The Bear without the bull

Michael R. Czinkota

There is often a strong desire for partisanship both in our domestic and global thinking. Russia keeps being framed as our most vile adversary. Such thinking has much historic background. Of particular worry has been competition in technology – one can still recall the Russian leadership reputation effects of the space launches of Sputnik, the electric ball, and Leica, the spaceship dog. It took the successful North Pole transit of the U.S. submarine Nautilus to re-declare American advantage. 

My research in the Georgetown archives yields evidence that not all Russians are adversaries all the time. One example comes from the Russian years of Georgetown University and the Jesuit religious order which founded it. 

The order was initiated by Ignatius of Loyola in Paris in 1534, with its members taking vows of poverty, chastity and an ole of full obedience to the pope. Its principles and their execution turned out to be quite successful, particularly in the field of education. With its headquarters in Rome, the proximity to the pope helped global expansion and influence. 

However, not all was smooth sailing. In spite, or because of their success, the more than 22,000 Jesuits were suppressed in 1773 of all people, by their main patron, Pope Clement XIV. This leader of global Catholicism sent out specific instructions called a “papal bull” or edict to other heads of country, demanding the abolishment of the Jesuit order. The major ruling nations such as the Portuguese and Spanish empires, the French nation, and Austria/Hungary accepted such abolishment,  making the Jesuits virtually extinct. Virtually, but not totally, thanks to Russian policy.  

At the time Catherine the Great was the Tsarina or Sovereign of Russia and the protector of its orthodox religion. One of her key objectives was to bring Russia and herself as an equal partner to the table of international leaders. She recognized that raising the capabilities of the Russian population and its nobility to reason and analyze was an important foundation for such an achievement. She was further impressed with the manifold educational activities which the Jesuits had already set in place. So she was not feeling exploited when the Jesuits requested that the impending papal bull should not arrive or be read by the Imperial Court. She also agreed that existing Jesuits could select Russia as their central headquarters and even allowed them to expand the order. 

As a result, those Jesuits, which had been part of the Maryland province in Baltimore all became Russian in their affiliation, as did their institutions. This relationship remained until 1814 when Pope Pius VII removed the onerous order of suppression. Georgetown University and it’s Jesuit faculty then became American again.

The lessons learned for today: 

  • Political hardships imposed to totally eliminate one’s adversary may not have to be final – there often is a workaround 
  •  An international orientation can often be crucial to advancing one’s agenda
  • Adversaries and traditions do not have to remain steady and immutable; to the contrary, a new perspective should be raised in one’s analysis of conditions
  • Global strengths and unique expertise can set a player apart and permit quite unexpected alliances and cross-references.

The evidence indicates that all this was good for both Russia and Georgetown University. Might there be other strategic linkages possible?  It is necessary to separate the bear from the bull and to remember that there is always a bear market somewhere. 

Professor Michael Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches international marketing and business at Georgetown University. His key books are International Marketing (10th ed.) with Prof. Ronkainen and In Search for the Soul of International Business. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Reagan Administration

Key Words: Russia, Jesuits, Collaboration, Ignatius of Loyola, Suppression, Papal bull, Dog Leica, Nautilus, Catherine the Great, Education, Bear, Georgetown history, and Czinkota

Ambassador Jaeger and Christian Forstner at the First Year Seminar

As we are heading to the end of our Fall semester seminar, we have still three more guests to come and talk to students at the Georgetown McDonough School of Business. Yesterday, Nov. 15th, we had the pleasure to hear from two of these guests: Mr. Christian Forstner and Ambassador Kurt Jaeger.

Mr. Forstner is the Director of the Hanns Seidel Foundation’s Washington D.C. office, working with interested partners across the political spectrum to promote strong German-American ties. Part of his responsibilities is to facilitate high-level political dialog between German and American, covering topics such as international trade policy and transatlantic security and defense policy.

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Mr. Forstner first started working at the Hanns Seidel Foundation in 2000, as Director at Moscow’s office. He also served the EU Commission as a Team Leader for the Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS) project.

Mr. Forstner has a master’s degree in Political Science, European History and Russian Literature from University of Munich and Moscow University of Foreign Languages, and developed several publications on EU affairs, security policy, and Russian and U.S. politics.
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Ambassador Kurt Jaeger was appointed to the United States in August of 2016. He has over 25 years of experience in international regulatory affairs,

Mr. Jaeger was Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the European Union (EU) and Belgium from 2010 to 2016. Previously, he worked at the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation for six years, being responsible for international air transport regulation and policy, and then became Executive Assistant to the Director General for Civil Aviation.

