“Le seul moyen de se délivrer d’une tentation, c’est d’y céder”

Oppression et libération. Le Feminist chapter nous propose ce texte dans le cadre du Projet Feminism from A to Z.

Nous étions bien Adam. L’Eden, toi, moi. Tu étais nu, moi pas. On se crêpait le chignon parfois pour des affaires sans queue ni tête, mais pas besoin de se couper les cheveux en quatre pour savoir que le soir de deux nous ne faisions plus qu’un, et que c’était la fête. 

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Global disruptions and resilience :

Impact of Global Summits in Nov. 2022

It was with a muffin in one hand and a pen in the other that Sciences Po students attentively listened to Prof. Yves Tiberghien on the evening of November 22, a conference organized by Hathena Dean (HD), the Political, Public Speaking and Debate Student Union

Professor of Political Science and the Konkawai Chair of Japanese Studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Prof. Tiberghien captured and held the audience’s attention with his entertaining and fascinating personage and limitless interest in the world and its dynamics. His job involves writing reports and sending them directly to the most influential politicians in the world. He was greatly inspired by the topic of the discussion, Global disruptions and resilience: Impact of Global Summits.

What are your top 3 global concerns over the next 10 years?

   Prof. Tiberghien started with this vast question: “What are you more afraid of ? A military clash between China and the US, the future of Africa or threats from aliens?”. A vote of the audience revealed that the most important global concerns appeared to be, first of all, climate change causing great storms and disasters; secondly, pollution and warming of ocean; and finally rise of nationalism and populism with migration crises. Since the end of the 20th century, one answer has been observed to remedy these torments: organization of international summits. However, in the face of geopolitical tensions and great technological, climate, economic, and military disruptions, can global governance make a difference? By analyzing two global meetings concentrated on November 2022, the G20 Assembly in Bali and COP27 in Egypt, we will see if these global summits have stabilized tensions and helped solving public goods. 

   The Mangrove diplomacy was a particular feature of the G20 held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on November 15–16, 2022. But what is behind this extravagant form of diplomacy? An atypical picture had portrayed US President Joe Biden, Indonesia President Joko Widodo or European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen putting all their efforts into planting mangrove seeds. Prof explained that just “Half an hour after the NATO countries hugged together in solidarity of the Ukrainian war, they joined without transition in front of these baby plant mangroves”. 

  However, his gardening activity was far from trivial, being part of Indonesian wish to showcase its willingness to preserve mangrove plants. It was consequently a symbol to fight the climate crisis. According to Prof Tiberghien,  this summit appeared as the “most important global summit after the great financial crisis of 2008”. Since Indonesia was not even a NATO country, hopes regarding this summit’s success were more than meager. Nevertheless, according to Yves Tiberghien, Indonesia managed to get a G20 consensus against all expectations and put an end to all the “toxic international relations for a period of time”.

BBC Novembre 16th 2022- G20 leaders planting trees suring the Bali Summit

    A bit earlier in the month, from 6 to 20 November, COP27 was held in Charm el-Cheikh, Egypt. Organized into several zones, the global summit was able to arouse the interest of all : ordinary citizens, university professors and politicians. Naman Kapoor, an alumni of Le Havre campus, who had the chance to attend this summit, noted the existence of green zones open to anyone desiring extra information on climate change. These educational activities were not only pedagogical but entertaining, looking very much like a “music festival”. On the other hand, the student added that a pass was needed to access another type of area: blue zones, “the place where the negotiation happened”. When Naman Kapoor entered the negotiation room, he felt a particular pride of being there between professors from 15 universities around the world ardently debating. 

    According to the alumni, since this event was gathering a lot of groups with divergent interests, this summit could have been easily a vain attempt, but participants managed to reach solutions, not radical but still solutions. COP27 has made consequent progress managing to get everybody on the same page. Indeed, even developing countries express their opinion on climate. A real change occurred as global warming had started to be regarded as a multifaceted problem. It is not only seen as a problem affecting the face of the planet but also a security and health problem. Naman Kapoor speaks highly of the commitment aspect of this COP27 while being still “skeptical on how it will go”.  

