Kicking off this session of the MAPIR Career Talks on 23rd November 2023, our speakers Franziska Schechinger, Julia Kittel and Kirsten Hartman offered key insights into navigating professional working environments and shared their experiences of working for NATO, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI Europe) and the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung respectively.
Speaking from their own experiences, our speakers shared both personal and professional perspectives on how to best deal with the challenges and anxieties of transitioning from student life to building a professional career. The speakers offered much needed advice on developing one’s skills and interests through and post the master’s program, dealing with precarity and failures, and understanding one’s working styles. The Q&A session further focused on topics ranging from managing applications and internships during the course of one’s studies, entry-level employment opportunities, skills and portfolio development as well as guidance for international students.
*The event was hosted by Maike Berg and Meha Kaul.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez and Dr. Franz von Lucke have published an article 'Global justice and EU climate policy in a contested liberal international order' as part of the special section in the November 2023 issue of International Affairs on ‘Liberal order, the EU and global political justice'.
On 29 June 2023, Thomas Diez joined the panel discussion "In ruins - bombed Ukraine, destroyed security order. Where do we go from here?" together with Carlo Massala from the University of Munich and Oksana Huss from the University of Bologna. The event took place as part of the lecture series 'Brennpunkt Ukraine' in the Audimax of the Neue Aula. After the experts gave their assessments of the latest developments in Russia and Ukraine, a lively round of questions and discussion with the audience took place, during which topics such as the uprising of the Wagner mercenaries, Russia's domestic politics and the security situation in Ukraine were addressed.
With a focus on internships and traineeships, the second session of the MAPIR Career Talks focused on student and alumni perspectives on applying for and managing internships during one’s studies. Students with internship experience at civil society organizations, government institutions and international organizations such as ICAN Germany (The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), the ZIF (Centre for Peace Operations / Zentrum für Internationale Friedenseinsätze), the FES Peace and Security Centre for Competence Sub-Saharan Africa and the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office shared their personal insights into navigating internships, planning timelines and managing expectations.
During the Q&A session, the speakers - Hendrix Sexauer, Juliane Hauschulz, Lilly Felk and Svea Thiele - addressed common concerns and queries regarding application timelines, eligibility criteria, funding opportunities and offered valuable advice on how to deal with challenges that one may face when undertaking a long-term internship such as relocation, managing timelines and expectations. The speakers emphasized that if one wishes to gain practical insights into the work of key actors and institutions in the field of peace and conflict, internships offer one of the best ways of developing both an insider perspective into the field as well as one’s practical skills-set.
*The event was hosted by Maike Berg and Meha Kaul on June 22, 2023.
Trial and Error. Find yourself a niche. Plan yourself a timeline. And don’t give up, it works out differently for everyone but in the end, it does work out.
These were some of the key takeaways from the first session of the Online MAPIR Career Talks held on April 27th, 2023. As part of a student-led initiative to connect current students of the MAPIR program with recent graduates and alumni, this session of the Career Talks, focusing on the topic of entry-level employment and potential career pathways after the MAPIR program, saw alumni participation from the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit / German Agency for International Cooperation), NATO and the United Nations.
Through rich first-hand accounts of navigating life after graduation, the speakers— Antje Lehmann, Helene Eggersdorfer, Svenja Brunkhorst and Sina Gussek—not only offered a glimpse into their career journey to and experiences at some of the most coveted organizations in the field of international politics, security and development but also offered tips for developing one’s career after the master’s degree. During the Q&A part of the event, the speakers answered questions pertaining to internship and traineeship opportunities, entry pathways into key international institutions, and opportunities for EU and non-EU nationals and offered advice on how to best manage the application process, personal portfolio and timelines, and employer expectations.
*The event was hosted by Maike Berg and Meha Kaul.
This year marks the 25th time that the University of Tübingen has sent a delegation to the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference, which took place in New York from 2 to 6 April. For the second year after the conference was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, we were pleased to be back in New York to participate in the NMUN conference and represent Malaysia in eight committees, (GA 1, GA2, GA 3, HRC, UNEA, IAEA, CSW, CPD). Since October, the delegates had prepared for the conference in two intensive seminars and several rehearsal simulations, until the time finally came at the beginning of April. The opening ceremony took place in the ballroom of the Hilton and offered all those present from all over the world an impressive and imposing start to the conference with guest speakers and speeches by the organisers. The delegates from all over the world were given advice for the next days and the purpose of the event was explained to them once again: To think and act globally and thus become world citizens.
In the following days, the students discussed in their committees numerous interrelated problems such as the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, illegal arms trade, resilience against global economic shocks and the protection of human rights. The participants then formed working groups in which they worked on working papers, which then became draft resolutions after feedback from the dais and several rounds of revisions. Finally, on day four, the voting procedure began, which can take several hours in the larger committees. However, our delegates were able to draw an excellent conclusion, since all of them had managed to pass their draft resolutions as resolutions.
Another highlight of the conference was undoubtedly the Closing Ceremony in the impressive General Assembly Hall of the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The participation of the Tübingen delegation at NMUN was yet again successful this year. Six of the eight position papers received a position paper award for their excellent preparation and elaboration of Malaysia's position on the given topics within the committees. In addition, the entire delegation received an Honorable Mention Award for their appearance and authentic representation of Malaysia. Finally, the delegates were left with the task of formally adjourning the conference to next year, bringing half a year of preparations and five exciting conference days to an end.
17 students of the IfP, together with Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez and Rüya Özkaya (PhD), went to Cyprus to learn about the conflict in Cyprus even more intensively as a follow-up to the seminar "Cyprus - A Conflict at a Crossroads" in the winter semester 2022/23. The protracted conflict, which has kept the island divided roughly into "North" and "South" since 1974 with the help of a UN buffer zone, virtually encompasses all the topics that address peace and conflict studies and the study of international relations, primarily security and peacebuilding and related issues of unification. The reference to these issues is polarized by the different narratives of the sides as well as politicized at various levels of society. Shortly before our excursion began, elections had taken place in Cyprus - the outcome of these was also a recurring part of our meetings discussions.
