Welcoming Remarks by Michael Cohen


Welcome to the Observatory on Latin America (OLA) of the New School University. This space was created in 2006 with the aim of generating new opportunities for multiple narratives and public debate about reform and the process of change occurring in the hemisphere.

The broad theme of the OLA is "Social Democracy in a globalized world: anticipating the future in Latin America." Our goal is to improve academic and public understanding by observing and studying the political and economic change in the region.

We are equally concerned with generating a public dialogue between the United States and Latin America on the challenges in building a social democracy in a globalized world.  The OLA also provides the  opportunity for Latin American leaders to express their views directly to an audience in this country.

In this framework, we create programs that, on a continual basis, further research and debate on these contemporary issues. The programs we offer are: "President Néstor Kirchner Fellowship","Latin America on the Move: The Post-Neoliberal Transition"“Building Latin American Bicentennials in the Age of Globalization",  "Design and Sustainable Development” and a new space dedicated to the work of the “Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo”.

Within these, we organize lectures, debates, research programs, calls for papers and audiovisual materials, inter-regional meetings and other activities that make our task broadly diverse and inclusive. The OLA also works with other departments within The New School, such as Parsons The New School for Design as well as the Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA), an international affairs  Masters program that offers a diverse range of courses highlighting the importance of the interplay between theory and practice. Many courses offered at GPIA have a focus on Latin America and allow for an in-class academic dynamic to our programs and events. This year, we have many new activities and proposals planned that we will be adding and announcing. We look forward to see you at our events, initiate a fluid dialogue, and continue to improve and grow the work of the OLA. 

Michael Cohen,

Director of the Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA), the New School University.


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