Audio Podcast

Modesto Seara Vazquez
Rector, Oaxaca State University System

Margaret Karns
Professor Emerita of Political Science University of Dayton; Visiting Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston


Video Podcast

In this special ‘ACUNS @ 30’ video podcast, recorded at the 2017 ACUNS Annual Meeting, Professor Margaret P. Karns meets with Professor Modesto Seara Vazquez to discuss the role of Mexico in the founding of ACUNS and potential avenues for attracting new Mexican scholars. At the ACUNS founding conference in June 1987, Mexican and Canadian scholars were invited to ensure the organization had international reach. Seara Vazquez was unable to participate in the conference at Dartmouth, but joined ACUNS soon after at the invitation of Victor Urquidi. Mexican scholars’ early involvement in ACUNS was a logical extension of the country’s interest in multilateral politics—Mexican interest in multilateralism peaked during the Cold War when major powers were seeking support from Mexico. Although this academic and political focus diminished after the end of the Cold War, Seara Vazquez believes that it would be beneficial for more Mexican scholars and practitioners to join ACUNS. As the world faces a multidimensional crisis, ACUNS, Seara Vazquez argues, can help create a new ideology for our time.

Professor Modesto Seara-Vazquez has been Rector, Oaxaca State University System (OSUS or SUNEO), since 1990. Other notable positions include Professor of International Law, International Organization and International Relations, (1961–2012) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico; and University of Utah, 1965–1966. Seara-Vazquez is considered one of the founders of Space Law in the late fifties, and made many original academic contributions in the fields of International Law, International Relations, and International Organization. He has published 25 books and approximately 200 academic articles and essays, and several hundred articles in periodicals of Mexico, Spain and France. Selected works include: Derecho Internacional Cósmico (1961), Mexico, UNAM; Derecho Internacional Público (2016), 25th Edition, Mexico, Porrúa; Tratado General de la Organización Internacional (1985), 2nd Edition, First Repr., México, Fondo de Cultura Económica; A New Charter for the United Nations (2003), Huajuapan, UTM; Cosmic International Law (1965), Detroit, Wayne State University Press; A New Model of University, (2010), Huajuapan, UTM; La Hora Decisiva (1986), Mexico, UNAM; La Vuelta al Mundo en 80 Años, Vol. I (2016), Huatulco, Universidad del Mar. Professor Seara Vasquez was also the editor for: Las Naciones Unidas a los 50 Años (1995), 2nd Edition, México, Fondo de Cultura Económica; La Sociedad Internacional Amorfa (2011), Huatulco, Universidad del Mar; (MSV and Alberto Lozano), Después de la Tragedia. A 70 años de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, (Huatulco, Universidad del Mar); and co-author for Bolonskii Prozess (2011), Moscow, Miesdunarodnaya Akademia Otsenki i Konsaltinga; Nobaya Model Universiteta (2011), Moscow, Miesdunarodnaya Akademia Otsenki i Konsaltinga.


Professor Karns was among the forty participants in the 1987 conference at Dartmouth College that led to the creation of ACUNS.  She was tasked there with a plenary presentation on “Teaching International Organization.”  Subsequently, she conducted the session on the same topic at the initial ACUNS Summer Workshop in 1991.  Most of her career in academe was spent as a member of the faculty at the University of Dayton, where she also served as director of the International Studies Program and founding director of the University of Dayton’s Center for International Programs from 1983 to 1995.

During 1995-96, Professor Karns was Visiting Professor of International Relations at the John Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. She returned to Asia in 1998 to teach a training course on “Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations System” for mid-career Vietnamese officials at The Institute of International Relations in Hanoi and again in May 2006 to lecture and serve as a consultant to the International Studies program at National University of Vietnam in Hanoi. In April 2007, she co-taught a workshop for thirty Vietnamese faculty in international relations on “International Relations since the Cold War’s End” with Professor Karen Mingst.

Currently, Professor Karns is Visiting Professor in the University of Massachusetts Boston John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies where she teaches courses on global governance and international organizations in the doctoral program in Global Governance and Human Security.  She is a past Vice President of International Studies Association, a national member of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, long-time board member and past President of the Dayton Council on World Affairs, current Vice Chair of the ACUNS Board of Directors, and a member of the Editorial Board of Global Governance.

As a scholar, Professor Karns specializes in global governance and international organizations, including the United Nations, with a particular emphasis on UN peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding.  With Professor Karen A. Mingst of the University of Kentucky she has published three books:  The United States and Multilateral Institutions: Patterns of Instrumentality and Influence (1990); International Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance (3rd ed., 2015) whose first edition won the ACUNS 2006 Prize for the Best Book on the United Nations and the United Nations System; and The United Nations in the 21stCentury (5th ed., 2017).