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Program elective course

United Nations: International Peace and Security (6 ECTS Credits) - Fall Program

Ignasi Torrent (UPF), Pol Bargues (IBEI)

The aim of this course is threefold: first, to introduce students to the United Nations (aims, institutions, history) and its critical role in contemporary international society; second, to focus on the analysis of mechanisms in place at the UN architecture to achieve one of its main goals: maintaining international peace and security; and third, to provide a systematic toolkit which helps students out in critically analyzing the performance of the UN Peace Operation missions, by identifying strengths and weaknesses of different historical operations in the field.

The course is structured in two blocks. The first one introduces the United Nations, its goals, its main bodies and its decision-making process as a starting point. It then focuses on the UN architecture as a decisive international actor regarding international peace and security by analyzing: the UN institutional framework that deals with these issues (the UN Security Council, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Department of Political Affairs, etc.); relevant aspects of the UN Charter in relation to this topic (Chapters VI and VII); and the historical evolution of how the UN has coped with peace and security issues. The second block explores one of the main tools the United Nations applies to maintain peace and security: the UN Peace Operations. This is done by focusing on theoretical debates that have shaped the missions over the time, by examining their evolution in nature and scope and by grasping historical examples (Sierra Leone, Haiti, Burundi, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, etc...).

Please check the syllabus here.

Literatura y política en América Latina (6 ECTS Credits) - Fall Program

Jacint Jordana (UPF-IBEI), Dunia Gras (UB), Tania Pleitez (UAB)

La creación literaria y la política se encuentran estrechamente interrelacionadas. Sea como fuente de inspiración, como ensayo de interpretación, o simplemente como contexto inevitable, con mucha frecuencia los autores latinoamericanos se enfrentan a su propia realidad política haciendo uso de sus armas narrativas.  Este curso, de naturaleza interdisciplinar, pretende poner en contacto los debates e investigaciones de la ciencia política sobre América Latina, con el estudio de la literatura Latinoamérica contemporánea y su aparato crítico. Con ello, se pretende aportar elementos de interpretación sobre la realidad latinoamericana que vayan más allá de las perspectivas disciplinarias clásicas.

Cada obra será examinada y discutida desde un enfoque de crítica literaria, considerando tanto sus influencias literarias desde una perspectiva comparada, como los rasgos específicos de su estructura narrativa. En paralelo, se analizarán, desde la perspectiva de las ciencias sociales, los aspectos políticos tratados en cada novela, con el propósito de ampliar la capacidad de interpretación de los estudiantes de la situación política de la región y sus problemas estructurales, y potenciar su reflexión teórica sobre la relación entre realidad política y ficción literaria.

Por favor consulta el programa aquí.

Cultural Diplomacy in the 21st Century (6 ECTS Credits) - Fall Program

Hannah Abdullah

Drawing on approaches from International Relations, Political Science, Sociology, and Cultural Studies, this course provides an in-depth overview of the theory and practice of cultural diplomacy in today’s globalized world. 

There is growing political and academic recognition of the significance of cultural diplomacy as a form of ‘soft power’. This course provides an in-depth overview of the theory and practice of cultural diplomacy in today’s globalized world. Following a historical excurse that surveys the institutionalization of cultural diplomacy during the colonial period and the Cold War, current practices in the field are analyzed by looking at varying institutional arrangements, agendas, and programs in key countries, including the US, European Union (EU) member states, and emerging powers such as China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Through the study of UNESCO and EU initiatives, the course also examines how cultural diplomacy is conducted in multilateral forums. By focusing on concrete examples and case studies, students are invited to reflect on ongoing and new issues in the field of cultural diplomacy – including, its growing importance in international development and conflict, questions of how cultural initiatives can advance regional and national integration, the impact of new technologies, and evaluation studies.

Please check the syllabus here.

