The seventh annual Henry A. Kissinger Prize was held on the evening of June 10, 2013, in posthumous celebration of the life of Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist (*July 10, 1922; † March 8, 2013), founder of the Munich Security Conference and the longest surviving member of the July 22, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler. The full Board of Trustees of the American Academy was joined by distinguished guests from the international diplomatic corps, the German government and military, and heads of German business, industry, academia, media, publishing, and policymaking. The hour-long ceremony, with music performed by the Wehrbereichsmusikkorps I Neubrandenburg, was moderated by the Munich Security Conference’s current chairman, Wolfgang Ischinger. Laudations were delivered by Senator John McCain, of Arizona, and German Minister of Defense Thomas de Maizière. The prize was accepted by Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist’s daughter, Comtesse Vera de Lesseps, on behalf of her late father.
The decline of the West is something that has long been prophesied. Niall Ferguson, a professor of history at Harvard University, the inaugural Marcus Bierich Distinguished Visitor, and an American Academy trustee, argues that symptoms of decline are all around: slowing economic growth, crushing debts, aging populations, anti-social behavior. What exactly is amiss with Western civilization? The answer, Ferguson argues, is that our institutions -- the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail -- are degenerating. Representative government, the free market, the rule of law, and civil society were once the four pillars of West European and North American societies. And to arrest the degeneration of the West's once dominant civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
Der Einsatz von Drohnen steht seit geraumer Zeit im Fokus politischer Debatten. Neben der massiven Ausweitung des US-Militärs von Drohnenangriffen diskutiert auch die deutsche Regierung über die Ausrüstung der Bundeswehr mit bewaffneten Drohnen. Völkerrechtlich ist der Einsatz von unbemannten Flugkörpern mit Raketen jedoch höchst umstritten. Vor dem Hintergrund geltender Rechtsnormen für bewaffnete Konflikte wird Antje Vollmer über völker- und kriegsrechtliche Aspekte von Drohnenangriffen sprechen. Auf welchem legalen Fundament basiert der Einsatz von Kampfdrohnen? Inwiefern ist die Entwicklung von Drohnen als Instrument der Aufklärung hin zum Einsatz als Präzisionswaffe völkerrechtlich problematisch? Neben der Kontroverse über die Rechtmäßigkeit gezielter Tötungen in Kampfgebieten wird sich Antje Vollmer mit politisch-moralischen Fragen zur Veränderung der Hemmschwelle in der Kriegsführung auseinandersetzen, die der Trend zur automatisierten Kriegsführung mit sich bringt.
Many have asked whether there is an identifiable Obama Doctrine – a set of unifying principles in President Obama’s foreign policy -- and whether Hillary Rodham Clinton left behind a distinctive legacy as Secretary of State. Harold Hongju Koh, who just returned to Yale Law School after more than three years as Legal Adviser to the U.S. State Department, argues that the answer to both questions is yes: the Obama-Clinton Doctrine of International Law as Smart Power. In his lecture, Professor Koh reviews the major U.S. foreign policy challenges of the last four years and previews those of the next four, detailing why a smart-power strategy is both necessary and prudent to maintain U.S. foreign policy leadership based on values.
Guest speaker Martin Brody, the Catherine Mills Davis Professor of Music at Wellesley College, presents his current book project on late modernism in the American music of the Cold War period. His focus is on the composer Elliott Carter, who not only played a decisive role in defining musical complexity in mid-century but also helped to shape import systems for European modernism and export systems for difficult American modern music in the era of the Marshall Plan. In discussing Carter's music and influence, and the key players in the transatlantic culture of modern music, Brody highlights relationships among cultural politics, music patronage, formalist theories, and the often challenging aesthetics of modern music during the Cold War — especially as these relationships played out in the New York new music scene and post-war Rome.
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