Vina Imad Mohammed

Meet Vina, Bachelor Student at Paris Campus

Meet Vina, our Bachelor student at Paris campus and see what she has to say in our interview.


Can you remember what your original motivation was for obtaining your degree? 
What motivated me to obtain a degree in international relations and diplomacy was the fact that there is more to international relations than just politics. It focuses on a broad range of topics such as environmental issues, preservation of cultural property, technology and so on. Continue reading “Meet Vina, Bachelor Student at Paris Campus”

bonjour effect

“The Bonjour Effect” with authors Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow


After hosting a debate with author Rod Dreher on the virtues of living in a community with shared values in our present century, on TUESDAY NOVEMBER 7 at 3PM we will focus on a quite different setting and community, and explore the codes and idiosyncrasies of the French, meant as a language, its speakers and a state of mind. In their acute and funny book, “The Bonjour Effect“, authors Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow offer a retour d’experience, that is, some feedback and comment on what they have learnt in years of travelling or living in France.

Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow spent a decade traveling back and forth to Paris as well as living there. Yet one important lesson never seemed to sink in: how to communicate comfortably with the French, even when you speak their language. In The Bonjour Effect Jean-Benoît and Julie chronicle the lessons they learned after they returned to France to live, for a year, with their twin daughters. They offer up all the lessons they learned and explain, in a book as fizzy as a bottle of the finest French champagne, the most important aspect of all: the French don’t communicate, they converse.

Codes and conventions of a language and the culture it conveys are of course a major topic for anyone with some intellectual curiosity, but it should in particular appeal our students of International Relations and Diplomacy given their penchant and inclination to work on such topics.


Bonjour Effect Nadeau Barlow

Student Council 2017-2018

SIU Paris Student Council 2017 -2018

Student Council 2017-2018

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff

I am delighted to announce the election results of this year’s Student Council elections and the creation of the student council of the Paris campus of Schiller International University.  Participation in the election was fantastic with almost 3 out of 4 students voting. Congratulations and credit are due to the four students who campaigned for the student council. Many thanks for their dynamism and spirit!

Without further ado, here is your Student Council resulting from the Fall 2017 elections:

President – Ariana McAuley
Secretary – Rebeca Belkacemi
Treasurer – Thato Mphuti

Contact email:

The Campus staff and faculty look forward to working them, just as I am sure the Campus student body looks forward to their drive and initiative!


James Brown, PhD.

Student Council 2017-2018


















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“A People’s Tragedy: the Russian Revolution 1891-1924”

russian revolution figes

“A panorama of Russian society on the eve  of the revolution and the story of its violent erasure”, according to the publisher’s note, prof. Figes’s main opus on the Russian revolution is huge in scope, thorough in unique research, composed with energy, story aptitude, and human empathy. Starting from the Famine of 1891-1892 and ending in 1924, with the death of Lenin, it argues that by then “the basic elements of the Stalinist regime – the one-party state, the system of terror and the cult of the personality – were all in place”. Many view the Russian Revolution as the most noteworthy occasion of the twentieth century. Recognized researcher Orlando Figes presents a scene of Russian culture on the eve of that upset, and after that portrays the account of how these social powers were brutally deleted. Inside the expansive feeds of war and upset are scaled down histories of people, in which Figes takes after the primary players’ fortunes as they saw their expectations bite the dust and their reality collide with ruins. Dissimilar to past records that follow the birthplaces of the upset to overextending political powers and beliefs, Figes contends that the disappointment of majority rule government in 1917 was profoundly established in Russian culture and social history and that what had begun as a people’s insurgency contained the seeds of its degeneration into savagery and fascism.

2017 is of course the first centenary since the “ten days that shook the world”. However, the exact day of the event varies from the original and highly symbolic October 25th according to the Julian calendar to November 7th of the “new style“.

A new centenary edition of the book with a new introduction has been published recently, as Figes’ text has become a fundamental work, along with others such as The Russian Revolution by Pipes. For an exhaustive bibliography on the topic see its page on the Oxford Bibliographies website.

By the same author, “Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A History” follows the life of the Soviet Union from his birth to its collapse. Shorter in length and wider in scope, the book investigates if and how the revolutionary tenets and goals set in 1917 held throughout the subsequent decades, under the short, dense and partly experimental rule of Lenin, through the long, despotic reign of Stalin, all the way to Gorbachev’s perestroika and  USSR final demise.

The “red October” being a major event in the world history of the nineteenth century, it obviously has a major role in several courses of both our Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy and  the Master’s in International Relations and Diplomacy. Students of these curricula willing to develop their knowledge about these topics are encouraged to search for further resources (including Figes’) on our library’s online catalog, on the LIRN portal, at the American Library in Paris (SIU students’ membership is paid by Schiller) or at any other of the facilities listed on the Paris campus library page.



Nobel Prize in Economics 2017 to Richard Thaler

“The lunatics are running the asylum!”. With these words Richard H. Thaler was ironically referring to the fact that, for the second time in a row, the American Economic Association was going to be headed by a non-mainstream economist, one being Thaler himself and the other one Robert Shiller. While prof. Shiller was already a Nobel prize recipient when he became president of AEA, with the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences 2017 that was awarded today by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, it would seem that the “lunatics” are no longer a minor, fringe movement in the academy.

But who are these “lunatics” by the way? In more technical terms, the current Thaler belongs to (and largely, represents) is known as behavioral economists. The best way to learn about the tenets of the discipline is probably is to read “Misbehaving – The Making of Behavioral Economics”, by professor Thaler. It is arguably the most entertaining way as well, given the author’s captivating style and humorous inflection.

It is worth noting that the origin of his interest in the topic dates back to the days when he was working with noted psychologists (and later, somewhat paradoxically, Nobel laureates in economics) Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.  It is thus less surprising, perhaps, that contrary to the standard assumption of the mainstrean theory, Thaler’s theory keystone is that the central agents of economy are humans, that is to say predictable and error-prone individuals. Under the (unrealistic) standard theory assumption of a perfectly rational human agent, Richard Thaler’s agents misbehave.

However, once the (behavioral) economist accepts this state of things, and bases his analysis on recent discoveries on human psychology, she can provide valuable insights on how markets work and also how government should address political and social issues. Irrationality plays a larger role in actors’ everyday life, and concepts such as ‘risk aversion’, ‘endowment effect’, ‘mental accounting’, and ‘limited rationality’ introduce unexpected asymmetries in the pattern of our behavior. In fact, this second sub-topic, is the focus of a previous book, authored with Cass R. Sunstein (a prominent legal scholar now at Harvard Law School), and its title (“Nudge”) was to become, in academic and public debates,  almost a by-word for behavioral economics applied to public policies. According to its principles, a thoughtful “choice architecture” can be put in place by government or institutions to nudge our life   towards the most beneficial options without limiting our liberty.


ThalerBoth Thaler’s books, as well as “Thinking, fast and slow” (in which  Kahneman  summarizes decades of research and work with Tversky) are available at the Paris campus library. Other info about his publications, teaching, and research is available on the his faculty homepage at the Chicago Booth School of Business.