|By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-25-123.balt.east.verizon.net - 188.8.131.52) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 9:48 pm: Edit Post|
Re-envision Peace Corps
PCOL Commentary: Read and comment on N. J. Slabbert's article in the current issue of Harvard International Review that includes Mr. Slabbert's vision of a reinvented Peace Corps that can "powerfully promote US interests in a period when perceptions of American motives are increasingly relevant to global realignment."
Re-envision Peace Corps
The Technologies of Peace
An Apology from the Editor
We have been informed that the version of this article posted here previously was a preliminary version which contained numerous mistakes including the erroneous attribution to J.R. Bullington as co-author of the article.
Clarification from Author: "This article draws on three significant bodies of government experience: those of former US President Jimmy Carter; of a former Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral (Ret.) William A. Owens; and of Ambassador JR Bullington, Director of the US Peace Corps in Niger since 2000. All three generously discussed their thoughts on the role and future of the Peace Corps with me and thanks are due to all three for their cooperation."
Mr. Slabbert's authorized version of his article can be read at the Harvard International Review. We apologize to Mr. Slabbert for the confusion. Our summary of his article and our interpretation of his five major recommendations for a re-envisioned Peace Corps is in the following section.
1. Reinvent America's international profile via a new use of soft power.
2. Move from a war-defined, non-technological, reactive theory of peace to a theory of peace as a proactive component of technologically advanced democracy.
3. Treat Peace Corps as a national strategic asset whose value remains largely untapped.
4. Peace Corps can be a model for reinventing government agencies for the 21st century.
5. Redefine Civil society as information technology society.
When this story was posted in March 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:
Read the stories and leave your comments.
Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Re-envision Peace Corps
Slavery was once called "the peculiar institution," but a better candidate for this title may be the Peace Corps. Current geopolitics make this a good time to probe Peace Corps' peculiarity, as prelude to a long overdue reconceptualization of what is arguably the most underused federal entity. An imaginatively reinvented Peace Corps could powerfully promote US interests in a period when perceptions of American motives are increasingly relevant to global realignment.
Read a call to "Re-envision Peace Corps" by Nicholas J. Slabbert and PC Country Director J.R. Bullington. Their study envisions a new role for the Peace Corps in five linked areas: (1) reinventing America's international profile via a new use of soft power; (2) moving from a war-defined, non-technological, reactive theory of peace to a theory of peace as a normal, proactive component of technologically advanced democracy; (3) reappraising Peace Corps as a national strategic asset whose value remains largely untapped; (4) Peace Corps as a model for the technological reinvention of government agencies for the 21st century; (5) redefining civil society as information technology society.
The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory. New: Sign up to receive PCOL Magazine, our free Monthly Magazine by email. Like to keep up with Peace Corps news as it happens? Sign up to recieve a daily summary of Peace Corps stories from around the world.
Invitee re-assigned after inflammatory remarks
The Peace Corps has pulled the invitation to Derek Volkart to join the Morocco Training Program and offered him a position in the Pacific instead after officials read an article in which he stated that his decision to join the Peace Corps was in "response to our current fascist government." RPCV Lew Nash says that "If Derek Volkart spoke his mind as freely in Morocco about the Moroccan monarchy it could cause major problems for himself and other Peace Corps volunteers." What do other RPCVs think?
March 1, 1961: Keeping Kennedy's Promise
On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency: "Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet basic needs. Men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed--doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language. But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corps--who works in a foreign land--will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace. "
Top Stories: February 2, 2006
Al Kamen writes: Rice to redeploy diplomats 20 Jan
Peace Corps mourns the Loss of Volunteer Tessa Horan 1 Feb
RPCV pursues dreams in America's Heartland 1 Feb
Sargent Shriver documentary to be shown in LA 30 Jan
W. Frank Fountain is new board chairman of Africare 27 Jan
Abbey Brown writes about acid attacks in Bangladesh 26 Jan
Christopher Hill Sees Ray of Hope in N.Korea Standoff 26 Jan
Jeffrey Smit writes on one man diplomatic outposts 25 Jan
Joe Blatchford's ACCION and microfinance 24 Jan
James Rupert writes: A calculated risk in Pakistan 23 Jan
Sam Farr rips conservative immigration bill 21 Jan
Americans campaign for PC to return to Sierra Leone 20 Jan
Kinky Friedman supports Gay Marriage 20 Jan
Margaret Krome writes on Women leaders 18 Jan
James Walsh leads bipartisan US delegation to Ireland 17 Jan
Mark Schneider writes on Elections and Beyond in Haiti 16 Jan
Robert Blackwill on a "serious setback" in US-India relations 13 Jan
Kevin Quigley writes on PC and U.S. Image Abroad 13 Jan
Emily Metzloff rides bicycle 3,100 miles from Honduras 9 Jan
Charles Brennick starts operation InterConnection 9 Jan
Lee Fisher tells story of Pablo Morillo 7 Jan
Nancy Wallace writes: Was PC a CIA front after all? 4 Jan
Paid Vacations in the Third World?
