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

25
Jul

IE building

IE University is to open a new campus building in the center of Madrid this coming September. The new building, which has a surface area of some 7,000m2 and is located at Calle Velázquez 130, forms part of IE University’s plans to strengthen its presence in Madrid and expand its bachelor degree program portfolio.

IE University began work on the new building 3 months ago. This latest addition to the IE Campus is located less than 200m from the main IE Business School campus in Calle María de Molina, and is adjoined to the building which houses the School’s MBA programs and Area 31, a space for entrepreneurship and innovation designed to bring added impetus to entrepreneurial initiatives. 

In addition to the full range of bachelor programs run at IE University’s main campus in Segovia, the new Madrid-based campus building will house the University’s Bachelor in Business Administration, Bachelor of Laws, and its Dual Degree in Business Administration and Law, which have been taught in Madrid since the beginning of the present academic year. These programs will be joined in the upcoming academic year by a new intake of the Bachelor Degree in International Relations and the Dual degree in Business Administration and International Relations, which round off the programs taught on the Madrid Campus.

“The new building forms part of IE University’s commitment to further consolidate its academic offering in Madrid and provide its students with top quality programs that enable them to develop their full potential using a dynamic and flexible learning methodology centered around new technologies,” says Salvador Carmona, Rector of IE University.

The new building strengthens one of the differentiating factors of IE’s Madrid campus, namely its entirely urban location, with buildings that are all within a 250 meter radius of its main campus building in the center of Madrid.

This latest addition to the campus is 8 stories high with its main façade facing South. It comprises a total of 23 classrooms equipped with latest generation technology and with a capacity for 1,150 students. The rest of the building is made up of open multi-use areas where students can work in teams, and areas used for departmental and administrative work. The building breaks with standard design, being based on tailored solutions that give it personality while ensuring that it is also highly functional.

The building will be accessed through Calle Maria de Molina 31bis, through a large open area designed as a communal area which may on occasions be used as an open air classroom or for university events.

IE University is to open a new campus building in the center of Madrid this coming September. The new building, which has a surface area of some 7,000m2 and is located at Calle Velázquez 130, forms part of IE University’s plans to strengthen its presence in Madrid and expand its bachelor degree program portfolio.

IE University began work on the new building 3 months ago. This latest addition to the IE Campus is located less than 200m from the main IE Business School campus in Calle María de Molina, and is adjoined to the building which houses the School’s MBA programs and Area 31, a space for entrepreneurship and innovation designed to bring added impetus to entrepreneurial initiatives. 

In addition to the full range of bachelor programs run at IE University’s main campus in Segovia, the new Madrid-based campus building will house the Master in International Relations in addition to the new intake of the Bachelor Degree in International Relations,and the Dual Degree in Business Administration & International Relations.

  “The new building forms part of IE University’s commitment to further consolidate its academic offering in Madrid and provide its students with top quality programs that enable them to develop their full potential using a dynamic and flexible learning methodology centered around new technologies,” says Salvador Carmona, Rector of IE University.

The new building strengthens one of the differentiating factors of IE’s Madrid campus, namely its entirely urban location, with buildings that are all within a 250 meter radius of its main campus building in the center of Madrid.

This latest addition to the campus is 8 stories high with its main façade facing South. It comprises a total of 23 classrooms equipped with latest generation technology and with a capacity for 1,150 students. The rest of the building is made up of open multi-use areas where students can work in teams, and areas used for departmental and administrative work. The building breaks with standard design, being based on tailored solutions that give it personality while ensuring that it is also highly functional.

The building will be accessed through Calle Maria de Molina 31bis, through a large open area designed as a communal area which may on occasions be used as an open air classroom or for university events.

30
Jun

We recently had the pleasure of hosting Kirit Patel, IE Master in International Relations (MIR) alumnus who now works at the United Nations Secretariat. He is just one of the many who seize their time at IE to make a career change. Even though he studied economics in his undergraduate, and he worked for FTI Consulting in London for a few years, he realized he wanted to do something with a larger social component. While studying at IE he found out about the U.N.’s Young Professionals Programme, and quickly applied.

He is now an Associate Economic Affairs Officer, dealing with diplomats daily, speechwriting and serving as a focal point for Palestine. In his talk at IE, Kirit gave an informative presentation about the U.N. and its work, and then answered the questions posed by the audience. He pointed out some differences between the U.N. and the private sector, such as the exceptionally collaborative work environment and the people’s passion to make a positive impact in the world. On the other hand he admitted bureaucracy can sometimes be frustrating, but he emphasized it does not hamper the organization’s efforts severely. Bureaucracy is a necessary evil that facilitates all the good that comes from the field work the organization does.

