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"In the United States and now in France, I witnessed a significant political change first-hand."

  • Undergrad Jimmy Quinn on the Sciences Po campus in Reims ©Sciences PoUndergrad Jimmy Quinn on the Sciences Po campus in Reims ©Sciences Po

In the run-up to the French presidential election, the famous weekly Paris Match invited international students from the Sciences Po Undergraduate College to shed some light on the words that matter to them in politics. Jimmy Quinn, 18, an American student on the Reims campus, chose the word ‘system’

Why did you choose the word ‘system’?

I chose the word system because I see a considerable shift in electoral politics both in France and the West from the traditional right-left divide to a globalist-nationalist cleavage. We're living through a moment of significant political change, and I've been lucky to be able to witness it first-hand in the United States and now in France.

The roots of this change have existed for decades, but we've only recently started to interpret them in this way. Structural economic change is scrambling the left-right divide over the size of the state and redistributive policies, and pushing issues of globalisation to the forefront of the debate. As a result, some right-leaning voters find they have more in common on certain issues, such as European defence cooperation, with Socialist Party supporters than with far-right National Front voters, for example.

These developments are far from complete, though. The economic dimension remains highly salient. However, to me the word system is an excellent starting point for thinking about the trends that will drive politics in many Western democracies going forward.

You are American, what’s your view of the French presidential campaign?

For Americans, it's surprising to see the diverse range of candidates vying for the presidency. We're used to a two-party contest with little room for outsiders to disrupt politics as normal, but even in a normal election year the French electorate is more fractured than in the United States. This lends itself to an exciting campaign with consequences that will be felt beyond the Hexagon.

I only recently recognised the volatile nature of French politics. The current constitution is barely seven decades old, and two of the major candidates are proposing to replace it with something new. Mass demonstrations largely stand in for interest groups in wielding influence over public policy. The candidates this year are all advocating for varying degrees of change, and if we consider French history we should not be surprised if the winner tries to take the country in an abruptly new direction.

What did you get out of collaborating with a media publication like "Paris Match"?

Working with the team at Paris Match was a surreal experience for me. I've been coordinating a project to cover the election with the Reims campus newspaper, The Sundial Press, for the past semester, and the opportunity to take what we've observed while attending the candidates' rallies to a broader audience was a new and intellectually stimulating challenge.

I've considered eventually pursuing a career in journalism, and needless to say the publication of this article was a dream come true. I had to write this piece within the confines of word limits and clear deadlines, and I got a real sense of the editorial process of a major media outlet like Paris Match as a result.

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"In the United States and now in France, I witnessed a significant political change first-hand."

In the run-up to the French presidential election, the famous weekly Paris Match invited international students from the Sciences Po Undergraduate College to shed some light on the words that matter to them in politics. Jimmy Quinn, 18, an American student on the Reims campus, chose the word ‘system’

Why did you choose the word ‘system’?

I chose the word system because I see a considerable shift in electoral politics both in France and the West from the traditional right-left divide to a globalist-nationalist cleavage. We're living through a moment of significant political change, and I've been lucky to be able to witness it first-hand in the United States and now in France.

The roots of this change have existed for decades, but we've only recently started to interpret them in this way. Structural economic change is scrambling the left-right divide over the size of the state and redistributive policies, and pushing issues of globalisation to the forefront of the debate. As a result, some right-leaning voters find they have more in common on certain issues, such as European defence cooperation, with Socialist Party supporters than with far-right National Front voters, for example.

These developments are far from complete, though. The economic dimension remains highly salient. However, to me the word system is an excellent starting point for thinking about the trends that will drive politics in many Western democracies going forward.

You are American, what’s your view of the French presidential campaign?

For Americans, it's surprising to see the diverse range of candidates vying for the presidency. We're used to a two-party contest with little room for outsiders to disrupt politics as normal, but even in a normal election year the French electorate is more fractured than in the United States. This lends itself to an exciting campaign with consequences that will be felt beyond the Hexagon.

