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UC San Diego’s New Multi-Continental Partnership to Usher in Next Generation of Economic Diplomats

The School of Global Policy and Strategy joins forces with Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po), the Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul, Korea, and HEC Montreal for launch of new program


  • Christine Clark

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  • Christine Clark

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The University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) has partnered with three other prestigious universities in Korea, France and Canada to launch an innovative new program to train students around the globe in economic diplomacy. With tensions in the world economy rising and the rules-based trading order under scrutiny, the demand for the field of study is at an all-time high.

The program partners with the Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po); the Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul, Korea; and HEC Montreal--Canada’s largest management school--to offer coordinated academic year curricula, collaborative case studies and faculty exchanges. Students will receive a certificate upon completion and compete for a coveted summer internship.

No matter the continent, students begin in fall 2019 with a course on economic diplomacy, the training for which prepares them for a summer 2020 internship at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)--the influential Paris-based intergovernmental think-tank that promotes economic progress and global trade.

“UC San Diego is proud to participate in this truly global partnership that will train students and executives to help shape economic policy throughout the world to benefit human welfare,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “This partnership is an example of our campus’s international impact and innovative educational programs that enable our students to be on the forefront of solving the pressing issues of our time.”

Economic diplomacy focuses on the bargaining and decision making of international economic relations. In addition to the technical components of negotiations, economic diplomacy requires a clear understanding of governance processes and institutions at different levels of decision making. When it is successful, it yields international cooperation in trade, foreign investment, lending, aid, free trade agreements, sanctions and more.

“UC San Diego is proud to converge the collective talents and strengths of these prestigious institutions to train the globe’s next generation of policymakers,” said Peter F. Cowhey, dean of GPS. “The School of Global Policy and Strategy is poised to represent the U.S. in this endeavor, as we bring our expertise on Asia and the Americas to standardize the study of economic diplomacy for the global economy of the 21st century.”

Ushering in the next generation of economic diplomats

Although economic diplomacy is not an entirely new field of study, it is more relevant now than ever as the legitimacy and inclusiveness of global economic institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the World Bank have been called into question by rising populist movements in both Europe and the U.S.

Renee Bowen

Renee Bowen, associate professor of economics at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and director of the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy.

“We need not abandon those institutions, but we do need to have these institutions re-tooled and redesigned for our current challenges,” said Renee Bowen, associate professor of economics at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, who will be heading a new research center at GPS--the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy. The Center is designed to reassess the relationship between commerce and diplomacy. “With the current trade wars and tensions, understanding the link between the two has never been more critical.”

Professor Bowen added, “Students coming into public policy programs have a public motivation and they may not realize that one of the key tools to achieving their public policy objectives is a key understanding of business and business interests. We hope to train a new generation of economic diplomats who can better understand the needs of businesses to achieve diplomatic objectives.”

In addition, the field of study is increasingly important because in today’s global economy, firms headquartered in one place develop a broad set of linkages to locations in other countries to gain access to new knowledge, ideas and resources. “We are so much more tightly linked economically that we can no longer think about other countries as economic competitors,” Bowen said. “We need to think about companies around the world partnering to enhance shared economic interest. Apple, a ‘U.S.’ corporation with global economic ties, exemplifies this.”

A new research center to advance peace and prosperity

Teaching efforts around economic diplomacy will be part of GPS’s new Center for Commerce and Diplomacy (CCD), which was recently established to produce high-quality research that informs government and business leaders about current challenges and global economic institutions in a constantly changing world.

“We at the center can think of no better time to reassess the relationship between commerce and diplomacy,” said Bowen, CCD director, who previously worked as a consultant at the World Bank on international trade policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, and was an investment banking analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities. “We seek to design institutions that allow the two to interact for the advancement of worldwide peace and prosperity and look forward to engaging with business and government leaders who share these objectives."

In addition to producing research and sponsoring fellowships, the center will host events and guest speakers.

For more information, please go to the School of Global Policy and Strategy website.

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