After everyone had found their way to the capital Nicosia over the weekend, we met on Monday morning (13.02) in front of the beautiful PRIO Cyprus Centre for a meeting with Harry Tzimitras (director), Mete Hatay and Emine Eminel Sülün. After a theoretical input into their work and research focus, we got the chance to ask a few questions that took up the point of contention but also the possibilities of hydrocarbon exploration in the depths of the sea around Cyprus as a catalyst in the peace negotiations. Afterwards we visited the Museum of National Struggle, which presented the history of the independence of the Greek Cypriots and the related struggles against the colonial power of Great Britain.
After a lunch break with plenty of halloumi, we made our way to the northern part of the island through two checkpoints that allow passage to the respective opposite side of the buffer zone in the city. Here we met Ergün Olgun, UN representative of the "TRNC" government. After already seeing the important building blocks of the Greek Cypriot narrative in the museum, this meeting allowed us to get a feel for the argumentation of the Turkish Cypriot narrative. This perspective put the predicament, as well as the so far failed peace negotiations and the prospect of the future success of these, in a different light. We concluded the long and intensive Monday evening with a joint meze dinner at Stoa tou Dimitri.
On Tuesday, we went to the Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta, where we met Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen and, after his lecture and a Q&A session, we were able to visit the ghost town of Varosha, of which just under three percent has been open since 2020. This decision of the "TRNC government" is highly controversial, as the settlement or the touching of this area is actually prohibited by an adopted UN resolution. The atmosphere in the ghost town was very impressive. Towards the sea you can see picturesque beaches and the water shimmering in various shades of blue; if you turn around just 90 degrees, you will see the abandoned and run-down hotel ruins from a time when tourism flourished here.
Our Wednesday was marked by meetings with different foundations and organizations, starting with the headquarters of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Nicosia, led by Hubert Faustmann, who spoke about his work and the difficulties of the cooperation of the Foundation and other organizations with the political level of the island and, thus, the peace process. After a walk to the Home4Cooperation, located in the buffer zone in Nicosia, we met the investigative journalist Sevgül Uludag, who captured our attention with her stories and experiences from the research around the missing persons of the conflict. Thereby she also brought up topics like intergenerational traumas and their (missing) reappraisal into our perception and left us in a moved mood. This shift of the focus from the institutionalized political and security events to the level of society and individuals and their stories was further strengthened in the afternoon by meetings with four civil society organizations: Unite Cyprus Now, HADE, Queer Cyprus Association, and Accept Cyprus. Thus, a long, intense and enriching day came to an end.
Thursday held another visit to the buffer zone for us, but this time to the UN mission in Cyprus, UNFICYP. Here, we had the opportunity to talk with the Force Commander Major General Ingrid Gjerde about the work of the mission and to visit the abandoned former international airport of Nicosia. On this day we were accompanied by Dr. Constantinos Adamides from the University of Nicosia, with whom we were able to talk about the current situation and the prospects of the island. After the visit to the UN, our bus took us through the mountains to Omodos where, after a short lunch break, we visited the Byzantine Timios Stravros Monastery. A wine tasting at the Oenou Yi vineyards was planned for the late afternoon, which took our minds off the preoccupation with the parties and objects of the conflict for a brief time.
Friday morning. The last day together began. Again, the program did not disappoint at any point, because there was still the meeting with Athanasios Athanasiou, press officer at the EU Commission Representation in Nicosia. This meeting was especially interesting for our participants from the MADRE program and our perception of the role of the EU was sharpened. In addition, Thomas Diez was able to organize a lecture by Dr. Christina Kaili from the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies, which tied in well with the descriptions of the organizations from the previous day and offered a nice arc here. Whoever thought that we had now already reached the end of the constantly new and insightful program, was to be convinced of the opposite. After an extended lunch break, we rounded off the official meetings at the University in Nicosia, where Prof. Zenonas Tziarras and Prof. Nikos Moudouros told us about their research on Turkey's role in the Cyprus conflict and left us plenty of room for follow-up questions, during which it was clear that we had had an intense week with many ambivalent impressions that shaped our questions and opinions.
Where should the informal part find its conclusion? Well, at the Stoa tou Dimitri at the meze dinner! Had we learned and held back a bit on the first courses of the meze by now? Yes. Were we all a bit tired from the last five days of the program and its impressions? Yes. Did we pack our bags and realize how much more knowledge we were able to take with us? Without any doubt.
Thank you for an incomparably intensive week!
- Text by Maike Berg
On February 24, the one year anniversary of the war in Ukraine, Professor Thomas Diez was the key speaker at the "Rally: One year of war in Ukraine" organised by the youth parties based in Tübingen, in solidarity with Ukraine. Professor Diez talked about the illegitimacy of the ongoing war, the need of supporting Ukraine in any ways necessary, and the importance of humanitarian law.
On 22 February 2023, Thomas Diez was a guest at the LpB web talk series "Zeitenwende im Gespräch". On the topic of "One year of war in Ukraine: a test for the European Union?", he contextualised the Russian attack on Ukraine by putting it into a broader global political context, and then went on to discuss the effectiveness of EU sanctions and the role of the EU in a possible resolution of the conflict with Dr. Knut Krohn, Brussels correspondent for the Stuttgarter Zeitung.
Once again this year, a delegation from Tübingen will take part in the "National Model United Nations" (NMUN) conference in New York. There, a group of 16 students will represent the country of Malaysia in eight committees of the United Nations (UN) from 2 to 6 April 2023. Intensive preparations for this have already begun. These again take place within the framework of two events offered at the Institute of Political Science. Firstly, the delegates will take part in an English-language seminar entitled "The United Nations System - Politics and Policies", taught by Dr Joscha Abels, which aims to give the students a deeper understanding of the UN system in its thematic breadth. Additionally, students meet weekly during the winter semester 2022/2023 for a workshop led by Lea Augenstein (M.A.) and two student tutors, the so-called "head delegates". The participants have already had the opportunity to practise and learn the tools necessary for holding a MUN conference, such as the so-called "rules of procedure", during a first internal rehearsal simulation on 2 and 3 December 2022. In addition, our students have already begun to intensively familiarise themselves with Malaysia's foreign policy positions and to present them in position papers. Now the delegates are looking forward to two more trial simulations in January and February - the Hohenheim Castle Model United Nations (HCMUN) and the self-organised Tübingen Model United Nations (TMUN) on 3 February 2023 - as well as a speech training, conducted by Marco Behrmann of X-Rubicon. From 14 to 17 February 2023, some of our delegates will also take part in an excursion to Geneva to get to know various United Nations organisations, including the World Trade Organisation and the UN Development Programme, in expert discussions.
