#PHDstory | Monica Apango Partida
How would you describe yourself?
I am a curious person. I like to learn new things, analyze and try to understand reality. I am a reflective person and I try to think about how to bring an improvement to society.
What is the focus of your research?
Russia and the configuration of the world order
What are the questions that you are dealing with?
What is the role of Russia in the configuration of the world order, and why has Russia become an influential actor in international politics.
Why are they relevant?
Because we are currently in a crisis of international order where the Chinese economy has overpassed the United States economy, and Russia has shown itself as an important political actor that defies that world order.
What kind of answers you would like to get out of it?
One in where Russia tries to rescue an order based on the reconstruction of the identity and values of the nations.
Why is this kind of research relevant?
Because the consequences of this international crisis could show another perspective in the economic, political and social field. Although it is an international crisis and it affects any nation-state.
How do you see the future of this field? What kind of challenges do you believe we will encounter?
We will face the possibility of redesigning the economic and political model, rescuing the identity of the state and common values, and respecting the sovereignty of the state.
Is there a new research approach that you think is going to be relevant?
An approach that tries to include different theories in international relations and that is multidisciplinary to better understand this reality.
Is there a topic that you think is relevant right now?
Yes, the transition to a new international order and the consequences that derive from this.
How did you get interested in what you are doing?
I had the opportunity to do a research stay in Moscow in 2017. I was able to know the position of Russia in its foreign policy and its influence in this crisis of international order.
Why should everybody learn about subjects like history or biology?
Because it is essential to have knowledge of reality in their different areas of study.
What do you need to be a good researcher or PhD student in your program?
You need to learn new languages and practice more English. I also think that it´s very important to publish articles on the topics that we are studying and discussing in the doctoral program. I think that currently the world is changing in political regimes, in economic models and different types of values and cultures; it is urgent to understand this reality and think about it in a more integral perspective, including values or basic social principles.
Who inspired and continues to you?
Aristotle the Stagirite (s. VI a. C), is a classic thinker whom I admire for his contribution to knowledge in different areas such as physics, politics, logic, etc. He was a genius for his time, and his thought is still valid today. He brought knowledge through observation, analysis and reflection of reality, a knowledge that includes theory and practice.
Another thing that inspires me is our own reality, the time and space we are living, because I believe that today more than ever it is necessary to reflect, understand, analyze and share the investigation of facts and concrete situations. I think that only that way one could think in alternatives.
What motivates you?
It motivates me to think that we are human beings, that is to say, rational and sensitive. We have the creativity to create new things and the sensitivity to be in solidarity with the other. This helps to improve the conditions of a society.
What book would you like to read again?
Now I do not plan to read a book again, rather I have many others to read.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself teaching at the university, researching current issues, trying to reflect on how to humanize society and the world.
A challenge? The most beautiful day? The most difficult one?
Learning the Russian language. The day of my wedding. My master’s thesis presentation.
Whatever you would like the world to know!
It is urgent to put human beings at the center of society, to respect their dignity. Only in this way can we humanize society, politics and the economy.
What kind of impact you would like to have?
That my research influences to rethink reality and think about alternatives, but from the understanding of concrete contexts.
What does the world need the most right now?
The world needs human sensitivity.
What does research need the most right now?
Research in the area of social sciences, but in a multidisciplinary way, including philosophy.
If you could change one thing, what would you like to change?
Change the utilitarian and materialist mentality for a more human mentality.
Your dream / the society you dream of?
A society governed by basic social principles of solidarity, subsidiarity, respect for human dignity and good economic and natural resource management.
What is the question that nobody asks and you would like to answer?
I dream of a truly humane society, that the economic sector, politics, and society can be at the service of the person and seek their integral development, and this cooperation transcends the international scope.
What is your dream OR the society you dream?
My dream is to be able to contribute to the improvement of a society in all its areas, from my trench: research and teaching at the university.
What is life about?
Life is a moment. We were not made to stay in this world, but for eternity. Life would be the opportunity to be a good person and that would take you to try to improve the conditions of others according to your context, your skills and your potential.
It is important to leave a mark in history; that is the life of the saints and the great heroes of history, people who put at the service of humanity their creativity, their abilities, their potential, everything to bring good to society, either through knowledge or actions.
“Mónica is a young researcher, interested in political sciences, and this was very interesting for me as an interviewer. I decided to interview her because a point of view in this area is very relevant worldwide.
Since I am from Brazil, and here we are living a currently difficult political situation, it is refreshing to see that there are people willing to fight for an improved society, and thus, a better world to live in.
Although her research is very specific, it was possible to notice by her answers that she is the kind of person that works to fulfill the dream of a better world, where people can have more empathy for each other and so, spread peace over war.”