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University of Denver

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

The University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies is a leader among institutions of higher learning that prepare students for transnational careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Ranked by Foreign Policy magazine as #11 in the world for master’s degree programs of international affairs, the Josef Korbel School offers a customizable curriculum integrating practical and theoretical approaches to the study of our globalizing world.

Degree Programs

  • MA in Conflict Resolution
  • MA in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration
  • MA in International Administration
  • MA in International Development
  • MA in Human Rights
  • MA in International Security
  • MA in International Studies
  • MA in International Intercultural Communications
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Certificate in Global Business and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Certificate in Global Health Affairs
  • Certificate in Homeland Security
  • Certificate in Humanitarian Assistance
  • Certificate in Religion and International Affairs

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Donald Trump glided into his first week in office from a poorly rated transition into a record low approval, which continued three weeks into the job. RealClearPolitics started his average with a couple of polls on January 23 at 40 percent approval to 45 percent disapproval.

After three weeks, both numbers have increased, and on February 10 he had 44 percent approval to 50 percent disapproval.

Gallup, which tied Trump at 45 percent for both approval and disapproval in their first poll posted on January 23, pointed out that he is the first president since polling began tracking approval in 1953 (Eisenhower) to be below 50 percent. However, Gallup points out that Trump has his supporters, especially among whites (56% approve), 65 years and older (53%) and Republicans (90%).

Disastrous Three Weeks

Gallup numbers have gotten significantly more negative as the administration has progressed. Trump has lost 15 points in three weeks. Gallup now records 55 percent disapprove (10 points down from 45%) and only 40 percent approve (5 points down from 45%). He will govern as he was elected as a plurality president in a polarized era of low trust for most institutions.

Trump is incredibly sensitive to audience data, including crowd size, polls and approval ratings. He receives it, reviews it, picks what he likes and claims what he doesn’t like is rigged.

Washington Post: Trump decries “phony” polls showing him with low approval ratings
RCP: The president still loves polls

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German parliamentary elections on September 28 will either renew Angela Merkel’s 11-year chancellorship or put Martin Schulz and his left-green coalition in the chancellery.

Merkel remains the frontrunner to put a governing coalition together, but the entry of Schulz as head of the Social Democrat Party (SPD), the second largest in Germany and part of the current ruling coalition, makes the election much more competitive. The latest polls show that, in terms of personal popularity, Schulz matches Merkel. Her advantages has been that her party, Christian Democratic Union (CDU), would receive a third of the parliamentary vote, and hence, be the largest bloc, a superior position to form a new government. But polls in the last few days show the two parties equal.

Both candidates support the EU and German membership, as does the public and elite opinion. But the super government in Brussels has taken two shocks with Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. On April 23, a Eurosceptic could win the French presidential election, which could be a fatal blow to the European experiment. But the entire year will likely see hostile campaigns and references about the EU from elections in the Netherlands and possibly Italy and regularly from Trump. Merkel’s problems include some general disapproval of her handling of the refugee crises, the rise of a farther right party, AfD, which has won some local elections and Schulz’s high- profile attacks on Trump, which is uniting the left and attracting some in the disaffected center.

Germany has greatly benefitted from the post-war era of a peaceful, unified Europe. It now dominates the continent’s markets and has little military cost due to the NATO alliance. But its center parties are still in some stress. They have shown weakness in recent state parliamentary elections and the political landscape has fragmented. Despite Germany’s main party’s commitment to Europe, questions abound.

  • Will another Eurosceptic party take over an EU country in 2017?
  • Will the EU still be viable by the September election?
  • Will Trump continue to criticize the EU and NATO?

In general, can Merkel and the German center continue to benefit from the EU, or is the new nationalism in control?

See: Schulz overtakes Merkel in opinion poll as favorite for German chancellor
The Spiegel: Meet the man who will challenge Merkel
Bloomberg: Merkel’s run for fourth term just got more complicated
Express: End for Merkel? Angela would be beaten by Martin Schulz if German election was held today
WSJ: German left rallies on Trump fears

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On Saturday, January 28, Jonathan Ernst of Reuters captured the Trump team dealing with their first of many crises – the travel ban against seven countries.

It was a busy weekend dealing with an issue that has now taken over the administration’s media coverage.

  • Trump – He really likes the White House phone system
  • Priebus – Fighting to hold down the chaos and keep his spot at the desk
  • Pence – In charge of explaining Trump and holding the Hill in line. As a talk show host described himself as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf.”
  • Bannon – Plotting strategy, disrupting the established order and attracting media coverage, much of it hostile. Recommends the press should “Keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”
  • Spicer – Takes a beating, but has very tough job as Trump’s spokesperson. His repeated defense of Trump’s claim 3 to 5 million illegal votes were cast for my opponent: “It’s a belief he maintains.”
  • Flynn – Intel expert who speaks with clenched teeth: “We are officially putting Iran on notice”

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Everyday there is a new photo op and a new battle to get in the picture. Priebus likes the far left position behind the boss and Bannon the far right. Typically, Conway and Kushner fill it.

Even Donald Trump is nervous about the seeming chaos and has given Priebus more authority. Will it hold against the agendas of Trump’s team – dismantle the conventional governing norms, challenge the American and global establishment, and create a new nationalist alignment of global politics?

The Week: Is Reince Priebus back in Trump’s good graces?
The New Yorker: Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus’s war for the White House

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The first seven days into Donald Trump’s presidency were a whirlwind of activity. By last Friday before 4:00 pm and his poorly executed immigration order, he had introduced 13 executive actions. Each signing in the Oval Office at a clear and polished desk produced drama and attracted the undivided attention of the national and regional media.

It was smooth sailing until Friday evening with Trump effectively arguing that he was fulfilling his campaign promises and that people had no patience for the slow pace and lack of action in Washington.

Although some of the actions rapidly produced resistance, such as changing Obamacare operations, dropping out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the opening salvo on the wall and who would pay for it with Mexico, Republicans stayed with him.

It wasn’t until Friday evening that the shock and awe of the first seven days turned into a full-scale resistance after the immigration order. But, the White House team appears to be savoring it all.

President Trump (L-R) with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence,
senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National
 Security Advisor Michael Flynn in Oval Office, January 28, 2017
Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Read The Christian Science Monitor: Bannon and his outsize role: He’s not the first to wield so much influence

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WorldDenver hosted seven international leaders January 23 who had just attended President Trump’s inaugural and were anxious to discuss the implications for American politics and the impact on their countries.

I presented a talk on the attraction of populism and its anti-establishment themes for Western Democracy. The Western European representatives were very aware of it (Poland and France were represented). But populism, in their view, is a worldwide political phenomenon.

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