Institute of Diplomacy & Global Affairs

The Institute of Diplomacy & Global Affairs (IDGA) is a center of scholarship in public and international affairs. It was established by The American College of Greece (ACG) in September 2008 to study current world issues and their policy implications, with a special awareness for each topic’s historical background.

The connection between events and people, and their long-term effects on stability, welfare, and international cooperation and understanding, are a key part of the IDGA’s broad object of study. To this end, the Institute organizes conferences and meetings among policy makers, diplomats, and visiting dignitaries to enhance the understanding of complex issues and to promote sincere communication and open dialogue.

The Institute operates under the coordination of the ACG Office of Public Affairs which works closely with the IDGA Academic Board. The Institute further participates in the academic life of The American College of Greece by organizing seminars and workshops for students and faculty, often in collaboration with individual departments. Events are held both on the Deree campus in Aghia Paraskevi, and in the center of Athens, in Plaka, in an elegant neoclassical building of the College.

The Institute focuses on and supports the study of six thematic areas and an open forum. The main areas of concern are the public affairs aspects and their related policy implications. Their study is typically complemented by an identification and analysis of regional complexities, including obstacles faced in the process of political transition. Eastern, Central, SE Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean basin often emerge as areas of particular interest. Activities are designed in a way that allows for quick reactions to international events as they unfold, thus contributing to a fuller understanding of the multi-layered aspects of the new evolving global reality.


The Academic Board

Andreas Andrianopoulos – Director (show)

Born in 1946 in Piraeus Greece, in a family of politicians and founders of one of the major football teams of the country, Olympiacos FC.

He was educated at Athens College, and pursued his higher education in the Schools of Political Science at the University of Athens, and in the UK at the universities of Kent, Cambridge, and Oxford. He also studied Economics and Issues of Peace Research at the University of Oslo, and holds a Diploma of Leadership from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

He has lectured at various institutions in the USA and England (Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Wisconsin at Madison, George Washington, LSE), and was a visiting scholar at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. In 1998-99 he was Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC. He holds two honorary PhD degrees, and in November 2003 was appointed Professor of Public Policy in the “Eleftherios Venizelos” Chair at Deree – The American College of Greece.

He has been elected as a member of the Greek Parliament nine times, and has served as Minister of Culture, and Minister of Trade, Industry, Energy, Technology and Mass Communications.

Andreas Andrianopoulos has also been elected Mayor of the City of Piraeus. He has contributed articles to numerous Greek and international journals and newspapers, and has written books on Islam, economic and political liberalization, and energy security. After resigning from Parliament, he held his own TV talk show, and worked professionally as a newspaper commentator and as a consultant on issues of Caspian energy and political risk analysis for countries of the former Soviet Union and South Asia. He recently led a team of international consultants in advising the government of the Russian Federation, under the auspices of the EU, on free competition and the advocacy of liberal market reforms. He also returned to the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, as a South East European Project Scholar working on the topic of Russian energy diplomacy.

He is now the Director of the Institute of Diplomacy and Global Affairs at Deree – The American College of Greece. He also teaches a course on Effective Communication Campaigns and Risk Analysis at the University of Kaliningrad in the Russian Federation.

He is the author of two historical novels on Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Members (in alphabetical order)

Georgios K. Filis (show)

Dr. Georgios K. Filis is an Adjunct Professor in the International Business Department of Deree – The American College of Greece where he teaches interdisciplinary courses in the fields of European Political and Economic Affairs, and International Business. He is a visiting lecturer in various Greek military colleges, a contributing expert at the international consultancy organization Wikistrat, and director of AEGIS Publishing, which operates the news portal “www.defence-point.gr”. He also serves as a scientific and policy advisor on related issues at top political levels.

Dr. Filis holds a PhD in International Relations and Geopolitical Analysis, and a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Durham (UK), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Deree. His research interests and published works focus on: geopolitical theory and analysis, geoeconomics and international entrepreneurship, energy security, and the broader developments on the Black Sea-Straits-Aegean-Eastern Mediterranean maritime axis.

