On November 8th, the IEE celebrated its 50th anniversary with a festive ceremony. Having been established only one year after the Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB) itself, the Institute can already look back on a history with major shifts and turns and, of course, different faces. Digging for pictures and documents from the history of five decades in preparation for the anniversary celebration was both interesting and amusing.
In 1966, the IEE was founded as a research institute under the roof of the Economics branch of the RUB. Back then, it comprised sections reflecting the research interests of its directors, who were co-opted professors from the disciplines of economics, geography, law, and sociology. Later, political science complemented this range of academic perspectives. Over time, focus and structure of the Institute changed, as did the people involved. The establishment of the IEE as an independent research and postgraduate training institute at the RUB in 1989, and the abolishment of disciplinary sections to the current project-based structure in 1999, marked major structural shifts. Next to the (inter)disciplinary composition, cooperation with Afghanistan can - to some degree - be considered an element of continuity. Starting as a bilateral partnership between the IEE and the Economics Faculty of Kabul University in 1967, the cooperation nowadays covers the whole country and includes nine Afghan partner faculties.
The most remarkable feature of the IEE today is its character as an internationally cooperating research and training institute. Its core activities include three postgraduate training programmes and eight international cooperation projects in research and training with partners from Africa, Asia, and Europe, and from international organisations. Taking into account an ever-growing number of alumni staying in touch with the IEE, the international network of the IEE is indeed global. Exchanging memories and milestones of previous activities, as well as sharing news and experiences from our current activities, it was not only a pleasure during the festivities, but will remain a pleasure for us in the future.