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College voor Young Professionals

Global Political PowerPlay


The world seems to change faster than ever in geopolitical and economic terms, thereby raising uncertainty in business, politics and media. The balance of power is shifting. Wat are the scenarios for the future of geopolitics? 

Docent: Drs. Leo Kwarten

College 1 - Saudi Arabia and Iran: Bitter Rivals?

Wed 9 October 2019 20:00 - 22:00

The struggle for power in the Middle East never seems to end. Saudi Arabia and Iran - two of the biggest oil countries in the world - are locked in a fierce struggle for regional dominance: mainly in Syria and Yemen. What are the causes of the conflict in the Middle East? Is it the Sykes-Picot Agreement, in which the region was divided into British and French spheres of influence? Or the religious Sunni-Shia divide. Or is it the US presence and influence? And what could bring stability to the region?

Location: VondelCS, Amsterdam (lecture in English).

Docent: Philipp Pattberg

College 2 - The Arctic Battle and the Blue Economy

Thu 14 November 2019 20:00 - 22:00

Geopolitics is not just playing out on land; a.o. Russia, China and the USA are also often rivals at sea. The oceans, covering around 71% of the Earth’s surface, hold vast resources and opportunities for future development, referred to as the Blue Economy. With the advent of digital technology, deep sea mining and the Artic becoming accessible due to climate change, geopolitical rivalries resurface. Experts estimate the oil and gas resources under the ice are worth 60 billion dollars. However, never before have our oceans been in such a bad state. How can we make the vision of a blue economy come true without risking international conflicts and the further degradations of our oceans?


Location: Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam (lecture in English).

Docent: Prof. dr. Paul Scheffer

College 3 - Europe: Brexit, BRIC, and Beyond

Wed 11 December 2019 20:00 - 22:00

A multipolar world: the new battle for Europe? The multilateral system as we have known is increasingly challenged, primarily from emerging global actors with a different agenda, such as China, Russia, India and Brazil. Rarely were the challenges for the European integration larger and more compelling than today. When the Brexit fog clears, what important developments and decisions about the future direction and identity will the EU await? What will Europe’s unity and its role in global affairs look like? And what are the implications when the global centre of gravity is moving eastward both economically as well as politically?


Location: Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam (lecture in English).

Docent: Haroon Sheikh

College 4 - Clash of the Titans: China vs US

Thu 30 January 2020 20:00 - 22:00

Donald Trump’s trade war with China is becoming ever more intense and continues to grab headlines. What however, is behind this clash? Are there structural changes that explain the competition between the two countries? What is the long-term perspective on the viability of China's development? How did China get here and where does it find itself in the coming decade? We will look at Chinese strategies like Made in China 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative and analyze if the country is capable of displacing the U.S. as the next global superpower.


Location: EYE, IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam (lecture in English).

Docent: André Gerrits

College 5 - Putin’s dreams, Russian realities, Western responses

Wed 26 February 2020 20:00 - 22:00

Russia, we share a continent with it, but it looks as if we are coming from different ages. Russia: powerful, assertive, a typical traditional power, and Europe: where integration is the mode of the day. What makes Russia tick? Why is Putin so persistently popular despite decades of authoritarian rule. And most importantly, how powerful is Russia internationally? We are inclined to believe that we isolated Russia, after the Crimea and MH-17. But did we? Russia has remarkably good relations with China, and with most other greater powers beyond the West. Russia is the dominant external factor in the Middle-East and enjoys good relations with Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia. How to interpret Russia’s global power, and how should we effectively deal with this country, as our largest and most powerful neighbor?


Promo: https://www.instagram.com/p/B83b7zGFBmT/


Location: IGC, Dam 27, Amsterdam (lecture in English).

  • Politicologie
Global Political PowerPlay