I only recently recognised the volatile nature of French politics. The current constitution is barely seven decades old, and two of the major candidates are proposing to replace it with something new. Mass demonstrations largely stand in for interest groups in wielding influence over public policy. The candidates this year are all advocating for varying degrees of change, and if we consider French history we should not be surprised if the winner tries to take the country in an abruptly new direction.

What did you get out of collaborating with a media publication like "Paris Match"?

Working with the team at Paris Match was a surreal experience for me. I've been coordinating a project to cover the election with the Reims campus newspaper, The Sundial Press, for the past semester, and the opportunity to take what we've observed while attending the candidates' rallies to a broader audience was a new and intellectually stimulating challenge.

I've considered eventually pursuing a career in journalism, and needless to say the publication of this article was a dream come true. I had to write this piece within the confines of word limits and clear deadlines, and I got a real sense of the editorial process of a major media outlet like Paris Match as a result.

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Society is women and men

Gender Equality Week
  • Students in the SAGA association in Reims ©Sciences PoStudents in the SAGA association in Reims ©Sciences Po

In March, four student associations on the Reims campus; Politiqu’elles, HeForShe, SAGA, and The Feminist Society joined forces to celebrate Gender Equality Week. The objective was to bring students together to address gender equality issues such as women in politics and business; to revisit feminism and notions of masculinity; and to reflect upon fundamental questions about sexuality. Watch the video with the student organisers of Gender Equality Week in Reims.

Sciences Po is committed to promoting gender equality among all of the institution's stakeholders. In 2015, Sciences Po President Frédéric Mion joined UN Women’s HeForShe solidarity movement as an IMPACT 10x10x10 champion, making Sciences Po one of 10 universities around the world committed to taking bold, game-changing action to achieve gender equality within and beyond their institutions. More recently, Sciences Po signed the Charter for gender sensitive governance in research and higher education institutions (Pdf, 336 Ko).

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Students in Reims redefine diplomacy

2017 Reims International Model United Nations
  • Students in the historical committee ©Gaelle FournierStudents in the historical committee ©Gaelle Fournier

Each year the Reims International Model United Nations (RIMUN) welcomes over 300 delegates to the Sciences Po Campus in Reims for a two-day conference simulating debates at the United Nations.

Much more than a simulation

This year delegates joined 16 diverse committees at the Reims International Model United Nations (RIMUN) for some animated debate about the most pressing diplomatic issues of our age. The RIMUN is much more than a simulation; its goal is to stimulate debate around the questions at the core of world diplomacy, whether resolving conflict in the Kivu Islands or reshaping global sex education. What sets the conference apart is the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and energy that drives participants to redefine diplomacy.

A conference featuring the McDonald’s Board of Directors, Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I

At the RIMUN’s first ever business simulation, delegates took on the role of McDonald’s board members in a scenario of falling profits. In a simulation of the English Civil War, delegates travelled back in time to incarnate Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I in a fight for Britain’s future. And in an action-packed secret committee, delegates underwent the ultimate diplomatic experience; an unprepared, anything-goes simulation that could be about absolutely anything.

The aim? Getting delegates to step outside of their comfort zone, often by putting them in uncomfortable shoes. Robert Fedler, a German delegate from Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, represented Italy on the League of Nations committee, where his chosen country was tasked with encroaching upon Abyssinian territory. “Being the German that I am, acting fascist is somewhat controversial,” he explains, “...actually, the most challenging part was sticking to my role.” Fedler asserts that diplomacy is sometimes a tough game. “In my opinion, the most feared guy at a MUN did something right” he says with a smile.

Set in an Art Deco capital

Beyond the battlefield in the committee room, RIMUN immerses delegates in the unique charm, flair, and atmosphere of the Reims campus. A partnership with Interagir - a voluntary organisation providing support for displaced refugees in Reims - gave delegates a chance to experience first-hand the rich extra-curricular culture of campus life. A gala event at the Salon Degermann heralded Reims’ history as an Art Deco capital, while the beauty of the campus’ Jesuit architecture served as both an aesthetic highpoint and a reminder that delegates might just be recreating history.

