One feature that helps John Cabot University stand out from other universities in Rome and around the world is the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs. The Institute offers an annual series of lectures on a wide variety of subjects concerning global politics, human rights, and more. It also frequently hosts seminars especially designed for students and faculty, in order to foster a better understanding of important and hotly debated issues that are facing the world today, particularly those affecting Europe and the United States.
The Advisory Council
Founded by the Honorable Frank J. Guarini and run by a carefully curated Advisory Council, the institute is committed to bringing students and faculty together and engaging them in a variety of issues and discussions that are pertinent in today’s highly globalized society. The current director of the institute is Federigo Argentieri. Argentieri studied at the Universities of Rome and Budapest and has published many journals and articles on the politics of Central-Eastern Europe and the Hungarian Revolution.
Other advisors include Valentina Colombo, who teaches Geopolitics of the Islamic World at the European University in Rome, Christine Legault, a broadcast journalist from Montreal currently covering Italy as a freelance correspondent, and Lucio Martino, who has been the expert for transatlantic relations at the Military Center for Strategic Studies in Rome since 2000.
The institute is well known for its controversial and boundary pushing lecturers and seminars, and it maintains an ideal of challenging beliefs and instigating important discussions. Some past events that the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs has held include:
- The Politics of Exclusion in the Arab Gulf: Women, Stateless Persons and Migrants, a lecture by Farah Al-Nakib, a visiting professor from the American University of Kuwait. The lecture focused on Prof. Al-Nakib’s ongoing research into the history of Kuwait City and touched on other historians’ findings about several other Gulf states.
- Diplomacy Barcamp: A Call For Ideas to Achieve Food Security, a unique edition of the Festival of Diplomacy that was set up in a dynamic “Bar Camp” format. The event focused heavily on the topics of food security, sustainability, food production and food distribution problems.
- Field Experiences in Food Assistance, an event featuring presentations by JCU alumnus Ryan Anderson of the World Food Program (WFP) and Ms. Sharon Ketchum of the United States mission to the United Nations (US/UN Rome).
Future Events – Dr. Theda Skocpol
The Guarini Institute has invited Harvard Professor Dr. Thedo Skocpol to speak on February 20th with a lecture entitled “Obama, the Tea Party and the Future of American Politics.” Dr. Skocpol is the recipient of the much-lauded Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science and the lecture will draw heavily from her recently published works “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism” and “Obama and America’s Political Future.”
The lecture is expected to be an intimate discussion of the social policies of the United States – both recent and historical – while exploring the concept of civic engagement in American democracy, which should be of interest to international students in Italy, as well as American students who study abroad in Italy.
It’s precisely these kinds of discussions that have established the Guarini Institute’s reputation as an essential part of John Cabot University, demonstrating the amount of influence and reach that the Institute has. Students are the clear winners at the end of the day, benefiting from a richer overall educational experience while gaining valuable global awareness and cultural understanding.