Summer Schools

Students have the opportunity to participate in one of 5 optional summer schools that run in the summer period in year 1 of their programme. Four of these run in person and one online. There are a defined number of places on each summer school. The cost of the summer school tuition is embedded in the total programme fees whether you decide to attend the summer school or not, although we highly recommend that you attend one. However, the travel costs and living costs incurred during the summer school are not included in these expenses. Scholarship students should use their travel and monthly subsistence grant to cover attendance at the summer school.

The OTH Regensburg Summer School will provide specialist project and scenario-based training on social network analysis, data analytics and will provide the opportunity to work directly with civilian and military intelligence personnel.

Summer University on Security and Strategic Analysis in Regensburg

OTH Summer School 2018

The University of Cádiz Summer School will offers a unique learning experience at the crossroads between border security, immigration, and crisis management. Students will attend a series of seminars on migrations, human rights, geopolitics, intelligence, and crisis communication. Working in teams, they will take part in a scenario that will challenge them to respond to a fictional crisis with ongoing real-time events and impactful decisions made by politicians and senior security and intelligence officers. Students will also pay a visit to some border agency facilities (Integrated External Surveillance System – SIVE, Port of Algeciras, police forces and the Rota military base where they will participate in a conference involving Rota staff).

Antonio Diaz, director of the Cadiz Summer School has descried it as ‘An opportunity for going away from our comfort zone and to enter into a different reality. Knowing from first hand experiences the complexity of some our societies problems and how different actors approach their solutions, this summer school provides true engagement with these concepts and the stark realities of how governments respond to it.’

Faculty of Economics, Caleta Beach

The VoxPol Summer School in Dublin will provide specialist training for social media and network analysis to enable explorations of ‘violent’ extremist politics in the online sphere, with oversight from VoxPol experts. DCU is the lead partner for VoxPol, which is a EU funded virtual centre-of-excellence project that integrates the world’s leading researchers and research groups in Violent Online Political Extremism, to include those researching the intersection of terrorism and the Internet (including violent jihadists, violent separatists, etc.), the online activities of the extreme Right,  and the potential for violent online radicalisation.

The North Africa Middle East Politics and EU Security – NAMEPES Summer School provides its participants with a deep understanding of the relations between the MENA region and the European Union in different aspects (geopolitics, international relations, economics, law). The Summer School also analyses in depth the domestic and foreign policy of the main regional players in the Middle Eastern politics by highlighting the role of institutions, civil society and political ideologies, particularly political Islam and nationalism.

The second edition of the summer school on North Africa, the Middle East Politics and EU Security
(NAMEPES), which took place from 20 to 24 June 2022 at the School of International Studies, was
strongly influenced by the impact of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The war is affecting,
and will continue to affect, the MENA region in many ways, especially with regards to its
democratization process and the role of Europe in that direction. Throughout the summer school, the
specificities of each lecture contributed to this wider theme, by connecting insightful speeches with
intense discussions. The first day was filled with introductions. Pina Picierno Vice-President of the
European Parliament gave an opening address emphasizing the importance of the region and the topic
to be dealt with.
Tuesday was opened with Fawaz Gerges lecture on the international relations of the Middle East.
Covering the timeframe from Napoleon to modern times, the lecture contextualized the Middle East,
highlighting problems with the formation of states, orientalism, beauty standard and many more while
also putting a focus on the dependency of the West on the region. Condensing as he put it: a years’ worth
of lectures into one concise lecture. After having highlighted the many ongoing fights, he closed with
an emphasis on the existential threat posed to the region by climate change, which renders all other
aspects mute. Next was Professor Birte Wassenberg, an expert on border studies, who looked at the
MENA region from an EU perspective and especially focused on the security aspect, which in Europe
remains dominated by NATO. Also, Prof Wassenberg highlighted how relations with North Africa are
mostly seen in the context of migration. With these two lectures rooting both Europe and the NorthAfrica and Middle East region politically the second day of summer school was ended.
On Wednesday, Professor Joel Gordon went on to discuss the cultural and historical links and issues
especially between the Arab world and Europe. The students benefited from his vast expertise on the
Arab world, Middle Eastern Studies and especially Egypt. He skillfully combined anecdotes, sound
academic advice and expert knowledge. Next was Professor Ali Ansari who had to join via zoom
explaining in detail the issues around the Iran nuclear deal and engaging with the relationship between
Iran and Russia which, considering the ongoing war intrigued many students. Engaging with the mindset
of the Iranian leadership and the issue of democratization in Iran. With the Arab and the Persian world
covered the students now had a good grasp on the region.
Thursday broadened the perspective and the discipline scope with the topic of Maritime delimitations
by Trento’s very own Marco Pertile, bringing in the aspect of international maritime law in theory and
practice, and explaining through several case studies how it created conflict in the Mediterranean, while
also helping students get a good understanding of the legal basis of that is topic. The lesser-known topic
of maritime law led to many interesting inquiries by students and a small group work in which the
students took up the positions of either Italy or Libya and engaged in an intense debate about a naval
incident caused intense discussions. Then came the organizer of the event, Professor Pejman
Adolmohammadi, who due to COVID-19 could only join via zoom. Starting with the Persian Gulf, he
covered the aspects of history of Iranian identity and the foreign policy happening in the region. Building
on Professor Ansari’s lecture, he emphasized the long history of Iranian domination in the region as well
as the long standing differences between both the world of the Iranian plateau and the regions West of
it, delimiting both areas through historical examples. He also engaged with modern politics by
underlining how history and symbolism has been used in the ongoing political struggles in Iran.
Friday the closing conference kicked off, with experts on China, Russia and the Middle East discussing
the contemporary situation, providing new insights and intense discussions. While the current war and
its impact was on the minds of everyone, many students also asked questions regarding the more longterm developments such as the retreat of the US, the rise of China and power-shifts among local actors.
Professor Nikolay Kozhanov of Qatar University gave his view of the Russian foreign policies in the
region but also looked how the war would influence the region, discussing with Professors Gerges and
Abdolmohammadi. In the second half, Enrico Fardella gave his insights on the topic of China in a
discussion with Joel Gordon and Courtney Freer (LSE).
In a nutshell, both the summer school and the conference emphasized the importance of local actors and
local agency and, while many changes were observed, continuity was a theme that both events
emphasized. The region will remain pivotal for EU security and while the topic of democratization was
not directly touched upon, it remained on the mind of everyone when looking at countries like Iran and
Egypt.

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