On 29 November 2022, Gabi Schlag was invited to give a lecture at the University of Marburg. As part of the lecture series ‘Perspectives on Violence in the 21st Century’, organised by Dr. Mariel Reiss and Prof. Felix Anderl, Gabi spoke on the topic ‘Images that matter - Visual Representations of Violence in the Global Constellation’.
To watch a recording of the lecture, click here.
Seminar with former diplomat and now Honorary Professor Ischinger on "Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management – Selected Case Studies in International Negotiations"
Don’t just trust, verify! In a block seminar spanning three days (09.11 - 11.11, 2022) offered by one of the most prominent and active figures in German diplomacy and the field of crisis management - Hon. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ischinger, students at the Institute engaged with the ins and outs of international crisis diplomacy and conflict prevention. With a focus on the outbreak of and response to both former and ongoing international crises, the seminar brought to the fore questions concerning the role of dependencies and strategic vulnerabilities in diplomatic negotiations and multilateral efforts to end violent conflicts, as well as the often overlooked importance of preventive diplomacy. In discussing selected case studies from Europe and the Middle East, Wolfgang Ischinger’s expertise and personal experiences from his on-site diplomatic engagement provided an additional layer of perspective to the conflicts discussed and the seminar’s focus on diplomatic practice in times of crisis. Despite the limited duration of the seminar, students were not only able to gain key insights into the workings of and the subsequent limits to diplomatic practice but also engage in debates on pertinent topics such as climate security and deterrence, EU-China relations in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the future of a European security architecture.
Gabi Schlag Elected as a Member of the GPSA Ethics Committee
From 17 to 30 October 2022, the German Political Science Association (GPSA) held online elections for its Ethics Committee for the term 2022-2027. The new members of the Ethics Committee are Sebastian Huhnholz, Patrick A. Mello, Ursula Münch, Susanne Pickel, Ingo Rohlfing and Gabi Schlag. Congratulations!
The Ethics Committee is called upon to intervene in cases of scientific misconduct that violate the Code of Ethics. This includes, in particular, violations of objectivity in research and review, infringement of intellectual property (plagiarism), discrimination against students and staff, as well as sexual harassment and sexualised violence. Further information can be found on the GPSA website.
With a successful defense of his dissertation on "The Emancipatory Potential of Resilience", Marco Krüger completed his doctorate at the Institute of Political Science on October 27, 2022. He was examined by Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez and Prof. Dr. Juha Vuori (University of Tampere, Finland). Dear Marco, congratulations on this outstanding achievement and all the best for your future career!
In October 2022, we welcomed 23 new students from ten different countries to the M.A. programme Peace Research and International Relations (MAPIR) – on-site in Tübingen as well as online for those still waiting for their visas. As in previous years, the students discussed war and peace during the introductory week, completed the legendary quiz and exchanged ideas with MAPIR students from the higher semesters over drinks in Schmitz Katze. The MAPIR PODCASTS 2022 will be ready soon, too!
Barbara Gruber will join the Chair of International Relations and Peace and Conflict Research as a Teach@Tübingen Fellow in October 2022. She has, among other things, worked as a Policy Advisor at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs in a project engaged with resilience in disaster management, cyber security and counter-terrorism. Her main research interest lies in examining the authority of psychological knowledge in shaping global security practices. She will be offering a seminar on "Resilience in Security Studies - Contesting or Embracing Complexity" in the winter term 2022/23. For more information on Barbara Gruber's work, click here.
Cengiz Gunes will join the Chair of International Relations and Peace and Conflict Research in September 2022 as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow. His research interests lie at the intersection of the politics and international relations of the Middle East and conflict studies. Empirically his research focuses on Turkey, Iraq and Syria and addresses the key issues of transformation and resolution of violent conflicts, democracy and pluralism, accommodation of minorities, models of territorial and non-territorial autonomy, and national and human security. In the 2022/23 winter term, he will deliver a seminar on the Kurdish conflicts in the Middle East. For more information on Cengiz Gunes' work, click here.
On 18 July 18 2022, Katharina Krause successfully defended her dissertation on ‘Imag(in)ing the Health-Security Nexus – the Connection of Images, Health, and Security in the Ebola Epidemic 2013-2016’. She completed her PhD with distinction (‘summa cum laude’). The examination committee was composed of Thomas Diez, Roland Bleiker (University of Queensland) and Andreas Hasenclever. Congratulations on this excellent achievement and all the best for your future career, Katharina!
In 2009, the European Parliament adopted a resolution designating 11 July as the European Commemorative Day for the victims of the Srebrenica genocide. 27 years ago, Bosnian Serb forces led by Ratko Mladić overran the UN-declared safe zone of Srebrenica and systematically killed more than 8000 people, raped and deported women and girls. Every 11 July, Bosniak people commemorate these horrific events by burying victims identified over the past year. Our MAPIR student Nejra Lilić, who lost many family members in Srebrenica’s genocide, organised a film screening in memory of the victims on 11 July 2022. The movie “Quo Vadis, Aida?” dramatises the events of July 1995 by following Aida, a translator for the United Nations, in Srebrenica. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” won many awards, including the European Film Award for Best Film, and received an Oscar nomination in 2021 for the best international feature film.
Returning at last! Students attending the seminar ‘European Security Institutions’, led by Dr Gabi Schlag, visited Brussels from 7 to 10 June 2022. In specially designed research projects, the students conducted interviews in groups, which will be incorporated into a podcast project, and took pictures for a photo essay.
