07 December 2016

Student venture: The Peace Support Initiative

The Peace Support Initiative’s aim is to focus on security and intelligence-related studies at the Graduate Institute. The Institute is very theory-heavy and development oriented, causing a gap in the practical understanding of how and why the world works the way it does. The Initiative was launched to fill this gap.

The Initiative’s primary goal is for students to teach themselves and each other about regional and global-related security issues. While classes may discuss what an intervention is, the Initiative studies how states intervene. If classes discuss safe-zones,the Initiative will try to understand how states can enforce such a policy.

The main activities of the Peace Support Initiative are weekly meetings in which a current hot topicis discussed. So far, topics have included the re-militarization of Europe, the security implications of the President-elect of the United States, and feminism in the military. The Initiative has also subscribed to various security-oriented journals, which are available for all students to borrow, and is looking to invite guest speakers. While the Initiative is mainly academic, social events are also organized, including visits to de-commissioned war-fortresses, laser-tag, and hikes.

Students from the Graduate Institute, the University of Geneva, the Geneva Academy, and the Geneva School of Diplomacy attend the meetings. Some students have military experience from their countries and others are simply interested in security and intelligence-related issues or in a specific topic that may be covered during one of the weekly meetings.

Overall, the Peace Support Initiative hopes to spark interest in security-related issues of global importance. While the Institute may not be a focal point for this kind of study it is one that is necessary if students are to have a holistic understanding of why and how the world functions the way it does.

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