  Prof Y. Tiberghien explained that this conference was “another very important arena” for debating solutions on the climate crisis. Some progress on regulation of loss and damage can be highlighted but the deadlock on accelerating emission cuts and phasing out coal due to the Saudi and Russia-led veto coalition is still alarming. 

Photo taken by Lalin 

In the second part of his presentation, Prof Y.Tiberghien explained three lenses to make sense of current tensions in the Indo-Pacific, the first one being domestic polarization or hardening in many key countries. Political responses to shocks are failing to maintain order and peaceful ways out. Prof Y.Tiberghien. illustrated this idea through the crisis of China’s internal model.

The CCP developed a hybrid model, delivering 40 years of extraordinary growth and stability. The Deng Era grafted a new Development Bargain on the Maoist State and Party structure, making China into a systemic power through social and economic freedom, wealth, technology and travel if agreeing to the CCP dictatorship. 

After 2008, there was a combination of hubris and fear coming from the CCP, which was later embodied by Xi JinPing. Robust responses in the different provinces as well as national security expanding institutionally and massively, were chosen by the CCP to reaffirm the party’s control. 

According to Prof Y. Tiberghien , the ‘Zero Covid policy’ couldn’t work, and was dangerous making life hard for the general middle class.. China has finally chosen to relax, restrain escalationing, after refusing to follow that path.

Secondly, since about 2008, the international system has profoundly been remodeled, generating a great security dilemma and arms race – known as the Thucydides trap. The dynamics have changed from unipolar to multipolar, with a nested partial hegemonic transition within this between the US and China. This hegemonic realism can only be mitigated by “global institutions, global norm, people to people and cultural engagement, domestic support on both sides and support by third parties and middle powers” as stated by Prof Y.Tiberghien.

Thirdly, he observes a mismatch between global interaction and the human mind focused on domestic narratives. The creation of global independence and global response to climate change implies common rules. Globalization generating great wealth and innovation; it can only exist on the basis of rules agreed through cooperation between major countries, at best under institutionalization with a mixture of multilateral, regional, and bilateral agreements. All power is at the level of states, so states have to cooperate. The US and China don’t understand it fully, they are so focused on each other. On the other hand,  Indonesia, an emerging nation, managed to do something developed ones did not. Also, we see a general clash between national cultural/political emotions and the reality of global connectivity.

After replying to several outstanding questions, Prof Yves Tiberghien made a point about the Canada-China relationship. There is no formal agreement between the two countries, but a new Indo-Pacific strategy is being put forward by Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister. The approach of Trudeau, releasing information to the media, has created a running frustration on Xi’s part. In a more general context, there are two schools of thoughts about dealing with China for the West: either by crossing limits and standing up with force (the American view) or through debate and psychology alongside diplomatic politeness.

It was not an easy job for our director M. Hauchecorne to put an end to Prof Y. Tiberghien’s présentation. Stephanie Balm, Dean of Sciences Po Paris, closed the conference by confessing her admiration and wonder in front of her friend’s knowledge, as we all were. She also linked the necessity of climate action, improved civic virtues and deepened critical thinking that Sciences Pio students are allowed through the mandatory course on ecological culture taught to 1As. What a clever way to conclude the event right?

This once in a lifetime opportunity was made possible thanks to the thorough involvement of Hathena Dialogue, the renowned Dean Stéphanie Balme and the bright Professor Tiberghein, in compliance with our esteemed director, Micheal Hauchecorne.

Photo taken by Lalin

By Carla Pétrissans and Mathilde Lefebvre 

Photo credits : Lalin Duangphatra, HD, BBC

What came before Sciences Po? – The Age Gap Podcast Introduction

By Cate Barton

Photo Cate took from the beach near the village that she stayed in, in the Transkei, South Africa.

