Testimony : Carlos Rodrigo Sáez-Muñoz Print E-mail

My interest in international relations is based, to some extent, on my personal history. I’ve lived for extended periods in two countries, I’ve been immersed in two different cultures and I’m equally comfortable with two languages. I was born in Chile and attended primary school there. My immediate family moved to the northeastern United States where I completed studies through high school in New York City. I received my B.A. in History from the State University of New York.

After completing college I went to work in the private sector and gained extensive experience in the areas of international trade and television production. For example, I managed the “day-to-day” operations of an international TV production and distribution company; I also worked for this company on a newsmagazine documentary series that aimed to provide a window to the outside world for PR China’s TV viewers.

Whether studying or working, I never strayed from my core interest in, and curiosity about, international relations, human rights, the environment and sustainable development. In 2006, I decided to pursue these interests at the Brussels School of International Studies—University of Kent. My Master’s dissertation dealt with water issues and institution building. As my case study, I used the Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960. This project sharpened my research skills and deepened my interest in trying to develop ideas about how the potential for conflict over shared basic resources can be reduced through the building of international institutions.

The Ph.D. program in International Studies (specialisation in International History and Politics) offered by the Graduate Institute greatly attracted me because of the Institute’s international faculty and student community, its blend of structure and independent research, its bilingual teaching approach and its location in Geneva, with the many international organisations based in the city. The doctoral program of the Graduate Institute will enable me to study within an intellectually vibrant environment, among people who are deeply concerned and knowledgeable about world conditions and are motivated to make a difference.

I hope to combine my experience in the private sector, the Master’s program of the University of Kent, and the perspectives and skills to be gained at the Graduate Institute to develop institution-building ideas that are effective, highly sensitive to local physical, political and cultural environments and sufficiently agile to adapt to changed circumstances. The aim of my doctoral dissertation will be to apply these ideas to the issue of shared water resources and to have a positive impact on conflict resolution, particularly in poorer areas where diminishing availability of water presents the greatest challenges.

Carlos Rodrigo Sáez-Muñoz

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2008 10:01
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