By Mike Flach
University of Calgary grad students have organized a conference this weekend with an international flair. The conference, called Globalization 2000: Convergence or Divergence will examine the effects and true meaning of this common topic.
"The topic of globalization is an important topic," said Mebs Kanji, one of the event coordinators. "Globalization is a buzz-word that is often used in everyday discussions, but it’s not often where two people use the word and mean the same thing."
The conference will feature prominent Canadian politicians such as provincial treasurer Stockwell Day, and federal cabinet ministers Stéphane Dion and David Kilgour. They will be joined by renowned academics such as American Dr. Ronald Inglehart from the University of Michigan, and Britons Dr. Leslie Skair from the London School of Economics, and Dr. Philip Cerny from the University of Leeds.
These speakers will not, however, be the basis of the conference. Students have organized this conference and will be its focal point.
"All papers, all research will be presented by graduate students. The students come from all over the world." said fellow conference coordinator Kari Jobin. Jobin stressed there will be participants from Canada, the United States, Germany, South Africa, Finland, and Argentina.
"By looking at the question of globalization from different parts of the world represented by various graduate students, I think you get a truly global perspective on what globalization means," said Jobin. "The one thing that I think is encouraging is that what the conference tries to do is to encourage debate between established eminent academics and students with possibly some new ideas and different perspectives."
All the panels will be held in the MacEwan Student Center and the initial keynote address by Stockwell Day will be held in the faculty club.
Admission is free for U of C students, but meals are not covered.
"What we’re trying to do is cover our costs," said Jobin. "The two lunches with the keynote speakers and the Saturday dinner at the Petroleum Club, the students will have to pay [for], but it’s a really nominal fee. We’ve tried to subsidize it as much as we could." The lunches are $5 each, and the dinner is $25 for U of C students.
Students are strongly encouraged to attend this gathering of intellectuals as a step towards understanding international politics on many different levels. The university has endorsed this initiative as they attempt to make the school more prominent in an international setting.
"There is the desire to stress the importance of Calgary in the international community," said Jobin.
For more information call 220-4186.