“Flash” Event in Basel with Cornell Professor Gustavo Flores-Macías

3 August 2023 – Basel

Four years ago, Professor Flores-Macías gave a very interesting talk on “Populism and Elections in the Americas” followed by a dinner in Zurich. He contacted the Club in mid-July to let us know that he would again be in Switzerland and would be pleased to meet with us in two weeks’ time if it were possible to organize a get-together on such short notice.

After sorting out that Professor Flores-Macías would be able to come to Basel for an early afternoon meeting, there was a week left to work out the details and invite our members. That is why we called it a “flash event”.

Ernst & Young has offices at the train station in Basel. They graciously made their main conference room available for our meeting and organized the catering for lunch. We were on the 18th floor and had grand views of the Alsace, Markgräflerland, and, of course, the city of Basel. Switzerland’s two tallest buildings, the Roche towers (architects Herzog & de Meuron) dominated the cityscape on one side.

We were a group of eight. Gustavo Flores-Macías is the Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs and Professor of Government and Public Policy at Cornell. Our discussion was informal. He told us about his duties at Cornell and his areas of research. We asked him about navigating the “political” waters with the current generation of students and he acknowledged that it can be tricky. The causes and consequences of the militarization of law enforcement in Central America and South America is one of Professor Flores-Macías’s research focuses and it was very interesting to hear about that. The discussion ranged into law enforcement in the USA and the training of police personnel in general. The last part of our meeting was devoted to the current political landscape in the USA and related developments. It was a thought-provoking afternoon.

Traveling professors are notoriously difficult to pin down for a meeting with alumni. We are grateful to Professor Flores-Macías for staying in touch and reaching out to us.

We very much appreciate and thank Ernst & Young for their swift agreement to make the conference room available and for the logistical support we received on the day of our meeting.

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