Kirit shared some tips with the students on how to bolster their CV before they apply for a position at the United Nations and NGOs. The importance of volunteering in order to show a strong commitment to the field is paramount. He suggested the students volunteer as much as they can and offered a portal from which to find opportunities to do so. Besides volunteering, languages are a big plus, and according to Kirit French is currently most in demand, as work in Sub-Saharan Africa often involves dealing with French speakers. If you are looking for a way to get started on French right now, there are many options available, including Duolingo, or IE- born Bussu

By Borja Arino; Published on June 30, 2014

Reproduced with permission from http://careers.blogs.ie.edu/2014/06/career-changers-kirit-patel-from-financial-consulting-to-social-projects-cambios-de-carrera-kirit-patel-de-la-consultoria-financiera-a-los-proyectos-sociales.html

4
Jun

June 4th will mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square movement which shook China in the spring of 1989. Although there is no doubt that its relevance has been exaggerated outside of China, it is the largest protest which has occurred against the Communist Party of China during its reform period starting in the 1970s. This anniversary allows us to reflect upon this often misinterpreted event, while looking more broadly at some of the political changes in China which have followed.

What happened in 1989?

Between mid-April and the beginning of June in 1989, China experienced protests in cities all across the country as a result of government reforms which were being implemented. The epicenter of this movement took place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, where protestors, mostly students, had been camped out for weeks in protest of corruption, decreasing quality of life, and prohibition of freedom of speech.

Outside of China, this movement tends to be represented as an effort to establish democracy in China. The Chinese government, on the other hand, condemned this movement as antirevolutionary, declaring it to have come mainly from outside the country. As a result, any form of discussion or commemoration is prohibited. However the reality is far more complex and diverse than these two contradictory views.

It wasn’t so much a planned uprising as a spontaneous revolution; heterogeneous and disorganized designed to reform the system of government not to replace it. Against a backdrop of economic slowdown, high inflation, and dismantling of public services and rampant corruption, Chinese students looked eagerly at the changes occurring in the Soviet Union and asked “Where is the Chinese Gorbachov?”

During the first weeks of the protest, the constructive attitude of the protestors clashed with the stubbornness of the authorities. This was highlighted in an editorial in the People´s Daily on April 26th and further through the martial law imposed on May 20th. This radicalized the student protestors. One of the most influential student protestors commented a few days before the violent suppression of the protestors that the student´s objective should be to provoke a massacre by the Chinese authorities, only then could they create the necessary support to overthrow the current regime.

The massacre finally occurred during the night of June 3rd and 4th when the leadership of the regime ordered the military to stop the revolution in Beijing. In the following days and weeks, arrests, trials and executions followed. And despite the predictions of many, there were no elements of a subsequent national uprising.

What actual impact did the movement from 1989 have?

In retrospect, it seemed to be described as a romantic or voluntary movement, perhaps too emotional, irrational and irresponsible. Chinese dissidents have established somewhat of a tragic interpretation to the events, which is especially relevant in the interpretation of Han Dongfang, one of the most active unionists during the time of the protests. Han described the movement as a fruit that was not yet mature:

“The people were so hungry that when they discovered the fruit, they stormed upon it and swallowed it whole. This produced a sharp pain in the stomach and a bitter taste in the mouth. Should they have eaten the fruit? You could say no, but they were so hungry….you can also say yes, however to eat something that was so green, was not wise.”

This is not to preclude that they should continue criticizing the brutal repression suffered, or to use the 1989 movement as a symbol in favor of the liberalization of Chinese politics. Ignorance and indifference are the most frequent reactions amongst the Chinese population when confronted with the task of recognizing the events from 25 years ago. One of the most startling observations is the apparent disconnect between modern university students in China and those who took up the protest 25 years ago. Throughout the 20th century, Chinese students have taken to the streets on numerous occasions to speak their voice. On the contrary, modern day Chinese students seem to be shockingly apolitical, and in regards to social unrest, seem to largely be of the opinion that their country does not need saving.

However, from an outside perspective, the bloody crackdown on the protests continues to be a lasting stain on China´s international image harming relations with other countries. Could it be safe to say that the actual influence of this tragedy is much greater at the international level than at the internal one within China?

 

 

What are the perspectives for political change in China?

One of the principle lessons that the Chinese authorities took away from the Tiananmen movement was that economic development was not sufficient to keep power. During the second half of the 1980s, Chinese leaders discovered through their own experience that no government has the recipe to guarantee a quick and uninterrupted economic growth. This made it that much more pertinent to seek out legitimate alternative sources from which they could consolidate their economic power. Nationalism has been one of their principle means of doing so.