Dr. Filis scan be reached at gfilis@acg.edu

Ilias Iliopoulos (show)

Dr. Ilias Iliopoulos is an Adjunct Professor of Maritime History, History of Western Civilization and Diplomacy at Deree – The American College of Greece. He was awarded his PhD in Modern History in 2000 from the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. He has been lecturing in Naval History, Strategic Analysis, Political Risk Analysis, and Geopolitics for many years at the Hellenic National Defense College, the Hellenic Naval War College, the Hellenic Air War College, among others. Dr. Iliopoulos has published several books and research papers on naval/maritime history, geopolitics, and strategy of sea power.

He is a graduate of the Institute on American Politics and Political Thought, a colloquium organized in 2006 by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State jointly with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has participated in numerous international workshops and conferences in his fields of expertise. He has been awarded First Prize for an essay on naval history by The Naval Review and the Naval History Division of the Hellenic Navy for his paper on the geopolitical identity and geostrategic position of Greece as a coastal state and maritime nation.

Dr. Iliopoulos can be reached at ilias.iliopoulos@acg.edu

Constantine A. Papadopoulos (show)

BA (Hons), Economics, University of Sussex; MA, Economics of Industry, University of Sussex; DPhil, Economics, University of Sussex.

Dr. Constantine Papadopoulos began his professional life in 1986 as a career diplomat. He served in the Greek Embassy in London (1990-1993), and for many years specialized in EU affairs. He was directly involved, inter alia, in the negotiations that led to the EU’s 4th enlargement (1995), and the signing of the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997). He then spent a year at Harvard University as a Fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs conducting research and lecturing (1997-98). He subsequently moved to the banking industry and Eurobank EFG where he worked for thirteen years as Advisor on European and Economic Affairs.

During 2010-2012, he was appointed Secretary-General for International Economic Relations & Development Cooperation at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and put in charge of Greece’s economic relations with the rest of the world, as well as trade and investment promotion. Dr. Papadopoulos has published scholarly papers on European integration, EMU, and Greek-Turkish relations, among others at the universities of Oxford and Harvard. As of Fall 2015, he is also an instructor in the School of Business at Deree, teaching the courses: Business in the European Union, International Business, and Business Negotiation.

Dr. Papadopoulos can be reached at cpapadopoulos@acg.edu

Anna Visvizi (show)

PhD, University of Warwick, UK

Dr. Anna Visvizi is a political scientist and economist, editor, and research consultant, with extensive experience in academia and the think-tank sector. Dr. Visvizi has presented her work in many forums in Europe and the US, including on Capitol Hill. Her research interests include: the economy, security, and politics of broadly conceived Central Europe; the political economy of the Eurozone crisis, and especially the crisis in Greece; global safety and security, including transatlantic relations and global governance structures, and the theoretical dimensions of these processes.

Dr. Visvizi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Business of the School of Business at Deree – The American College of Greece, where she teaches interdisciplinary courses on: the political economy of European integration, international business, international business law, and political economy of development. For her most recent publications, see https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anna_Visvizi.

Dr. Visvizi can be reached at avisvizi@acg.edu

Claudia Carydis (ex officio member) (show)

Claudia Carydis is the Vice President of Public Affairs at The American College of Greece. She holds a BS in Marketing Management from Deree – The American College of Greece, and an MA in International Relations and Communication from Boston University. In her capacity as head of the Public Affairs Office, she serves as an ex-officio member at the Academic Board of the Institute of Diplomacy and Global Affairs.

Ms. Carydis can be reached at ccarydis@acg.edu


The Thematic Areas

European Affairs (show)

The Institute’s focus on European Affairs is particularly apt in the present period, with Europe confronting challenges that are unprecedented in its post-war history. Brexit, the migration-and-refugee crisis, terrorism, the rise of far-right forces in parts of the continent, profound economic and financial uncertainty, and instability in the neighborhood, all could potentially shake the foundations of the European Union to the core and threaten the dominant post-World War II model of social welfare liberalism that was behind the notion of ‘Europe’ as a united and democratic entity.

