Conversations that Matter

The International Relations Council strengthens Kansas City's global perspective by maintaining an active dialogue around world events, global issues, and their impact on our community. Learn more.

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Wednesday, August 12
Hong Kong and the Future of Promised Autonomy

Since the end of British control in 1997, Hong Kong has been governed as a semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China. The growing tension among pro-democracy activists, the Hong Kong Government, and Beijing, exemplified in the recent security law prohibiting the promotion of democratic reform in Hong Kong, has brought into question the sustainability of a "one country, two systems" approach where Hong Kong would exercise a "high degree of autonomy." Where do Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China go from here, and what do these developments mean for other semi-autonomous governments? University of Notre Dame Associate Professor of Political Science Victoria Tin-bor Hui will examine the nature, benefits, and challenges of autonomy, survey the forces at play in the struggle for Hong Kong's future, and discuss the journey ahead.

Tuesday, August 25
International Film Club: Parasite

The arts, and particularly film, have a special ability to transport us to other places, times, and realities and give us insight into the ways and the whys of the world. The International Relations Council is proud to introduce a new effort to explore international realities and global issues using films of the world and about the world. The IRC’s International Film Club will meet monthly to discuss an award-winning film and the international topics, themes, and issues it raises. Subject-matter experts will guide our experience, preparing us with questions and other context before viewing the film and leading the conversation during our monthly meeting. Films, with subtitles if needed, will be readily available on common streaming services. Individuals of all backgrounds, interests, and perspectives are welcome – we just ask that you bring an open mind, thoughtful questions, and common courtesy.

September 8-October 27
Choices Election Issues Series

The 2020 presidential election will present the American people with consequential choices around international challenges and the future of U.S. foreign policy. In the eight weeks leading up to November 3, the International Relations Council will offer a series of insightful conversations with notable experts on foreign policy issues relevant to this year’s election and what comes next. Rather than advocate a particular approach or outcome, the nonpartisan Choices series will serve to inform voters through a presentation of historical context and a detailed examination of the foreign policy platforms of the major-party candidates. We welcome diverse perspectives and encourage the community to join us in meaningful discourse around these issues of global importance.

A Kansas City nonprofit organization and a member of the World Affairs Councils of America, the IRC works in partnership with businesses, universities, community organizations, and K-12 schools to bring a global perspective to our community.

We bring world leaders and dignitaries to the metro region, host forums for high-school students to interact with and learn from foreign-policy experts, and create opportunities for area business leaders to strengthen relationships abroad.

We invite you to join us for an upcoming event and see how you can get involved with Kansas City's global community.



Calendar more

Hong Kong and the Future of Promised Autonomy

Lexicon: Mískitu

News & Views: International Pharmaceutical Market

International Career Series: Global Water Solutions

IRC Book Club: Modi & the Reinvention of Indian Foreign Policy