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Professor Benjamin Barber

The Asia Institute presents with HOBY Korea this unprecedented opportunity to speak directly to the world-famous scholar Professor Benjamin Barber and join him for an intimate lunch on Monday, March 25, 2013. The event is aimed specifically at those engaged in the education of high school students as this event is leading up to the Asia Institute’s GCF Youth Green Fund Symposium for high school students (July 12-14, 2013). Please contact me:

if you can attend.


Emanuel Pastreich

HOBY Korea & The Asia Institute

Haechun B/D #903, Yuksam-dong 831, Kangnam-gu, S. Korea

Tel: 82-2-569-9600 Fax. 82-2-569-7557

TOCC High Schools in the Republic of KoreaPrinciples/Heads of International Departments
SUBJECT Invitation to lecture by Professor Benjamin Barber at Korea Press CenterMonday, March 25, 2013 10:30 AM 12 PM followed by lunch
DATE SENT 2013. 03. 06
“I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures, those who make it or those who don’t. I divide the world into learners and non-learners.”

-Benjamin Barber

We would like to offer you the exceptional opportunity to participate in a remarkable event: a lecture by one of America’s leading intellectuals, Professor Benjamin Barber, a man who has a keen interest in education and society and who has been invited for a special meeting with Mayor Park of Seoul to discuss Seoul’s efforts to globalize.

Benjamin Barber, author of seventeen books including the global best seller Jihad Vs. McWorld, is currently Senior Research Scholar at The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, City University of New York, and President of the Interdependence Movement. He will deliver a lecture on “The Future of Our Children’s Education.” Professor Barber’s talk will be followed by a short presentation by Professor Emanuel Pastreich (Kyung Hee University) about the Asia Institute’s upcoming “GCF Youth Green Fund Symposium” for high school students to be held in July 12-14, 2013.

Please honor our event with your presence.

Time and Location: Monday, March 25, 2013 at Korea Press Center (9th Floor)

10:30 AM – Lecture: “Internationalization and the Future of Education” – Prof. Benjamin Barber (City University of New York)

11:10 – 11:30 AM  – Q&A / Free Discussion

11:30 – 11:50 AM – GCF Youth Green Fund Symposium – Prof. Emanuel Pastreich

(Kyunghee University)

12:00 – 13:00 PM – Lunch

Spaces Available: 50

Application Deadline: Space-available basis

– Attached-

Prof. Benjamin Barber’s Biography

Prof. Emanuel Pastreich’s Biography

Participation Application


Hyun Chul Hwang

Benjamin Barber

Benjamin R. Barber is a Senior Research Scholar at The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society of The Graduate Center, City University of New York, President and Founder of the Interdependence Movement, and Walt Whitman Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Rutgers University. An internationally renowned political theorist, Dr. Barber brings an abiding concern for democracy and citizenship to issues of politics, globalization, culture and education in America and abroad.

Benjamin Barber’s 17 books include the classic Strong Democracy (1984) reissued in 2004 in a twentieth anniversary edition; the international best-seller Jihad vs. McWorld (1995 with a Post 9/11 Edition in 2001, translated into thirty languages) and Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, published by W.W. Norton & Co. in March, 2007 (ten foreign editions). His upcoming book, If Mayors Ruled the World, will be published by Yale University Press in 2013.

Emanuel Pastreich

Emanuel Pastreich serves as a professor at Kyunghee University as well as the director of the Asia Institute. The Asia Institute dedicated to the implications of technology for international relations.

Before coming to Korea in 2007, he worked at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington as Advisor to Public Affairs Minister and managed numerous cultural projects related to Japanese an American government He started teaching at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign as professor of Japanese literature from 1997 to 2005. Pastreich studied Chinese at Yale University (1987) and received an M.A. in comparative literature from the University of Tokyo (1992), where he did all coursework in Japanese. After receiving a Ph.D. from the Harvard University (1997)

Application to Professor Benjamin Barber’s Lecture

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After completion, please fax (02.569.7557) or email ( the completed application.

HOBY Korea

The Asia Institute

December 20, 2012

“Why is it so difficult to shift the defense paradigm”

The Asia Institute

John Feffer

Senior Associate

The Asia Institute

Director, Foreign Policy in Focus

Emanuel Pastreich:

Why is it that we are unable to shift our focus concerning security? Why do we keep making these weapons for some imagined future war that will be a souped-up version of World War II?

John Feffer:

We keep building expensive weapons systems for a variety of reasons, but the most important reason is bureaucratic inertia. The various organs of the national security state compete with each other for their piece of the budgetary pie and they don’t want to see their overall total budgets go down. They put some money into research and development, but these weapons systems have traditionally been a budgetary no-brainer: we have to maintain our nuclear triad, we have to maintain a certain number of jet fighters, we have to maintain our navy at a certain level if we are to remain a global power, and so on.

