26
Mar

eu

From March 17th to 21st , the 2013/2014 IE Master in International Relations cohort traveled to Brussels for institutional visits to the main European institutions and NATO. The European Union as a successful model of regional integration is a core element in the MIR curriculum and the trip to Brussels represents a unique opportunity for the students to interact with key decision makers from the organizations they study in class.

The students began with a visit to the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. They were greeted by Klaus Hullmann, Administrator at the Directorate for Communication of the CoR. His informal, honest and often humorous account of the role of the Committee of the Regions within the EU made a positive impression on the class. At the Commission, several representatives from the European External Action Service, the Directorate General for Climate Action, the Directorate General for Enlargement and the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection explained the inner workings of their departments’ day to day operations. At the Parliament, the class had the opportunity to sit in a meeting of the sub-committee for defense and security (SEDE) in which the recent establishment of the European Air Transport Command for pooling and sharing of military assets in Europe was discussed. This came a day before Spain formally joined the EATC.

On Thursday, MIR students spent the day at the NATO headquarters and were addressed by officials from different units including José Maria López-Navarro, Information Officer for Spain & Portugal, Eric Povel, Programme Officer, Engagements Section, Public Diplomacy Division,   H.E. Amb. Miguel Aguirre de Cárcer, the Permanent Representative of Spain and Andrew Budd, Defence Capabilities Section, Defence Policy and Planning Division. Mr. Budd, a career military man with over 37 years in the British army, was especially open when asked about NATO potential involvement in the Ukraine crisis. Without divulging any confidential information, he acknowledged that NATO was following unfolding events extremely closely and would have to act should Russia set its sights on the Baltic countries where an important Russian minority resides.

Following the NATO visit, students met with Dr. Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte, Counsel at Mayor Brown International LLP, to discuss international trade and the EU. On Friday, the class visited the Brussels offices of the International Organization for Migration and was given a fascinating presentation on migration in the world. Unlike popular belief, most migration is not South to North but South to South.  Countries in the South do not have policies adapted to this type of migration. Improving such policies could have a beneficial impact on global development.

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.

21
Mar

 

While much of the world was busy watching Russia swallow Crimea, few realised that an also dangerous territorial tit-for-tat had begun to unfold earlier this month more in the South China Sea.

 

At Second Thomas Shoal, a handful of Philippine marines have long been stationed and re-provisioned on the rusting deck of the BRP Sierra Madre, a Philippine naval ship half-sunk into the reef in 1999. Ever since, the vessel and the marines have served to embody Manila’s claim of sovereignty over the shoal. More recently, China has tried to raise the salience of its own claim by intensively patrolling the area.

 

Protesters picket the Chinese Consulate at the financial district of Makati city east of Manila, Philippines Monday, 3 March 2014, to protest the recent use of water cannons by the Chinese coast guard to drive away Filipino fishermen off the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. (Photo: AAP)

 

On 9 March 2014, China made a move to end the status quo at the shoal. For the first time in 15 years, Beijing stopped Manila from delivering supplies to the Sierra Madre. The Chinese Coast Guard forced two Philippine ships to turn away. Manila answered the blockade by successfully dropping food and water to the marines by air. It was then up to Manila whether to send in another supply ship or plane, and up to Beijing whether to leave it alone, chase it away, sink it, or shoot it down.

 

China claims that the Philippine ships were ‘loaded with construction materials’ to build up Manila’s position. Manila says the ships were merely trying to re-provision the marines ‘to improve the conditions there’, not ‘to expand or build permanent structures on the shoal’.

 

A dozen years ago China and the 10 ASEAN states signed a 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, or DOC. The signers undertook ‘to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force’. China’s threat of force against the Philippine supply ships at Second Thomas Shoal on 9 March violated the DOC.

 

The long and ongoing record of unilateral Chinese assertions or aggressions in the South and East China Sea no longer leaves room for doubt as to Beijing’s intention. China wants and is trying to achieve dominance over the waters behind what it calls the ‘first island chain’ and land features that fringe the U-shaped line.

 

The question is not ‘what does China intend?’ The answer — dominance of some kind and degree — is known. The question is ‘what, if anything, is anyone else prepared to do?’ Read more…

Donald K. Emmerson heads the Southeast Asia Forum in the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

Published on 18 March in http://www.eastasiaforum.org

 

19
Mar

Integrity for what’s left of Ukraine

Written on March 19, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in Democracy & Human Rights, Europe, Op Ed

 

Remember, remember: This is about the whole of Ukraine, not just Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin knows that. Ukrainians know that. And we must not forget it. There is nothing the West or Kiev can do to restore Ukrainian control over Crimea. The crucial struggle is now for eastern Ukraine.
If the whole of Ukraine, including the east, participates in peaceful, free and fair presidential elections on May 25, it can survive as an independent country (minus Crimea). It will also be back on an unambiguously democratic, constitutional path. In everything the European Union and the West does over the next two months, that should be our first priority.

