A thundercloud, heavy and dark gray. That is what it looks like from a distance. But the closer you get to Mosul from the south, the bigger and darker this cloud becomes. Instead of floating in the sky, it grows out of the ground, ultimately becoming a towering, opaque wall that swallowing entire villages, making them disappear into the darkness.

 Driving to Mosul is a drive into the apocalypse. Or at least that’s what it feels like, with the gigantic clouds of smoke coming from burning oil wells, reservoirs and ditches — laid out by Islamic State over the last two years and now set alight one after the other. Although it would normally be a sunny midday in fall, the military jeeps coming from the other direction have their lights on.

The dark curtain is meant to keep the attackers’ jets and helicopters at bay; the smoke irritates the throat and causes headaches. An armada of over 30,000 soldiers and fighters from at least a half-dozen countries began a major offensive against the de-facto capital of the “caliphate” in northern Iraq last Monday. It is not only the biggest coalition to have assembled in the fight against Islamic State (IS), it is also the least predictable. Read more…


http://www.spiegel.de/; By Christopher Reuter; Oct. 22nd


In Washington’s ongoing debate about the cause of the continuing chaos in the Middle East, President George W. Bush stands condemned for the 2003 intervention that pushed Iraq into civil war, while President Obama stands condemned for the nonintervention that worsened Syria’s civil war. In Libya, meanwhile, Washington’s partial intervention also failed to bring peace, while too few Americans are even aware of their country’s role in the conflict afflicting Yemen.

Without trying to defend or absolve U.S. policy, then, it is worth stepping back to ask what shared historical experiences might have left these four countries — Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen — particularly at risk of violent collapse. The following maps help highlight how, at various points over the past century, historical circumstances conspired, in an often self-reinforcing way, to bolster the stability of some states in the region while undermining that of others.

1. Century-old states are more stable today

Countries whose political or geographic precedents stretch back over a century are more stable today. Turkey, Egypt, Iran, and, to some extent, the ruling dynasties of what are now Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, all, in one form or another, trace their current political structures to the late 19th century, before European colonialism took root in the region. Consequently, they were more likely to have the resources to maintain some independence in the face of European imperialism, or at least negotiate a less disruptive form of colonial rule.


Read more…



Jacqueline Williams, MIR 2016/2017 Candidate


Blog Post #1

Jacqueline (Jackie) Williams is the IE Fellow Scholarship Recipient for the Master in International Relation’s Program (2016-2017). A native of Syracuse, New York, USA, Jackie attended the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C. from 2009-2013 where she received a Bachelor’s in Politics with a focus in International Relations, as well as a Minor Degree in Spanish. During her time as an undergraduate student, Jackie spent her free time participating in one of CUA’s acapella vocal groups as well as volunteering with the international co-ed community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. She spent a summer abroad in Madrid, Spain studying at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She’s interned with the Embassy of Peru in the Office of Public Diplomacy and with the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence in Washington, D.C. After graduating, Jackie moved to Lima, Peru where she worked for several months with the NGO Krochet Kids International. Upon returning to D.C., Jackie worked for FHI 360, a well-known non-profit human development organization. After some time at FHI 360, Jackie moved back to upstate, New York to work on the Democratic Primary Race in the 24th Congressional District. Once the election ended, Jackie decided to return to Madrid and continue her education in International Relations at IE.

Tell us more about your experience in Peru


Upon graduating from college in the spring of 2013, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to Lima, Peru and work for Krochet Kids International, a non-profit organization established there in 2011. The focus of Krochet Kids international is the empowerment of individuals, particularly women, through a program that provides employment, education, and mentorship support in order to create a holistic approach to development. Once I arrived to Peru and settled in at the headquarters in the ocean front town of Pacífico, a low-income community in the Municipality of Chorrillos, I set to work. I assisted with the Knitting Initiative and the roughly thirty women who worked there at the time. That meant I was in charge of weighing the yarn that needed to be distributed for production, the quality control of products after completion, and the oversight of the women on that floor.

The services provided to the beneficiaries; honest employment, a trained skill, classes in reproductive health and finance and the mentorship program, are all critical in order to equip the women with a path towards independence and free from poverty. I spent most of my time with the women benefiting from the program in their communities and built lasting relationships that continue to this day. There are over a hundred women and some men benefiting from Krochet Kids Peru’s empowerment program today and many of my friends who have now graduated from the program have moved on to further their education and careers.

