Global Perspectives Attends Florida International Summit

This is a guest post from Jessica Gagnon, UCF Today.

Several UCF Global Perspectives Office staff, interns and fellows learned about “Development, Diplomacy and Defense (D3): Opportunities in Latin American & the Caribbean” at the 2013 Florida International Summit recently. 20130228_Gen_Kelly_0050-548x365

The event was hosted by USF in Tampa and co-sponsored Feb. 28 by the Florida Network for Global Studies. The network is a consortium of Florida universities that aims to advance the exchange of information on economic, political, social and technological change taking place in an increasingly globalized world.

The opening address was delivered by Loch K. Johnson, Regent’s Professor at the University of Georgia and Southeastern Conference Professor of the Year. Commenting on the CIA’s regional role in defense, Johnson discussed several myths about the impact and oversight of covert action. He concluded that these secret missions happen with increasing frequency and little accountability, and that the strikes are not as “surgical” as many Americans may believe. Ultimately, Johnson called for more judicious oversight to ensure that global threats can be addressed without compromising American values.

A panel presentation followed with perspectives on D3 in Latin America and the Caribbean. USF political science professor Harry E. Vanden shared his research on “maras” or neighborhood gangs in ungoverned spaces in Latin America. UF anthropology professor Marianne C. Schmink discussed socio-environmental grassroots experiments in Amazonia.

Next to speak was USF professor and State of Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar for Civil and Environmental Engineering James R. Mihelcic. He works with small, urbanizing cities in the region to rethink of waste water as a resource instead of a byproduct.

Read the full piece here.

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