News & Events

School of Diplomacy Team Focuses on Peace Plan for Basque Country
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Dean BartoliRecently, Andrea Bartoli, dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations and a team of distinguished academics with expertise in conflict resolution and post-conflict governance, gathered in New York to discuss the Basque Peace and Coexistence Plan and future of the country.

The three political-administrative structures involved in the Basque country are the French State, le Pays Basque and within the Spanish State, the Basque Autonomous Community and the Autonomous Community of Navarra. These groups have had challenges harmonizing internal relations and a long history of force and violence as a tool to solve the problem.

Dean Bartoli has been involved with the Basque country for more than 15 years through Elkarri, a social movement for dialogue and agreement in the Basque Country. He also worked on launching the Agirre Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies.

Dean BartoliAccording to Dean Bartoli, the Basque country has transformed dramatically in recent years. “The first time I visited the country, politicians and citizens were killed. The general climate was very intense,” he explained. “But now, there is a sense of openness and possibility – totally a different climate. This is why the peace plan is so important because you want peace to be solidified.”

The cease fire declaration by the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), the main organization of the Basque National Liberation Movement, prompted the Basque government to assemble an international team of experts.

At the conference, President Iñigo Urkullu explored new challenges that faced the country and his commitment to foster a new status by 2015 based on bilateralism, self-respect and acknowledgment of their identity as a European nation.

“For Basques greater self-governance means more well-being and more well-being means greater social fairness,” said Pres. Urkullu. “We deserve a new status in order to live better.”

Dominic Anozie, a School of Diplomacy master’s level student who participated in the Basque conference, said it was an opportunity to put theory into practice and experience an integration of Dean Bartoli’s insights on Bernard Lonergan’s theory about the preventability of an economic crisis.

Anozie said it was a humbling experience to observe what goes on behind the curtain to see diplomacy in action.“It was profound to witness the critical players in the design of the Basque project expatiate on their hopes and dreams of a new Basque Country,” said Anozie. “It was an experience that left me appreciating the role of inside players.”

Partnering with the Agirre Center, the School of Diplomacy and International Relations will assist the Basque country through continued research on economic development along with a study of Lonergan.

Both undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to participate in research projects and conferences.

Dr. Borislava Manojlovic, director of Research Projects at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations and a main organizer of the Basque conference, said research projects funded by the Fetzer Institute will focus on love and forgiveness in government, and prisoners in society.

According to Dean Bartoli, ongoing Basque projects and new research opportunities are an effort to expand the academic curriculum at the School. There are now three new academic centers at the school including one dedicated to the study of peace and conflict.

Dean Bartoli said, “The enthusiasm of the faculty and students is very palpable.”

For more information please contact:
Gwen Debenedetto
(973) 275-2562


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