Summer School: previous editions

Ukraine and the challenges of nationhood, individuality and survival.

Date: 12 – 16 September 2022

Focus and goals

Ghent University Summer School 2022The open invasion of Ukraine by the Russian armed forces set off the largest armed conflict and multi-dimensional crisis on the European continent since the implosion of Yugoslavia and the wars in the former Yugoslav space in the 1990s. The current situation in Ukraine and its outcomes will not only shape the very nature of the country and its society but also that of Europe in general. The invasion of 24 February 2022, however, was preceded all the way back to the early 2000s by various events, critical shifts and turning points which were formative for both the country and its society.

The purpose of this multidisciplinary international Summer School is not only to provide a deeper understanding beyond the clichés of the conflict and the societies and environments involved, it is also to teach participants how to approach these clichés if they are to work with Ukraine in later professional environments or other capacities.

The focus is on Ukraine’s society and societal dynamics rather than on the grand geopolitics. Different experts on - and many also from - Ukraine offered an in-depth analysis of the following four topics, each of which was addressed in a separate thematic day:
• identity, culture and ‘culture wars’;
• economic-ecological dynamics;
• the ‘humanitarian frontline’;
• formal and informal governance.

This Eureast Platform summer school was initiated and compiled by the Department of Conflict and Development Studies and the Department of East European Languages and Cultures of Ghent University.
Find more information about the speakers and the programme of this summer school edition here.

Online Summer School: Russia in Covid times

Date: 12-16 July 2021

Focus and goals

Russia remains a key player in international affairs during the COVID-19 outbreak. When the COVID-19 crisis erupted, Russia took several decisive steps to safeguard its sovereignty and increase its soft power capabilities: closing its border to China and developing its own Sputnik-V vaccine for use throughout the world. Over the course of the pandemic, Russia’s preparedness also ran into several difficulties: low levels of domestic interest in vaccination, questions over Sputnik’s effectiveness and production capabilities and concern that the state was more interested in using vaccines as a tool of international diplomacy over domestic needs. COVID-19 thereby serves as a critical issue to assess broader political and societal factors in Russia and its relation to the international system. What exactly is Russia’s role in the world? Does international/regional prestige outweigh domestic demands? How should we envisage the Russian domestic realm, the economic situation, and the means that are employed by the Kremlin to address challenges at home and abroad? This summer school aims at exploring and explaining these questions with a specific focus on the effect that the COVID-19 crisis has had on Russia’s political and societal life over the past year. Read more.

International students at Ghent University

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