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All Critical Issues

Scroll below to learn more about a diverse series of speakers and events that bring a nonpartisan lens to important discussions around a broad spectrum of critical emerging issues.

National Conferences

From Terry Schiavo politics to environmental policy, the Riley Institute’s National Conferences focus on issues that matter to all Americans. These annual conferences provide a platform for significant exchanges of ideas among interested members of the community, the Furman students, and outstanding experts from around the country.


American Politics and Policy

Bringing people together around policy issues is a core value of the Riley Institute. Of concern to all Americans are topics such as education, the environment, national security, social security, health, and money and politics.


China: A Series on the World's Next Great Power

Over the last twenty-five years, China has undergone one of the most remarkable and rapid successions of economic, social, and cultural changes in world history. Its rise as a global manufacturing powerhouse and a regional power with an increasingly influential voice in the world has led some observers to pronounce the twenty-first century to be "China's Century." 


Fellows in Residence

Bringing prominent thinkers and leaders to campus to involve students and the community in dialogue around critical emerging issues, the Fellows in Residence program showcases the Institute's deep commitment to Furman's engaged learning approach. Fellows in Residence teach classes, give public addresses, meet with students individually or in groups, meet with citizens in the Greenville area and around the state and generally share their knowledge and experiences with the academic community and the public.


Law & Society Series

The Riley Institute and the Charleston Law Review of the Charleston School of Law partnered to launch the Law & Society symposium series in 2009. Held annually in Charleston and offering continuing legal education credits, the Law and Society series presents leading political and legal thinkers in a lively exploration of diverse legal issues impacting our progress as individuals, a state, and a nation.


Politics and Media

It’s the intersection of politics, media and technology, and whatever one’s opinion of its impact, but one thing is for sure—it’s a game changer. How has the media of the 21st century affected politicians and the political landscape? Is local media becoming irrelevant due to the conglomeration of media outlets? What are the hazards of immediate information?

These questions and more were explored during the inaugural Politics and Media Conference on March 17 & 22, 2011.  For more information on this inaugural event, click on the link in the left hand column.

Urban Politics and Policy

Committed to educating the community about policies that can enhance their lives, The Riley Institute investigates the politics of urban America through its Urban Politics and Policy Series.


Women and Politics Series

The presidential race of 2008 included the first ever female presidential nominee for either party, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the first female vice-presidential nominee for the Republican party, Sarah Palin. Clearly, women are finding a voice and a place in the political system, which our Women and Politics series celebrates.