Archive for the ‘Master in International Relations (MIR)’ Category


The Fourth Sector Is Here to Stay

By Alejandro Erquicia, MIR 2017/2018 Student

Organizations today are more aware than ever of society’s demands and are adapting, at different speeds, to the changing context of our time. The level of interconnectivity the world has reached is such that citizens demand change. Society wants progress and knows that to resolve these issues we need organizations to abide by social principles while doing business. In such an environment, the Fourth Sector, mission driven for profit organizations, is expanding its reach and establishing itself as the way to do business in the years to come.

A deep dive into the unstoppable growth of the Fourth Sector was presented to all of IE academia by the Center for the Governance of Change, a research institution aimed at deepening our understanding of change and developing strategies to anticipate, govern and promote progress. The School of International Relations at IE University was presenting the initiative as one of its core areas of work. In a roundtable entitled The Fourth Sector & the Future of Social Entrepreneurship panelists shared some practices and experiences on these types of businesses. The conversation was of great interest for students and professors of the Schools of Business, Law and International Relations.

The Fourth Sector, which has moved beyond the antiquated three sector system of government, private sector and non for profit, addresses societal challenges blending the three sectors. It is not driven by profit maximization but conducts business, in all types of industries, with a purpose to make the world a better place. The key factors are that like non-profits, their primary purpose is to advance societal benefit and, like for-profits, they generate a substantial portion of their income from business activities.

There are indications that it could account for as much as 10% of GDP as well as nearly twice the job growth rate as traditional for-profit businesses in the US and Europe, said Heerad Sabeti, head of the World Economic Forum’s Fourth Sector Development Initiative during his intervention. He defended the job creation implications the Fourth Sector could reach and encouraged the furthering of the new system of operating which lies at intersection of the three traditional sectors.
On his behalf Sebastián Gatica, professor in Social Innovation at the Universidad Católica de Chile spoke about the need to further develop a supportive and conductive ecosystem from which the fourth sector could exponentially increase its presence since it’s an approach to see the future, and the world for generations to come, in a positive way. Alejandro Pachecho, Strategic Adviser at the United Nations Development Programme and Antonio Vives, Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, also shared their insights and discussed the challenges and opportunities of this new sector.

The Fourth Sector is a new international project supported by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), that seeks to accelerate the establishment of a tailor-made ecosystem for social economy and for-benefit enterprises across borders. IE University will act as an academic partner in the project.

The Fourth Sector is here to stay. Businesses are transforming and can’t solely concentrate on Corporate Social Responsibility. More is needed and by focusing on the combination of doing good for the planet and having that approach to tackle the challenges we have, the social and economic returns will be noticed by all across the board.

Before closing the session Diego Rubio, Executive Director of the Center for the Governance of Change raised a question that surely left all thinking. If you were to receive two job offers, one working in the Amazon forest on tree preservation and the other working for a tobacco multinational in the US that paid five times more, which one would you take? Food for thought.


Meet the Dean: Manuel Muñiz and the state of International Relations

BY Alejandro Erquicia, MIR Student 2017/2018
Oct. 16th, 2017

The puzzling events taking place in international relations are being driven by greater underlying themes represented by twin forces: technological change and globalization. Great economic prosperity, as never before, coupled with a vanishing social contract lies at the heart of the global commotion of these times. Such a context is being propelled by changes in technology that in turn directly impact the labor market and boost inequality.
In the middle of October, as the new academic year at the IE School of International Relations enters in full swing, Dean Manuel Muñiz invited students from the Masters (MIR) and Bachelor program for a presentation on some of the issues that the School is focusing on and are the pulse of global policy and international economy. These themes, and others, are already sparking debates in the lectures at the MIR, as they are omnipresent. No doubt they will be a main source of discussion in the months to come.
The global context in these times of rapid change is a world evolving around political upheaval and abundant contradictions in the economy which feed off each other. Widespread protest votes are mainstream – Germany and Austria being the most recent examples. The combination of the stagnation of income of the middle class, growing inequality and a radicalization of politics are three main pillars of today’s global scenario.
As Manuel Muñiz put it, “there is an economic argument to the political upheaval.” For example, “since the 1970s advanced economies have seen a strong productivity increases and stagnant labor income. This is a major breach of our social contract,” said the Dean to all international students who gathered in María de Molina, in the heart of Madrid. “From 1973 to 2013 productivity of goods and services in the US grew by over 240% while labor wages remained stagnant,” he mentioned as another example of the moment we are in.
Manuel, who obtained his analysis from strong economic data and used graphs to support his argument during the entire presentation, is the founding director of IE University’s Center for the Governance of Change, studying the above mentioned challenges and other changes in the public and private sector. Among the solutions and frameworks the Center is covering to manage these challenges is the proposition of a new social contract, including a transformation of the sources of income of the state and a new redistribution tool, as well as the needed change in role of the private sector.
The need to understand, analyze and explain such forces of change are key for the future of international relations. The transformation is here to stay and the complexity of the global vectors of action will only grow deeper and wider hence the socioeconomic conditions that we are able to improve today will be beneficial for generations to come.


