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Sebastian von Münchov

Dr. Sebastian von Münchow, Marshall Center professor, gives a lecture on rights of the individual citizens verses public safety for the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity’s 37th International Student Leadership Institute session here Feb. 27. (Courtesy photo)

By GCMC Public Affairs
OBERWESEL (Rhine Gorge), Germany (March 6, 2018) – Dr. Sebastian von Münchow, Marshall Center professor, gave a lecture on rights of the individual citizens verses public safety for the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity’s 37th International Student Leadership Institute session here Feb. 27.

The lecture included an overview on the development of the protection of human rights and civil liberties, the respective constitutional embedment and the enhancement of domestic security measures following 9/11 (the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States) and the 2015 events in Paris.

There were about 180 participants attending this session including 120 students from Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands and the United States, and 20 DoDEA high school teachers and 20 ISLI alumni.


During his lecture, von Münchow engaged the students with two questions:  How does Europe currently try to balance individual rights with public security legally and politically, and how can European and other states strike a balance without giving up one of the principles?

This leadership session was founded in October 1982 with the intention of providing instruction and training to students with leadership potential in an increasingly interdependent world in the U.S. Department of Defense Schools in southern Germany, said Mark Gillet, the American director of the ISLI and DoDEA school psychologist from Vicenza, Italy.

“The key note speech by Marshall Center professors is one of the highlights in each year’s ISLI session,” Gillet said. “The students prepare all day to formulate questions and engage with the professor from the Marshall Center on the issue being discussed.”

To provide this training, Gillet said the Institute uses a model developed by the Ohio State University, which gives a framework for the collection, processing, application and evaluation of data.

“ILSI believes that high school students in the age of 15 to 19 must be provided continuous practice and feedback, enabling them to develop techniques and evaluate the outcomes of effective leadership, which in turn leads to an acceptance of leadership responsibilities,” Gillet said.

To further these skills, ISLI provides a variety of social activities. One of those activities is the annual meeting with students from Europe in Oberwesel. Like in previous years, the 37th session took also place in Germany's UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) protected Rhine Gorge.

Gillet said that sessions always lasts five days and consists of presentations, group discussions and sporting events.

“The overall philosophy and sense does not differ much from the Marshall Center, simply focusing on high schools attendees,” von Münchow said. “We both aim to promote peace, cooperation and democracy through a thorough investment into future leaders.”