España en el mundo: política exterior y diplomacia pública (6 ECTS Credits) - Winter Program

Laia Mestres (IBEI)

¿Es realmente España una potencia media con presencia global, tal y como defienden los diplomáticos y políticos españoles? ¿En qué grado la Unión Europea ha modificado las prioridades de España en su política exterior? ¿La crisis económica y financiera, que tanto ha afectado a los españoles, ha sido también una causa de deterior de la imagen de España en el exterior? El objetivo de este curso es profundizar en el papel de España en el mundo, a partir de los instrumentos de análisis de una de las subdisciplinas de las Relaciones Internacionales, el Análisis de las Políticas Exteriores.

Alfinal del curso, los estudiantes serán capaces de aplicar los principales elementos del Análisis de Política Exterior a realidades concretas, de analizar la evolución, el impacto y la influencia de España en el mundo así como de reflexionar críticamente sobre la capacidad de los gobiernos españoles de adaptar su política exterior a las recientes transformaciones globales.

Por favor consulta el programa aquí.

International Business and Globalization (6 ECTS Credits) - Winter Program

Francisco J. Granados (IBEI)

The course focuses on main socioeconomic and political aspects of globalization associated to firms that operate internationally as well as on key international management topics.  The course emphasizes historical, political, sociological, and managerial perspectives.

How does international business drive economic globalization and affect people across countries?  How do international business and current domestic and international political issues affect each other?  What challenges and opportunities do firms face operating internationally?  The course starts with an overview of economic globalization from a historical, political and sociological perspective, focusing on its most relevant aspects associated to international business: the role of states and international institutions (e.g., World Bank, IMF, EU); socioeconomic development; inequalities within and across countries; international migration; domestic political debates referred to globalization.  The second part of the course examines some key management topics associated to globalization: global corporate social responsibility; diverse national political environments; internationalization and alliance strategies; global marketing; global human resources management.

Please check the syllabus here.

International Politics of Latin America (6 ECTS Credits) - Winter Program

Andrea C. Bianculli (IBEI)

How do countries in Latin America relate with each other and with the rest of world? What institutional structures are used to promote regional cooperation and to participate in an increasingly interconnected world? This course engages students with the debates concerning the main dynamics of the Latin American international relations, with a focus on the last three decades but with attention to the legacies of earlier political, economic and social developments affecting the region. The course is structured around interactive lectures, student presentations, and class and group discussions.

After a general introduction on the development of international relations in Latin America, both from a theoretical and empirical standpoint, attention will be given to the institutional design of regional forms of cooperation, and how these have broadened from the more traditional economic and political arenas to social issues, as in the case of the OAS, MERCOSUR, UNASUR, and ALBA. The course will also critically examine the relations of Latin America with third partners, including the United States, the European Union, and China, together with the recent turn towards South-South cooperation. Along the course, theoretical debates will be documented with a number of empirical case studies, while also examining the challenges and opportunities that Latin America faces in a world dominated by shifting political and economic balances and changing interaction patterns between countries and regions.

Please check the syllabus here.

The EU in the World (6 ECTS Credits) - Winter Program

Jordi Mas Elias (IBEI)

How similar is the European Union (EU) compared to other countries such as the United States? Do they play similar roles in the world? How internal (Brexit) and external events (Trump) may affect the very nature of the EU and its foreign policies? This course studies the EU and its external activities through the discussion of key issues on the EU agenda placing a comparative focus on the United States. The first part of the course analyzes the historical evolution of the European polity and the decision-making of its external action. It raises questions about the geographical and political limits of Europe, what are the main drivers of its integration and tackles the issue of Brexit. The second part of the course deals with a variety of challenges of globalization that the EU faces in world politics: trade liberalization, global warming, energy supplies or international migration are some of the issues that will be tackled separately in different sessions. Finally, the last part analyzes the relations between the EU and other states and world regions: from the neighborhood in Eastern Europe and the Middle East to the major global players such as the United States.

Please check the syllabus here.



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