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Welcome to the Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) – a center for public and international affairs at The American College of Greece since 2008. Through engaging round tables, presentations, panel discussions, conferences, and workshops, the IGA brings together top academics, politicians, economists, diplomats, and policy-makers to foster an in-depth understanding of complex global issues and encourage open dialogue.

The IGA focuses on six key thematic areas: (i) European Affairs, (ii) Middle East and North Africa, (iii) East-West and Eurasian Relations, (iv) Energy Security and International Markets, (v) The Emerging New Strategic and Economic World Order, and (vi) The Rise of Populism and the challenges to Democracy. This policy-oriented approach, complemented by rigorous analysis of regional complexities and global trends, examines the interactions among states, international organizations, NGOs, and individual actors.

The Institute is overseen by a Director and collaborates with the ACG Office of Public Affairs to coordinate various events and relevant initiatives and with the Academic Advisory Board, consisting of Deree faculty members with expertise in relevant areas, to influence and develop its strategy and activities. The VP of Public Affairs holds an ex-officio position on the IGA Advisory Board. By organizing events in partnership with ACG departments, Student Societies, and Clubs, the Institute actively contributes to the academic life of The American College of Greece. Whether you are a student, faculty, staff, or a curious member of the public, our events, mainly held at the Deree campus in Aghia Paraskevi, are open to all and serve the primary purpose of benefiting students pursuing the “International Relations & European Affairs” major launched in September 2018.


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You can reach us via email at [email protected] or give us a call at extension 1372.

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Strives to be a premier center of scholarship in public and international affairs, promoting understanding of complex global issues through high-level academic engagement, policy-oriented research, and open dialogue, with a focus on six thematic areas and studying the relationships between states and various actors.


Being a leading center of scholarship in public and international affairs, fostering a deeper understanding of contemporary regional and international complexities through high-level academic engagement, policy-oriented research, and promoting the needs of students in the field of “International Relations & European Affairs.”


Constantinos Filis
Director, Institute of Global Affairs


Claudia Carydis
Vice President, Public Affairs, The American College of Greece (ACG)
Effie Fokas
Department of International Relations and European Affairs, Deree - ACG
Nikolaos Lampas
Assistant Professor, International Relations and European Studies at Deree - ACG
Helena Maragou
Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Deree - ACG
Ilay Romain Ors
Associate Professor, Deree - ACG
Constantine A. Papadopoulos
Adjunct Professor, Deree - ACG
Ioanna Patsioti
Associate Professor, Deree - ACG
Emmanuel Skoulas
Assistant Professor, Deree - ACG
Anna Visvizi
Assistant Professor, Department of International Business of the School of Business, Deree - ACG
Haris Vlavianos
Professor of History and Politics, Deree - ACG

IGA Thematic Areas

European Affairs

The Institute’s European Affairs focus is particularly apt in the present period, given the unprecedented challenges Europe faces in its post-war history. Brexit, the migration-and-refugee crisis, terrorism, the rise of far-right forces, economic uncertainty, and instability in the region could all potentially threaten the core of the European Union and the post-World War II model of social welfare liberalism that united Europe as a democratic entity. Amidst this complexity, the Institute recognizes the diverse nature of Europe and offers a non-partisan platform to understand the historical and contemporary realities of Central and Eastern European countries, the Baltics, and their connections to the former Soviet Union. It also examines Europe’s unfinished business in the Western Balkans and explores the intricate relationship between democratic ideals and practice in countries with limited democratic traditions.


Through discussions with scholars and government experts, the Institute seeks to contribute constructively to European thinking and policy analysis. By inviting insights and exploring alternative scenarios, the Institute aims to foster a deeper understanding of the challenges and potential solutions that can shape Europe’s future amidst the current tumultuous landscape.

Middle East and North Africa

The MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) has significantly increased in importance in recent years, impacting not only Europe but also other parts of the world. The region faces challenges like violence, war, political instability, autarchic regimes, and democratic setbacks, leading to a refugee crisis near Europe. Despite these issues, the West’s response has been ineffective and unclear, raising questions about whether the West’s weakness or the region’s problems being irreparable is the cause. To address these matters, the Institute aims to invite experts and officials to generate discussions and new analyses, contributing to a better understanding of the region and its problems.

East-West and Eurasian Relations

Russia’s relations with the West have not lived up to the post-1991 expectations. The Institute of Global Affairs aims to foster discussions among scholars and government specialists about political, social, and economic matters affecting Russia and other former Soviet Union states. Understanding the historical context is crucial in comprehending the reasons behind current policy clashes with the West and conflicts within the region. Additionally, the Institute acknowledges the significance of developments in the East, such as China’s rise, the “New Silk Road” trade, investment expansion strategy, and energy interdependencies, which are essential factors in shaping the future of Europe-Asia relations and warrant further investigation.

Energy Security and International Markets

Energy security is about ensuring the availability of energy sources at an affordable price in the desired quantity. This involves monitoring and analyzing long-term energy security developments, assessing the alignment of supplies with international market needs while considering economic, political, and environmental factors. The Institute also delves into short-term energy security matters, examining how the entire production chain responds to sudden or gradual changes, from producers to consumers.

