Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations


MCFR Individual, Family and Institutional Members can attend the regular monthly event with no event fee.  During registration, please use the email under which you became a member to see all the registration options available to members.

Upcoming events

    • 17 Feb 2016
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St, Madison, WI
    This presentation will offer a broad overview of the state of the European Union in the face of crisis. It will review current events and discuss possible implications of major developments in the economic, social, political, and security realms, with a particular focus on the Euro crisis, challenges associated with the inflow of refugees and migrants, recent election results in EU member states, and the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks.

    Nils Ringe is Associate Professor of Political Science, Jean Monnet Chair, and Director of the Center for European Studies, the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, and the European Studies Alliance. His research and teaching interests are European Union politics (in particular the institutions of the EU), legislatures, political parties, social networks, and elections. His new book (with Jennifer N. Victor, George Mason University) is titled "Bridging the Information Gap: Legislative Member Organizations as Social Networks in the United States and the European Union" (University of Michigan Press; click here for details). It examines voluntary, issue-based, cross-partisan groups of legislators (such as caucuses in the U.S. Congress and intergroups in the European Parliament) in a comparative perspective. His previous book, "Who Decides, and How? Preferences, Uncertainty, and Policy Choice in the European Parliament," was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Ringe is currently working on a series of papers on social networks in legislative politics.
    • 15 Mar 2016
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • TBA
    Dr. Margarita Lopez Maya

    Co-Sponsored by the
    UW Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program (LACIS)

    Venezuela has been undergoing dramatic political changes in recent years under the presidencies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. A Parliamentary election in December 2015 resulted in opposition parties winning a major victory.

    Dr. Lopez Maya will put the changes in Venezuela in perspective, describing the current and evolving crisis in that country. She will explain the structural roots of the Venezuelan crisis and illustrate its impact. Her talk will consider the significance of the December elections, which opened the possibility of important political and economic changes. She will discuss the likely impact of the parliamentary changes resulting from the election.

    Dr. Margarita Lopez Maya is Professor at the Center for Development Studies (CENDES) at the Central University of Venezuela, and a fellow at the Wilson Center. She has been a researcher and lecturer of Contemporary Political History of Venezuela for more than twenty five years. She has studied political and social participation in different historical periods of Venezuela's democracy. In that context she has investigated parties and popular protest in 20th century Venezuela, especially during the final years of that century when Venezuelan society entered in a deep political crisis and the once strong party system declined.

    • 06 Apr 2016
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • TBA
    Dr Golkar will discuss the multiple domestic political forces within Iran and how they are interacting to influence that Nation's foreign policy, including the recent agreement limiting their nuclear weapon capabilities, and the future of US-Iranian dialogue.  Today's Iranian political spectrum ranges from radical reformists on the far left to hardliners, Pragmatists and reformists. Each political group is Islamic, but they have different visions for the future of Iran and for how the nuclear deal fits into that future. Dr. Golkar will discuss the social bases of these groups, and their views on internal and international issues. He will also discuss the effect of sanctions and their future removal on the various stakeholders.

    Saeid Golkar is a visiting fellow for Iran policy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an adjunct professor for the Middle East and North African Studies Program and a visiting scholar at Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. Previously, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. From 2004 to 2009, he was a lecturer in the department of social sciences at Azad University, in Iran, where he taught undergraduate courses on the political sociology of Iran and sociology of war and military forces. Golkar received a PhD from the department of political science at Tehran University in June 2008. His recent publications can be found in journals such as Middle East Journal; Armed Forces & Society; Politics, Religion & Ideology; and Middle East Policy. His book, Captive Society, on the Basij (Iran's paramilitary force) and the securitization of Iranian society, was published by Columbia University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center Press in June 2015.

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