Carlos Escudé, intellectual and specialist in international relations and a fervent defender of Argentina’s alignments with the United States and with China, died this Friday at the age of 72 after being hospitalized for two months with coronavirus.
Escudé, who had an important and extensive training in Argentina and abroad, reflected his ideas in numerous publications and had a special heyday in the 1990s, in which he defended and contributed to the international geopolitical positioning of the Government of Carlos Menem.
A seasoned speaker and debater, with characteristics such as the permanent use of a profuse beard, traditional round glasses and a cane, he was born on August 10, 1948 in the city of Buenos Aires and completed his higher studies as a sociologist at the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) .
Then he did several postgraduate doctoral degrees, for example in Political Science and International Relations at Yale University (Connecticut, United States) and at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, in England.
Defender of alignment with the United States, and being an advisor to the then chancellor
Guido Di TellaHe was pointed out as the ideologue of “carnal relations” with the North American power, as part of his principle that peripheral or underdeveloped countries should not confront those central nations, but be linked and associated with them.
The same idea was held when China definitively established itself as one of the world powers in recent decades, asserting that, as with the United States, Argentina should be aligned with the Asian giant.
He also had a close intellectual and political relationship with the former vice chancellor
Andres Cisneros, with whom they developed the “History of Foreign Relations of the Argentine Republic”, a work that traverses what happened in the country from the English invasions (in the early 1800s) to the Government of Raúl Alfonsín.
Another of the peculiarities of Escudé was his conversion to Judaism in one of its most orthodox religious branches, for which, in addition, he took the name of
Najmán ben Abraham Avinu.
On issues of local politics, but with strong communicating vessels and international ramifications, in recent years he criticized the judicial investigations into the AMIA case that involved former President Cristina Kirchner and also questioned measures applied by the Buenos Aires government of
Horacio Rodríguez Larreta for people over 70 years of age in quarantine due to Covid-19.
On that occasion he had said:
“I prefer a death from coronavirus rather than a life protected by Larreta.”
The former chancellor and current official national senator
Jorge Taiana told Télam that
“Escudé was a great researcher, with a fundamental book to understand Argentina-USA relations during the Second War and the beginning of Peronism.”
“During the Menem government he developed the theory of ‘peripheral realism’ that underpinned the official policy towards the US. In recent years, seeing the emergence of China and a multipolar world, he advocated a more autonomous national policy with multiple relationships”, stressed.
For his part, the specialist in international relations
Marcelo Brignoni, chief of staff of the presidency of Parlasur. held that
“Even with many differences regarding their views of our foreign policy, Carlos Escudé was for me one of the three greatest contemporary Argentine intellectuals in the analysis of international politics.”
The social leader
Luis D’Elía expressed that
“With Escudé I have held tremendous debates in the last 25 years, especially when discussing the AMIA issue and Argentina’s positioning at the international level. We were on very opposite paths and faced incontestable questions, he had the enormous honesty of writing a book that it’s called ‘And Luis D’Elía was right “.
Escudé’s wife, the sociologist
Monica Vilgré La Madrid, had also died from coronavirus last September.
As part of Escudé’s curriculum, his work as principal investigator at Conicet and professor of Argentine Foreign Policy at the Center for Advanced Studies of the National University of Córdoba also stands out.
He was also a counselor at the Argentine Center for International Relations (CARI) and director of the Center for Studies of Religion, State and Society (CERES) at the Marshall Meyer Latin American Rabbinical Seminary.
Likewise, he taught at several prestigious private universities, in Flacso and at the National Foreign Service Institute (ISEN).
In 1984 Escudé was a beneficiary of the traditional Guggenheim Scholarship to study the relations between the United States and Argentina.
Among the national and international awards and recognitions he received, the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins stands out for his campaign for peace and friendship between Argentina and Chile; the Bernardo Houssay del Conicet award and the Konex diploma as one of the best Argentine political scientists of the 1990s.
For its part, this is how the Argentine International Relations Studies Association dismissed him.
Sad news for the discipline of International Relations is the death of Dr. Carlos Escudé, a member of our Academic Council, a figure whose theoretical contributions are an undeniable contribution to the knowledge developed from and for Latin America. RIP, Carlos (1948-2021) pic.twitter.com/Jkwa5qHVS8
– AERIA (@aeriargent)
January 2, 2021