Frontier 4

Your Place in Global Society!

We live in an increasingly interconnected world. Economic crises in Southeast Asia effect economic markets in North America. Political unrest in the Middle East increases the likelihood of civil unrest in Europe. Elections in the United States affect policy-making in China. What are the consequences of economic, political, and cultural globalization? How can we, as global citizens, stimulate development, reduce inequality, solve conflicts, and promote democracy? To find out more, joins us for the IE Summer School in Global Politics and Development!

1. Introduction to International Relations and Global Governance (Day 1)

As the globalization of the world economy accelerates and erodes national borders, nations have become more interdependent than ever before. How do domestic political and economic dynamics interact with global politics and international economics? And will it ever be possible for humans to live in a truly global society, where governance is ‘supranational’ rather than national? Although institutions like the European Union and the United Nations might provide hope for such a possibility, there remain significant obstacles to genuine global governance. This introductory session aims to explore some of the broad themes in the study of international relations; to demonstrate concretely how developments in one place can have profound consequences for those living on the other side of the globe; and to examine whether and when interdependence may actually translate into a ‘global’ political society.

2. The Fate of Democracy in the 21st Century (Day 2)

Is democracy likely to be dominant political system of the 21st century? Are democracies more peaceful and less conflict-prone than non-democratic regimes? Do they experience better economic growth and lower economic inequality? Is democracy really the ideal political system? With the End of the Cold War, many people predicted the arrival of a new democratic era. However, the last 15 years have also witnessed many challenges to democracy. These sessions will provide a hopeful but realistic assessment of the prospects for democracy and democratization in the 21st century, including an electoral campaign simulation designed to present students in a concrete way to both the opportunities and challenges associated with democratic representation.

3. The Base of the Pyramid and Social Entrepreneurship: Global Solutions for the World’s Poorest (Day 3)

Despite recent progress, over 1 billion human beings in today’s world still lack access to basic resources and well-being, for example safe drinking water, basic health services, and primary and secondary education. Until these services are more evenly distributed, our world will always be plagued by inequality and injustice. Put simply, as a global community we need to do a better job serving the Base of the Pyramid, the billions of people left behind by today’s global economy. Social Entrepreneurs are motivated people who find innovative solutions to poverty, underdevelopment, pollution, gender inequality, and other social problems. Good social entrepreneurs understand how to design effective collaborations between businesses, governments, NGO’s, and local communities. Increasingly, we are seeing that private enterprise can be a powerful tool for positive social change, especially in collaboration with other sectors.

This seminar will introduce students to the core concepts of social entrepreneurship, innovation, social impact measurement, and sustainability. We will use a mix of both interactive lecture as well as applied case studies activities to help students understand the extent of and causes of global poverty and under-development.

4. Africa: the New Growth Frontier? (Day 4)

For decades, Africa has been looked upon as a ‘tragic’ continent. Even the word ‘Africa’ often evokes images of famine, conflict, and at times horrific genocide. But is this a fair appraisal of where Africa stands today? Is it time to challenge the accepted wisdom that Africa is a model of under-development, authoritarianism, and conflict? These sessions will suggest that the answer is ‘Yes’! We will first learn about the roots of underdevelopment and political crisis in Africa, but then use both comparative analysis and applied case studies to examine the new possibilities that exist for entrepreneurs in a continent which may now be emerging from its tragic past. The sessions will include a simulation activity designed to introduce students to the concrete challenges and opportunities presented by social investment in Uganda.

5. Climate Change: Crisis or Opportunity? (Day 5)

Tsunamis in Asia, floods in Europe, ‘megastorms’ and ‘megafires’ in the United States…a casual look at today’s headlines gives the sensation that our world’s weather patterns are rapidly becoming more hazardous. Furthermore, climate change and the resulting scarcity of water, arable land, and other basic basic resources, lie at the heart of violent conflicts and instability in places such as the Middle East and Africa. That said, collective responses to our changing global climate also present a unique opportunity for new forms of international and subnational cooperation. This seminar addresses the challenges, but also the opportunities, made possible by our shared environmental evolution.

Spend your summer at a top-ranked school!