IAPSS Summer School 2016 -  Ukraine
between East and West: Soviet Legacy, Democratization Efforts and Geopolitical Challenges Organized by the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) in Kiev,
August 8th – August 14th 2016
Deadline for Application: May 16th, 2016

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You can also find FAQs here



Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

The Theme

Concerning the particularities of Ukraine's history, ethnicities, and geopolitics, the notion of national identity has always been a decisive element in the analyses of the country.Characterized by a turbulent post-Soviet phase over the last two decades, the Ukrainian population has experienced turmoil, revolts and war-like scenes over the past three years starting with the Euromaidan protests. As a consequence, other events unfolded such as the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the persisting violent struggles in Eastern Ukraine between Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops – an actual ceasefire not in sight. Still, long-delayed reform processes have been introduced under the new government, which was elected in 2014. However, actual success is difficult to estimate at this stage. Experts argue that Ukraine has lost parts of its territory, although Ukrainians have a stronger sense of national identity than ever before. A large variety of questions will dominate this year’s summer school in order to understand the political processes in Ukraine nowadays: What events have shaped memory construction processes in today’s Ukraine? Can Ukraine be seen as a bone of contention between Russia and the EU? How can we classify social movements in recent history such as the Orange Revolution? What is the EU’s role in democratization processes in Ukraine?

The covered topics of the summer school are as follows:

1. Identity, Memory and Narratives
2. Europeanisation and Political Conditionality
3. Geopolitical Challenges
4. Social Movements

Based on your preferred choice of the topic, 4 thematic panels will be formed. During the IAPSS Summer School 2016 all participants will be assigned to a working group, covered by at least one lecture and in discussions with experts from academia, while receiving support from workshop conductors. Members in a working group will develop a small research project related to the mentioned subtopics and will present their findings at the end of the Summer School. There is also the option to publish your work and findings in one of the IAPSS devices. In addition to lectures and discussion sessions, workshops on research methods will support and sustain your argument(s) and perspective(s) over the chosen topic for the final group presentation over the work done by each working group.

The IAPSS Summer School will be held in cooperation with Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv enabling all participants to dive into a week long program with various components: along lectures, seminars and workshops, also readings circles and working groups are going to be held. In addition to the academic program, visits to Kiev’s places of interest as well as evening programs in partnership with Think Tanks, foundations and social movements are part of the program. Kiev is the perfect starting point to do so. Mysterious, majestic, vibrant and simply passionate – the Eastern-European cultural centre on the Dnieper connects the charm of several hundred years of history with the character of a modern and vibrant capital city within the heart of Europe.

Are you interested in Political Science? Do you have a passion for Eastern Europe? Do you want to meet young scholars from all over the world with a shared interest? You have never been to Ukraine or Eastern Europe – or you simply need a reason to return? Just pack your bag and join us in Kiev!

Application and Selection Process

Advanced undergraduate and Master’s students as well as early PhD candidates are invited to submit their applications. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We review complete applications on a rolling basis on the 1st and 15th of each month until places are full. We will notify you afterwards whether the application was successful or not. Individuals interested in participating in the IAPSS Summer School 2016 are requested to submit a written application containing (1) your CV, (2) a letter of motivation (1-2 pages) and (3) a choice for a preferred topic from the list of subtopics provided above in order to be signed up in a working group during the school. Your letter of motivation should state at least (a) your previous experiences with the post-Soviet space, (b) your motivation for joining this Summer School, and (c) how this Summer School would contribute to your development. Be creative! Please note that the application process is competitive due to a limited number of tickets. Decision on admission is mainly based on the motivation letter, which is why we encourage applicants to put a special emphasis on this document.

What can Participants Expect?

¡       An academically challenging program consisting of lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops in a highly interactive and vibrant setting contributing to the personal and academic development of each participant.

¡       Discussing and debating with a range of experts in the field of Post-Soviet politics and affairs as well as getting first-hand insights on their current research and teaching methods; also featuring so-called research surgeries, which include exclusive one-to-one meetings with our guest professors and workshop conductors to discuss your own research proposals for term papers or dissertation.

¡       Meeting fellow students from all over the world interested in a joint multi-perspective examination of the topics addressed.

¡       Participation in working groups according to the specific interest of each participant in order to work on a small-scale group project before, during and after the Summer School. The working groups will work on a fixed topic and present their progress during the last day of the event to fellow participants. This enables the participants to find academic exchange and allows them to share their knowledge and ideas with other participants. Each working group also has the opportunity to publish an academic article in our peer-reviewed flagship journal POLITIKON, if the entire group or individuals are interested in doing so.

¡       Being part of the founding of a new IAPSS blog on Ukraine and become an editorial member

¡       Access to a fully-fledged eLearning platform with key readings for the school and beyond, but also additional facts, figures and slides provided.

¡       Exploring Kiev and surroundings as well as a variety of social events (incl. documentary screenings, common lunches, reading circles and informal get togethers).

¡       What else to expect? Much more!

Participation Fee and Requirements

IAPSS events are designed to be socially, culturally, religiously and politically inclusive by bringing students of political science and related disciplines from various academic backgrounds, political contexts, level of studies, age and gender together. This aims to create an interactive and multidisciplinary space of social and academic debate and interaction. Taking into account global income disparities, the IAPSS Summer School 2016 seeks to offer a student-friendly, low-cost participation fee of 299.00€. This participation fee includes access to all lectures, workshops and social events, all summer school materials, a personal IAPSS Summer School 2016 participation kit, and an official Certificate of Participation and a Certificate Supplement stating the details of your achievements. The location of the school is easily accessible via public transport in Kiev. The fee has to be transferred in advance in order to confirm your participation, but only after you have been notified on successful selection. The payment can be done via credit cards, PayPal and other devices through the IAPSS Webstore.


Please note that IAPSS does not offer any discount or scholarship for this event. We recommend consulting with your university/academic institution for individual financial support for participation and travel costs. Also, a range of foundations and academic institutions offer grants and scholarships for seasonal schools.

Your Organizing Committee


Florian Zabel

Head of Events Department

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Lisa Garbe
Seasonal School Coordinator
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Tobias Jerzewski
Seasonal School Coordinator
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Kristin Noack
Seasonal School Coordinator
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