Recognizing that Europe is historically a multi-faceted and multi-voiced entity, not a uniform bloc, ‘European Affairs’ also provides a non-partisan forum for understanding historical and contemporary realities of the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltics, including their role as a bridge to the adjacent republics of the former Soviet Union. It also looks at Europe’s unfinished business in the Western Balkans. A major focus of attention, in this connection, is the relationship between democratic ideals and democratic practice, including the difficulty of establishing democratic polities in countries with little or no democratic traditions in their history.

By inviting scholars and government experts to share their thoughts and insights, and discuss policy options and alternative scenarios, the Institute aims to make a constructive contribution in the area of European thinking and policy analysis.

Middle East and North Africa (show)

The MENA region’s importance has increased dramatically in the last few years and this has a direct impact not only in Europe but also further afield. Cases of uncontrollable violence and war, political instability and turmoil, autarchic regimes, progress followed by regression in the national democratic politics of some countries, all make for a dangerous arc of uncertainty and suffering at Europe’s doorstep. Yet, the West’s response has been ineffectual and confused. Is this due to the West’s weakness or are the region’s problems truly beyond repair? The Institute aspires to make a contribution to the study of the region and its problems by inviting experts and officials to provoke discussions and encourage new analyses.

East-West and Eurasian Relations (show)

Russia’s relations with the West have not lived up to the post-1991 expectations. The Institute of Diplomacy and Global Affairs brings together scholars and government specialists to discuss political, social, and economic issues affecting Russia and the other successor states to the Soviet Union, and to place these issues within their historical context, which is key to appreciating the root causes of current policy clashes with the West. More broadly, developments in the East – including the rise of China, new economic developments such as China’s “New Silk Road” trade, investment expansion strategy, and new interdependencies in areas such as energy – are integral parts of the future of Europe-Asia relations and lend themselves to much further enquiry.

Energy Security and International Markets (show)

Energy security is about ensuring the availability of energy sources at an affordable price in the desired quantity. The Institute monitors longer-term energy security developments and, in particular, questions relating to the alignment of required supplies to the actual needs of international markets, taking into account economic realities, political developments, and environmental concerns. It also studies short-term energy security issues, including the system’s response to sudden or gradual changes in the whole production chain from producer to consumer.

Political Risk Analysis (show)

Unforeseen political events in various business environments might, among others, lead to situations where businesses experience expropriation, embargoes, physical loss or destruction of their assets, termination of contracts, or non-delivery of goods. By monitoring, assessing, and analyzing this phenomenon, the Institute aims to contribute to a better understanding of this complex reality and to more effective decision-making, resulting in a more secure investment environment.

Democratic Politics (show)

The Institute supports and promotes research in the field of political processes and institutional evolution. Key principles and institutional forms of democratic political systems are examined. In this context, the Institute encourages the delivery of analyses that contribute to the current debate on the theories, characteristics, problems, and limits of democracy. The Institute’s aim is to challenge the boundaries between theory and practice through the investigation of reality in today’s complex international system.


The Open Forum

Ambassadors Forum: This is a novel activity which aims to bring together diplomatic representatives from different parts of the world with a view to fostering an open, free, and off-the-record exchange of views about global and regional developments, as well as to discuss issues pertaining to their own countries’ particular concerns. The Forum can organize talks by ambassadors for selected audiences of academics, policy makers, and businesspeople, so that understanding can be enhanced and misconceptions cast aside. Open forums also take place with the participation of students, the wider public, and the media with the aim of fostering a wider public debate and a better understanding of the underlying issues.


Events

The IDGA organizes its events on a weekly basis, mainly at its premises in Plaka, Ipitou Street, or at Deree – The American College of Greece in Aghia Paraskevi. Moreover, various workshops are organized annually by the IDGA.

For more information, visit the events page.

If you interested in receiving invitations for IDGA events, send us your name and e-mail address at publicaffairs@acg.edu