A highlight of the conference was the visit of the renowned American acapella group The Vanderbilt Melodores, who made RIMUN the first stop on their European tour. With hundreds of delegates seated before them, their voices resonated through the Old Refectory, American pop hits bouncing off frescoes in the location where Condorcet once studied and prayed. Charged with an energy both old and new, the spirit of the Reims Campus - a marriage of European elegance and American ambition - is clear. Diplomacy might be an old game, but there’s plenty of space for new rules, and RIMUN is where they’re being written.

Text by Zak Vescera, a student on the Sciences Po campus in Reims.

RIMUN Team: Cyril Demoures (President), Tamara Šolaja (Vice-President), Anselme Goutte-Broze (Treasurer), Zak Vescera (Secretary), Elza Bouhassira, Clara Marqués, Juliette Briey, Emma Caragozian, Reema Danaf, Valeria Filippova, Tristan Delacour, Alicja Polakiewicz, Roland Martial, Andreea Florea, James Quinn, Robin Leforestier, Pierre Wang, Elisa Eche, Claire Mouchotte, Timothée Guichoux, Zoé Barbé, Valentine Truchot, Allison McFall, Antoni Gruca, Priyanka Deodhar, Katharina Focke, Jeremy Rotman, Aristotle Vossos, Raphaella Heath, Natasha Maters. 

Photo: This year, the historical crisis committee transported delegates back to the days of the English Civil War, pitting them against one another in a battle of wits and wills. Some delegates even dressed up for the occasion.

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New scholarships for students from Sub-Saharan Africa

Sciences Po joins the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
  • A Scholar in the MasterCard Foundation ProgramA Scholar in the MasterCard Foundation Program

The MasterCard Foundation has just announced a six-year, USD$8.2 million (around €7.6 million) partnership with Sciences Po, to offer 120 bright, next-generation leaders from African countries a world-class social sciences education at one of Europe’s leading universities.
 
Open to both English-speaking and French-speaking candidates, the partnership will increase the options available to students from Francophone Africa to study in their language of choice through The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.

Full scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and Summer School study at Sciences Po

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Sciences Po will benefit talented students from Sub-Saharan Africa facing significant entry barriers to higher education. Full scholarships will be awarded for study in the Europe-Africa Program at the Sciences Po Undergraduate College (20 scholarships) as of September 2017, and in a Master’s program at one of Sciences Po’s seven graduate schools (40 scholarships) as of September 2018. 60 scholarships will also be offered to MasterCard Foundation Scholars from other universities who want to enrol in the Sciences Po Summer School.

Resources to help Scholars launch meaningful careers

Sciences Po will also provide a new suite of resources for Scholars transitioning from education to employment. The suite will include an online African careers fair and access to the University Entrepreneurship Incubator, allowing Scholars to take advantage of its substantial network of employers and alumni working in African countries and of Sciences Po’s own entrepreneurial landscape. This will complement and build on the work of the Africa Careers Network, a job-matching service and platform implemented by African Leadership Academy and seeded by the MasterCard Foundation.

A new stage in the Sciences Po-Africa relationship

Africa-related activities at Sciences Po bring together a community of 800 students, 80 faculty and teaching professionals, 20 scholars and PhD students, and over 600 alumni working in Africa. Sciences Po has over 20 partnerships with African universities, and has already begun adding to these with other institutions in the Scholars Program network.
 
As a new partner in The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, Sciences Po has committed to more than doubling the number of African high schools reached by its recruiters – from 30 in 2015 to over 70 by 2017 – and will focus on countries currently underrepresented in the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, particularly Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Madagascar.
 
With the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, Sciences Po joins a global network of 28 partner organisations committed to ensuring that all young people, no matter their starting point in life, have an equal chance to obtain a quality education and pursue their aspirations. The Program provides education and leadership development for nearly 35,000 bright, young leaders with a deep personal commitment to changing the world around them. These young people will create change that matters within their communities and will usher in a new era of inclusive prosperity in Africa and beyond.

Applications to the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

The first undergraduate scholarships will be awarded in September 2017. More information on eligibility, how to apply, and the selection process is available on the Sciences Po Financial Aid website. Sciences Po will hold information sessions in South Africa and Kenya in March 2017, and in Senegal, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in May 2017. Sciences Po will announce the dates on its website.

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