Yuliia Kurnyshova joined the Chair of International Relations and Peace and Conflict Research in April 2022 as a Ukrainian visiting scholar in the Research@Tübingen programme. Kurnyshova has worked for the National Institute for Strategic Studies (Kyiv) and the Institute for Social and Economic Research as a foreign policy analyst. Her most recent affiliation was with the Institute of International Relations in Kyiv. She enriches the department with working interests in the field of Ukrainian foreign policy discourses and security studies. For more information about Yuliia Kurnyshova, click here.
Sarah Crowly will join the Chair of International Relations and Peace and Conflict Research as a Teach@Tübingen Fellow as of April 2022. She was recently awarded her PhD at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University, where her research concerned identity construction through peace mediation in Syria and Yemen. In the 2022 summer term, she will convene a module focused on peacemaking in the Middle East and North Africa. For more information on Sarah Crowly’s work, click here.
In October 2021, 25 students began the Master of Art Peace Research and International Relations (MAPIR) program. We are pleased to welcome these new students to the Institute. MAPIR 2021 is now the second cohort to study the former MAFIP program entirely in English. With first-year students from eight countries, the Master's program has once again become a bit more international. Fortunately, in fall the pandemic situation allowed the introductory week and the courses to take place in presence until Christmas, even if a handful of students had to participate online first due to delays in the issuing of visas.
This year, Gabi Schlag is once again chairing the jury for the prestigious Christiane Rajewsky Prize, which is awarded annually by the Peace Research Association for the best master's thesis and dissertation. The award winners will be honored on March 17, 2022 at the 53rd AFK Colloquium at the University of Konstanz. More information can be found here.
The University of Tübingen dedicates an Instagram post to shaping the future at the university. Our field, peace research, is also represented and is addressed from a very personal perspective. Because here, too, you can play an active role in shaping the future. But see for yourselves. :-)
This year's MAPIR Keynote 2021 will be delivered by Professor Stefanie Kappler. She is Professor of Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding at Durham University and is particularly concerned with spatial approaches to peace, memory politics and the role of the arts in peace processes. Under the title "Peace & Memory - Curating the Past for the Present", she will shed light on the extent to which experiences of violence from generations long gone shape current dividing lines in society. Using the #RhodesMustFall protests in South Africa, the so-called "peace walls" in Belfast, and commemorative art in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Prof. Kappler will demonstrate how memory actors such as artists, curators, and activists have translated a violent past into a political agenda for the present. In that sense, Peace politics is always intertwined with memory politics and thus especially with demands for justice and contestations around the need for recognition, reparation and dignity. The MAPIR Keynote will take place on October 28, 6:00-8:00pm in HS 001 OSA, Kepplerstrasse 2 in compliance with the "3-G rule." Pre-registration for the event is required and can be done here.
Bret McEvoy is offering a seminar on 'Race, Racism and Global IR' in the upcoming winter semester 2021/22. You can register here. Bret is a Fritz Thyssen postdoctoral fellow at the Willy Brandt School, University of Erfurt. His research interests include critical race studies, masculinity/gender studies, and international relations. In February 2021, he completed his Ph.D. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, USA. His dissertation on "White Reckonings" was awarded the 2021 Peter Ackerman Award. More information on his research and teaching profile is available here.
Aidan Gnoth, T4T fellow, is offering a seminar on 'The Politics of Violence and the Promise of Pacifism' in the upcoming winter term. You can register here.
As a member of the Governing Board of the European International Studies Association, Gabi Schlag will serve as Executive Secretary from 2021-2023, and Burak Tansel, University of Sheffield, has been elected President of EISA for the term. Congratulations!
Aidan Gnoth will join the Chair of International Relations and Peace and Conflict Research as a Teach@Tübingen Fellow for one year as of October 2021. He teaches post-graduate classes in Peace and Conflict Studies and is particularly interested in innovating research methods to explore revolutionary nonviolence, alternatives politics and notions of peace, and the role of academia as a critic and conscience of society. In the 2021 winter term, he will give a course on Critical Peacebuilding at the Institute. For more information on Aidan Gnoth’s work click here.
The book Conflict Resolution and Global Justice. The European Union in the Global Context by Nikola Tomić and Ben Tonra has been published with a chapter by Thomas Diez. The book examines how the different normative foundations of conflict resolution held by various global actors, their understandings of justice, and the differences between types of conflict influence the varying means by which conflicts can be prevented, managed, and ultimately resolved. The chapter by Thomas Diez Recognition, Reproduction, Transformation: The Use and Abuse of International Justice in the Cyprus Conflict approaches the Cyprus border conflict from this perspective. For more information, visit the publisher's website.
On July 20, 2021, Ahmet Sözen, professor of political science and international relations at the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) and Constantinos Adamides, associate professor of international relations at the University of Nicosia, visited the seminar "Cyprus - A Conflict at a Crossroads," led by Thomas Diez. They both gave their views on the current state of affairs in the Cypriot conflict on the microlevel as well as in regard to its embeddedness in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Read more on this event here.
On July 14, 2021, Professor Birgül Demirtaş gave a lecture on her current research project, which is dedicated to the question of whether the external, diplomatic relations of Turkish cities allow a conclusion to be drawn about Turkey's national foreign policy. Here, she pointed out that the importance of cities is not only increasing in global politics in general, but also that the external relations of Turkish cities in particular have expanded. At the same time, Turkey has had a new political system since 2018, which is classified as "not free" by Freedom House. "Local politics can include seeds of change on the national level", Demirtaş argued in this context. Her research project will shed light on the extent to which national trends can be deduced from these local dynamics and the role that city diplomacy plays in centralized, populist systems.
On June 23, 2021, Robert Falkner joined the seminar "Climate Justice," led by Thomas Diez. Robert Falkner is Interim Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and Associate Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Students discussed with Falkner the importance of "environmental stewardship" as a new primary institution, as well as general shifts in power and the advancing pluralization of international society and its implications for the role of climate justice.
