WMU News

Political scientist to talk about rebuilding Balkan civic structure

March 10, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- A political scientist who specializes in Eastern Europe will describe the civic challenges facing the war-torn Balkan peninsula in a talk at Western Michigan University Tuesday, March 17.

Dr. Robin Remington, professor of political science at the University of Missouri at Columbia, will explore the topic of "Social Capital and Balkan Security" when she speaks at 7 p.m. in Room 3502 of Knauss Hall. Her free public address is part of a campus speaker series addressing "Citizen Politics: Changing Sources of Identity and Power."

Remington's presentation is also the first George Klein Lecture, named for a longtime member of the Department of Political Science who was an internationally known expert on Balkan politics and Eastern European political systems. Klein, a WMU faculty member for more than 23 years, died in 1981. In 1997, his widow Dr. Patricia V. Klein, WMU associate professor emerita of science studies, created an endowment in his honor. That endowment will fund an annual lecture and symposia and conferences on Central and Eastern Europe as well as scholarship support for students from that region.

According to Dr. James M Butterfield, associate professor of political science and director of WMU's Institute of Government and Politics, Remington's talk will focus on civic associations and the ties that bind a community or nation. She will describe the challenges faced in Balkan nations such as Bosnia, which are now trying to build trust between groups in a post-war society.

"It's really about laying the foundations of peace," Butterfield says.

Remington's talk is co-sponsored by the Institute of Government and Politics and by the Russian and East European Studies Program. For more information, persons should contact Butterfield at (616) 387-5696.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland; cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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