December 10th, 2009 | Uncategorized

Blair, Zedillo, Levin talk faith and world affairs

“Political leaders are, when all is said and done, believe it or not, human beings,” former British prime minister and visiting Yale professor Tony Blair said at Battell Chapel today. “They are still earthlings.”

Two such earthlings — Blair and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, professor and director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization — joined University President Richard Levin for a conversation about globalization. Blair has co-taught the “Faith and Globalization” seminar for the past two semesters.

“How do we make religious faith,” Blair proposed, “[a source for] peaceful coexistence rather than a source of division and conflict?”

With Blair, Zedillo discussed the challenges of ensuring that all nations benefit from globalization. He said that often countries have to overcome their individual self-interests in order to gain the long-term benefits of a global economy.

The speakers also talked about the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, discussing how nations must tackle environmental issues within a global framework.

Hayeon Lee ’10, who is currently enrolled in Blair’s seminar, said she especially appreciated hearing Zedillo speak, as she gets to listen to Blair lecture in class.

“[Blair] really does believe in the power of faith and globalization, and he really does try to inspire students on how important the cross-section between those two major forces is,” Lee said.

Approximately 1,100 tickets for the talk were given out to members of the Yale community.