On June 22, 2021, the seminar "Cyprus - A Conflict at a Crossroads," led by Thomas Diez, was delighted to discuss with Costas Constantinou his documentary "The Thrid Motherland." Constantinou is a professor of International Relations at the University of Cyprus and produced "The Third Motherland" together with Giorgos Kykkou Skordis in 2011. This documentary consists largely of interviews that give voice to the experiences of the Maronite community in Cyprus - as a third party in the bi-communal system of Cyprus created in 1960 and, a little later, the divided island. Thus, it asks fundamental questions regarding identities, belonging to overarching groups, but also resistance and exclusion.
Last weekend, from 18-20.6.2021, political science students conducted a mediation simulation. The subject was the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. For three days, discussions were held, speeches were made, consensus was found, and red lines were insisted upon. As in real life, positions hardened, and delegates became emotional at times. But in the end an agreement was signed. After heated discussions, the students came to an agreement on Sunday. It includes a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine, an improvement of crossings into the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk, and they agreed to meet again for negotiations within the next 30 days.
The simulation is held every two years at the Institute of Political Science as part of the seminar "Theories and Practices of Mediation". In the seminar, students learn about theoretical foundations, which they then can apply in the simulation - in practice. A detailed report can be found here.
Since June 2021, Prof. Dr. Birgül Demirtaş is a visiting researcher at the Institute of Political Science. She works as a professor of International Relations at the Turkish-German University in İstanbul. She completed her BA at Boğaziçi University, MA at Bilkent University and PhD at Freie Universität Berlin. Her studies focus on Turkish and German foreign policy, local diplomacy, migration policy of Turkish political parties and gender. She is the editor-in-chief of the academic journal Uluslararası İlişkiler (International Relations) published by the Turkish International Relations Council (UIK). She has published articles in the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Middle East Policy, Femina Politica, Iran and Caucasus, International Politics, WorldTrends, and Perceptions. In her current research, she is interested in the opportunities and challenges in Turkish town twinning.
On June 10th 2021 Dr. E. (Lisa) Gaufman, who is Assistant Professor of Russian Discourse and Politics at the University of Groningen and University of Tübingen alumna, held a talk on Ukraine in Russian popular imagination. This online talk was part of a seminar on Theories and Practices of Mediation where students are focusing on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, but it was open to all students from the institute.
Gaufman presented different strands of how Ukraine is presented in Russia – as brother, sister, and enemy. Firstly, Gaufman talked about the perception of Ukraine being Russia’s little brother – a non-state with no language or history on its own. Secondly, she talked about the gendered perception of Ukraine. This can i.a. be seen on social media, where there have been many comments since 2014 following a narrative of Ukraine being a loose woman, who sells herself to NATO and the EU. Thirdly, there has been a rise on fascism discourse regarding Ukraine in Russian media since 2014. Reporting focuses on far-right extremists in the Ukraine, drawing a connection to historic anti-Nazi discourse in Russia and thereby perpetuating an understanding of Ukraine as the enemy.
Following the input students had the opportunity to ask questions. Gaufman then elaborated on the topics of social media channels, the role of the US, and Ukrainian identity.
Lisa Gaufman studied the MAFIP program at the University of Tübingen until 2012. She then completed her PhD at the University of Tübingen in 2016. Her dissertation’s title is “Enemies at the Gates: Threat Narratives in Putin’s Russia”.
She then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bremen, before she started her current position as Assistant Professor of Russian Discourse and Politics at the University of Groningen. She i.a. is the author of "Security Threats and Public Perception: Digital Russia and the Ukraine Crisis" (Palgrave, 2017).
The book The EU and Global Climate Justice. Normative Power Caught in Normative Battles by Franziskus von Lucke, Thomas Diez, Solveig Aamodt and Bettina Ahrens has been published. Based on research in the GLOBUS project, it examines the EU's contribution to the development of the global climate regime within the broader framework of global justice.
It is argued that the procedural dimension of justice has been largely overlooked so far in the assessment of EU climate policy and reveals that the EU has significantly contributed to the development of the climate regime within its broader efforts to ‘solidarise’ international society. At the same time, the book identifies deficits of the climate regime and limits to the EU’s impact, and explains why the EU policy towards global climate change has shifted over time. Finally, it argues that these policies should not be assessed in terms of being wholly positive or wholly negative, but that they are shot through with ambiguities. For more information, visit the publisher's website.
On February 25, 2021, Ian Manners gave a lecture on his “Normative Power Europe”-concept (NPE) in the seminar "A Normative Power No More? The EU in International Politics" by Thomas Diez. He is currently working at the Department of Political Science at Lund University and has been previously employed as Professor at University of Copenhagen as well as Roskilde University. Ian Manners works at the nexus of critical social theory and the study of the European Union in planetary politics. His seminal piece "Normative Power Europe: A Contradiction in Terms?" which served as a foundation for the seminar has widely influenced academic debates in European Studies and beyond.
In his guest lecture, Manners gave an overview of his research background and engagement with NPE and provided an insight into his current research focus. In engagement with the class he also addressed the EU’s LGBTQI+ policies, his understanding of power as well as tensions within and the possible future of his concept.
On February 18, 2021, Prof. PhD Thomas Christiansen gave a lecture on EU-China relations in the seminar "A Normative Power No More? The EU in International Politics" by Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez.
Christiansen is a Professor at Luiss Università Guido Carli in Rome. He has published on different aspects of European Union politics as well as EU-China relations.
In his talk, Christiansen provided insights in the history and current state of EU-China trading relations and their growing ties in the international realm. He highlighted parallels and differences between both global players and further touched upon the complex triangular relationship between the US, the EU and China. Engaging with the questions asked by students, he also referred to the potential fragmentation of European unity in the face of selective Chinese foreign interest. However, he emphasized the importance for China to access the EU’s single market and argued that China has no revisionist aims but is seeking for acceptance as a global power in the international system. Finally, he challenged the fixed idea of a singular “Western identity” in opposition to China.