MIR 2017 Opening ceremony

Written on October 5, 2017 by Waya Quiviger in Master in International Relations (MIR)

Oct. 3rd, 2017

By Alejandro Erquicia, MIR 2017/2018 Student

The tenth intake of the Master in International Relations (MIR) gathered the first week of October for the inauguration of the 2017-2018 class at the Aula Magna of IE’s University Madrid campus. Manuel Muñiz, Dean of the School of International Relations, greeted all 35 students from around the world by signaling that we are surrounded by major challenges and living in times of deep instability. “Given such a global context, including Brexit, North Korea, China’s transformation and the continuous rise of populisms, among others, we need to ask how we solve these issues,” he said as he welcomed arriving students. “The world is growing faster than ever by many metrics, be it population, GDP growth or calorie intake by head and we need professionals to address the impact of change.” Clearly the timing and place could not be better to kick start the MIR and walk into the academia world aware of the fact that we have a role to play in these and many other issues that are at the forefront of international relations today.

The Dean set the tone for what will be a year in which we will deep dive into many areas, topics, regions within the International Relations discipline. A discipline, as he remarked, that is moving quickly and in which the governance implications on a national and international level will be very big. The class was seated in the Aula Magna and had a special visit by IE University’s President, and President of the IE Foundation, Diego del Alcázar. The room was charged with excitement and curiosity from all incoming MIR students ranging from 19 different nationalities, many of whom are bi-nationals and have developed an entrepreneurial experience. Waya Quiviger, Executive Director of the MIR, spoke about what are some differentiators of the MIR, such as that it’s a program that lies at the intersection of the public, private and non-profit sectors, that it is a complete program with a strong focus on theory and practice and that we will benefit without a doubt from the close ties between the different schools at IE, including the world renown business school. Of those graduating from graduate international relations programs offered by members of the Association of Professional Schools of International Relations (APSIA), including IE’s MIR, around 35% go on to work in the public sector, 30% in the private sector, 30% in NGOs and 5% elsewhere. Read more…


Kuwait, a small country in the Persian Gulf, holds the sixth spot on the global GDP per capita ranking, with an average per capita income of over US$ 69,000 in 2015, adjusted at the purchasing power parity. At the same time, it ranked only 34th in the World Economic Forum’s 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

New Zealand, another relatively small country both in size and population, has a per capita wealth which is roughly only half that of Kuwait — a little over US$ 34,000 at the purchasing power parity, 35th place in the world. Nonetheless, New Zealand scored visibly higher in competitiveness, ranking 16th in the GCI.

Clearly, the two economies and their structures are not directly comparable. Kuwait’s heavy dependence on natural resource revenues (over 90 per cent of exports) provide for such a lush per capita value, while New Zealand’s GDP is stimulated primarily by services that dominate the local economy, at over 69 per cent. Competitiveness, both as a notion and an index, arguably transcends countries’ idiosyncrasies in relation to their economies’ compositions. Competitiveness is ultimately reliant on a set of universal and comparable parameters. Therefore, a logical question arises: why does this mismatch and others of similar nature happen?

Our tradition of measuring and understanding development and related components such as competitiveness has been dominated by the economic agenda. Conventionally, GDP and its derivatives have been employed to describe and substantiate changes in development. Often, they have revealed clear and important trends that can be useful when approaching policy implementation. For example, the World Economic Forum highlights that GDP per capita is highly correlated with GCI in large cross-county comparison.

Our own analysis has confirmed that GDP explains 69 per cent of the variation in GCI scores across 146 countries when both indexes are taken as averages for three years from 2014 to 2016 and an exponential model is used. At the same time, however, and exemplified by the above comparison between New Zealand and Kuwait, GDP per capita might not necessarily capture the full complexity of the nature of competitiveness at the macro level. Read more…

Published on Sept. 1st in
Mark Esposito

Fellow, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Artem Altukhov, MIR Alumnus 2017

Alejandro Pereda Shulguin, MIR Alumnus 2017


Gana la libertad. Gana Europa.

Francia se aleja del caos. Europa respira. Gana Macron en la primera vuelta.

