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Geopolitics in the Arctic and Sahelian perceptions of the EU, protagonists in the second edition of the ‘Global Talent’ programme promoted by CIDOB and the Banco Sabadell Foundation

In November 2021, the Banco Sabadell Foundation and CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) renewed their support for talented young researchers with the second edition of the Global Talent Programme, a joint initiative that aims to promote high-quality work by young researchers.

The Programme was created out of the desire to foster excellence and promote outreach, training and research activities in the area of international relations, as well as to boost and support young talent.

The ‘Global Challenges Talent’ award recognises high-quality research and is given to research papers of the highest academic standard that demonstrate an original analytical approach and include applied research. The award consists of a €2,500 cash price. The criteria include being under the age of 45 and the research paper must have been written in the past year.

Erin Parsons, a researcher at the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network, specialising in strategic narrative, telecommunications and security in the Artic, has been given the ‘Global Challenges Talent’ award for her paper entitled “Relations on Thin Ice: A Narrative Analysis of Chinese Governance in The Arctic”, analysing the new geopolitical dynamics in the Arctic and the role played by China.

Parsons, who holds a degree in Chinese and International Relations from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in International Research from IBEI (Barcelona Institute for International Studies), has lived and worked in the US, China, Spain, Germany and Greenland, where she was intern at Fulbright in Nuuk. The research for which she has been awarded will be published within the editorial lines of CIDOB.

Sofía Rodríguez, Chief Economist at Banco Sabadell; Patricia Garcia-Durán, Assistant Professor of the Department of Economic History, Institutions and Global Economy at the University of Barcelona; Rafael Grasa, professor of International Relations at the Autonomous University of Barcelona; and Xavier Mas de Xaxàs, diplomatic correspondent for La Vanguardia newspaper, have formed part of the panel of judges of this award, chaired by Pol Morillas, director of CIDOB.

The Global Talent Programme, promoted by the Banco Sabadell Foundation and CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), also wants to support the training of young talented individuals in international relations, by offering a paid research stay for those under the age of 30, which this year has been given to Viviane Ogou for her paper “The evolution of Sahelian anti-French sentiment in the digital sphere (2015-2021) and its impact on Sahelian perceptions of the EU”. With a degree in International Relations from the Rey Juan Carlos University and a master’s degree in International Security from IBEI (Barcelona Institute for International Studies), Viviane Ogou will join the CIDOB research team for a period of six months, taking part in the institution’s research activities.

Ogou, founder of the Puerta de África organisation, which aims to bring together young people from Africa and Europe to reflect on development and international relations, will have the opportunity to further expand her research into Sahelian geopolitics and relations between the EU and Africa.