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MGIMO University and The Fletcher School Organize First Joint Conference

From November 14-17, 2017, within the framework of  the strategic partnership program of  MGIMO and The Fletcher School of  Law and Diplomacy, launched in October 2016, a delegation from MGIMO visited Boston. The main feature of  the visit was the first joint conference on Russian-American relations, which gathered Russian and American experts in different aspects of international security, bilateral relations, and global political economy.

The opening ceremony of the conference was attended by over 200 people, including prominent diplomats and academics such as Admiral James Stavridis, Dean of the Fletcher School, and Petr Iliichev, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations.

MGIMO was represented by Vice-President for Graduate and International Programs Andrey Baykov, Head of the Department of Oriental Studies Dmitry Streltsov, Head of the Department of Applied International Political Analysis Tatiana Shakleina, Director of the School of Government and International Affairs Mikhail Troitsky, Professor in the Department of Oriental Studies Irina D. Zvyagelskaya, and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Applied Analysis of International Issues Igor Istomin. Senior Lecturer of the Department of World Politics at MGIMO University Elena Zinovieva and Associate Professor of the Department of International Law Mikhail Lysenko participated in the event via video conferencing. In addition, MGIMO professors and students had an opportunity to watch the event and ask questions online, without leaving the university.

The American included speakers such as Professors Paul Berkman and Daniel Drezner from The Fletcher School; Jack Goldsmith and Joseph Nye from Harvard University; Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science at the Elliott School of International Affairs at Georgetown University; Mary Elise Sarotte, Dean’s Professor of History and Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California; Evan A. Feigenbaum, Vice Chairman of the Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago; and other experts.

During the conference, the participants discussed issues of the transformation of the international order and the restructuring of global governance, cyber and information security, as well as situations in regions of importance for both Russia and the United States. In this regard, special sessions were devoted to Europe, the Middle East, and the Korean Peninsula. The purpose of the conference was to systematize current disagreements between Moscow and Washington. At the same time, the dialogue was open-minded, and the participants sought to constructively discuss the accumulated contradictions.

In May 2018, the second of the two planned conferences of MGIMO and The Fletcher School will be held, during which the parties intend to concentrate on identifying possible channels and mechanisms for restoring the previous level of interaction between Russia and the United States in various areas.

During their stay in Boston, representatives of MGIMO also held a series of meetings with counterparts and students of The Fletcher School. They also discussed with the Fletcher leadership the prospects for further cooperation, including the possibility launching a dual MA degree program.

On the eve of the conference, Professor Tatiana Shakleina gave a lecture on Russian-American relations and answered questions from the audience. Professor Igor Istomin also had an opportunity to meet with a group of American students attending a weekly video-linked course on contemporary issues in Russia-U.S. relations, as well as meet with his American counterpart, Professor Christopher Miller.

The exchange of views that took place during the visit contributed to the deepening of academic contacts and a more detailed understanding of the Russian position on a wide range of international issues by professors and students of an elite American university.

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy was founded in 1933 by Harvard and Tufts Universities and is the oldest academic centers in the United States dedicated to graduate studies in international affairs, diplomacy, and international law. According to the latest rating of Foreign Policy magazine, The Fletcher School ranks sixth in the world in the list of the foremost programs on international relations.

Besides traditional exchanges between students and professors, the partnership program between the two schools includes video-linked courses with the participation of students from two universities each semester; research and internship opportunities for graduate students; two thematically related conferences on the current state and prospects of Russia-U.S. relations; as well as a series of joint scientific publications and thematic seminars on the international legal status of the Arctic, common spaces, as well as cyber and information security.

On behalf of The Fletcher School, the partnership program with MGIMO is led by two world-renowned experts, Professors Paul Berkman and Daniel Drezner. On behalf of MGIMO, the supervisors of the program are Head of the Department of International Law, A.V. Vylegzhanin and Vice President for Graduate and International Programs A. Baykov.

This article was republished from MGIMO website

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