Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and former Republican member of Congress (Iowa) James Leach recently concluded a “Civility Tour” of the U.S. During this tour Leach touted the central role of civility in American political life. During this talk, he also addressed questions regarding behavior during times of recession.

  Professor of history at Bowdoin College, Allen Wells, discussed the problems facing the country of Mexico. Namely, how political gridlock and drug violence have fostered a state of political paralysis. The drug war has consumed the country over the last few years at a cost of 40,000 murders in Mexico.

Al–Jazeera Washington Bureau Chief, Abderrahim Foukara discussed recent events in the Arab world, and the hopes of greater freedom, stability, and the rule of law they have raised.

  Led by Professor Lawrence Lessig of Harvard University, panelists put the Maine Clean Election system in a national context. They explore the current political and legal landscape for campaign reforms.

The panel is moderated by former Governor Angus King and includes:

  Graham E. Fuller is Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and a 20-year veteran of the CIA where he worked in a number of predominantly Islamic countries. He thinks common western stereotypes about Islam obscure the fact that there are powerful modernizing forces at work within political Islam.

  Some Mainers have begun taking direct control of the political process. They've filed absentee ballots that make their choices in next month's election. Many more will do so on election day, November 2. What do individual voters think? Political ad commentators Sam Surprise and Brenda Garrand and MPBN Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz wanted to find out, so they spent some time recently at Simone's hot dog stand in Lewiston.

  Speaking in Maine returned to Camden, for an address by Ambassador Goodwin Cooke who served as US Ambassador to the Central African Republic, before the Midcoast forum on foreign relations. Cooke's talk focuses on the reasons and causes for conflict in Africa and other regions.

  Speaking in Maine visited the Cumberland Club in Portland during its latest Joshua Chamberlain Lecture Series: post primary analysis from a panel of political reporters and one political pollster. MPBN's own A.J. Higgins participated in this lively discussion about the June 8 primary election tells us about what might happen in November.

The panel is as follows (in order of introduction):

  Speaking in Maine offers a talk by Mark W. Frazier, Professor of Chinese Politics in the School of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

  Speaking in Maine welcomes Matthew Hoh to the podium. He is a former State Department official who resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over US strategic policy and goals in the area in September 2009.

  Speaking in Maine gets a jump on the 2012 presidential campaign with CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser. He recently spoke at Colby College in Watervilleabout different scenarios heading into the next race for the White House. 

Paul Steinhauser has been at CNN for 23 years and was instrumental in the creation of the CNN program The Situation Room, and has led CNN to Emmy awards for its news coverage.