On February 4, 2021, Prof. PhD Senem Aydin-Düzgit gave a lecture on EU-Turkey relations in the seminar "A Normative Power No More? The EU in International Politics" by Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez. Aydin-Düzgit is currently a professor of International Relations at Sabancı University and Senior Scholar and Coordinator of Research and Academic Affairs at the Istanbul Policy Center. In her contribution, she drew a comprehensive picture of the development, the current state as well as the future of EU-Turkey relations and Turkey's accession process to the EU. She argued inter alia that the transactional, interest-driven relationship that currently exists between the EU and Turkey does not offer a long-term perspective. Aydin-Düzgit also pointed out the complexity of the issue, which stems from the escalating situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Cyprus conflict, and the now changing position in the White House in parts.
At the beginning of 2021, the BMBF-funded research project Cohesion through Security? Discourses, Interactions and Practices of European Cohesion started. The project investigates how European cohesion is organized through references to security, as well as the discourses, practices, and interactions at the political, administrative, and societal levels that are relevant in this process. Of particular interest is also the question of how negative unintended consequences of these processes, such as exclusion effects, can be avoided. The project is being conducted in cooperation with the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) and the Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg. The Tübingen sub-project is led by Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez and Dr. Franz von Lucke and deals with the construction of cohesion in European security debates as well as securitization schemes in debates on European identity and cohesion at the political level.
On 28 January 2021, Dr. Kataryna Wolczuk (University of Birmingham) gave a lecture on EU-Russia relations in the seminar "A Normative Power No More? The EU in International Politics" by Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez. In particular, she addressed the role of Ukraine and argued for a more empirically grounded, as opposed to a detached theoretical, approach to the EU's relations with its Eastern neighborhood.
The first edition of The Routledge Handbook of Critical European Studies, edited by Thomas Diez in collaboration with Didier Bigo, Evangelos Fanoulis, Ben Rosamond, and Yannis A. Stivachtis, has been published. This comprehensive work defines and shapes the field of critical EU studies and sets the agenda for further research. The numerous contributions span different disciplines and paradigms and are organized into four sections, which include critical approaches to: European integration, European political economy, EU internal security, and EU external relations and foreign affairs. For more information, visit the publisher's website.
On 07 January 2021, Dr. Franz von Lucke gave a lecture in the seminar "A Normative Power No More? The EU in International Politics" organized by Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez, about the EU's conceptions of justice in international climate negotiations. Von Lucke explained the changes in the EU's conceptions of global justice in relation to the climate crisis and, accordingly, in its negotiation strategies, played an important role in the conclusion of the Paris Climate Agreement. In conclusion, von Lucke addressed questions from students on the prospects for success of the international climate regime. Read von Luckes corresponding paper, as well as more about the Globus research project.
On 17 December 2020, Prof. Dr. Nathalie Tocci, visiting professor at the University of Tübingen, gave a lecture on the EU Global Strategy as part of a seminar held by Prof. Dr. Thomas. In her lecture, Tocci discussed the process of developing the Global Strategy, in which she played a key role, as well as its implications for the role of the EU as a normative power. She concluded by discussing with the students the future of the Global Strategy and the opportunities and obstacles on the way to a more coherent EU foreign policy.
On 27 November 2020, Oliver Richmond, distinguished visiting professor at the University of Tuebingen, gave a MAPIR online lecture on the "Evolution of the International Peace Architecture”, which according to Richmond, can be traced through six stages or layers.
Oliver Richmond argued that the debates following the so-called local turn illustrate how a much grander edifice has emerged, from local to global scales, which though fragile and unstable, offers some prospects for further development. The theories and doctrines related to peace-keeping, mediation, peacebuilding, and state-building raise a range of long-standing questions about the evolution and integrity of this architecture. Finally, in the lecture he outlined the implications of the architecture's evolution, highlighting a form of peace-related to global justice and sustainability which remains in tension with more pervasive forms of governmentality.
In the fall of 2019, two MAFIP students, Juliane Hauschulz and Joshua Beer, boarded the Peace Boat together with eleven fellow students. The Peace Boat is a Japanese NGO on a cruise ship. Since 1983, it has been working for dialogue and reconciliation in the ports of conflict to which it heads. Since 2005 the Peace Boat excursion has been organized as part of the MAFIP in cooperation with the Berghof Foundation and the Peace Boat activist Jasna Bastic. On 21 September 2020, the two MAFIPs shared their experiences and impressions of the excursion on the local radio station 'Wüste Welle'. The interview is the beginning of a whole Peace Boat podcast series. The individual episodes will be broadcasted on Fridays from 14:00-15:00 on 'Wüste Welle' from 9 October onward (96.6 mhz VHF or 97.45 mhz CABLE and online as well as for listening later).
The DVPW Theme Group "Critical Security Studies" will host the workshop "Digitally taught: Critical Security Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies" on Monday, September 28, 2020 (9.00-10.30 a.m. and 11.00-12.30 a.m. on ZOOM). The event forms the first part of a series of half-day digital workshops on various topics. The workshop aims to collect and reflect on the experiences of the transition to digital teaching in the areas of critical security studies and peace and conflict research. The aim of the workshop is to get to know the currently generally discussed formats and tools of digital teaching in their concrete application to selected topics of critical security studies or peace and conflict research and to discuss how digital teaching can be made attractive in these areas. In two panels Prof. Dr. Jana Hönke (University of Bayreuth), PD Dr. Daniel Lambach (University of Duisburg-Essen), Prof. Dr. Markus-Michael Müller, (FU Berlin), PD Dr. Gabi Schlag (University of Tübingen) and Dr. Sascha Werthes (University of Trier) will present their teaching units as speakers.
Registrations are possible until September 18, 2020 with the subject "Registration - Digital Gelehrt" at email@example.com. The current program will be mailed to all participants in the week before the workshop together with the zoom conference link.
More information about the event series can be found here.
On 22 July 2020, Prof. Dr. Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent University Ankara) participated in a discussion on "Prospects for Non-Western International Relations". The event was organized by Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez at the end of his seminar on this topic. Prof. Bilgin first presented a lecture in which she gave an insight into her academic biography and her engagement with non-Western approaches to International Relations. Prof. Bilgin then discussed with students the question of what is meant by non-Western approaches in the first place, as well as the epistemological, methodological, and normative opportunities and difficulties of including such perspectives more strongly in International Relations.
