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

25
Mar

 

International Relations

IE School of International Relations is pleased to invite you to “Iran & the Conflicts in Syria, Lebanon and Irak: Troubled Waters or Room for a Conversation” with Dr. Fawaz Gerges and Dr. Peter Jones

Iran’s relations with the Arab world are complex and at first sight, seemingly contradictory. Today, as negotiations between the West and Iran advance on the nuclear file and new regional alignments are in play, the repercussions of Iran´s relations with Iraq, Syria and Lebanon may become more important than ever. Dr. Gerges will address these themes and the importance of these countries for Iran.  Dr. Peter Jones will comment from his perspective.

Dr. Fawaz Gerges is Professor of International Relations in the Middle East  Centre of the London School of Economics, and holds the Emirates Chair in Contemporary Middle East Studies. His special interests include Islam and the political process, social movements, including mainstream Islamist movements and jihadist groups, Arab politics and Muslim politics in the 20th century, the international relations of the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, state and society in the Middle East, American foreign policy towards the Muslim world, the modern history of the Middle East, history of conflict, diplomacy and foreign policy, and historical sociology. His most recent book, “The New Middle East” is published by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Gerges is also a regular commentator on CNN.

Dr. Peter Jones is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He is also an Annenberg distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Before joining the University of Ottawa, he served as a senior analyst for the Security and Intelligence Secretariat of the Privy Council of Canada. Previously, he held various positions related to international affairs and security at the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Privy Council Office, and the Department of Defence (Canada). An expert on security in the Middle East and track-two diplomacy, he led the Middle East Security and Arms Control Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in Sweden in the 1990s. He is presently leading several Track Two initiatives in South Asia and the Middle East, and is also widely published on Iran.

The event will take place on Friday 4 April at 16.30h in Room 402 (Maria de Molina 31)

Please kindly confirm attendance to International.Relations@ie.edu

24
Mar

diego

El pasado miércoles 19 de marzo el IE School of International Relations acogió la presentación del libro “Sin medias tintas” de Diego Sánchez de la Cruz (MIR 2011). El autor, además de antiguo alumno, es también periodista y profesor asociado de IE University. Junto a él intervinieron en el evento Arantza de Areilza, Decana de IE School of International Relations, Carlos Rodríguez Braun, Catedrático de Historia del Pensamiento Económico en la Universidad Complutense y participante de la obra, y  Manuel Llamas, Director de Libre Mercado y responsable del prólogo de la obra.

“Sin medias tintas” está compuesto por 20 entrevistas a figuras relevantes del liberalismo  sobre la Gran Recesión, recogiendo diferentes medidas económicas y políticas para reforzar tanto a la sociedad española como a sus instituciones. La presentación detalló tanto aspectos de su elaboración como su crítica frente a cierto tipo de políticas económicas. Comenzó con  una introducción en la cual el Catedrático Rodriguez Braun relató la problemática detrás de la gran politización de la economía española y el periodista Llamas criticó la falta de conocimiento de gran parte del periodismo económico nacional. Tras ello, el autor Diego Sánchez compartió con la audiencia algunas de las reflexiones que le han supuesto creación de la obra.

Durante su ponencia ofreció un recorrido por diferentes anécdotas y lo que le ha aportado la obra a nivel personal. Mostró su visión de cuáles son los desequilibrios crónicos económicos de España. También destacó la falta de autocrítica y la escasa preparación de la clase política española. Tras una animada de rueda de preguntas la Decana de Areilza dio por finalizado el evento y se procedió a la habitual firma de ejemplares.

28
Feb

mira

 

On Tuesday 25 February, Mira Milosevich, Senior Researcher at the FAES Foundation and frequent contributor to El Pais, El Mundo, ABC and La Cope, addressed the prickly and highly timely topic of Ukraine. According to Ms. Milosevich, the current crisis in Ukraine has shown that 1) the country is unable to produce a stable and unified government 2) the post-soviet state is unworkable and 3) the Cold War may be over, but geopolitics certainly live on. To buttress her first point, Ms. Milosevich pointed out to the fact that Ukraine had undergone 3 revolutions in a single generation: in 1991, when it obtained independence from the USSR, in 2004 with the Orange Revolution (or Velvet revolution) and in 2013/2014, as it unfolds today.

In essence, the core problem in Ukraine is  geography not politics. Ukraine (which means “on the border”) is precisely that, on the border between the West and Russia. Its population is almost perfectly divided between the East which is pro-Russian and speaks predominantly Russian and the West which is Pro-EU and speaks Ukrainian. What is playing out today in Ukraine is a tug of war between the EU and Russia. Ukraine has a much deeper historical and cultural significance for Russia. It also represents a vital security issue for Russia since keeping a strong influence over Ukraine creates a buffer between Russia and the West. The EU’s interest is much milder and less visceral. How far will each “bloc” go to win Ukraine over? That is the million dollar question. At the end of the day, the one with deeper pockets will most certainly win the chess game, and right now Ukraine desperately needs $35 billion.

And so what comes next for Ukraine? There are 3 options at this point. The current status quo could be maintained and the resulting period of instability and turmoil. Russia or the EU could manage to win the entire country over to its side….by offering large amounts of aid and benefits. Or, last and perhaps most probable, the country could be partitioned. Let’s hope that whatever happens, democracy is preserved and Ukrainians freely choose their future government.

18
Feb

On Thursday February 13th, the IE School of International Relations, with the collaboration of the Toledo International Centre for Peace (CITpax), had the honor of hosting the lecture “Iran and Europe: Friend or Foe?” given by Dr. Rouzbeh Parsi. Dr. Parsi is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Rights at Lund University, Director of the European Iran Research Group and former a Senior Analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies (2009-2013).

