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Renowned scholar to speak about crisis in Darfur

October 16, 2009

The humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and what to do – or not to do – about it is the focus of an upcoming public lecture at Arizona State University’s West campus.

Mathias Thaler, a senior researcher at the Centro de Estudos Sociais of Universidade de Coimbra in Portugal, will address “Political Judgment Beyond Paralysis and Heroism: Deliberation, decision, and the crisis in Darfur” from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Oct. 20, in room 241 of the University Center Building on the campus at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. The event is free and open to the public.

“Dr. Thaler will discuss the situation in Darfur not just as a foreign policy issue but from the perspective of how we should think about the formation of foreign policy,” says Amit Ron, assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. “He will address the precarious balance in which the public finds itself, between the desire to take prompt action in the form of humanitarian intervention and the desire to gain a fuller understanding of the situation before acting in the hope of avoiding grave mistakes.”

Thaler’s presentation will be based on a paper he authored that is forthcoming in the European Journal of Political Theory. Thaler, who earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Vienna, is the author of the book “Moral Politics or Political Morality? An Analysis of Current Debates About International Justice.”

Thaler’s visit to ASU’s West campus is presented by the master’s degree program in social justice and human rights. Details about the degree program are available at

For more information about the Oct. 20 event, e-mail or call (602) 543-3002.