News and Events



Former Sri Lankan President Talks Peace

Chandrika Kumaratunga, the former president of Sri Lanka, painted a sobering picture of an island nation recovering from civil war. This INP-sponsored talk took place at the Center for Government and International Studies. President Kumaratunga, who led Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2005, described her administration’s attempts to resolve through peaceful negotiations the long-standing conflict between Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese and minority Tamil populations. Sri Lanka’s first female president attributed the challenge in part to a mentality of siege ­that has become entrenched in the psyche of the Sri Lankan people. Read more about the event here.

On Embracing Evil

INP showcased the fascinating research of Professor Robert Jay Lifton. We screened a portion of a new documentary on his work on the psychology of Nazi doctors, and hosted a question and answer session afterward with Professor Lifton. Audience members discussed with him the psychology of past atrocities and ways to prevent future tragedy as well.

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

INP hosted Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, for a special lecture on the theme of “Leadership and Cooperation.” Ms. Persad-Bissessar, who made history as the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of her country, provided faculty and students with insights into how she is using elements of the Core Concerns framework (co-developed by INP founder Daniel Shapiro) to help guide her approach to leadership of her country. Afterwards, Ms. Persad-Bissessar and members of her delegation joined INP faculty and students for dinner and discussion about the challenges of governing in a multicultural society. Click here to watch a video of the Prime Minister’s talk. Also, click here to read an article on the event by the Harvard Crimson.

Terrorism, Identity, and Moderation in Pakistan

INP hosted Zamir Akram, Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who gave a talk entitled, “Terrorism, Identity, and Moderation: The Struggle for Pakistan’s Soul.” The discussion touched on a wide range of issues including Pakistani youth suicide bombers, relations between India and Pakistan, and the role of Islam in Pakistan. Akram suggested that individual and communal identity played a significant role in all three issues.

Mass Violence Seminar Series

Soon after the events of September 11, this seminar series was founded by INP’s Robert Jay Lifton. This seminar explores the political, psychological, and health issues surrounding mass violence. Illustrative topics include critically examining U.S. foreign policy, assessing the burden of war, and understanding the subjective reality of perpetrators and survivors of violence. Recent speakers have included Neta Crawford, Jennifer Leaning, and Andrew Bacevitch.

Perspectives on Collective Violence: The Mindset of Evildoers and Traumatized Victims

This lecture panel provided participants with a broad look at violence from the vantage of perpetrators, victims, and those of subsequent generations affected by the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Speakers were Robert Jay Lifton, Judith Herman, and Joseph Albeck.

The Negotiators: A Live NYPD Hostage Negotiation Demonstration

Featuring Lt. Jack Cambria, head of the NYPD Hostage Negotiation Unit, and Detectives Lydia Martinez and James Shanahan, the event shed light on how emotions are integral to the most high-pressure circumstances: the hostage negotiation.

Conflict Management through the Lens of Psychopathology and Relational Psychology

This session looked at how better understand the relational dimension of negotiation, and how to approach conflict situations when people exhibit symptoms of psychopathology. Speakers included Bruce Cohen and Kimberlyn Leary.