On 25 June 2020, an online expert discussion on "Looking at Mali: European and global efforts, losses - and gains?" took place within the framework of the seminar "Security Institutions in Europe" organized by Dr. Gabi Schlag. MAPIR students had organized the discussion as a substitute for an excursion to Strasbourg, Brussels and Geneva, which had been cancelled due to corona. Michael Gahler (CDU), Member of the European Parliament and foreign policy spokesperson of the EPP Group, and Lieutenant Colonel Björn Hoyme, a consultant in the Federal Ministry of Defence, were invited as guests. In the course of the discussion, the students had the opportunity to discuss the challenges and prospects of success of the Bundeswehr missions in Mali with the two experts. In addition to the question of the possibilities of intensified European cooperation, critical aspects of Germany's engagement in the Sahel region were also examined.
On 28 May 2020, Prof. Thomas Diez and Dr. Franz von Lucke attended the online final conference of the GLOBUS research project. In the research project, which was started in 2016, they had worked together with colleagues from different European countries on the EU's contribution to global justice. Dr. Franz von Lucke presented the main results of the Tübingen sub-project, which had dealt with global justice in relation to climate change. Prof. Thomas Diez took part in a panel discussion on future research challenges on the EU and global justice. The recording of the conference can be viewed here.
On 14 May 2020, Gabi Schlag, together with Patricia Konrad (University of Hamburg) and Tina Rosner-Merker (University of Magdeburg), presented various tools and formats for the interactive design of synchronous as well as asynchronous online teaching in a workshop of the DVPW working group on university teaching. They provided insights into the teaching practice of a cross-location seminar in the field of peace and conflict research, which has been continuously developed since 2016. They outlined interactive elements of varying intensity and complexity and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of different tools and formats. A recording of the workshop is available on the DVPW website: https://www.dvpw.de/service/digitale-lehre/zoom-workshops/
From 17-21 February 2020 an excursion to Cyprus organised by Prof. Thomas Diez took place. The students had previously dealt intensively with the Cyprus conflict in a seminar. The excursion now offered the opportunity to deepen this knowledge and to form their own picture of the conflict. The students had the opportunity to discuss the developments of the Cyprus conflict and possible future scenarios in various meetings. On the agenda were discussions with activists, academics and NGOs, including the Peace Research Institute Oslo, the Goethe Institute and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Of particular interest was the meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Turkish Cypriots, Kudret Özersay.
From 11-14 February 2020, the Tübingen delegation to the National Model United Nations Conference in New York headed by Lea Augenstein undertook an excursion to Geneva. In discussions with staff from various UN bodies, the delegates were able to gain insights into the functioning of the UN system and benefit from detailed expert knowledge in preparation for the substantive work in their respective committees. The group visited the World Trade Organization, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Refugee Agency, and the World Health Organization, among others.
On 28 January 2020, a student day on climate justice was organised by Prof. Thomas Diez and Dr. Franz von Lucke as part of the GLOBUS research project. The keynote was held by Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Okereke examined the challenges of climate change from a justice perspective with a special focus on the Global South and discussed approaches to a more just climate policy.
Following Okerkeke's lecture, students presented posters they had created during a seminar on various aspects of climate justice. The three best posters were awarded a prize and the students will present them at a GLOBUS event in Bologna in May 2020.
Finally, an expert discussion on climate justice took place under the heading "Think Global, Act Local". Representatives from Fridays for Future, MyClimate Germany, the University of Tübingen, Stuttgart Airport and Tübingen's Mayor Boris Palmer took part in the discussion.
On 21 January 2020, Dr. Hylke Dijkstra (Maastricht University) gave a lecture on "Life and Death of International Institutions", in which he presented the preliminary results of his European Research Council funded project on this topic. Based on quantitative analyses, Dijkstra argued that international organisations that have a large bureaucratic apparatus rarely die or get replaced by others. This, according to Dijkstra, should be a cause for hope in view of the much-cited end of the liberal world order. Following his presentation, Dijkstra discussed the methodology of his research project and possibilities for further research with Prof Thomas Diez and students.
On 16 January 2020, Dr. Umut Bozkurt (Eastern Mediterranean University) and Dr. Maria Hadjipavlou (University of Cyprus) participated in a panel discussion on the future of the Cyprus conflict. As members of the Gender Advisory Team Cyprus and the Technical Committee on Gender Equality, Bozkurt and Hadjipavlou particularly addressed the chances of a stronger gender focus in the peace negotiations. Together with Prof Thomas Diez and students, they also discussed ways to strengthen the role of civil society in the peace process and the extension of the UN peace mission on the island.
On 9 January 2020, Professor Erol Kaymak (Eastern Mediterranean University) gave a presentation on the Turkish Cypriot perspective on the Cyprus conflict. Following his talk, Kaymak engaged in a discussion with students about the role of the EU in the Cyprus conflict and the potential impact of international recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
This year's 50,000 Euro teaching prize of the state of Baden-Württemberg goes to Alexander Kobusch, Dr. Thomas Nielebock, Natalie Pawlowski and Dr. Gabi Schlag (in alphabetical order). Together with colleagues* from the University of Freiburg, they were honoured on 4 December 2019 in Stuttgart Castle by Minister Theresia Bauer for their cross-location teaching project. Since the summer semester 2016, an annual seminar in cooperation with other university locations in the field of peace research / international relations has taken place under the auspices of the lecturers of the Institute of Political Science. Digitalisation and networks make it possible for teachers and students* to work together for one semester on a scientific topic, such as "Threats to peace in Europe" or "Dynamics, management and transformation of current secession conflicts". Get your own impression of the variety of seminar materials, e.g. expert videos, podcasts and much more.
On 25 November 2019, Prof. Thomas Diez took part in a panel discussion during the climate strike week at the University of Tübingen. Together with Prof. Kramer (general rhetoric), Prof. Trautwein (educational sciences) and Prof. Wiesing (medical ethics), he discussed the responsibility of science in the climate debate, the opportunities and challenges of climate change for democratic societies, and the effects of the climate crisis on international relations. There was consensus across the panel that climate change must play a greater role in science and university teaching.