 

Only the criminally naive or the hardened fellow traveller could maintain that the pro-Russian groups now working to produce chaos in cities such as Donetsk and Kharkiv are not actively supported by Moscow. In Tuesday’s New York Times, there was a fine account of one such stage-managed demo in Kharkiv. At the base of a giant Lenin statue, a huge banner read, “Our homeland: USSR!” As the reporters pointed out, this was all made for Russian television. Whatever Mr. Putin finally decides to do, the media narrative will be prepared.

It would be equally naive, however, to pretend that there are not real fears among many in eastern Ukraine. The labels “ethnic Ukrainians” and “ethnic Russians” mean almost nothing. What you have here is a fluid, complex mix of national, linguistic, civic and political identities. There are people who think of themselves as Russians. There are those who live their lives mainly in Russian, but also identify as Ukrainians. There are innumerable families of mixed origins, with parents and grandparents who moved around the former Soviet Union. Most of them would rather not have to choose. In a poll conducted in the first half of February, just 15 per cent of those asked in the Kharkiv region and 33 per cent around Donetsk wanted Ukraine to unite with Russia.

In the same poll, the figure for Crimea was 41 per cent. But then take a month of radicalizing politics and Russian takeover, with Ukrainian-language channels yanked off television. Add relentless reporting on the Russian-language media of a “fascist coup” in Kiev, exacerbated by some foolish words and gestures from victorious revolutionaries in Kiev. Subtract Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians living in Crimea, who largely boycotted the referendum. Season with a large pinch of electoral fraud. Presto, 41 per cent becomes 97 per cent.

It is not just Russian “political technology” that changes numbers and loyalties. What happens in such traumatic moments is that identities switch and crystallize quite suddenly, like an unstable chemical compound to which you add one drop of catalyst. Yesterday, you were a Yugoslav; today, a furious Serb or Croat.

So everything done in and for Ukraine in the coming weeks and months must be calculated to keep that identity compound from changing state. Shortly before Mr. Putin’s amazing imperial rant in the Kremlin on Tuesday, another speech was broadcast on a Ukrainian TV channel. Speaking in Russian, interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said that “for the sake of preserving Ukraine’s unity and sovereignty,” the Kiev government is prepared to grant “the broadest range of powers” to the mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east. This would include giving cities the right to run their own police forces and make decisions about education and culture.

That was exactly the right thing to do. Now he and his colleagues should go there and say it again and again – in Russian. They should support Russian as an official second language. They should not dismiss talk of federalization simply because Moscow also favours it. They should actively want to see a pro-Russian candidate in the presidential election. And they should do everything they can to ensure the vote is free and fair, including diversified media coverage in both Russian and Ukrainian – unlike the vote in Crimea.

Europe and the West can support this in numerous ways. International organizations should flood the place with election monitors. Western governments must make sure Ukraine’s authorities have the money to pay the bills. Political parties and NGOs can send advisers. The West can also up the ante. It can make the medium- to long-term economic offer of relations with the EU more attractive. It can threaten Moscow with far worse sanctions – not just if Mr. Putin takes his marked or unmarked forces anywhere else in eastern Ukraine, but if he keeps on trying to destabilize it by proxy.

The time has also come to talk turkey with Ukrainian oligarchs such as Rinat Akhmetov, who is as powerful as any state institution in eastern Ukraine. Quietly but firmly they must be shown carrot and stick: a rosy future in the world economy if you help Ukraine survive as an independent, self-governing state; financial strangulation and endless court proceedings if you don’t. If Mr. Putin’s Olympic sport is hard-core wrestling, we cannot confine ourselves to badminton.

None of this is to suggest that what has happened in Crimea does not matter in itself. In his Kremlin speech, Mr. Putin scored a few telling hits on U.S. unilateralism and Western double standards, but what he has done threatens the foundations of international order. He thanked China for its support, but does Beijing want the Tibetans to secede following a referendum? He recalled Soviet acceptance of German unification and appealed to Germans to back the unification of “the Russian world,” which apparently includes all Russian speakers. With rhetoric more reminiscent of 1914 than 2014, his country is now a revanchist power in plain view.

Without the consent of all parts of the existing state, without due constitutional process and a free, fair vote, Ukraine’s territorial integrity, guaranteed 20 years ago by Russia, the United States and Britain, has been destroyed. In practical terms, that cannot be undone. What can still be rescued, however, is the political integrity of what remains.

Timothy Garton Ash is professor of European studies at Oxford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Published on 19 March in http://www.theglobeandmail.com