In other words, it was not probable that there would be important political reforms in the short term, as there was not a significant demand neither inside nor outside of the regime. Even though they were quite critical of the regime, the majority of the Chinese population didn’t consider replacing them for another. As a result, we can say that the democratization of China is a theme much more thought about outside then inside their own borders.

What are the most probable scenarios?

Looking at the current situation it seems that only a profound economic or international crisis could provoke a short term end to the monopoly which the Communist Party of China holds over the political state. However if the Communist Party of China wishes to maintain an acceptable level of economic development as well as the territorial integrity of China, the safest bet is towards a process of progressive political liberalization. The Chinese authorities are well aware that society is dynamic and if you wish to remain in power, you should adapt to said changes. Another option which has been done in other Confucian societies such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, is that they implement a democratic regime in China. Along these lines, it is possible that within a few decades, a Chinese Nationalist Party could arrive to directly compete with the Communist Party of China within a unified China.

However, since we don’t have a crystal ball which allows us to see the future of China, we can only wait and see what future awaits the Chinese. In order for a more liberal and free China to emerge, two things will need to happen: on one hand Chinese authorities will have to accept the possibility that their society demands a regime change which does not guarantee the perpetuation of power of the Communist Party of China. On the other hand, the West may have to accept the reality that the Chinese society will want a system of governance different than our own.

Will we all be okay with that idea?

Mario Esteban is head researcher on the Asia-Pacific for the Real Institute Elcano and professor of East Asian studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid | @wizma9. He also teaches  a class on China in the IE Master in International Relations.

28
May

 

Crowfunding conference (1)

Javier Ramos, Research Associate at the University of Zurich and Complutense Institute of International Relations, addressed the MIR class on Friday 23 May in what was the last seminar of the academic year. His topic, crowdfunding, was both relevant and novel for the students.  Crowdfunding is a relatively recent phenomenon in which funds can be raised through the internet for a political, cultural, non-profit or even commercial campaign.  The three core dimensions of crowdfunding are: social networks (one can raise funds from friends and family); sector specific (the event is usually cultural); low risk (amounts donated or lent are usually quite small). This new form of financing often benefits from the “wisdom of the crowd” or the fact that, collectively, projects can become more efficient or effective. Indeed, through crowdfunding, a person may lend money to a project he/she believes in but can also give feedback on how to improve the project. This is “collective” intelligence or “efficiencracy”: efficiency through democracy.

According to Ramos, there are 4 types of crowdfunding platforms: equity based in which investors seek profits; lending based in which lenders seek interest; reward based in which one receives a reward (a book, a diploma, a gift) in exchange for a donation; and donation based in which whatever you pledge is a donation. What makes this type of financing innovative is that almost anything and everything can get financed: an end of school trip, tuition for a Phd program etc…

Of course, crowdfunding, like any new phenomenon, also presents risks and disadvantages: the risk of fraud or that you will invest your money in something uncertain, untried, untested, distant. Some critics also dislike the fact that there is no interaction or real face to face time with the person who is fundraising for a project. Perhaps, the strongest criticism is that these new internet platforms are as yet unregulated and that international law lags behind these new initiatives. In due time, laws and regulations will catch up and crowdfunding will become a transparent, efficient and democratic way to finance one’s dreams.

14
May

On Monday 12 May, Dr. Casilda Güell, Professor of Political Science at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, addressed the MIR class in a very lively debate on regional integration. Quoting various authors including Barry Buzan and Richard Haas, Dr. Güell discussed the merits of regional integration in addressing the global challenges countries face today including financial crises, epidemics, terrorism, climate change. The nation state is now receding and no country alone can tackle these global problems, not even a superpower.  According to Buzan, the world is changing and we are evolving from a unipolar world dominated by a reluctant hegemon, the US, to a multipolar world with different poles composed of regional unions such as the EU, Mercosur, ASEAN…

Unlike what many pundits affirm, China will not be the next hegemon. It is unwilling to take on that role and should it rise to that position, other poles would counterbalance it.  Dr. Güell then discussed the 5 layers of integration, free trade, customs union, common market, economic union and political union. The EU is currently between the 4th and 5th layers. NAFTA is at the first stage while Mercosur is currently a customs union. Dr. Güell asked the students if economic integration was a prerequisite to political integration: peace through commerce. Opinions were divided even though history shows that political union when it is reached first goes through the stage of economic integration.

The seminar concluded with short student presentations on the pros and cons of NAFTA, Mercosur and the EU. The class was overwhelmingly in favor of regional integration with one of two dissenting voices that made for a richer discussion.

 

 

 

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