Global Issues Colloquium Resumes Feb. 23

The Global Issues Colloquium will continue at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 in Magruder Hall with the presentation, “When Elephants Fight: How Geopolitical Changes Impact African Institutions” by John James Quinn, professor of political science.

Quinn’s presentation describes how two region-wide shifts in prevailing political and economic institutions and practices of sub-Saharan Africa can be linked to two prior global geopolitical realignments: the end of WWII with the ensuing American and Soviet led bipolar system, and the end of the Cold War with American primacy. Each period featured changed or newly empowered international and regional leaders with competing national priorities within new intellectual and geopolitical climates, altering the opportunities and constraints for African leaders in instituting or maintaining particular political and economic institutions or practices.

The economic and political institutions of Africa that emerged did so as a result of a complex mix of contending domestic, regional and international forces (material and intellectual) – all of which were greatly transformed in the wake of these two global geopolitical realignments. The argument assumes ideas as well as material resources matter, and how they matter is contingent on which particular nations are running, or trying to run, the international system as well as the type of competition or cooperation evident among and between the great powers.

Sponsored by the Global Issues Committee, the series is presented for educational or civic purposes. More information about the series can be found at, as well as through the its Facebook and Twitter accounts.