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Contemporary Challenges in International Relations

26-Contemporary Challenges in International Relations  - Juan Pablo Soriano

We live in an increasingly complex, interconnected, changing world, one that generates many challenges. And we want to help you to be better prepared to understand the world, analyse it, explain it and, if you want, intervene on those matters that you care the most want to change. The agenda of contemporary challenges in International Relations is enormous. Therefore, we have selected some issues to offer you an overview of key topics, such as development, peace and security, human rights, and energy matters. And we will study in detail the impact of some of these issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The sessions will include lectures, debates, practical exercises and presentations by the students. 

Middle East and North Africa: Energy, Governance and Globalisation (lecturer: R. Aarab). Analyses the role of energy in the evolution and transformation of international relations, and the processes of cooperation and conflict in the Mediterranean and MENA region. Students are introduced to the concept of energy and its transdisciplinary nature, governance and globalisation. The sessions will address the key events of the 20th century related to energy in the MENA region. Also, we will identify the factors that influenced the conflict processes and cooperation as: “the Seven Sisters” oligopoly, the 1973 oil embargo, OPEC’s Control Policy, and the Cooperation between the energy companies and states.  

The Sustainable Development Goals: development, peace and security challenges (lecturer: P. Aguiar). On 2015 General Assembly of the United Nations approved the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, including 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Its implications are not only focused on the international dimension. It is a call for a substantial change on public policies at all levels. The subject will analyse the origins of the 2030 Agenda and then will make an overview of how SDG’s are being implemented. Furthermore, its relationship with concepts such as Development, Peace or Security will be explored. Additionally, a simulation on international bargaining and negotiations between countries will be held. 

Sub-Saharan Africa: current political, economic and security challenges (lecturer: F. Guerrero). Introduce students to three different (but interlinked) aspects necessary to understand the current complex situation of the continent… From the political aspect, the crisis of the African model of state will be analysed to understand the current social protests; from the economic side, the erratic evolution of the several Regional Economic Communities towards an Africa Continental Free Trade Area will also be assessed; finally, an approach to the characteristics of African military conflicts will also be considered.  

Latin America: regional and international challenges in an emerging international order (lecturer: J.P. Soriano). Students will identify and analyse contemporary regional and international challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean. This will be done from a multidimensional perspective, but special attention will be given to: political and economic regional integration; regional security and transnational crime; Latin America’s relations with the United States, the European Union, and China; and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the region. 

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