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

8
Oct

Ferrero-Waldner

 

On Wednesday 2 October, the IE School of International Relations was honored to host Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner as keynote speaker during the Opening Ceremony of the 2013/2014 Master in International Relations. Ms. Ferrero-Waldner served as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Minister of her native Austria from 2000 to 2004 and then was European Commissioner for External Relations from 2004-2009 and then European Commissioner for Trade and Neighborhood Policy from 2009 to 2010. In her speech, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner shared some personal insights on her career in international politics. She recommended to students to follow their instincts, reach for their dreams and take their cue from chance encounters that could deeply influence their lives. Indeed, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner gave her own personal example. She initially thought she would become a doctor until one of her teachers told her she was a “born diplomat”. Ms. Ferrero-Waldner had no political connections but knew that she would have a career in diplomacy. With the support of her father and her teachers, she reached this objective. In addition to a career in politics, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner also was Head of Protocol to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. In 2000, she was also President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Ms. Ferrero-Waldner today is President of the EU-LAC Foundation. The EU-LAC Foundation is active in all areas that form part of the bi-regional agenda between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean. The Foundation focuses especially on promoting the role of civil society in both regions and proposing policies for investment.

 

 

4
Oct

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On September 26th, Alfonso Moreno and Xuyang Ma, MIR 2013 alumni currently on academic exchange at St Gallen University, participated in the International Exchange Fair held at St Gallen. This annual event showcases the different exchanges available to St Gallen students and enables visiting exchange students, such as Alfonso and Xuyang, to represent their universities of origin — in their case, the IE School of International Relations. Students are assigned booths in the fair in which they can display brochures and information about the different programs open to outgoing exchange students. IE was pleased to be represented at the fair by Alfonso and Xuyang, excellent ambassadors for the Master in International Relations. According to Alfonso, local students expressed great interest in IE, especially those who had already spent some time in Spain or Latin America.

 

20
Sep

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IE University begins its sixth academic course as a private university with a significant growth in the number of freshmen. More than 400 new students have begin today their higher education, meaning an increment of circa 35% comparing to last year numbers. The 62% of this student population include 54 different nationalities, with 52% men and 48% women. IE University, that has now a thousand students from 85 countries, is clearly a key referent for international students. 

The Aula Magna, located in the old monastery of Santa Cruz la Real, showed its best face to welcome its students and professors in a ceremony with more than a thousand people. In the opening speech, the Rector Salvador Carmona addressed the new students to say: “you will be the main character in a model in which you have the chance to go beyond the fundamental and traditional knowledge accumulation; I invite you to participate in the most ambitious training offer. It will give you the opportunity to adopt an entrepreneurial attitude in the exercise of your profession, and to develop critical thinking in a powerful humanistic vision frame” Continuing this venue, and as a decisive element, Carmona insisted on “we will do our best for your education to be presided by an ingrained ethical commitment”. 

The inaugural lecture of the new year was made by Ericsson Spain’s president, Ingemar Naeve, engineer by the Polytechnic University of Stockholm. Naeve began in Ericsson in 1978, and since then, he has developed most of his professional career in Spain, where he arrived in 1982 and where he has held different positions. Read more…

12
Sep

Los comicios alemanes del 22 de septiembre son cruciales para el futuro de la UE

Por José Ignacio Torreblanca, Profesor Asociado de IE School of International Relations

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El problema es que, en la UE actual, las cosas son exactamente al revés o, al menos vistas desde Alemania, adoptan un cariz muy diferente. Como ponen de manifiesto las encuestas, una mayoría de alemanes rechaza cualquier tipo de mecanismo que suponga asumir o mutualizar las deudas en las que han incurrido otros países. De ahí que mientras que una gran parte de los europeos querría que las elecciones alemanas pusieran en marcha una dinámica de cambios que llevara a completar la unión monetaria con aquellos elementos de los que en la actualidad carece (eurobonos, un presupuesto propio, un mecanismo de gestión de crisis bancarias común, etc.), los alemanes parecen querer a toda costa que las elecciones no introduzcan cambios de importancia en la actual política europea de su gobierno. Como señala la encuesta recientemente realizada por el Instituto Open Europe, en Alemania no hay apetito por políticas que profundicen la integración europea sino que, al contrario, por “más Europa” se entiende “más control” sobre el resto de los países.

