Archive for the ‘Regions’ Category

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.

20
Mar

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

2. Mario Esteban

For IE Professor and China expert Mario Esteban, moving to the other end of the world is eventually what led him right back home. What started as an interest in China and Chinese culture grew into something much bigger and took him places, both literally and figuratively, few Spaniards have been. He has since emerged as one of Spain’s leading China experts with a mastery of the language and unique cultural and political perspective of the rising global powerhouse, granting him the opportunity to introduce Spain, the country he calls home, to China, the country he grew to love.

Mario was raised in Getafe, on the outskirts of Spain’s capital city, in a house only 5 minutes away from where he currently lives with his wife and children, ages 2 and 5. His family was working class- his mother was a housewife and his father was a blue-collar worker in the Airbus factory. 25 years ago, a sizeable Chinese population had yet to take root in Spain. However, he traces his interest in China back to his childhood precisely when China was just a place most Spaniards read about in books. Like so many other children, Mario practiced martial arts and became intrigued by Asian culture. He also befriended a young Chinese boy who sat next to him in primary school, exposing Mario to his first brush with Chinese culture when going to play at his friend’s house.

As a junior in high school, Mario found his way to Middlebury College in Vermont on a French language scholarship. But 10 days alone in New York City made it very clear that, although a strong Chinese presence hadn’t quite yet arrived to Spain, Chinese people were numerous and thriving in other major cities around the world. “I got the feeling that the Chinese were on their way to Spain. This was a huge window of opportunity to merge teaching and research with Chinese culture. First it was an interest, then it became a career move. So as soon as I got back to Madrid, I started learning Mandarin.”

Read more…

12
Mar

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

foto grupo

A handful of students represented IE on Friday, February 27th during a debate with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, the Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, and Pablo Zalba, Member of the European Parliament for the Group of the European People’s Party.

Vice-President Katainen debate_pics (6)At a rather critical moment for the EU in the wake of the financial crisis, 50 students convened from several universities to listen to Vice President Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, elaborate on President Juncker’s investment plan. The idea is to close the massive investment gap (€434 billion fall from 2007) crippling Europe’s employment and long-term growth. The Commission has chosen as its plan of attack a trifecta consisting of the mobilization of public and private funds, a transparent pipeline to identify viable investment projects, and the removal of sector specific and other financial barriers to investment in hopes to improve the overall business environment.

Still having not recovered from the financial crisis, Vice President Katainen reinforced the importance of this plan at a time of devastating and stubborn unemployment figures across much of Europe and concerning levels of economic inequality among Member States. But its enforcement cannot only be top-down, said Mr. Katainen. He emphasized the role of each EU country assuming national responsibility and personal accountability in upholding the plan and doing its part to contribute to overall growth and investment. Together, he says, the EU can raise €300 billion over the next 3 years in additional public and private investment by supporting local businesses, upgrading transport, funding broadband in low density areas, and expanding R&D.

Vice President Katainen admits the lack of demand is indeed a real problem for Europe, but bolstering confidence among its citizens in financial institutions again is key. Whether it be Greek debt, Spanish unemployment, or the host of other challenges facing EU Member States, Mr. Katainen calls for increased financial, political, and social integration to overcome them. With the unprecedented degree of integration that Europe has achieved comes unprecedented cooperation, cohesion, and solidarity. Only with one voice, says Mr. Katainen, can the EU reach a truly influential role in the world.

 

You can watch the full video of the debate here (in English and Spanish): http://www.ec.nirestream.com/

Vice-President Katainen debate_pics (5)

IE Students representing IE during the debate with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, at the Representation of the European Commission in Spain.

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