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IES News

IES organizes its first Graduate Student Conference in European Studies: "Breaking and Building Borders"
From historical and contemporary perspectives, this interdisciplinary graduate conference on Europe will address a wide range of topics including cultural and religious identity, immigration, and the European Union’s legal, institutional, and economic challenges and opportunities. All Berkeley graduate students and visiting graduate students are invited to submit proposals to present by March 1st. The conference will take place on Friday, April 10, 2015. For more information click here.

IES Sponsors Icelandic Language Education
In cooperation with the UC Berkeley Department of Scandinavian, IES will co-sponsor a new program in Icelandic language education. Straddling both the Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, Icelandic is a strategic language in the transatlantic connections between the US and Europe as well as between Europe and the Artic. With this new program, the Department of Scandinavian will be offering 5 Nordic languages: Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish. Via an Internet 2.0 Highspeed video-conference connection, these language courses are also offered to students at the University of California Los Angeles.

IES Sponsors Advanced Turkish Language Education
In cooperation with the UC Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Department for Near Eastern Studies, IES will co-sponsor a new course in advanced Turkish in order to strengthen Turkish language education on the Berkeley campus. Straddling both the European and Asian continents, Turkish is a strategic language of national need with inadequate coverage in the US. It is also an official minority language in Cyprus and Greece, and a minority language in several other European nations. Germany alone counts about 3 million Turkish speakers.

IES Sponsors Advanced Catalan Language Education
In cooperation with the UC Berkeley Department of Spanish and Portuguese, IES will co-sponsor a new course in advanced Catalan in order to strengthen Catalan language education on the Berkeley campus.

Center for German and European Studies Receives Grant
Our Center for German and European Studies, led by Beverly Crawford, received a two-year grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for an exciting new slate of activities focused on the theme: "Global Germany." Conferences, lecture series' student exchanges, and Graduate Student Study Groups will support innovative research focused on Germany’s new role in the world and the world’s impact on Germany.

Order Books in European Less Commonly Taught Languages for Free!
IES has created a special fund to support the UC Berkeley library collection in less commonly taught European languages (LCTL). Students, both undergraduate and graduate, lecturers and faculty who wish to use library materials written in a European LCTL and printed in Europe that are currently not available on the Berkeley campus, can fill out the Library Recommendation Form and mention “IES LCTL Support” in the Comments section. IES will then provide funding to the UC Berkeley Library to finance the purchase of these materials. This support only applies to LCTLs that are still today spoken in Western, Northern, and Southern Europe (i.e. all European languages with the exception of German, French, Italian and Spanish); no support will be given for historical languages nor for Slavic and other Eastern European languages supported by the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

Blog

Prof. Zachary Shore

March 9, 2015: Lecture on German-Soviet Relations in the 1920s

On Monday, March 9, Professor Zachary Shore of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey presented a lecture on international diplomacy with a focus on German-Soviet relations in the 1920s. On the basis of research taken from his recently-published book A Sense of the Enemy: The High-Stakes History of Reading Your Rival's Mind (2014), Professor Shore presented a new theory for analyzing foreign affairs through what he termed "strategic empathy": the ability of leaders to analyze their enemy's thought processes in foreign affairs. Professor Shore argued that rather than looking only for patterns in a foreign nation's behavior, it is more productive to examine their behavior in what he called "pattern-breaking" moments, which are more likely to reveal underlying goals and decision-making processes. To illustrate his point he used several examples from early-20th century Germany of how decisions made when leaders faced decisions between conflicting priorities could reveal their motives. In the early 1920s, for example, Germany encountered a Soviet Union that on the one hand was secretly allowing Germany to rearm in exchange for German technical expertise and weapons, and on the other consistently attempting to foment revolt within the country through the Comintern. When details of this plot were leaked in 1926, German foreign minister Gustav Stresemann correctly interpreted Soviet denials of the program as a prioritization of the military strengthening of the Soviet Union over its revolutionary goals to leverage a better position for Germany and weather the ensuing scandal with little damage to Germany's image abroad. On the other hand, few recognized Hitler's betrayal of his good friend Röhm and loyal SA paramilitary on the Night of Long Knives in 1934 to be tied to his interest in supporting the regular military in order to strengthen Germany for a coming war. After the talk there were many questions from the audience, many of whom wanted to know how his work could be applied to the present day, particularly with regard to Russia, as well as to how the general disorganization of Eastern Europe affected the diplomatic situation.

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