The Introduction to Political Science class, taught by Prof. László Várkonyi, regularly hosts guest speakers who expand the students’ horizon on political culture.
Mr Viktor Polgár on the US
April 29, 2014
The guest lecture on the United States of America was given by Mr Viktor Polgár who by his most recent posting served as Hungary’s Consul General in New York City, NY. Mr Polgár has a long-standing history, both professional and personal, with the US – having held various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in North America as well as having graduated high school in Washington, DC. The lecture focused on the complex inner workings of the US government, which has a reputation for being the most robust and trusted establishment of democracy in the world today, which requires careful understanding if one is to truly understand its dynamic. The students of this class were firstly taken across the legislative side of the US, with careful examination of the system of strict checks and balances. Following, the true insider’s knowledge of the US and its affairs was put forward by Mr Polgár, who not only commented on the theoretical applications of these processes but also the delicate social and customary ideologies and traditions, which are upheld by the US. These cultural insights are invaluable. This kind of knowledge can be gained only through working closely with US partners in diplomacy, and provide an edge to those that master these customs when cooperating with Americans. The lecture also focused on the multicultural nature of the US, which is a key factor in assessing its functions and understanding some of the establishments and processes that take place within the nation but also are projected to its foreign policy. Overall, the lecture hosted by the eager students of IBS wishing to deepen their knowledge in politics and public policy around the world were provided with a superb overview that will surely serve useful in their upcoming professional careers, thanks to the expertise of Mr Polgár.
Mr László Kuti on China
May 6, 2014
Mr László Kuti is a longstanding career diplomat – a veteran of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Kuti has been with the Foreign Service since 1984, following his graduation from prestigious institutes in Budapest, Hungary and Moscow, Russia; specializing in maintaining and establishing diplomatic relations with Asian countries. During his career, he has fulfilled positions in Ankara, Turkey; Bangkok, Thailand and most recently Mr Kuti was posted as Hungary’s Consul General in Shanghai, China.
Mr Kuti’s lecture allowed the students unparalleled insight into the functioning of the political system and decision-making of the People’s Republic of China, which by no standard is an easy to understand or simple system. The lecture focused on the development of China in recent decades with its economic global emergence, which was explained in great detail as a subset of the ever-changing and evolving Chinese public and international policy. Along these changes, the system and hierarchy of China’s top leaders were presented, along with the complexity of millennia old Chinese traditions that still massively impact the everyday working of China’s politburo. The lecture was very well received by the students of the Political Science class, who engaged in a dynamic Q&A session with Mr Kuti on the outlook and prospective future of China’s public policy in light of both the Internet Age and the international push for the transparency and liberalization of China’s society and economy. The guest lecture by Mr Kuti, as well as the whole series, is an important feature of education at IBS, which incorporates both traditional approaches by theoretical learning and application in practical terms by true experts who share their experiences with the students in their respective fields.
by students Sándor Faragó and Bálint Veér