La victoria de Emmanuel Macron en esta primera vuelta ha supuesto un enorme alivio para todos los demócratas. Francia estaba en entredicho y no podía permitirse el lujo de navegar en las procelosas aguas del populismo que no llevan más que al caos, a la pérdida de libertades y en definitiva, a la pérdida de la tan venerada democracia, por la que tantos murieron en el pasado. Los valores de Francia, Libertad, Igualdad y Fraternidad en manos del populismo extremista son como una cabaña de paja en medio de un huracán. No habrían sobrevivido. Hoy todos podemos respirar tranquilos, porque el candidato ganador, que será con toda probabilidad el próximo presidente de Francia, -un independiente por primer vez en más de cuarenta años- es, a pesar de todo, un candidato del “sistema”, con el que los franceses podrán estar tranquilos. Renovación pero sin sobresaltos. El segundo puesto de Marine Le Pen, y los comentarios de los otros candidatos sobre hacia donde deberían ir sus votos en la segunda vuelta aparentemente dan un cierto margen de seguridad a Macron, que si los pronósticos siguen siendo válidos será el próximo presidente de Francia. Las ultimas encuestas dan un 62% de votos en segunda vuelta para Macron.

El panorama hace unos días no podía ser mas desalentador. Los sondeos pronosticaban que el FN (el Frente Nacional de Marie Le Pen) y la France Insoumise (el partido de JM Melenchon, un radical izquierdista del estilo de Podemos) tenían posibilidades de gobernar en Francia. De los otros tres candidatos del sistema, uno de ellos, el del PS (Partido Socialista), Benoit Hamon decidió suicidarse con una política social y económica casi idéntica a la de Melenchon, lo que en cierto modo le apartaba del “sistema”, y los otros dos, Francois Fillon (Les Republicains) y Emmanuel Macron (En Marche), han optado por superar sus problemas electorales derivados en el caso del primero de las acusaciones de corrupción y en el del segundo, a la postre el ganador, de su falta de experiencia y partido, e incluso de sus orientaciones sexuales, algo que en país moderno y libre como Francia se ha visto que no tiene el menor impacto. Sin duda unas elecciones reñidas que pasarán a la historia de este país como unas de las más decisivas por lo que estaba en juego en esos días, que verdaderamente era mucho más que la presidencia francesa.

El mundo no atraviesa su mejor momento, con el Brexit y Trump como claros exponentes de lo que suponen los populismos. La democracia ha sido capaz de dirigir el destino del mundo occidental de manera razonablemente óptima desde la segunda gran guerra hasta la crisis de 2007. A partir de ese momento, el llamado pueblo y las élites gobernantes decidieron caminar por senderos divergentes y se empezó a consumar una desviación que no ha parado, y que ha sido caldo de cultivo para todo tipo de grupos de diversa ideología cuyo único nexo común es verdaderamente la negación del modelo actual.

Francia es uno de los países de todo el mundo con mejor nivel de vida. El Estado de Bienestar francés ha llegado a cotas elevadas. La seguridad es razonable (el número de muertos por violencia es muy inferior al de EEUU), y aparentemente no debería haber razón para tanto descontento. Pero sin duda sabemos que lo hay. Y el problema principal de estas elecciones ha radicado ahí. Por un lado, una parte de la población siente como extraños no sólo a los inmigrantes (cosa bastante común en la mayoría de sociedades) sino que siente como extraños a los hijos y nietos de los inmigrantes. Y eso genera un malestar perpetuo que no tiene otra solución que el psiquiatra. Por otro lado, esos inmigrantes de segunda o incluso tercera generación , que no tienen otro país que Francia, que no tienen más que una muy lejana cultura de origen, también se sienten incómodos ante esa Francia que de manera minoritaria pero evidente les rechaza y les hace sentir como extraños en su propio país.

Y luego está Europa, a quien muchos culpan de los males interiores sin darse cuenta jamás de las bondades que trajo a su sistema de valores, a su fortaleza como nación y a su convivencia. El sueño europeo está a salvo.

Dicho todo esto, lo cierto es que al final los franceses han optado por el rigor, la prudencia, y la coherencia con el modelo heredado. Francia ha elegido su mejor opción, la que le permitirá hacer las reformas necesarias dentro de la estabilidad, renovarse desde dentro, sin fuegos de artificio o experimentos, que visto lo visto, en política siempre llevan a desastres cuya magnitud es en principio desconocida, pero se intuye muy peligrosa. Macron esta cerca de la victoria, muy cerca, pero aún tiene que ganar. El 7 de mayo será decisivo.

Waya Quiviger

Directora Ejecutiva, Master en Relaciones Internacionales

IE School of International Relations


Publicado el 24 de abril en Expansión

1 2 3 47

We use both our own and third-party cookies to enhance our services and to offer you the content that most suits your preferences by analysing your browsing habits. Your continued use of the site means that you accept these cookies. You may change your settings and obtain more information here. Accept