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Professor Kai Michael Kenkel (PUC-Rio & GIGA) visits IMSISS

Professor Kenkel speaking at GIGA

In Autumn, IMSISS at Charles University received a visit by Professor Kai Michael Kenkel, a faculty member at the Institute of International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and an associate of the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies. There he taught our students and met with staff at Charles.

Following his trip to Prague, Prof. Kenkel recounted of his visit:

It was a great pleasure to be able to teach in the IMSISS programme at Charles University. The combination of a dynamic, international programme, housed in one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious academic institutions, was very stimulating. Over the course of four sessions on two days during the space of almost a week, I taught the short course “Current Developments in Latin America”. On the first day, we discussed the political, economic and social specificities of the Latin American continent, with a focus on the legacies of colonialism, slavery and the Cold War. On the second, we engaged in an in-depth treatment of the current situation in Brazil, Chile and Bolivia, as examples of the impact of election results on political and economic stability. I was pleasantly surprised by both the level of interest in the class and students’ level knowledge and engagement in the class discussions. It was particularly interesting to be able to identify certain parallels between the past relationship of the Czech Republic and its Central European neighbours to Western European powers and that experienced by some South American states. My positive assessment of the my stay in the IMSISS programme at Charles University was reinforced further when I received students’ research papers some time after the end of the teaching; most were very well structured, and as a whole they showed an impressive breadth of topics and theories, from constructivism to Realism and from water rights in Chile, the role of China in the Brazilian economy, and decolonial approaches to the current crisis in Bolivia. In terms of contributions to my own teaching and other responsibilities, it was thrilling to see the breadth of work being done on up-to-date security questions in the University, and I was able to initiate a formal institutional cooperation process with my own Institute and University. The teaching topic contributed to my own efforts in that it added another welcome layer of insights to the richness of interpretations that must be brought to bear in teaching about a region as diverse as Latin America.

PUC-Rio is an Associate Partner of IMSISS, and helps us to deliver on our ambition to be a global collective of conversations on security. We look forward to future collaboration with Prof Kenkel and his colleagues.

 

 

Date: February 6, 2020 4:59 pm

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