The Emerging New Strategic and Economic World Order

Over the past two decades, the dominance of the West, represented by the US and Europe, has faced challenges due to the rising influence of emerging strategic and economic powers. The Institute’s objective is to study and analyze this significant shift in the global balance of power to foster a deeper understanding of the changing dynamics and their implications.

The Rise of Populism and the Challenges to Democracy

Decades of economic growth and increasing affluence in the West led policy-makers to gloss over underlying social tensions and disaffection with on-going trends within particular social groups (e.g. rising inequality, immigration). As a result, a new polarization in domestic politics has emerged, fueled by a populist discourse, which is now challenging established democratic institutions. The Institute’s mission is to recognize these patterns and propose strategies to address the diverse threats posed to democracy by these developments.

IGA Students Journal

Under the guidance of the IGA Director, students delve into global and regional events, enhancing their critical thinking, writing, and research abilities while rotating as Journal editors

IGA Student Journal V1, June 2022

IGA Student Journal V2, May 2023

Student Working Papers

Publications authored by student candidates through individual or team research, completed as course papers or junior research within the IGA, under the guidance of academic staff

Working Paper Series - 4

Title: Has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the level of trust on behalf of the public towards scientists and/or research in general, for the case of Italy


Author: Filippo Nikolaos Valasakis


Abstract: This Research paper will assess the level of trust by the public towards the scientific community, which is rather high in Italy. The COVID-19 pandemic had affected this in a few distinct ways and which are analyzed in this paper. I) Political Differences II) The need for leadership. Explaining these two reasons was done by comparing data from pre-covid statistics and during the actual COVID-19 pandemic. Methodology used in the paper varies from questionnaires, surveys to newspaper articles. Preliminary findings suggest that the individuals holding right-wing views indeed held mistrust for the scientific community and public institutions. However, these individuals represent only a small sample of the total Italian population and indeed, trust has very much increased, as evidenced by high vaccination rates and low mobility rates.


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Working Paper Series - 3

Title: What are the effects social media has had on the public’s trust towards research and scientists: Case on COVID-19


Author: Melina Giannakouli


Abstract: This paper aims to perform an analysis of how the conspiracy theories posted on TikTok have impacted the public’s trust towards scientists and research during COVID-19. This pandemic has had a tremendous impact and has negatively shaped the attitudes of the public. More specifically, it was observed that due to the public’s mistrust towards scientists, negative behaviors prevailed. The main conspiracy theories to be analyzed have been titled as, “COVID does not exist, Chlorine can cure COVID and the COVID vaccine contains a chip.” The findings of this research suggest that accessibility and vulnerability, due to age, increase the acceptance of the named conspiracy theories. An analysis of these will highlight the negative impacts this has on society today.


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Working Paper Series - 2

Title: COVID-19’s impact on United States’ public trust towards scientists and their research


Author: Alexander Cameron


Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a stark new reality in the United States: a diminished level of trust on behalf of the public towards scientists and their research. Due to the ever-growing political divide between Democrats and Republicans, each political party has expressed differing emotions towards the science behind the pandemic, with rightwing Republicans expressing less trust in the published research and the measures required to prevent the spread of the contagion. Through political leadership, conservatives are least enthused of adhering to new restrictive measures that do not coincide with their vision of America and their lives. As society’s perception becomes intertwined with that of scientific research, mis/disinformation runs rampant through American communities, causing many Americans to be misinformed about the current pandemic, which can have serious repercussions. However, the ever-growing realm of mis/disinformation is fueled by various conspiracies that continue to negatively impact the American public’s trust towards scientists and their research. My research is intended to examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on public trust toward scientists within the United States and how political ideologies and the spread of false information are prominent issues for the American scientific community.


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Working Paper Series - 1

Title: Can Taiwan Cause a War Between China and the USA?


Author: Yasmine Neri


Abstract: Political analysts are concerned about the possibility of a war breaking out over Taiwan, which could potentially escalate to a much grander international scale because of the island’s alliance with the United States and in view of its deteriorating relations with China as it pursues independence from the mainland. Analyzing the situation from the perspective of great power conflict, as well as examining governmental reports and speeches and secondary data, this paper questions whether Taiwan could cause a war between the two great powers of the 21st century and finds that the elements of security and national interests, as perceived in the context of the pursuit of regional hegemony, are presently at play with the USA and China, and Taiwan represents a vital node, connecting the two, because of its strategic and ideological significance to both. In particular, China views reunification with Taiwan as a major national interest for historical as well as security reasons, while the US, pursuing the role of regional hegemon, holds Taiwan’s location as strategic for trade routes and deems it an ideological mission to protect the island’s democracy. All these elements support the assumption that great power conflict is caused due to conflicting security and economic issues. Taiwan checks out many of the conditions for a great power war and thus finds itself in the precarious position of potentially escalating the tensions between the world’s two superpowers into a greater conflict.


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