Share with us a story from your experience at the White House


One of the best internship opportunities I had while studying for my Bachelor’s degree at CUA in Washington D.C., was interning for The White House Office of Presidential Correspondence. In this particular office of the White House, I responded to U.S. constituent letters and e-mails on behalf of President Obama. I also had the opportunity to correspond to letters from Spanish speaking citizens in the Spanish Correspondence Office. One of my favorite experiences during my time there was meeting and chatting with First Lady, Michelle Obama. She thanked me for my hard work and dedication to the office and graciously accepted my compliments on her new haircut and her magenta boots that naturally matched her dress. It was an honor to intern for the Obama Administration and something I’ll always cherish.

Why did you choose the MIR Program?


I chose the Master in International Relations Program for a number of reasons. First, I love Madrid, and the time I spent studying abroad here for a summer in 2011, wasn’t enough time to take advantage of everything the city has to offer. I’ve wanted to come back and explore this city, get to know its’ people and understand and appreciate its’ culture further since then. Secondly, being a Mexican American who can trace my ancestry back to Spain, it’s important to me to continue to use and better my Spanish speaking skills and absorb as much history as Spain has to offer. Thirdly, not only is IE a well-known prestigious multi-cultural school, but it’s also much more affordable than some of the master’s programs I was accepted into in the States! Lastly, I get to spend a year with classmates from 17 other countries who speak a combination of 36 other languages, who, I can tell already, will become some of my lifelong friends.

You just started the program, how do you feel?


I couldn’t be more excited to be back in Madrid and be at IE. Although, the settling into Madrid process has been a bit overwhelming, orientation went great and it’s been a pleasure to get to know all of my new classmates and professors! I’ve heard a number of times that this year will come with some stressful and sleepless nights, but I’ve also been encouraged by previous students and professors alike to go out, enjoy Madrid and cherish this experience. I’m confident that I will be able to manage my time here and do just that!

What would you like to do after the MIR Program?


After I complete the MIR program, I would like to continue to work in international relations. I’m most interested in conflict resolution and humanitarian aid, so I’m hoping this year at IE will help me decide which path I should focus on and I’m excited to see where it will lead me.






The MIR Family on Exchange in Paris

Written on October 12, 2016 by Waya Quiviger in Master in International Relations (MIR), News

 Image result for sciences po

Pursuing a Master in International Relations at IE in Madrid is more than getting exposed to a great variety of courses, acquiring hard and soft skills, and spending endless hours working as teams. The MIR opens so many more doors. It is all about #goingbeyond. Upon completion of 10 compulsory months in Madrid, you can add an exchange semester in Paris.


Always dreamt about living in the capital of France?

This is an opportunity that you should not miss. This year, Daniel Morales, Kiyeon Kim and myself were lucky enough to get accepted at Sciences Po Paris, and we are honoured to represent IE and the MIR. Parisian life is filled with lots of culture and museums, strolls through the beautiful French streets or along the Seine, red wine and good cheese.


Wondering what Sciences Po is all about?

Studying at a top university like Sciences Po enables people from the MIR family to specialise even more. While one of us is pursuing the IR branch, the other two of us are pursuing the Economic and Business branch, taking classes in digital business strategies, finance projects, accounting, doing business in emerging markets and more. These additional classes help us further enhance our skillset to ultimately transition into an international job-market.


What is the added value of Sciences Po?

Besides specializing an extra semester in the direction of your choice, Paris is a global networking hub. Seminars, corporate breakfasts and company presentations happen every week around campus. And, on Friday 30 September, Sciences Po students gathered at Maison de la Chimie in the heart of Paris for a Business Career Fair. Over 85 companies were present, covering diverse sectors like banking, consulting, luxury and retail. It was an opportunity for us to ask questions and make contacts, ultimately giving our CV and applying for internships or jobs.


Written by: Sophie Bik

MIR Students in Paris: Daniel Morales, Kiyeon Kim, and Sophie Bik



MIR Class of 2016/2017

Written on October 10, 2016 by Waya Quiviger in Master in International Relations (MIR), News

MIR 2016


On October 4th, the IE School of International Relations welcomed its 9th intake of the Master in International Relations. 18 nationalities were represented in a very diverse new class.

British Ambassador Simon Manley was the keynote speaker during the Opening Ceremony and his apt words on a Global Britain for a Global Century resonated well with the new intake.



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