by Gaudenz Assenza (Professor at IE School of Arts and Humanities)

After rising from the ashes of the Second World War, industrialized countries experienced an epoch of unprecedented growth and stability, but instead of preparing for the future, the predominant mode was to live as if there was no tomorrow. Individuals, firms and nations borrowed with abandon, not realizing how overconsumption and lack of ecological stewardship destabilized the very fundament of prosperity. Small fissures in the economic, social and ecological fabric widened to cracks; cracks broadened to crevices; and the crevices expanded to tectonic faults, causing friction and unleashing forces comparable to earthquakes and eruptions of volcanoes.

The idea that the 21st century will be smooth sailing lacks historical awareness. Just like the 20th century experienced great tragedies, the 21st century will experience its share of calamities. Many predictions of the future conducted by agencies like the CIA and the National Intelligence Council are implausible, because they are based on the same assumptions and worldviews that triggered the personal and institutional failures, which we experience today. Predictions assuming an extrapolation of the status quo are improbable, because the status quo cannot be maintained:

  • The much touted rise of China is unlikely to persist in the absence of sweeping changes in policy. As we witnessed during the Olympics, ecological strains have begun to choke China’s economic miracle and social tensions could erupt anytime;
  • Russia is unlikely to become a hegemonic power, not because Putin and Medvedev are ready to relinquish this goal, but because the government is short of resources to pay for a military buildup;
  • America is unlikely to experience a “Golden Age” in the second half of the century, as predicted by George Friedman, because the country lost decades in development by failing to invest sufficiently in human development and the protection of natural resources.

Cick here to read more


The IE School of Arts and Humanities interviews Ambassador Westendorp

Written on October 13, 2010 by Administrador de IE Blogs in News, Video


Frank Peterse, Master in International Relations Alumnus

Frank Peterse, a graduate from the Master in International Relations has been recently appointed Senior Consultant at Investment Consulting Associates (ICA) in Amsterdam. You may find the Press Release announcing Frank’s new position here.

ICA is a spin-off from Ernst & Young and an independent supplier of FDI advisory, location selection, and optimization and supply chain optimization using its web based global location benchmarking tool: locationselector.com®. ICA advises multinational corporations in their strategic location decisions, as well as Investment Promotion Agencies in developing specific investment attraction strategies.

Likewise, business schools are increasingly using LocationSelector.com for their MBA programs to help students solve cases in economic development and corporate investment classes. MBA programs like those offered at St. Gallen, Erasmus Business School in Rotterdam, and Maastricht School of Management are have already implemented this tool. ICA also expects to introduce LocationSelector at IMD and INSEAD.


Transatlantic Cooperation and How to Engage the Muslim World

Written on October 8, 2010 by Ángeles Figueroa-Alcorta in Middle East

by Haizam Amirah-Fernández, Associate Professor at IE School of Arts and Humanities

Haizam Amirah-Fernandez, Associate Professor at IE School of Arts & Humanities

Since the beginning of the current decade, international relations and domestic politics in North America and Europe have been marked by a growing threat perception linked to the radicalization of Muslim individuals and groups worldwide. Although 9/11 was a turning point, the “clash of perceptions” had been building up for decades between people belonging to Western and Muslim cultures, but also among those of the same cultural background.
Radicalization processes are inevitably related to the political and economic situation in the Middle East. This makes them, to a large extent, reversible. Factors such as the persistent climate of conflict, the absence of prospects for a lasting peace, the accumulated frustration and rage caused by unmet expectations of the population, the continuation of authoritarian rule, and the foreign policies of Western powers are used by radical ideologues to feed a solid narrative of exclusion and confrontation. The little interest shown by authoritarian regimes—including Arab “moderates”—in promoting critical thinking and the respect for diversity has solidified the radical narrative by which the West is responsible for all that is wrong with the region.
For many years, the Middle East has been suffering a constant deterioration in regional security and stability, as well as in the domestic conditions in different countries. The effects of such climate are felt beyond the region. Events in the Middle East are connected to the radicalization of Muslim individuals and groups in other parts of the world, including Western countries. Projections do not give many reasons for optimism. Demographic pressures, unemployment and underemployment, authoritarian rule, ethno-sectarian power struggles, absence of peace, and radicalization processes will continue to shape the region for the predictable future…
You may read the complete article at: Transatlantic Cooperation and How to Engage the Muslim World.

We extend our warmest welcome to the Class of 2011 of the Master in International Relations! You have joined a vibrant, growing, hard-working, community of students. We are positive that your experience at IE in Madrid will be a challenging and highly rewarding one. We do encourage you to get involved and participate actively in all activities and events offered by the International Relations Club, and we hope that you will contribute to make our newly created blog a solid platform where to exchange ideas and voice your opinions. We hope that you will get the most out of your time at IE. Welcome to Spain!

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Time-management, team-building, group work, priorities…these words should all sound familiar to you by now…how useful did you find the Seminars presented to you during the Orientation?

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