Before becoming Ambassador, Mr. Jaeger was also elected as one of three members of the Board of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority in charge of monitoring and enforcing the application of EU law in the European Economic Area (EEA) by the three EFTA-States Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Ambassador Jaeger has a degree from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, with a license en droit and with an LL.M. from McGill University, Montreal.

To know more about the First Year Seminar previous guests, please click here.

Language Matters in Ukraine’s Educational Reform | Commentary

john-mark-kuznietsov-134302 (1)Recently, the Washington Post wrote about the law restructuring Ukraine’s education system and establishing Ukrainian as the main language in schools. The new law concerns neighboring countries such as Russia and Hungary about the rights of ethnic minorities.

Why do I consider that important? In addition to creating political tensions in the region, this action may lead the country to a lack of unity and economic inefficiency. By reducing the role of other languages, even though they are clearly present in the country’s cultural mix, the new law segregates between those who speak Ukrainian and those who don’t. It can create an identity problem since language is one of the key-factors that compose one’s sense of belonging.

The new law can have economic consequences as well. It may limit work and educational potential by excluding a part of the population. According to the Post, about 30 percent of Ukrainians called Russian their mother tongue in the 2001 census. There are about 150,000 ethnic Hungarians in the country, accompanied by other minorities such as Romanians and Moldovans. Everyone who does not speak the official language may start facing inequality of payment and lack of work opportunity.

Instead of imposing limitations, it may be worth to embrace the different ethnicities and harness the diverse heritage from its people. Doing so may help inducing an inclusive educational environment and offer steps to guarantee an even more rich economy in the coming years. Just imagine all the business Ukraine can do in Hungary and Russia.

International marketing is a useful answer to a population which benefits from diverse capabilities.

(Click here to read the Washington Post article.)

Great Things Can Happen and Not Just for America

When President Trump attended the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, the aspects publicly reported were mainly uncontrolled demonstrators, burning Porsche cars and police at the end of their rope. Few benefits were attributed to the meeting. That is incorrect.

Continue reading

2015 Global Markets Trends & Forecasts

Global GDP2

2014 gave us a few unexpected turns in the global economy. There was the concern over the long-lasting effects of Ebola, the ISIS, and Ukraine. Aggressive policies regarding climate change have yet to take effect. The economic recovery of Western Europe and Japan are faltering. Brazil, Russia, and China’s growth have come to a halt and are slowing down. The United States, however, has continued its positive recovery and there seems to be a lot of changes in store for international business this coming year. Let’s get ready for 2015.

  • Slow but steady growth in the global economy

The global economy is taking longer than anticipated to recover from the debt bubble. The IMF projected that the world economy would be at 4.8 percent by 2015. However, 2014 ended with only a 3 percent growth overall. While the United States has pretty much met its growth targets, the disappointments came from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies, Western Europe, and Japan. Forecasts have been adjusted for the coming year with an estimated growth of 3.4 percent for 2015.

  • Emerging markets dominate

Emerging markets rather than developed economies will fuel much of the growth. The United States will still be a major player in the overall growth of the global economies. However, Western Europe and Japan will grow only an estimated 1 percent and China’s 7 percent will be its lowest in 15 years. Much of the growth will come from Asia and Africa. Specifically, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey will be on the watchlist for booming economies.

  • Oil prices will continue to fall

The demand for oil will decline due to alternative sources and supply in other areas of the world. This will lead to the continued fall of oil prices affecting countries such as Iran, Nigeria, and Russia.

  • Climate change will still be a threat

Record-high temperatures continue to be seen with Antartica experiencing its coldest winter so far. Coal is still highly used and international policies to curb this practice are weak. This may lead to drastic effects such as shortages in water and the supply of world’s food system and inevitably contributing to world hunger.

  • Innovation, new technologies and hacks will continue to affect us

While spending is somewhat low and demand is weak, businesses are in a better position for recovery by investing in new technologies to get ahead of competition and for future savings. The search for more fuel-efficient machines by Boeing and Airbus is an example of this trend. Another example, is with the United States, who has contributed to innovations in oil drilling thus resulting in an oil boom and affecting world prices.

The global outlook for 2015 should be better than 2014. It may not be much, but it’s way better than negative.

How will these trends affect you and your company? Tell us what you think.

Sources:

  1. http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/outlook/2015/index.html#infographic
  2. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-11-06/2015-global-economic-outlook-better-than-2014-but-not-by-much
  3. http://www.businessinsider.com/business-insider-global-20-2014-2014-1?op=1