Retired diplomat Peter Rice has written a letter to the Wall Street Journal stating that Peace Corps "is really just a U.S. government program for paid vacations in the Third World." Director Vasquez has responded that "the small stipend volunteers receive during their two years of service is more than returned in the understanding fostered in communities throughout the world and here at home." What do RPCVs think?
RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps
Timothy Ronald Obert has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Costa Rica while serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer. "The Peace Corps has a zero tolerance policy for misconduct that violates the law or standards of conduct established by the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. Could inadequate screening have been partly to blame? Mr. Obert's resume, which he had submitted to the Peace Corps in support of his application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, showed that he had repeatedly sought and obtained positions working with underprivileged children. Read what RPCVs have to say about this case.
Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read our poll results. Latest: Congress passed a bill on December 22 including language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program
Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.
Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.
|By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) (dialup-184.108.40.206.dial1.denver1.level3.net - 220.127.116.11) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 11:11 pm: Edit Post|
6. Rename the Peace Corps, the International Divison of the Freedom Corps
|By Ella Lacey, Malawi 95-97 (dialup-18.104.22.168.dial1.chicago1.level3.net - 22.214.171.124) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 4:38 pm: Edit Post|
To describe my reaction to the suggested renaming of Peace Corps to The International Division of the Freedom Corps, I can only think of "Pukey"! Please do not even consider this any further.
|By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) (dialup-126.96.36.199.dial1.denver1.level3.net - 188.8.131.52) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 10:43 pm: Edit Post|
I was trying to be ironic or scarcastic or clever or something...I missed the mark. I guess I was "Pukey," instead. The revision piece is all about how the peace corps can be reconfigured to serve US/Bush Administration propaganda goals and I think that would destroy the peace corps..hence the name change.
|By Ronald A Schwarz (host81-132-253-14.range81-132.btcentralplus.com - 184.108.40.206) on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 1:18 pm: Edit Post|
Technologies of Peace?
If the Peace Corps ever decides to commit suicide, the prescription recommended by Slabbert and Bullington will be highly effective.
Dr Ronald A Schwarz
Colombia One (1961-63)
|By NICHOLAS SLABBERT (cpe-72-224-142-203.maine.res.rr.com - 220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 4:27 pm: Edit Post|
I am sole author of an article titled The Technologies of Peace, published elsewhere, part of which continues to be reproduced without authorization on a cached Peace Corps Online discussion board page despite my cordial requests for it to be removed. While I appreciate all interest in my writing, the material purporting to be by me on the cached Peace Corps Online page, with other alleged information purporting to reference me, was placed without my prior knowledge, authorization or wish. The article text reproduced has been taken from early draft material not authorized for publication and circulated without my consent or knowledge. J.R. Bullington is not my co-author as the cached text suggests; he is one of a number of people with whom I have discussed Peace Corps issues and is not responsible for my views. I have neither authorized nor asked anyone to circulate any alleged information about me of the kind appearing in the cached page. I have cordially asked Mr. Hugh Pickens of Peace Corps Online to remove this spurious material from the internet urgently and I repeat this request here.
|By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-186-164.balt.east.verizon.net - 18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 4:50 pm: Edit Post|
Dear Mr. Slabbert,
The page that you are referring to was not posted by us but by your friend, Mr. Alan Feinberg. We have already spoken to Mr. Feinberg and removed the page yesterday at his request.
There is nothing we can do about the google cache. That will eventually disappear on its own the next time google scans this site.
|By NICHOLAS SLABBERT (cpe-72-224-142-203.maine.res.rr.com - 22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 7:19 pm: Edit Post|
I appreciate all efforts made to rectify this and I regret that it is taking up the valuable time of all concerned. The continued appearance of the material is, however, extremely problematical for me. According to Google(click on "About Google" on bottom right of Google search page)a cached page can indeed be removed urgently by the webmaster on whose site the page originally occurred. Google explains there how to do so. I cannot do so as ID material specific to the website of origin -- in this case PC Online -- must be entered. If you can do this I would be very grateful. With thanks, NS
|By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-186-164.balt.east.verizon.net - 126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 7:52 pm: Edit Post|
Dear Mr. Slabbert,
We have followed google's procedure given at:
and made an urgent request using the automatic URL removal system that the cached page be removed for:
|By NICHOLAS SLABBERT (cpe-72-224-142-203.maine.res.rr.com - 188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 8:34 am: Edit Post|
Thanks very much; I appreciate it. NS
|By Anonymous (ip-200-53-106-117-mty.marcatel.net.mx - 184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 7:46 pm: Edit Post|
I question the stated goal in the article in the Harvard International Review that Peace Corps exists to further the US interest. When I volunteered, it was because the people where I worked needed the skills that I possessed, not to make the US look good. My goals were to benefit those people, not some US businessman who wants to take advantage of them. If by bettering the lives of someone in the developing world, it reflects well on the US, then that is all very well and good, but that isn't the primary reason for being there and shouldn't be the primary reason for Peace Corps at all.