skip navigation
Charles Hostler Institute of World Affairs, San Diego State University, Serving as a forum for the analysis and discussion of international relations since 1942 San Diego State University

Lecture Series

"I’m guilty of murder of innocent men, innocent women, innocent children, thousands of them! My planes, my money, my guns, my soldiers, my blood on my hands, it’s all my fault."
John Doe and Exene Cervenka

Spring 2015, PolS 393, the Charles Hostler Institute on World Affairs, Mondays 4-6:40, Peterson Gym 242.

Instructor: Professor Jonathan Graubart, Ph.D. in Political Science and J.D. in Law.

Blood on our Hands: Moral Responsibility in World Affairs

Throughout the semester, several classes will feature prominent outside speakers, listed below. These events are free and open to the public. All public lectures will begin at 5 (4-5 will be reserved just for the enrolled students). The lecture series is funded by the Fred J. Hansen Institute for World Peace.


Ambassador Al Kuwari (March 2), Qatar’s Perspective on Diplomacy and Moral Responsibility

Ambassador Al Kuwari is Qatar’s current Ambassador to the United States. He was previously ambassador to France and a non-resident ambassador to Monaco and Portugal. Among Ambassador Al Kuwari’s other positions include head of delegation of the Qatari political and strategic dialogue with France, Deputy Head of Cabinet, Director of European and American Affairs, and Third Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2007, the President of France presented Ambassador Al Kuwari with its highest decoration, an officer badge of the Legion of Honor. He has received various other honors, including France’s Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, a Medal of friendly cooperation from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great from the Holy See.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies.


Harold Koh, (March 16), Human Rights, US Foreign Policy, and International Law

Mr. Koh is a Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School and one of the country’s top experts on public and private international law, national security law, and human rights. Nominated by President Obama, he served as a legal adviser of the US Department of State from 2009 to 2013 and served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor during the Clinton administration. Mr. Koh played a major role in defusing the diplomatic tension between the US and China concerning human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng in 2012. He has authored or co-authored 8 books, published more than 180 articles, received more than 30 awards for his human rights work, testified regularly before Congress, and litigated numerous cases in international and U.S. courts.


Ambassador Mark G. Hambley (March 23), Morality V. Reality in US Foreign Policy

Ambassador Hambley served over 35 years with the U.S. He has been the US ambassador to Qatar and Lebanon. Among his other positions have been Consul General in Alexandria and Jeddah, Special Representative to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and the Special Negotiator on Climate Change. Following the September 11 attacks, Ambassador Hambley served as the Political Advisor to the commander of the U.S. Air Force deployment in the Middle East. He was then appointed as director of the Media Outreach Center in London in March 2003. Ambassador Hambley left full-time service with the government of the United States of America in 2005. He still undertakes special commissions on an ad hoc basis for his government. In 2005, Ambassador Hambley became a senior trustee of the Next Century Foundation. In this capacity he has undertaken two missions to date, one to Red Zone Baghdad to facilitate negotiations with Abdul Aziz al Hakim, the other to Jerusalem during the Summer War, during which he discussed matters relating to the Syrian track. He also holds the position of Senior Managing Director for International Matters at Apollo Security, a Massachusetts-based security, investigative, and consulting service company.


Harriette Williams Bright (April 6), Engendering Peace, Empowering Women in Africa

Ms. Williams Bright is Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), an organization created in 1996 by African women leaders to empower African women to assume a leadership role in conflict prevention, management and resolution on the African continent. FAS aims to enable women to play a full and equal part in building the foundations for enduring peace. To further its aims, FAS makes active use of international instruments, such as UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Women's Studies.


Ambassador Francisco Campbell (April 13), Nicaragua’s Perspective on Responsibility to Protect and Moral Responsibility

Ambassador Campbell is the first Ambassador of Nicaragua to the U.S. from the Autonomous Regions on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. He previously served as ambassador to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Angola and Zambia. Between 1997 and 2010, Ambassador Campbell served as an elected Nicaraguan member to the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), which sits in Guatemala City, and is charged with increasing democratic control and oversight of the Central American integration process. In 2007-08, Campbell served as Vice President of this regional parliamentary body. Ambassador Campbell has been a driving force in building institutions in Nicaragua’s Autonomous Regions and was a Founding Member and Vice-Rector General of the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaragua Caribbean Coast (URACCAN), where he continues to serve as a Board Member.  He is the President of the Center for Human, Civil and Autonomous Rights (CEDEHCA) and was a Founding Member in 1990 of the Foundation for Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (FADCANIC), working successfully in obtaining funding and support for the Autonomous Regions from a wide range of European, U.S. and other international sources.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies.


Caroline Elkins (April 20), Bringing Moral Accountability to the UK’s Repression of the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya

Dr. Elkins is professor of history and African and African American studies at Harvard University. Her research interests include colonial violence and post-conflict reconciliation in Africa, and violence and the decline of the British Empire. She is currently working on examining the effects of violence and amnesia on local communities and nation-building in post-independent Kenya and analyzing British counter-insurgency operations after the Second World War. Dr. Elkins is the author of Imperial Reckoning: the Untold Story of Britain's Gulag, which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 and was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Award, one of the Economist's best history books for 2005. The book served as the basis for successful legal claims by Mau Mau detention camp survivors of British abuses during the counterinsurgency campaign in Kenya in the 1950s and Dr. Elkins served as expert witness. Dr. Elkins contributes to the New York Times Book Review, the Atlantic, and the New Republic and has also appeared on BBC’s The World, PBS’S Charlie Rose and NPR's All Things Considered.


Nick Turse (April 27), Kill Anything That Moves: Reviewing the US War on Vietnam

Mr. Turse is an award-winning investigative journalist, essayist, historian, associate editor of, co-founder of Dispatch Books, and fellow at the Nation Institute and New York University’s Center for the United States and the Cold War. His work has appeared in the Nation, the Los Angeles Times and In These Times. Mr. Turse is the winner of the Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction 2009 and a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. He is the author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives and Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.