Barcelona, Spain

Contemporary Challenges in International Relations

when 20 June 2022 - 8 July 2022
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 850

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.

Course leader

Rachid Aarab, Federico Guerrero, Juan Pablo Soriano and Pablo Aguiar
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona/Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)

Target group

The UAB Barcelona Summer School is open to standing local and international undergraduates and graduate students. International students who have been accomplished the first year of their undergraduate or at least the 50% of their first year credits at their home university could also be enroled at the programme. Working knowledge of the language instruction is highly recommended.

Course aim

Contemporary Challenges in International Relations is composed of three complementary subjects:

1. Subject: “Europe and the challenge of international terrorism”.

Analyses the evolution of Islamic terrorism in the European Continent, starting with Al Qaeda in 2001 and finishing with the cells and lone wolves inspired by ISIS in 2019. Students will familiarize with theoretical concepts and with the concrete dynamics and dimensions of this complex phenomenon. The subject will also analyze the role of Social Media and Internet, especially it role in radicalization of young people.

2. Subject: “The world food production system and the problems of hunger, poverty, inequality and migration around the world.”

Even though there has been a great deal of progress on some of the issues that affect people around the world, such as hunger and poverty and inequality, the challenges are significant. The world food production system has a close relation to the strategies to finally overcome these issues. In sum, in this course students will be able to examine the role of different actors on a specific sector (food production) and the potential of contributing to solving problems and issues associated with them. In a rapidly changing and interconnected world, this course provides some useful tools to better understand how the world food production system impacts on current key issues of the world development agenda.

3. Subject. “The Sustainable Development Goals: development, peace and security challenges”.

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 analyze the origins of the 2030 Agenda and then will make an overview of how SDG’s are being implemented. Furthermore, a process of building indicators of concepts such as Development, Peace or Security has been done, and will also be reviewed.

4. Subject: “Sub-Saharan Africa: current political, economic and security challenges”.

This module will introduce students to three different (but interlinked) aspects necessary to understand the current complex situation of the continent: politics, economics and security. From the political aspect, the crisis of the African state model 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.

Credits info

6 EC
The subject is accredited with 6 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) that your university might transfer to you own degree programme (depending on your home university’s regulations), especially if it has a mobility programme in place with the UAB.

Fee info

EUR 850: The course fee for international and national students (non-UAB students) is € 850 but those who register before April 30 will get 20% discount.

Scholarships

No but there is 20% discount on the tuition fee if prospective students register before April 30th.