John Hope Franklin Center (2204 Erwin Rd, Durham).

There is a free parking at the Duke clinic across Trent Dr from the Franklin Building (which should be available after 5:30pm) – Marshall L. Pickens Bldg, 2100 Erwin Rd, Durham, NC 27705.


Nov 182015
 November 18, 2015

hussain-ali-agrama-lecture-postersmallHussein Ali Agrama, Associate Professor of Anthropology & Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Chicago, will be giving a workshop on “Justice between Islamic Shari’a and Western Legal Tradition: Remarks on the Egyptian Context.”His pre-circulated paper by that same title, and an accompanying text, are available to download online. How does one compare and contrast potentially very different traditions of law without assuming any common conception of law? How does one stage a comparison of such traditions in the face of their mutual engagement under historical conditions of asymmetric power that render one of them commensurable to the other? These are some of the central questions this essay begins to address through a series of loosely related, ethnographically inspired reflections on the concept of justice within Western legal tradition and the Islamic Shari’a, with respect to modern Egypt. It focuses on the particular problem that the violence of law is seen to pose for the enactment of justice within Western legal thought and practice. Arguing that this problem is of relatively recent origin, it outlines some of the historically emergent forms of sociability, modes of authority, and structures of coercion that contribute to the formation of this problem, and that give rise to a distinctive conception of politics that persists into the present. Contrasting this with classical Shari’a thought and historical practices, the essay then points to how these forms of sociability, authority and coercion – and the concept of politics they made possible – insinuated themselves into the fabric of Egyptian society through the colonizing and modernizing projects that established European based civil law there; it also reflects on how this produced the complicated pattern of similarity, difference, commensurability and incommensurability that exists today between Egyptian civil law and Islamic Shari’a.

Co-sponsored by:The Graduate Program in Religion, the International Comparative Studies Program, the Religions & Public Life at the Kenan Institute of Ethics, and the Religious Studies Department

Monday, April 18
12:00-2:00 pm
Carpenter Conference Room (Rubenstein 249)

Nov 162015
 November 16, 2015


The Duke Human Rights Center at The Kenan Institute for Ethics will be holding its second annual Scholars Research Symposium on Saturday, April 16th. The symposium, which is sponsored by the Kenan Institute’s Global Human Rights Scholars, provides an opportunity for a select group of seniors at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill to publicly present honors or capstone projects that broadly relate to the themes of human rights, ethics, or international politics. Discussants will include two distinguished Duke alumni, Tosin Agbabiaka and Menaka Nayar. This event is open to the public, and particularly for faculty, students and alumni of both Duke and UNC .

Saturday, April 16
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (West Duke 101)

1:00-2:15 Panel 1 | Imagining Russia, Chile and Tibet
Chair: Ekim Buyuk
Panelists: Griffin Creech, Meghan Kachadoorian, Iris Kim
Discussants: Menaka Nayar, Bochen Han

2:15-3:30 Panel 2 | Human Rights and the U.S.: Domestic, Comparative and International Contexts
Chair: Rinzin Dorjee
Panelists: Bradford Ellison, Christie Lawrence, Imari Smith
Discussants: Tosin Agbabiaka, Laura Roberts

Tosin Agbabiaka, Duke alumnus (T’10)

Ekim Buyuk, Kenan Institute for Ethics Human Rights Fellow

Griffin Creech, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Rinzin Dorjee, Kenan Institute for Ethics Human Rights Fellow

Bradford Ellison, Duke University

Bochen Han, Kenan Institute for Ethics Human Rights Fellow

Meaghan Kachadoorian, Duke University

Iris Kim, Duke University

Christie Lawrence, Duke University

Menaka Nayar, Duke alumna (T’11, L’14)

