The Passport for July 2018

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format.

Luncheon Meeting – Thursday, July 19, 2018

Topic

Xi in Command

Speaker

Michael Ipson

International Banker

Overview

Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, has introduced new and far reaching political and economic policies since assuming leadership in 2012. He has also become increasingly powerful. Xi now holds the top offices of the party (Secretary General), the state (President) and the military (Chairman, Central Military Commission) and in March, China’s National People’s Congress amended its constitution eliminating presidential term limits. Xi Jinping is officially referred to as the Paramount Leader of the PRC.

Our guest, Michael Ipson, will review how Xi has centralized his personal power over China and look forward as he embarks upon his second term as supreme leader. In his presentation he will discuss China’s growing global role and analyze the major challenges that China and President Xi face including the economy and environmental quality.

Michael Ipson began his engagement with China in 1966 as an exchange student in Hong Kong. After pursuing graduate studies in Chinese and Vietnamese history, , he began a career in banking, spending 28 years in Hong Kong and China. During the last five years he spent his second sojourn in Beijing, including two-and-a-half years as Country Manager for International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. He continues to travel to China working with financial institutions.

Agenda

Thursday, July 19, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
11:50 am: Luncheon
12:50 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • Romaine Salad with Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Lasagna
  • Roasted Red Potatoes and Vegetables
  • Fresh Rolls and Butter
  • Chef’s Choice Dessert
  • Coffee
  • Vegetarian Option: Grilled Portobello Mushroom

Location

4860 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests
  • Credit card charge: $2 each person

Click here to open or download the luncheon reservation form in PDF format.


June Program Report

Summary of The Demise of the Arab Spring and the Deep State

Presented by Dr. Robert Springborg

The World Affairs Council was honored to host Dr. Robert Springborg for its June luncheon, when he spoke on The Demise of the Arab Spring and the Deep State.  Recently retired from the Naval Postgraduate School, Dr. Springborg is currently a non-resident fellow at the Italian Institute of International Affairs, and is widely recognized as one of America’s premier scholars of the Middle East.

Decades before the term “deep state” entered the American political lexicon, it was most frequently used in analyses of Turkey to explain how the military kept tight reins on the exercise of power while allowing elections to occur and democracy to ostensibly function. Dr. Springborg elaborated on how deep states have come to rule most Arab republics (less so in monarchies) by centering real power, which has been enabled by coercion, in military intelligence, security forces, police, and the office of the presidency.  Typically, these institutions are “off budget,” meaning that the true extent of their resources is not publicly known.  As well, these resources are autonomous from the usual tax collection system, often being generated by smuggling and similar illicit activities controlled by these deep state institutions.

Dr. Springborg’s main argument was that the pervasive deep state arrangements in much of the Arab world successfully worked against any real democratic transition during the Arab Spring.  While Egypt may have been the most famous case of Arab Spring change, it now represents the clearest victory of the deep state in reversing those democratic steps that were initiated in 2011.  In addition to fighting deep state interests, the democrats of the Arab Spring faced long odds when it came to other social variables, such as income levels, median age, and the size of the middle class.

Wading briefly into current American discussions, Springborg noted that in comparison to the Middle East, the United States has no equivalent of a deep state —”yet.”

By Glenn Robinson


Welcome to Our New Members
Fall 2017

Erik and Robin Eidsmo
Carol Bergere
Dr. Cary Mrozowski
Donna Pribble
Linda Foley
Elizabeth Gianola and James Cook
Michelle Amirkhanian
K. Haller
Joe and Cynthia Hertlein
Cheryl Gillette
John and Nell Blankfort
Mark and Bettina Schwartz