Contact: Meredith Dickenson or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7654

April 3, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- How should nations behave in the 21st century? Should they go it alone on matters of global security or form coalitions with other nations to fight external threats?

For the U.S., the choice of unilateralism versus multilateralism must be decided soon. To fight its war on terrorism, the U.S. will need to shape a foreign policy that is either in accordance with its allies or not. Already the decision is reaching a critical stage. The Bush administration has dispatched American troops to the Philippines, Yemen, Columbia, Uzbekistan, the Georgia republic and soon possibly Iraq. A unilateralist and multilateralist foreign policy will have different consequences for the U.S. and the world. The tensions and trade-offs between the two approaches span a range of international and legal issues relating to the economy, environment, military and human rights.

"In a globalizing world still dominated by sovereigns, tensions between unilateral and multilateral behavior grow," said John Attanasio, dean of the SMU Dedman School of Law and the William Hawley Atwell Chair in Constitutional Law. "Problems like terrorism heighten the state of achieving a sophisticated, nuanced understanding of these respective approaches."

The Dedman School of Law has convened a panel of experts in international relations, law and government to discuss the pros and cons of unilateralism and multilateralism. This year's distinguished Carrington Lecture will be a panel discussion titled, "Responding to Global Threats: The Cases for Unilateralism and Multilateralism," from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the Hillcrest Room of the Underwood Law Library, 6550 Hillcrest Ave. In addition to Attanasio, the speakers on the panel will be the following:

  • Christopher Ashby, former U.S. ambassador to Uruguay
  • Al Casey, former CEO of American Airlines and former U.S. Postmaster General
  • Rudolph Dolzer, former director general of the Federal Chancellory of Germany
  • Whitney Harris, former Nuremberg prosecutor and former SMU professor of law
  • Arthur Helton, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he serves as senior fellow for Refugee Studies and Preventive Action and director of Peace and Conflict Studies, and former vice president of the Soros Foundation
  • Robert Jordan, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
  • Yutaka Kawashima, former vice minister of foreign affairs in Japan and the Japanese ambassador to Israel
  • Ndiva Kofele-Kale, SMU professor of law
  • Alexander Konovalov, president of the Russian Institute for Strategic Analysis
  • Joseph Norton, James L. Walsh Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Financial Institutions and professor of law at Dedman School of Law
  • W. Michael Reisman, Myres S. McDougal Professor of Law at Yale University
  • Lt. General James T. Scott (Ret.), former director of the National Security Program at Harvard University and a former Special Operations Forces officer
  • Gao Shangquan, president of the China Research Society for Restructuring the Economic System.

The event is free and open to the public. For information about parking, contact the Dedman School of Law at 214-768-3341.