Emanuel Pastreich:

It is remarkable how difficult it is for politicians to break out of this system. It is not just cynicism, there seems to be compelling reason for this continued military build-up.

John Feffer:

This bureaucratic imperative has a regional and political element as well. These weapons systems are built of many components for which the manufacturing is scattered across the United States. There isn’t a congressional district that isn’t connected in some way to the manufacture of weapons systems. And this manufacture means jobs, sometimes the only surviving manufacturing jobs. So, even politicians who are deeply committed to cuts in Pentagon spending will vote in favor of the weapon systems produced in their district.

Let me give an example from my report with Miriam Pemberton The Green Dividend:

The president didn’t want the engine. The Pentagon chief didn’t want the engine. Even the Air Force didn’t want to spend $485 million to develop a second engine for the F-35 fighter jet. After all, Pratt & Whitney had already won the bid for the F-35 and was already developing it. A second engine was, literally, overkill. Yet in May 2010, Congress decided to defy the Pentagon and risk a presidential veto by restoring funding for this second engine.

The second engine, to be built by General Electric and Rolls Royce, represents jobs, and U.S. politicians have a difficult time saying no to jobs. Even Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who has taken the most courageous stand against military spending by calling for a 25 percent reduction in the Pentagon budget, voted in favor of the backup engine because it meant jobs at the GE plant in his state. This was no isolated example. It repeated a pattern from 2009 when the president, the Pentagon, and even the defense contractor Lockheed Martin teamed up to remove funding for the F-22 fighter jet from the budget only for the House to restore the money (the item eventually was dropped during the reconciliation process).

Emanuel Pastreich:

Oddly, the radical outsourcing of American industry over the last twenty years has meant that literally the only places remaining that are engaged in manufacturing and offer good jobs are tied to the military. So, ironically, the shift to a military-based economy is a result of the very real needs of people at the local level. Equally important, the military industrial complex has become the only part of the American economy in which, on a limited scale, the United States can practice industrial policy. Ironically, the military ends up playing a valuable role in terms of technology and manufacturing even as its global role becomes increasingly counter-productive. Although these weapons systems may not bring “security” in a geopolitical sense, they bring “security” to communities in a socioeconomic sense. And perhaps that is the sense in which those arguing for “security” are in fact using the word. The first step away from a bloated military is to create a space for social and industrial policy.

Emanuel Pastreich

December 22, 2012

The Asia Institute

“Does national  security exist in slow motion?”

The military tends to think about security in fast motion: how can you secure an airport in a few hours, or bomb something in a split second. That trend is exacerbated by the increasing speed of computers overall. We need to be able to respond to computer viruses or missile launches instantaneously. And that speed element has the aura of effectiveness. But that psychological need for a fast response has little do to with real security.

What if the primary security problem that we face has to be measured in hundreds of years? There does not seem to be any system in place in the security/intelligence/military community for grappling with such essential problems. Dave Montgomery, author of the remarkable book Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, noted at a recent Asia Institute seminar (forthcoming) the loss of topsoil is something like 1% a year. That rate is pretty much invisible on everyone’s radar screens in Washington D.C.

The eyes will glaze over of anyone rushing around to meetings in helicopters or limousines if you mention this sort of a problem. But that trend will be catastrophic in less than a century as it takes hundreds of years to create topsoil. The loss of arable land combined with the rapid increase in population overall and the large increase in the middle class (people around the world who can now be consumers) is without doubt one of the greatest security threats we face. But “inter-generational security” or “long term security” is the great blind spot in the machine. And it is most certainly a fatal blind spot.

The Asia Institute Seminar

“Climate Summits and the Definition of Security”

December 14, 2012

Janet Redman


 Sustainable Energy and Economy Network

Institute for Policy Studies

Janet is co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, where she provides analysis of the international financial institutions’ energy investment and carbon finance activities. Her recent studies on the World Bank’s climate activities include World Bank: Climate Profiteer, and Dirty is the New Clean: A critique of the World Bank’s strategic framework for development and climate change. She has appeared on several radio programs and C-SPAN sharing positive visions for fair and equitable climate action in the United States and overseas. As a founding participant in the global Climate Justice Now! network, Janet is committed to bringing hard-hitting policy analysis into grassroots organizing.

Click here

The Asia Institute forms partnership with International Centre for Earth Simulation for research on appropriate models for representing the state of the environment globally. The International Centre for Earth Simulation, located in Geneva, Switzerland,  is at the center of a global network that works to integrate the vast pools of knowledge in a multitude of scientific and socio-economic specializations and to develop the next generation of “holistic” modeling, simulation and visualizations that accurately depict the medium and long-term future direction of planet earth. The Interview with President Bob Bishop is available here.

This collaboration finds its origins in Pastreich’s article “The Eco-Currency: A Proposal”