Laura Roberts, Kenan Institute for Ethics Human Rights Fellow

Imari Smith, Duke University

Tosin Agbabiaka T’10 was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. He relocated to Katy, Texas at the age of 12, where he completed his middle and high school education. He graduated from Duke with an A.B. in English and minors in Music and Sociology. At Duke, Tosin centered his work on critiquing historical and contemporary social stratification through studies in postcolonial literature, sociological theory, and creative writing. Upon graduating from Duke, Tosin worked with public, private, and social sector organizations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and developed policy recommendations on various European human rights and migration issues through Humanity in Action fellowships in Copenhagen and at the European Parliament in Brussels. Awarded a Fulbright-Schuman research scholarship for 2012-2013, Tosin conducted an analysis of the efficacy of EU and Greek mechanisms in addressing the asylum and undocumented migration crisis in Greece. Currently, Tosin is a 2nd year JD-MBA student at Yale University, where he is a student director of the Immigration Legal Services clinic, Vice President of the Black Law Students Association, and a member of the Africa Business Practicum and the Africa Law and Policy Association.

Menaka Nayar T’11, L’14 is a first year law clerk (pending admission to the NY Bar) at Linklaters LLP in New York, where she is a member of the International Governance and Development and Dispute Resolution practices. Her practice focuses on advancing good governance across the private and public (development and humanitarian) sectors. Representative projects with the public sector include: working with African Union states to develop governance frameworks to combat illicit financial flows; analysing stakeholder inputs for the Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary General at the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit; and developing metrics to measure governance and the rule of law in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Her litigation pro bono practice includes projects on LGBT rights in El Salvador and the conviction and sentencing of battered women in US courts.

Prior to joining Linklaters LLP, Menaka attended Duke University School of Law, where she graduated with a JD/LLM in International and Comparative Law; and Duke University, where she obtained a BA in Political Science. While in law school, Menaka interned at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the Durham District Attorney’s Office, and Linklaters LLP in New York and London. She also completed a semester-long externship in the chambers of the Co-Investigating Judge at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia, and participated in the International Human Rights Advocacy seminar taught by Professor Jayne Huckerby. At Duke University, she was a participant in the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ DukeEngage Dublin program and also interned for Dublin City Council’s Office for Integration, working on issues relating to the integration of immigrants and refugees to Ireland. A classically trained dancer, Menaka was a member of Defining Movement – a multicultural dance group – throughout her Duke career.

Panel 1 | Imagining Russia, Chile and Tibet

Griffin Bennett Creech

Imagining Russia, Informing America: Samuel N. Harper, U.S. Public Opinion, and the Russian Revolution, 1916-1921

To historicize the foundations of American conceptions of the Soviet Union, I analyze Samuel Northrup Harper (1882-1943), a founder of Russian studies in the United States, a professor at the University of Chicago, and America’s leading “Russia expert” during the Russian Revolution. Drawing on Harper’s personal papers, memoirs, and a wide array of newspaper articles that he authored, I argue that the selective narrative of inevitable Russian progress that he spread to the American public, Washington bureaucrats, and the business community clashed with Russian political reality, particularly after the Bolshevik Revolution. The growing chasm between Harper’s trusted, yet subjective, views and the on-the-ground facts of Russian politics created a binary between the United States and Soviet Russia that pitted the two countries as polar opposites in the American mind. I show that Harper broadcasted this view widely and, thus, placed an intellectual straightjacket on American understandings of Russia.

Meaghan Kachadoorian

Radical Aesthetics: Political Posters of the Chilean Solidarity Movement

This study of political posters from the international Chilean solidarity movement (1973-1990) seeks to uncover the political particularities between movement groups fighting against the oppressive Pinochet regime. In response to the violent fall of the democratically elected Socialist President, Dr. Salvador Allende, allies and Chilean exiles formed vibrant local solidarity movements.  Posters from the Dutch movement, the East German movement, and the Bay Area movement show how uniquely situated people around the world responded to the fall of Allende and installation of the Pinochet dictatorship according to their different political experiences and current goals. In the Chilean solidarity movement, posters served as visual, public, street communication that, today, offer a look into the complexity of international solidarity amidst an ideological war.