How old are you? If you asked this question to any one person walking around our LH campus, you could get a response ranging from 15-23. That is a little bit crazy… considering we each spend a maximum of two years studying here. So why is this? Is it just because we are “so” international? Are Sciences Po students just so smart that they are all skipping a few years of school somewhere along the way? While these hypotheses may explain a few cases, there is another explanation that is often overlooked. The gap year.

The term “gap year” and “Sciences Po” don’t naturally coexist in most people’s minds. Not only does the university have an adamant policy against gap years, but the natural connotation that many people have of a gap year is a year to screw off and procrastinate beginning university. This isn’t so true though. Lots of the myths we hear about gap years are becoming more dispelled every year. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many students opted to take gap years to avoid dreaded online classes and dorm room quarantines. Each year, gap years are becoming more and more normalized. In fact, most ivy league schools actually encourage accepted students to take one. Princeton even has dedicated programs for their prospective students to travel abroad during their gap year. 

These were some of the facts and statistics that I used to convince my parents that taking a gap year was the right choice for me. It helped even further when I got an email from my Columbia Dual BA advisor saying “your plans sound absolutely amazing and I am happy to see you are embracing a global mentality and lifestyle”. Even though I didn’t have any concrete plans in place, I knew the gap year was the right choice for me. Throughout my year off, I met more and more fellow gap year-ers and I only heard positive things from them. Nobody regretted taking a gap year. Not one person. By the time I got to LH, I found my then roommate by bonding over the fact we had both taken a year off. We shared stories and memories and felt the similar sentiment that I often felt while talking to other people who had taken a gap year – a sentiment of content, knowing that you made the right choice to slow down a bit and learn about life. After mine, I felt like I had gained some experiences which really made me appreciate where I was now. 

Although I had many conversations with people about my year off at the start, those conversations quickly became scarce as we all got caught up in life in LH. So, when I started as a second year student, I was excited to find so many first years who had also taken gap years. Many people approached me with crazy stories and there were lots of fun moments when I got to say “I took a gap year too!!” Then I started thinking about the idea of sharing some of these stories before they got lost again in the flow of life here. So, I started asking around to see if anyone would be interested in being interviewed. I quickly found so many people and I was even shocked to find that some of my closest friends had taken time off which I had never even heard about. 

When I was deciding to take a gap year and when I was prompting my parents to let me, I relied heavily on Ted Talks and YouTube videos to do some convincing for me. I also always found these stories to be wildly fascinating and entertaining. I figured that the best way to showcase the stories of our campus would be through something like this. That’s why I created “The Age Gap”, a podcast to attempt to explain the age gap at our campus through all the crazy stories of our students’ time off. There are tons of students on our campus who have taken gap years and done crazy things from internships to military service to backpacking through Asia. There are also tons of students on other campuses and in past years who took gap years before Sciences Po and some who even took gap years in the middle of the dual degrees, or both, who will be featured in future episodes. There are 6 short episodes already up on Spotify and the next group of episodes will be longer interviews which will each be released in two parts.

The gap year truly has the potential to change lives, for everyone involved, and it’s time that we start talking about it! If you’re interested, you can find The Age Gap podcast on Le Dragon Déchaîné’s Spotify page.

Sciences Po, the Musical

On this gloomy Sunday, we almost see the door to the last week of semester 1. And one might ask: where’d all the time go? As the song says, it’s starting to fly, hands waving goodbye. It feels like we spent a total of 5 months waiting for time to fly, for hands to wave goodbye, for the delicious relief of a Saturday night where only the estranged faces of customers in a bar seem to whisper, “you have a life outside of Sciences Po”. 

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An over-analysis of the year rep re-election

Marx says that history repeats itself, first time as tragedy, second time as farce. And here we are, facing our second year rep election in a year. This is an accomplishment recently surpassed only by the Cabinet of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

Continue reading “An over-analysis of the year rep re-election”