From 8-10 July 2019 a mediation-simulation took place in Bad Urach under the direction of Dr. Gabi Schlag. In order to save the Iran nuclear agreement, 15 participants took over the roles of, among others, Frederica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mike R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, and Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They were supported by three mediators. At the end of the eventful negotiations, all parties agreed on a common additional declaration: Joint Agreement of Action!
On 3 July 2019, Prof. Thomas Diez gave a lecture on "Power and Inclusion in the International Society" at the Departmental Seminar. In his lecture, he presented some basic conceptual thoughts on these concepts and their relation, and applied them to the example of the EU as a normative power.
On 2 July 2019, Lee Jarvis, Professor of International Politics at the University of East Anglia, gave a guest lecture as part of the lecture "Discourses of Security". In his presentation, Jarvis dealt with parliamentary debates on the proscription of terrorist organisations in the United Kingdom. He analysed how in these debates the liberal British identity is produced and reproduced by juxtaposing it with the illiberal and irrational identity of terrorist organisations. The regularity of this process lends a ritualistic character to the always successful proscription procedures. Jarvis then discussed with the students limits and further possible applications of his concept.
On 2 July 2019, Prof. Münevver Cebeci of the Marmara University Istanbul, gave a guest lecture entitled "Deconstructing Ideal Power Europe: The EU and the Arab Change". Cebeci analyzed how the EU constructs its self-understanding as a normative power and how this construction is reproduced in scientific literature, using the example of European reactions to the changes in the Arab world in 2010 and 2011. Cebeci stressed that she did not intend her work to evaluate EU policy from a normative perspective. However, her poststructuralist research offered a critical reading that made it possible to deconstruct the processes of identity construction in the political and academic discourse on EU foreign policy.
On 25 June 2019, Niklas Schörnig, Deputy Chairman of the Research Council of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, gave a presentation as part of the lecture "Discourses of Security". Schörnig defended a neorealist "narrow" concept of security. Referring to recent world political events and developments in the arms industry, he argued that the probability of interstate wars was increasing. According to Schörnig, preventing these wars was the central challenge, which is why widening the concept of security was problematic. Schörnig then engaged in an intensive exchange with the students, who critically discussed his arguments.
On 18 June 2019, Cynthia Petrigh, founder and director of "Beyond Peace", gave a presentation as part of the lecture "Discourses of Security". Through her company, Petrigh provides training and advisory services to armed forces, peacekeepers, and non-state armed groups on international humanitarian law, compliance with international norms, prevention of sexual violence, and investigation of human rights violations. She assists societies in transformation processes by supporting mediation efforts, dialogue initiatives, and promoting the participation of women in peace processes.
Petrigh provided detailed information on her work in various conflict areas, including Cameroon, Mali, the Philippines and the Central African Republic. She spoke in detail about the opportunities and challenges of integrating gender perspectives and awareness for human rights and humanitarian law into armed conflicts. In this regard Petrigh offered surprising insights into the practical cooperation with non-state armed groups.
On 17 June 2019, Prof. Thomas Diez gave a presentation on the topic of "The European Union and Turkey" as part of the Studium Generale lecture "The Return of the Sultan? On the Political Economy of Authoritarianism in Turkey". He analysed the development of relations between the EU and Turkey from the 1960s to the present. Diez described the current deadlock in the accession talks as the result of a dilemma: both sides were neither interested in serious negotiations nor in breaking off the talks, an imminent solution to this problem was not to be expected. Against this background, Diez pointed out the importance of civil society exchanges for a potential mutual rapprochement.
On 21 May 2019, Ben Tonra from University College Dublin gave a lecture on "Brexit and European Security" as part of the lecture "Germany and the EU in International Politics". Tonra dealt with the implications of Brexit for the European security architecture and the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU. Tonra also gave a particularly vivid analysis of the consequences of the Brexit for the security of Ireland, warning against a renewed escalation of ethnic and religious conflicts on the island.
On 15 May 2019, Dr. Gabi Schlag gave a lecture at the IfP's Departmental Seminar entitled "Ignore or Delete? Governing graphic visual content on social media". She dealt with the EU's approach to the regulation of graphic-visual content uploaded, distributed and viewed on social media platforms. Gabi Schlag thus tried to answer the question of who has the authority and legitimacy to govern the Internet and what a legitimate regulation of graphic content should look like.
Also this year, a delegation from Tübingen took part in the National Model United Nations Conference, in New York, the largest worldwide. From 14-19 April 2019, the interdisciplinary group represented the Republic of Namibia. In addition to the intensive work in the committees, a visit to the Namibian UN representation was also on the agenda. The delegation was awarded numerous "Position Paper Awards" for its substantive preparation for the work in the individual committees. On the last day, some members of the delegation had the opportunity to address their committees in the plenary hall of the UN General Assembly. At the closing ceremony, the delegation from Tübingen was also honoured as a "Distinguished Delegation".
Bettina Ahrens discussed with pupils and citizens on 4 April 2019 about topics of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament in May. Together with different political parties’ representatives, the audience debated about uploadfilter as well as migration and Ahrens voiced her support for the current pupils’ engagement for climate.
From 11-16 March 2019, Thomas Diez and Bettina Ahrens organized the workshop “Identity and Conflict: Revisioning Relations in the EU-Neighbourhood” in Tbilisi, Georgia. Students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Germany worked on theories of nationalism and identity construction in the countries of the South Caucasus, reflected on the role of the European Union as well as Russia and worked on their intercultural communication skills. Together the students developed scenarios for the respective development of the countries including possible transformation of existing conflicts. The workshop was organized in cooperation with SSC Europe and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
On 22 January 2019 Thomas Diez gave a presentation on the case of Cyprus as part of the Studium Generale lecture “Autonomy-Demands and Secession-Movements in Europe and the World”. He described the causes of the conflict and traced its course along various failed rapprochements of the conflict-parties. Finally, Thomas Diez sketched a possible concept to solve the conflict, which then was object of intense discussions.