El curso político europeo 2013-2014 se abrirá con las elecciones generales alemanas el 22 de septiembre y se cerrará con las elecciones al Parlamento Europeo el 25 de mayo de 2014. En teoría, las primeras deberían tener una importancia secundaria y las segundas ser cruciales. Pero, paradojas de la vida política europea, la situación es más bien la contraria: las primeras son cruciales para el futuro de Europa mientras que las europeas tendrán una importancia marginal. Previsiblemente, un gran número de europeos, que desde 1979 tienen derecho a elegir a un Parlamento, por cierto, bastante poderoso, ni se molestarán en acercarse a las urnas en mayo de 2013 (recuérdese que en las últimas elecciones europeas, celebradas en junio de 2009, la participación fue del 43%). Sin embargo, conscientes la importancia que para su futuro ha adquirido Alemania, es bastante probable que, si se les diera la oportunidad, muchos europeos sí que tuvieran interés en votar en las elecciones alemanas.

Todo ello nos habla de la gigantesca disociación sobre la cual está organizada la Unión Europea: mientras que bienes, servicios, capitales y personas circulan libremente en un enorme territorio articulado en torno a una moneda común, la política sigue organizándose sobre la base de una serie de unidades nacionales sumamente fragmentadas y de muy desigual tamaño y capacidad. Esta incoherencia entre las fronteras de la política y la economía es lo que llevó al Emperador Marco Aurelio Antonino a extender la ciudadanía a todos los habitantes del Imperio Romano. El edicto de Caracalla, promulgado en el año 212, utilizaría un argumento de bastante actualidad: “es legítimo que el mayor número no sólo esté sometido a todas las cargas, sino que también este asociado a mi victoria”. Está asociación entre los impuestos y la legitimidad de un régimen político es pues una constante en la historia y ha llegado hasta nuestros días en forma de una regla de muy sencilla: uno debe votar donde contribuya con sus impuestos y financiar con sus impuestos sólo aquello sobre lo que pueda votar. Seguir leyendo…

Artículo publicado por El País el 9 de septiembre de 2013.

 

11
Sep

All lives have the same value, but the political and legal consequences of the use of chemical weapons have to be different

By José Ignacio Torreblanca, Associate Professor at IE School of International Relations

Torreblanca

Chemical weapons are responsible for only about one percent of the deaths in the Syrian civil war. To propose military intervention on account of 1,429 deaths, among more than 100,000 victims of conventional weapons, is sheer hypocrisy – or worse, proof that the US has hidden intentions in the region. If all deaths are equal, what does it matter how you cause them?

This is an oft-repeated argument of late. But it’s a wrongheaded one. All lives have the same value, but the political and legal consequences of the use of chemical weapons have to be different. The international community has placed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in a special class, as weapons of mass destruction, under a special statute, regulating their possession and proliferation and prohibiting their use. This expresses a conviction that, although war appears to be intrinsic to the human condition, there should be limits to it.

It is true that this approach, of trying to humanize what is essentially inhuman, is fraught with contradiction and paradox. Remember, for example, that most of the 800,000 victims of the genocide in Rwanda were hacked to death with machetes imported from China, while the international community looked on and did nothing. Likewise, apart from “strategic” nuclear bombs capable of destroying whole cities and killing millions, there are states that possess stocks of “tactical” nuclear weapons, whose destructive power is only of a slightly higher order than that of conventional weapons.

Be that as it may, the international community has classified conflict not merely in terms of the number of deaths, but has rightly drawn a red line against the use of weapons of mass destruction. To trivialize the use of chemical weapons not only degrades us morally; precisely because we know there are regimes prepared to use them, it also opens up intolerable prospects for the future. In the case of Syria, as we await the final report from the UN inspectors, the mass of evidence brought forward by the US, France and Germany is more than sufficient to conclude that they have, in fact, been used. To render this use more costly is not only justified, but necessary.

Military intervention is justified not only retrospectively, to punish their use, but prospectively, to ensure that Bashar al-Assad does not use them again, and thus, as a future warning to those who may think that the prohibition is only relative. Read more…

As published in www.elpais.com on September 10, 2013.

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