9
Oct

The IE School of Arts and Humanities held the Inauguration Ceremony of the Master in International Relations 2012, which celebrates its 5th intake of a truly international program. The program brings together students from 4 continents, with over 65% of its students coming from abroad, who represent 13 countries: United States, Canada, India, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, China, Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Italy, Dominican Republic, Finland and Russia.

This years’ Master in International Relations intake comprises a talented, diverse and ambitious group of students capable of bringing a rich diversity of perspectives to the learning process and leaving their mark on this dynamic and innovative program. The program consists of graduates from diverse fields, such as Political Science, Humanities, Law, Economics, Business, Communication and Journalism, who have a clear interest in international relations, both within the public and the private sectors, and who aim to follow careers in areas such as government, NGO’s, international consulting and multinational companies.

The Master in International Relations is an intensive and rigorous 10-month program which is wholly dedicated to preparing professionals with the relevant knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively within an increasingly complex and interconnected world, and opens pathways to international careers in both the public and private sectors.

IE School of Art and Humanities benefits from IE Business School´s expertise, which receives international recognition and is ranked among the top 10 business schools in the world, according to international journals such as Financial Times, The Economist, BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal.

The program has successfully served as the spearhead of IE’s international projection, which responds to our firm belief that global awareness is vital to the success of today’s projects in both public and private sectors. It is not by mere chance that some 40.000 of our alumni are working on 5 continents, and that more than 90 nationalities are represented among our student body and faculty.

The program is offered at IE’s Madrid campus, situated in the heart of the city’s modern business district where students benefit from a global atmosphere, unmatched networking opportunities, as well as everything the city has to offer, including learning Spanish, the native language of 500 million people worldwide and the world’s second business language.

IE School of Arts & Humanities is as a Member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), comprised of over 60 member schools in North America, Asia, and Europe. These members promote the enhancement of professional education in international relations and the advancement of international cooperation, cultural tolerance and peace. APSIA serves as an active platform for the exchange of valuable expertise in the international affairs arena.

8
Oct

By Francis Fukuyama

It is a curious fact that in contemporary American political science, very few people want to study the state, that is, the functioning of executive branches and their bureaucracies. Since the onset of the Third Wave of democratizations now more than a generation ago, the overwhelming emphasis in comparative politics has been on democracy, transitions to democracy, human rights, ethnic conflict, violence, transitional justice, and the like. There is of course interest in stability, but primarily as the absence of violence and conflict. Studies of non-democratic countries focus on issues like authoritarian persistence, meaning that the focus still remains the question of democracy in the long run or democratic transition. In other words, most people are interested in studying political institutions that limit or check power—democratic accountability and rule of law—but very few people pay attention to the institution that accumulates and uses power, the state.

The relative emphasis on checking institutions rather than power-deploying institutions is evident in the governance measures that have been developed in recent years. There are numerous measures of the quality of democracy like the Freedom House Freedom in the World and Polity IV measures, as well as newer  ones like the Varieties of Democracy project led by Michael Coppedge, John Gerring et al. What we do not have is a good measure of Weberian bureaucracy—that is, the degree to which bureaucratic recruitment and promotion is merit-based, functionally organized, based on technical qualifications, etc. One of the only studies to attempt to do this was by Peter Evans and James Rauch back in 2000, but their sample was limited to 30-odd countries and produced no time series data. There is also a proprietary cross-country measure, the Political Risk Service’s Group (PRSG) International Country Risk Guide, but because it is proprietary we don’t really know what goes into it. Several of the World Bank Institute’s Worldwide Governance Indicators purport to measure state aspects of state capacity (government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and stability and absence of violence, control of corruption), but these are aggregates of other existing measures and it is not clear how they map onto the Weberian categories. For example, does a good absence of violence score mean that there is effective policing? I suspect that there isn’t much street crime in North Korea. (There are similar problems with the Bank’s internal CPIA scores.)

One important measure that would be great to have but which no one has ever attempted to create, to my knowledge, is a measure of bureaucratic autonomy, that is, the degree to which bureaucrats are under day-to-day control by their nominal political masters, both with regard to policy and with regard to control over cadres. This is utterly critical in understanding bureaucratic quality, and yet is totally unavailable for any kind of quantitative analysis. Read more…

Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University. Dr. Fukuyama is chairman of the editorial board of The American Interest, which he helped to found in 2005.   He is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins SAIS Foreign Policy Institute, and a non-resident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Center for Global Development. 

As published by The American Interest on October 2, 2012.

4
Oct

By Sean Goforth

Regardless of who wins Sunday’s presidential election in Venezuela, Latin America lives in a post-Chavez era. Now is the time for Brazil to step up.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has been generous to his allies. At the height of his power, from 2005–2009, Chávez blanketed friendly countries across Latin America with Venezuelan aid.

The money had its desired effect, creating an expressly anti-American bloc in Latin America. However, Chávez has never fully recovered from the 2008 drop in oil prices, and the internal contradiction of Chavismo has been lost on its followers. Chávez said rather a lot about opposing the West over the years, but he’s been a surprisingly rational actor on the world stage, especially when it comes to keeping the oil flowing.

Today, with financial support from Caracas dwindling, leftist leaders across South America are being forced to pick their own fights. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s expropriation of the gas company YPF from Spain’s Repsol earlier this year was a clear asset grab. On the other hand, the Cuban government continues to tinker with promarket reforms. Of course, some of these developments are more positive than others, but together they are proof that Latin America lives in a post-Chávez era, regardless of who wins Sunday’s presidential election.

The result: there is a power vacuum in South America.

