“The MENA Region in International Relations:
Power, Politics and Ideology”
Organised by the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) in cooperation with the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE)
in Tunis, Tunisia
19th – 25th of February 2018
(Arrival Day: 18 February / Departure Day: 26 February)
This IAPSS-CIFE Winter School examines the variety in social, political and economic conditions of countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and its implications on the Arab uprisings and vice versa. The Winter School will focus on case studies from our host country Tunisia but will also look beyond its borders. The Winter School allows students to gain in-depth knowledge of the region through lectures from academics as well as local and international NGO’s. We will also apply the newest the methods such as design thinking for policy-making.
The head topic “The MENA region in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology“ features the following four subtopics:
(1) Democratization and Regime Changes in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring
This topic is important to understand the domestic and regional factors that have led to the perceived failures and successes of the Arab uprisings of 2011. It also serves to understand why some countries did not witness an uprising at all despite initial protests and are still resilient to potential uprisings.
(2) Political Economy and Economic reform in the MENA-Region: Labor, Rents and Capital
This subtopic deals with the political economy in different sectors and policy fields. It explores the major developmental challenges in the region, such as long-term growth trends, demographic change, education, labor markets, urbanization, water and agriculture.
(3) Security and Power Politics: New Perspectives on Regional Hegemony
Geopolitics play a large role in the domestic situation of countries that are going through a political and social transition. This subtopic offers a macro perspective on the MENA region and aims to set the Arab uprisings in an international context. The question of how far regional issues influence domestic politics is important to understand why countries do what they do and how alliances in the Middle East are formed.
(4) Technology and Telecommunication: Creation and Decay of Revolutions
This topic focuses on the history of technology in resistances in the Middle East and North Africa; how it has developed itself and influenced the political participation. Topics such as telecommunication policy, intelligence and domestic security or digitization may be covered by this subtopic based on the interest of participants.
Youssef Cherif is Deputy-Director of Columbia Global Centers | Tunis. Youssef is a member of Carnegie’s Civic Activism Network, and a Valdai Club expert. He was previously the Al-Maidan Libya Project manager at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), and an expert affiliated to the Tunisian Institute for Strategic Studies (ITES). He consulted for the Arab Institute for Business Managers (IACE, on Tunisian foreign policy), the UN (implementing the SDG’s in Tunisia and writing the country report), The Carter Center in Tunisia (political affairs), etc. Youssef holds a Chevening Master of Arts in International Relations from the Dept. of War Studies of King’s College London, and a Fulbright Master of Arts in Classical Studies from Columbia University.
Dr. Adam Hanieh is a senior lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and the author of Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East. Prior to joining SOAS, Adam taught at Zayed University, United Arab Emirates. From 1997-2003, he worked in the NGO and public sectors in Ramallah, Palestine, where he completed an MA in Regional Studies at Al Quds University. He holds a PhD in Political Science from York University, Canada (2009). His research interests include political economy of the Middle East; labour migration; class and state formation in the Gulf Cooperation Council; Palestine. He is an international advisory board member for the journal Studies in Political Economy.
Dr. Mohamed Limam is Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Jendouba, Tunisia, and a Research Associate at the BORDERLANDS Project, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. His main areas of interests and expertise are EU migration policy toward the Maghreb countries and Tunisian politics. He is one of 246 country experts who contributed to the last edition of the Transformation Index, BTI 2016 and the country report on Tunisia of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Al-Manar University, Tunis.
Dr. Pawel Pustelnik holds a PhD from Cardiff University. He graduated from Social Science Research Methods Masters at Cardiff University as well as from Masters in Global Environmental Governance at Free University in Amsterdam. He also studied International Relations and Diplomacy (BA) at Wroclaw University, Wyszynski University in Warsaw and La Sapienza in Rome. Pawel will be the Lead Coach for the Research Labs and aims to develop bulletproof research proposals with the students.
