University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

Spring 2017: Polarized Cultures in a Globalized World

In a time when the world seems to becoming smaller through globalization, it is also pulling itself apart. This is the focus of the 2017 University of Idaho Borah Symposium, scheduled for April 3-5.

The symposium, titled “Polarized Cultures in a Globalized World,” will bring together world leaders, diplomats scholars and activists to address the community in a variety of free events, open to the public.

“We find ourselves in a great national debate between the ideologies of globalism and nationalism,” said Steven Daley-Laursen, professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Society and co-chair of the Borah Committee. “This year’s Borah Symposium will be a forum for understanding the potential risks and opportunities of both in terms of economics, climate, health, communications and security.”

Robert Malley, a member of the United States’ National Security Council under President Obama, will deliver the keynote address at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, in the International Ballroom of the Bruce M. Pitman Center.

Malley served as special assistant to President Barack Obama, senior advisor to the president for the counter-ISIL campaign, and White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf Region from 2015 to 2016. As the most senior White House official focused on the Middle East, Malley coordinated government-wide efforts to counter ISIL and was the lead White House negotiator for the Iran nuclear deal as well as for international talks on the Syrian civil war, including negotiations with the Russian Federation.

A special event, “Breaking Bread with Refugees,” will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, in the International Ballroom of the Pitman Center. This dinner conversation with current refugees in Idaho is hosted by the International Rescue Committee.

Other speakers during the symposium include Tom Paulson, founder of Humanosphere, a news source for global health, poverty and inequity; members of the International Rescue Committee, who aids refugees and victims of humanitarian crises; and Andrea Johnson, executive director of Green Empowerment, a renewable energy and rural community development organization.

“The United States is at a crossroads, facing a choice between withdrawal and engagement on the world stage,” said John Murray, grants and contracts compliance specialist in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences and co-chair of the Borah Committee. “The symposium speakers will explore the moral and political challenges we face in international obligations.”

This is the 70th annual Borah Symposium, which is sponsored by the William Edgar Borah Outlawry of War Foundation, a separately endowed foundation operated out of the U of I’s Martin Institute in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, which was established to honor and continue the work of Idaho Sen. William Borah on behalf of peace.

A full schedule of events for the 2017 Borah Symposium is below.

Schedule of Events, 2017

Monday, April 3 at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 4 at 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 4 at 5:30 p.m. *Event Change*

Wednesday, April 5 at 11:30 a.m.

  • "The Role of International NGOs and Academic Institutions in Mitigating Local Conflict"
  • Location: Vandal Ballroom, Bruce Pitman Center
  • Presented by Andrea Johnson, Executive Director, Green Empowerment, Portland

Wednesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Keynote Address: "A World Gone Mad? Polarization in the age of Globalization"
  • Location: International Ballroom, Bruce Pitman Center
  • Presented by Robert Malley, Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Advisor for the Counter-ISIL campaign

Borah Symposium

Physical Address:
338 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
Borah Foundation & Symposium
c/o The Martin Institute
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3177
Moscow, ID 83844-3177

Phone: 208-885-6527

Fax: 208-885-9464