“Power vacuum” tends to conjure up images of arms races and insurgent attacks. But, remarkably, the security scene in South America is improving, albeit tentatively. Defense spending has declined throughout the region over the last three years. Venezuela has started to cooperate with Colombia and even the United States to halt drug trafficking, as indicated most recently by the arrest in Venezuela of Daniel Barrera, Colombia’s last major cocaine kingpin. Even the triborder region of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, long rumored to be a hotbed of Islamist insurgency, appears to be more sedate.

Instead, the region is backsliding on its commitment to democracy. Since 2009, fairly elected governments in Honduras and Paraguay have been deposed. A failed coup in Ecuador in 2010 has given President Rafael Correa excuse for a brusque crackdown on freedom of speech. Long a testing ground for populism of various sorts, the newest dystopian pastime appears to be perfecting what some have called the “golpeachment”—part golpe (coup), part impeachment and part exuberantly broadcasted sport. Read more…

Sean Goforth is author of Axis of Unity: Venezuela, Iran and the Threat to America (Potomac Books, 2012).

As published by The National Interest on October 2, 2012.

3
Oct

Last week’s U.N. General Assembly session served up reminders that the next White House may have little option but to deal with a number of crises previously deferred

By Tony Karon

A rebel fighter is carried down from a third-story apartment after being wounded by a Syrian government tank shell during a battle between rebels and Syrian army forces in Aleppo on Sept. 26, 2012

1. Despite Netanyahu’s Retreat, Avoiding War with Iran Will Get Harder

For all of his summer saber rattling and efforts to pressure the Obama Administration into stating imminent red lines for war with Iran, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu effectively retreated at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday. Despite the familiar apocalyptic rhetoric, Netanyahu took care to signal Israel’s cooperation with the Obama Administration on the issue. More important, he drew his own red line — somewhat confusingly, given the much lampooned graphic on which he relied — at Iran possessing a sufficient stockpile of 20% enriched uranium to reprocess into one bomb’s worth of highly enriched uranium. At present rates of enrichment, he claimed, that point would be reached next spring or summer. Leave aside the considerable body of expert opinion that holds that the U.S. would have a lot more time than Netanyahu suggests to respond to an overt move by Iran to build nuclear weapons, the Israeli leader nonetheless once again wound forward his doomsday alarm clock, setting it to ring sometime early next year.

That seemed to take off the table the threat of an Israeli strike over U.S. objections before November’s election. But the occupant of the Oval Office early next year may face a more acute crisis: sanctions have not so far changed Iran’s nuclear calculations, and such concessions as Iran has offered by way of capping its nuclear work are not ones that the Obama Administration has been ready to accept as a basis for easing sanctions. Iran doesn’t trust the U.S. any more than the U.S. trusts Iran, and Tehran believes the real purpose of the sanctions is to create economic chaos in the hope of provoking an uprising against the regime. Such suspicions will have been heightened by Friday’s U.S. decision to remove the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, an exile armed group that fought for Saddam Hussein against Iran in the 1980s and which is widely reviled even among leaders of the opposition Green Movement, from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

And Netanyahu has given notice that he’ll be loudly banging the drum for action by springtime unless, as remains unlikely, Iran effectively throws in the towel on the nuclear standoff before then. Whether it’s President Obama or a President Romney, the White House early next year may face a stark choice between continuing a policy that escalates toward confrontation or trying to avoid one by taking the political risk of initiating a new diplomatic effort with Iran that goes beyond the current nuclear talks. Read more…

As published in www.time.com on October 1, 2012.

2
Oct

The Great Foreign Policy Divide

Written on October 2, 2012 by Ángeles Figueroa-Alcorta in News

By Roger Cohen

China is a status quo power. It preaches dialogue, noninterference and the sanctity of national sovereignty because it does not want major global disruptions to its pursuit of the economic growth essential to political stability and full development by midcentury.

Russia is also a status quo power — the status quo of 30 years ago, that is. Under President Vladimir Putin, it wants to turn back the clock and restore the world to a place dominated by two superpowers going mano a mano. It has been prepared to watch thousands of Syrians die in order to demonstrate it still wields a big stick.

Europe is a status-seeking power, undermined by the crisis of the euro and the democratic deficit in its institutions, bereft of the idealism that once drove the pursuit of European unity, and represented by a “president” nobody has heard of. There is only one serious politician left in Europe. Her name is Angela Merkel.

And what of the United States? An election that was supposed to be about domestic policy but has produced little clarity in that regard (perhaps the debates will help) has demonstrated a stark divide on foreign policy.

In the vision of President Barack Obama, America is now in the status-management business: being realistic about its power the better to exercise and preserve it. As for Mitt Romney, he belongs to Putin’s school of foreign policy. The status quo he believes in is that of three decades ago. In this regard he is a closet Russian even as he denounces Moscow.

And so, for Romney, Russia is “without question our number one geopolitical foe,” just like during the Cold War. He is “guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: this century must be an American century,” like the century that saw the Cold War.

In the name of U.S. domination, America needs to throw its weight around, maintaining or increasing Pentagon budgets, refusing to talk to the Taliban, confronting China, giving Israel a green light to attack Iran, and generally being unabashed about U.S. might.

It seems the devastating cost of America’s post-9/11 wars has not dawned on Romney; nor has what they say about a world where U.S. power is unrivaled but insufficient for the United States to impose its will. Read more…

Roger Cohen is  a columnist for The New York Times and International Herald Tribune.

As published in www.nytimes.com on October 1, 2012 (a version of this op-ed appeared in print on October 2, 2012, in The International Herald Tribune).

1 67 68 69 70 71 167