Florian Zabel works in the areas of innovation management and project design for the German Development Agency (GIZ) in Berlin. Florian holds a Master’s in Political Science and International Development from Humboldt-University of Berlin and Sciences Po Paris. Additionally, he has been educated at the School of Design Thinking of the Hasso-Plattner-Institute and seeks utilize Design Thinking for policy reform and governance innovation. Previously, he has lived in Egypt and Jordan working for GIZ and UNDP on innovation and digitalization in different policy areas (esp. financial, economic and social policy). Florian will be Lead Coach for the Policy Labs focusing on tackling urgent policy challenges in the MENA region with a design thinking approach.
Programme and Venue
This year’s IAPSS-CIFE Winter School will be held in cooperation with the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE) in Tunis enabling all participants to dive into a week-long programme with various components: lectures, seminars, research and policy labs. In the evenings we have planned a documentary screening related to the theme of the Winter School as well as social activities to let off steam after the academic programme.
Tunisia lends itself as a perfect destination to explore the changing political reality in the Middle East and North Africa and its underlying causes. Furthermore, it is interesting to examine the process of democratization in Tunisia, which is considered to be the only true democracy in North Africa after the downfall of its authoritarian regime. If you are eager to learn more about the subtopics that this year’s Winter School is going to present, make sure you submit your application within the deadline to enjoy the stimulating academic programme prepared in cooperation with the leading experts in the theme. What is more, you will have a chance to meet fellow students from all over the world and experience Tunisia’s rich and hospitable culture.
Application and Selection Process
Students and junior researchers of all levels, but preferably at least at an advanced level of their undergraduate studies, are invited to submit their applications.
Individuals interested in participating in the IAPSS-CIFE Winter School 2018 are requested to submit a written application containing a CV, a letter of motivation (max. 1 page). Your letter of motivation should state at least (a) your previous experiences with the topic, (b) your motivation for joining this Winter School, and (c) how this Winter 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.
Please use the form below (at the bottom of this page) to submit your application. In case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Organizing Committee (see below) who will be glad to answer them.
What Can Participants Expect?
An academically challenging programme 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. Lab-formats will apply design thinking for rapid prototyping of research proposals and policy strategies.
Discussing and debating with a range of experts in the field of the MENA region and across different policy fields as well as getting first-hand insights on their current research and teaching methods.
Meeting fellow students and researchers from all over the world interested in a joint multi-perspective examination of the topics addressed.
Exploring sprawling Tunis and its surroundings as well as a variety of social events.
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-CIFE Winter School 2018 seeks to offer a student-friendly, low-cost participation fee of €199. Travel and accommodation costs are not included in the participation fee. Students from local Tunisian universities (exl. expats) can apply for a tuition waiver. Please write to Farieha Mirzada at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to apply for a waiver. Applications for waivers will be considered after the application for the Winter School has been completed.
This participation fee includes access to all lectures, workshops, participation in a research OR policy lab and social events, all Winter School materials, a personal IAPSS-CIFE Winter School 2018 participation kit, and an official Certificate of Participation and a Certificate Supplement stating the details of your achievements. However, please consult with your programme coordinator, if the school can be accounted for your regular studies. IAPSS is supportive in case any further documentation is needed.
The participation 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 card, PayPal and other devices through the IAPSS Webstore (the details for the transfer will be available there upon acceptance). After admission, the fee should be transferred by December 31st, 2017. Later payments are possible upon request and individual agreement.
Please note that IAPSS does not offer any discount or scholarship for this event (with the exception of Tunisian residents). 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. IAPSS can provide an acceptance letter to support external grant/scholarship applications of the participants.
IAPSS Membership is required in order to participate in the programme. IAPSS Membership comes at only €15.00 (for citizens of Europe incl. Russia and Turkey, the United States, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia) or €10 (for all other countries) per year (discounted rates for two-year membership are available for €25 and €15 respectively) and offers you a wide range of benefits, including priority access to IAPSS Conferences, and IAPSS Study Trips as well as the opportunity to apply for membership in one of the IAPSS Student Research Committees or the Authorial Board of IAPSS’ academic blog A Different View. Also, members receive the biweekly IAPSS News & Opportunities.
Find all information on the services we provide and how to purchase IAPSS membership here.
Your Organizing Committee