20
Apr

Jose Botafogo Gonçalves - picOn April 27th IE School of International Relations will host Ambassador José Botafogo for a discussion on Brazil’s regional integration and foreign policy. The seminar will take place at 16:30pm in room MMB603. 

15
Apr

Written by Meghan O´Farrell, IE Master in International Relations Student, 2014/2015 Intake 

No other individual embodies IE’s philosophy towards cultivating a truly international educational experience more than economics Professor Gonzalo Garland. His father’s family is English in origin but has called Peru home for centuries. His mother was born to a Spanish mother and a German father who emigrated from Spain to Peru in the 1930s during the war. This vibrant background, combined with his strong Peruvian roots, gives Professor Garland not only a unique perspective in his discipline, but allows him to relate to IE’s diverse student body in a way few others can.

As a young boy, Gonzalo began his education at a Canadian Catholic school. His worldly family, in addition to his parents’ foresight and his father’s years studying in the United States, served as the impetus for Gonzalo’s and his 6 sibling’s English training, most of whom have stayed in Peru. He, along with his sister who practices medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., are the only two who have chosen to leave home. But as he mentioned, Gonzalo left one home only to move to another here in Spain. Years spent as a child visiting family in Madrid gave him the comforting sense of a homecoming when he came more than 20 years ago.

While preparing for university in Peru, each prospective student must pass an examination, similar to the SAT. At 16, Gonzalo underwent preparatory classes at an academy in the months preceding the exam and received the highest mark in the country. His impressive performance earned him a position teaching at the same academy where he had been a student only months earlier. “I’m naturally quite shy,” said Gonzalo, “and the first day I was trembling like a leaf, but teaching helped me come out of my shell.”

After university, Gonzalo spent 7 years in the United States, first studying a Master degree at Stanford University and, later, switching coasts to attend the University of Pennsylvania for a PhD in economics. The formal economic training at these prestigious American universities was elegant yet heavy on theory and the abstract. Gonzalo mentioned several times the important role theory plays in economics, yet what truly calls him to the field is the transformative nature from theory to reality and seeing the application and impact economic theory has in practice.

Two very different economic narratives exist in Peru and the United States. Gonzalo grew up during a military dictatorship with crisis wreaking havoc in Latin America in the 1980s. Poverty, inequality, inflation and political unrest plagued these countries, and Gonzalo was failing to see how his theoretical American training was relevant for his country. He was eager to make the connection between the theory and the policy, the abstract and the concrete, and to emphasize that in his classroom.

At times, Professor Garland admits being torn by his decision to leave his home country. “Being in Spain for as long as I have, I sometimes feel guilty for being away from Peru for so long and neglecting, to some extent, my roots and my people.” But Gonzalo’s illustrious career at IE, playing a formative role in this institution’s story, has allowed him to reach an international student body and pass on his message of inequality, poverty, and the economic tools needed to eradicate both. “Spain has been great, but IE has been extraordinary. Through teaching, I’ve passed on a message to people from all corners of the world who, one day, will be very influential,” said Gonzalo. By making a life for himself outside of Peru, he may be doing more than he ever imagined for his own country, as well as other emerging economies, by preparing individuals today who will be guiding those countries tomorrow.

The Beyond the Classroom series is a monthly installment on our blog where a current Academic Fellow for the Master in International Relations shares with us insights into current MIR professors and faculty. The scope of this series is to see our diverse faculty in a different light away from the classroom, highlighting aspects of their rich personal lives and experiences.

You can read all the articles here

9
Apr

Tomorrow the heads of state and government from nearly every state in the Americas will meet in Panama City for the Seventh Summit of the Americas. 

The leaders present in Panama preside over a region that has advanced far and fast on key political and economic indicators since the first of these meetings was held in Miami in 1994. At the Miami Summit, the legacy of the Cold War was very much present, and the specter of war, military dictatorship, armed revolution, financial crises, and political instability still hung in the air.

In 2015, the region is by and large more democratic, economically prosperous, free from war, and the last insurgency in the region—Colombia’s—is winding down as peace is discussed between the government and its opponents at talks hosted by Havana.

You can continue reading here.

8
Apr

Thursday, April 9th 2015, 15h, at Room E001 (Maria de Molina 4)

This paper of Daniel Kselman investigates how particular organizational structures can buttress the clarity and credibility of parties’ policy promises. In contrast to past literature, we argue that organizational centralization has countervailing effects. On the one hand, powerful leaders may help diverse internal actors coordinate on unified policy platforms; on the other hand, their ‘entrepreneurial’ tendencies may reduce these platforms’ downstream credibility.

We thus hypothesize that in highly heterogeneous organizations centralization will enhance programmatic credibility and reliability; while in more homogeneous and unified parties centralization will have detrimental consequences. This theoretical argument is explored with a new data set on party organization and programmatic partisan appeals. Statistical results are on the whole consistent with theoretical expectations, and robust to controls for economic development, democracy, and political institutions.

 

Professor Kselman is Academic Director at IE School of International Relations. He received a PhD in political science from Duke University, where he also received a Master’s degree in Economics. His research emphasizes the processes of democratization, economic development, and political governance, and combines a global focus with case expertise on Turkish politics and society.

30
Mar

That morning on the 5th day was probably one of the hardest to wake up from after a very fun late night dinner with the MIR program at an amazing restaurant. We woke up bright and early for our final seminar of the week at Telefonica, a Spanish telecommunications company. After a brief walk, we arrived at the Brussels branch of the company. The seminar took a different path than I thought it would have. Rather than being just broad overview of the company, it was focused mainly on role, need, and process of lobbying for companies like Telefonica in Brussels. Our speaker had lived and worked in Washington DC and made some really good and insightful comparisons about how things would work in DC in the USA and in Brussels for EU institutions. He opened up the floor for questions which many of us took advantage of to ask the questions that were gnawing at us.

Brussels Day 5_telefonicaAfter the seminar, we went back to the hotel and it was time to pack up and check out. Most of the MIR students decided to fly back to Madrid on Monday instead of immediately leaving after the seminar on Friday. I, on the other hand had a flight to Morocco for 8 days of solo travel around the country.

After packing up, I entrusted my laptop and my formal clothing that I had brought for the week to a fellow MIR student to take back to Spain for me, and as a result have been unable to update for the past week and a half.

My Morocco adventure was truly unforgettable and I’ve come back now with many new experiences, new friends from different parts of the world, and also a small bout of stomach troubles typical of traveling to other countries. It’s all a part of the experience!

Today was the first day of classes of the spring quarter of the program. I can’t believe that we only have 3 months left of studies before graduation. The studies and schoolwork here are intensive which also distorts the sense of time. When you’re busy as a bee, time flies without you noticing at all. I have to savor it while it lasts!

Calvin

 

This is part of a series where current Master in International Relations student Calvin Nguyen will share with us updates about the Master in International Relations yearly trip to Brussels. 

You can read more blogposts on the Brussels trip here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4

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