ConfParsi

 

After the institutional presentation by Dean de Areilza and Ambassador Casinello, Director General of CitPax, Dr. Emma Hooper introduced the theme of the lecture: the EU- Iran relationship.

Dr. Parsi began his lecture with a historic overview of Iran, starting with the revolution of 1979. He defined the term revolution and its consequences, which is usually exemplified by the wish to spread ideals, such as in the Russian Revolution. In his introduction Dr. Parsi highlighted the incongruity of the term Islamic Republic. Iran is neither purely a Theocracy nor is it a Republic. This is because the revolution did not have a religious origin. If they remove the term Republic, then they would have to renounce the revolution as well. Hence the inherent contradiction in the name.

After these preliminary words, Dr. Parsi discussed modern Iran. He believes that the Islamic republic is a post-revolutionary state that “everyone considers to be predictable but the truth is that every time there is a presidential election everyone is surprised by the person elected”. He supported this argument by giving the example of how the Iranian government dealt with the crisis in Bahrain, preferring to keep ties with the Sunni regimen instead of supporting its Shiite counterparts.

Dr. Parsi then discussed the defense situation of Iran. He considers it to be quite weak without an air force and with a non-existing fleet which was bombed by the US in the 80s. The Iranian situation has nothing to do with that of Egypt. Using an XVIII century Prussian quote to illustrate this point, he stated that Egypt was “not a state with an army but an army with a state”. The fact that after 18 years the Iran nuclear program remains in its infancy demonstrates how controversial this theme is in domestic politics.

The last part of the lecture was dedicated to Iran–EU international relations, which used to be quite good until the UN sanctions. Because of its proximity the EU was a closer commercial partner to Iran than the US. EU has always followed US policy on the Middle East. Here lies the main issue as US is not clear in foreign affairs. For instance the Obama administration wants to lift Iranian sanctions but the Republican Party controlled Congress is against it. The EU works as an intermediary in the US-Iran relations. Dr. Parsi concluded his lecture stating “officially neither of them wants to reestablish relations, but in reality both of them are looking forward to it”.

At the end of the conference the floor was opened to questions. Most of them addressed Iranian foreign policy, the US Democratic Party split over the issue and the role of Israel.

13
Feb

Kurdos

Written on February 13, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in Master in International Relations (MIR), Middle East, Op Ed

Los kurdos son una población de unos 20 millones de habitantes que antes de la I Guerra Mundial se extendían por la geografía de Irán y el Imperio Otomano pero que, desde las particiones del Tratado de Versalles, quedaron también bajo la soberanía de Siria e Irak. Es entonces cuando los problemas de los kurdos se hacen de verdad existenciales. Esas nuevas entidades políticas, Turquía, Irak y Siria, e incluso Irán, se basan en el constructo del Estado nación y el desafío de encajar a los kurdos en ese modelo de convivencia está todavía abierto. Y es que como ya nos previno el magisterio de Hossbawn, el Estado nación no es la única ni la más universal manera de acomodar poblaciones y poder.

Es en Turquía donde el enfrentamiento ha resultado más sangriento y duradero. Si bien el Tratado de Sèvres (1920) recogía la obligatoriedad de un referéndum para la autodeterminación del pueblo kurdo, el golpe de estado de Kemal Ataturk y sus victorias en la Guerra de Independencia dieron nacimiento a un nuevo Tratado, el de Lausanne, donde desapareció esa exigencia. Los kurdos se definieron como “turcos que han olvidado su idioma en las montañas” y hablar en kurdo empezó a castigarse como traición. Sucede, sin embargo, que cuando un país subdesarrollado y sin historia nacional intenta imponer al 20% de su población, igualmente subdesarrollada pero con aguda conciencia étnica, las exigencias de un Estado nación, no puede conseguirlo a la francesa, con unas pocas guillotinas. Ha de emplear a sus Fuerzas Armadas en guerra abierta. Así fue y ya en 1925 se produce el levantamiento de Sheik Said, ahogado en sangre. Ya fuese “reaccionario” como lo quiere la narrativa turca o “nacional” como lo describe la kurda, lo cierto es que su derrota resultó uno de los pilares del kemalismo, junto con la purga que siguió al intento de asesinato del propio Kemal Ataturk en 1926. Así pudieron promulgarse los tres pilares de la revolución kemalista. La Ley del Vestido (1925) la Ley del Alfabeto Latino (1928) y el Código Civil (1928).

Cuando un país subdesarrollado y sin historia nacional intenta imponer al 20% de su población, igualmente subdesarrollada pero con aguda conciencia étnica, las exigencias de un Estado nación, no puede conseguirlo a la francesa, con unas pocas guillotinas. Ha de emplear a sus Fuerzas Armadas en guerra abiertaLa rebelión de Sheik Said no fue el final de la insurgencia, sino más bien lo contrario. Consta que de 1924 a 1938 hubo 17 enfrentamientos entre el Ejército turco y los kurdos.

La cuestión kurda toma un giro nuevo en 1945, esta vez en Irán. Como el shah Rheza (1925-1941) parecía demasiado cercano al Eje, Inglaterra y EEUU ocuparon el país; Inglaterra y los EEUU el Sur, la URSS el Norte. Al abandonar la URSS Irán, dejó un recuerdo en forma de República Independiente de Mehabad, primera entidad política kurda y única soberana hasta hoy. Duró once meses. Su Jefe Militar fue el iraquí Mustafa Barzani.

En 1958 la caída de la monarquía en Irak abre el capítulo kurdo de la República, con antecedentes de rebelión tribal antes y después de la II Guerra Mundial, ocasiones que le permitieron a Inglaterra ensayar el arma química en poblaciones civiles. Leer mas…

Por el Embajador Jose A. Zorrilla, publicado el 8.02 en el http://www.elconfidencial.com

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