Iris Kim

Intimate Politics

Over the past ten years, “Tibet” has comparatively become more visible in South Korea as the Tibetan population in Korea has emerged and interest in Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet-related causes has grown. Despite this popular interest, Korea’s continual prioritization on economic development, which includes maintaining a strong economic relationship with China, has most notably prevented a visit by the Dalai Lama to Korea and discouraged overt forms of political activities. This thesis argues that in response to this precarious political environment, Koreans and Tibetans have turned to seemingly nonpolitical forms of connecting to Tibet or garnering interest about the Tibetan cause. These alternative, more powerful forms of politics – imagination (chapter one), Tibetan Buddhism (chapter two), and individual efforts on the ground expressed in mundane, everyday life, as well as marriage (chapter three) – have intimately brought together Tibetans and Koreans living in Korea.

Panel 2 | Human Rights and the U.S.: Domestic, Comparative and International Contexts

C Bradford Ellison

Imagining the Poor: The Discourse that Directs Western Intervention in Africa and its Impact on the Condition of American Poverty

This thesis unveils how dominant Western imaginings of Africa detrimentally impact poverty in the United States. The limitations of notable texts are presented, arguing they fail to recognize structured pressures that constrain those interpellated within Orientalist apparatuses, and states the suggestively depoliticized presence of Christian missionaries parallels secular Western governmental interventions, implicitly delegitimizing the African State. By considering the influence of representations of Africa by dominant media, university, and state ideological apparatuses the thesis illustrates how the repetition and replication of imagined narratives about the continent create an American culture of differential empathy, framing all Africans as inherently destitute and needy and poor Americans as lazy. Although a grim examination of the current state of affairs directing Western intervention in Africa and its impact on the condition of American poverty, the thesis ultimately offers a humanistic lens as an avenue towards the creation of more equitable social science and policy.

Christie Lawrence

U.S.-Turkish Relations : Re-Stiuating the ‘Kurdish Question’ Graduation

Historically the “Kurdish Question,” or the political and social status of Turkey’s Kurds, has not played a significant role in U.S.-Turkish relations. However, the devolution of the peace process between the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and the Turkish state, the increasing importance of both the Kurds and Turkey in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the 2015 Turkish Parliamentary elections and other recent events have re-situated and further internationalized the “Kurdish Question”. These developments elucidate a dilemma: the United States must find a way to balance its new military cooperation with an ethnic minority against its security-focused relationship with the geostrategic NATO ally. Through a historical analysis of U.S.-Turkish relations regarding the Kurds, examination of U.S. national interests, and 24 elite interviews, this thesis seeks to answer: What should be U.S. foreign policy towards Turkey, considering the Turkish “Kurdish Question”? The thesis concludes with recommendations for the U.S. to prioritize the “Kurdish Question” and hold Turkey accountable for its human rights violations.

Imari Zhané Smith

Black Femininity through the White Speculum: The Implications of Medicosocialism and the Disproportionate Regulation of Black Women’s Reproductive Autonomy

At the crux of health disparities for women of color lies a history of maltreatment based on racial difference from their white counterparts. It is their non-whiteness that limits their access to the ideologies of “woman” and “femininity” within dominant culture. This project explores how the ideology attributed to the black female body limited black women’s access to “womanhood” within dominant culture, and analyzes the manners in which their reproductive autonomy was compromised as the result of changes to that ideology through time.The paper goes on to draw connections between post-slavery ideology of black femininity and modern-day medicosocial occurrences within clinical settings in order to advocate for increased bias training for medical professionals as a means of combating current health disparities.

Nov 132015
 November 13, 2015

Walzer-KDL-Poster-web-400Michael Walzer, one of America’s most influential political theorists, will speak on “What is the Responsibility to Protect? And What Does it Mean in the Syrian Case?” as the 2016 Kenan Distinguished Lecturer.

Walzer is a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey, and has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. He has played a critical role in the revival of a practical, issue-focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. His talk with examine the international moral obligation to intercede in Syria and the international security and human rights norm Responsibility to Protect.

The annual Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics is a signature series of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke that brings a distinguished speaker to campus to address moral issues of broad social and cultural significance. This event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception.

This talk is co-sponsored by Duke Program in American Values and Institutions, Duke University Middle East Studies Center, Duke Islamic Studies Center, and Duke Council for European Studies.

Wednesday, April 13, 5:00 pm
Fredric Jameson Gallery, Friedl Building, East Campus
Parking on East Campus is free after 5:00pm.