Looking back to the beginning of my academic journey, as a burgeoning, bright-eyed undergraduate, I never would have predicted I would one day receive a master’s degree in Global and International Studies. As much as the topics of the international field currently stimulate my mind and nourish my sense of wonder and discovery, I was not born with a natural curiosity for international affairs. The path between then and now was indeed a very convoluted one, with twists, turns, surprises, drastic redirections, and cosmic intervention. I stumbled quite unexpectedly into the international field – an experience that many of you [...]
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What motivated you to serve on the IRC board of directors? I moved to KC after 21 years of living abroad, and was grateful to learn of IRC. I was glad to find a community of persons who, like myself, were interested in international affairs and continuing to learn more and stay current on foreign policy and international issues. This IRC community had also traveled extensively, and many had lived in other countries and shared my experiences. After a year or two as a member, I was delighted when asked to be nominated for the Board so that I could [...]
Warfare and national security issues used to be solely based on physical proximity; however, those days are over. As technology becomes more advanced and the world more reliant on technology, individuals now more than ever are vulnerable to attacks taking place outside of the physical realm. Now, national security transcends the physical, tangible world and includes cyberspace, an ever-changing, non-tangible environment. Nicknamed the final frontier, cyberspace is unlike any other form of terrain. Cyberspace is not as exclusive as physical battlefields (air, naval, ground, and space), resulting in more 'players' in the cyber arena. As such, cyberspace offers nations and [...]
What do members of ISIS and the Proud Boys have in common? They spend an average of 144 minutes a day on Facebook. Despite vast differences in motivation and ideology, international and domestic terrorist groups alike utilize social media for organization and recruitment. (8.,9.) Facebook is the most used platform, utilized by an astounding 64.53% of U.S. extremists. (3.) While this is by no means a new phenomenon, the rate at which the radicalization is occurring on Facebook is accelerating globally. (3.) The key factor in this violent outgrowth? Facebook's increased investment in Groups. Facebook groups, launched in 2010, are [...]
The tensions in Belarus and Ukraine often challenged the EU-Russian relations. While Human-Rights violations have been publicly criticized by the EU, Russia remains one of Europe's most important economic partners, particularly for the eastern countries. It can be argued that this special relationship between Russia and the EU derives from a context where political and economic interest are very much intertwined with each other. Central to this relationship is the European dependency on foreign energy resources In 2013, over half of the energy, the EU consumed has been imported, whereas gas was with 24% central to this energy mix (Siddi, [...]
In a world of constant global interconnectedness, internet platforms such as Google and Facebook have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Going to work with an Uber, shopping by Amazon, connecting with friends via Facebook the physical and the virtual world are merging while platforms define the conditions. Originally based on libertarian principles, idealist visionaries like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg have become businessmen as technology merged with capitalist principles. Embedded in a neoliberal economic order, platforms have become the key actors in the modern economy. While large oil companies shaped the industrial age, the ranking of the [...]
As WWII ended in 1945, the United Nations was established by 51 countries with a mission to maintain international peace and security. Two years later, in 1947, the Cold War began with Trumans announcement of the Truman Doctrine, a policy of containment of Communism and adoption of the Marshall Plan. UN and U.S. soldiers intervened when Soviet soldiers invaded the Korean peninsula in 1950 and remained until partitioning in 1953. When FDR died in 1945, President Truman appointed Eleanor Roosevelt to serve as the U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and Chairperson of the UN Commission on Human [...]
The east African state of Rwanda has mostly been associated with very negative impressions. Rwanda of the 1990s was characterized by genocide during a civil war between Hutus and Tutsis, deriving from long-standing socio-ethnic tensions. In contrast, modern Rwanda seems to write a very different story. It is often perceived as an African role model for success, sometimes even compared to the rise of Singapore. While the world bank praised Rwanda's 'remarkable development successes', it can be assessed that Rwanda experienced an enormous upheaval in the last decades. The GDP has risen steadily from 2.39 Dollars 1994 to 32.26 in [...]
As an international student barely spending less than eight months in the United States, I was beyond nervous to face a bigger and unfamiliar crowd, Midwest Model UN conference, which was far different from my small college. MMUN is an academic event/forum held annually that provides an insight on how the UN operates as well as promotes a deeper understanding of issues in connection to humanitarian, cultural, social, economic, legal and political problems that exist all over the world. By attending this program, delegates learn and develop leadership, research, public speaking, debating and so many other skills relating to diplomacy. [...]
Kevin Holland is a newer member of the IRC, joining in April of 2020. Kevin works for Lockton, headquartered here in Kansas City, where he helps clients with insurance, risk management, corporate commercial insurances, health insurance for employees, and retirement. His role with the KC multinational team means he spends significant time outside the U.S., helping with the needs of his clients' businesses. His current role is to develop new relationships to ensure his clients have access to the best resources. Kevin has been interested in international work for a long time and has travelled extensively both personally and for [...]