IAPSS Winter School 2016

“The Middle East at a Crossroads”

Organized by the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) in collaboration with Takamul Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies and Research

in Marrakech, Morocco

February 27th – March 5th 2016

(Arrival Day: February 26th / Departure Day: March 6th)

Applications are currently open until November 22nd 2015

Please use this form to submit your application. You can also find our FAQs here.

what-to-do-in-marrakech-header-940View on Djemaa el-Fnaa: Marrakech’s central square turns into a vibrant spectacle at night


The Theme

Revolutions and Regime Changes: The Arab World has witnessed a turning point in its history with the uprisings in 2011. Although a favorite topic among young academics and political science scholars, a deep understanding of what has happened and what is currently happening in this region is still lacking due to, among many other reasons, a lack of communication with people who have experienced the last four years up close. This winter school aims at closing this gap and gaining an in-depth understanding for interested young academics. Our winter school in Morocco is a perfect opportunity to get a close look at how the events of these last years have influenced and brought about not only political, but social changes that can be observed in civil society, youth work, media outlets and even in street art. As events in the Arab World unfold at an exceedingly fast pace, and as these events have not only a regional but a global impact due to new rising actors, it is essential for students of political science to get to know these countries by visiting the region and getting in contact with academic as well as as public and private stakeholders in addition to civil society actors. The covered topics of the winter school are as follows:

1. Revolutions and Counter-revolutions
2. Geopolitics and Regional Hegemony
3. Threats to Security: Terrorism, Salafism and Jihadism?
4. Evolution of Political Islam and its Influence in the Region
5. Migration and Refugee Politics in Maghreb

You can find more detailed descriptions on the sub-topics here.

Based on your preferred choice of the topic, 5 thematic panels will be formed. During the IAPSS Winter School 2016 all participants will be assigned to a working groups, improved by the lectures 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 Winter School. There is also the option to publish your work and findings in one of the IAPSS devices. Next 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 Winter School 2016 will be held in cooperation with Takamul Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies and Research 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. Next to the academic program, visits to the Old Medina and the hinterland as well as instutional visits are part of the program. Marrakech is the perfect starting point to do so. Mysterious, vibrant and simply stunning – the Red City near the Atlas Mountains is still an untouched destination for mass tourisms, but a perfect destination for restless travellers and people seeking a unique adventure inspired by the ancient cultural life of the city.

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

Application and Selection Process

Advanced undergraduate and Master’s students as well as early PhD candidates are invited to submit their applications. The application process will start after the elapsed deadline. Applicants will be notified within five working days. Individuals interested in participating in the IAPSS Winter 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 below 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 Middle East, (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 this form to do your application. You can also find FAQs here.

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 Middle East 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-on 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 oder to work on a small-scale group project before, during and after the Winter 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-reviwed 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 the Middle East 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.
  • Multiple excursions to cultural sides and to the hinterland of Marrakech 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!

Your Organizing Committee

SH-pictureSalma H. Soliman (Free University of Berlin, Germany)

IAPSS Seasonal School Coordinator



SpainKristian Xavier Carrera Kurjenoja (University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

IAPSS Seasonal School Coordinator



AAEAAQAAAAAAAAR6AAAAJDIxYjc1ODUxLWM3ZjMtNDIwZS05MjQ0LWRiNjIzNGRmYmE5ZQ - KopieFlorian Zabel (Sciences Po Paris, France)

Head of IAPSS Events Department


Organizing Institutions

The International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) is the worldwide representation and platform for political science students and related studies. IAPSS – politically independent, non-profit, entirely student-run and embracing more than 1.200 individual and about 10.000 collective members from more than 100 countries – generates and promotes political science opportunities for active engagement, career development and academic proficiency for students of political science and related disciplines throughout a variety of events, publications and services throughout the year.

The Takamul Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies and Research (مركز تكامل للدراسات والأبحاث) is a newly established centre, which seeks to enhance scholarship among the Middle Eastern countries and beyond. Founded only in 2015, it has already shown by organizing many international conferences that they are able to strengthen the systematic study of the Middle East region.


morocco_holiday_12View over Marrakech right up to the Atlas Mountains (Highest Peak: Toubkal 4167m)


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 Winter School 2016seeks to offer a student-friendly, low-cost participation fee of 359.00 €. This participation fee includes access to all lectures, workshops and social events, lunch, all winter school materials, a personal IAPSS Winter School 2016 participation kit, and an official Certificate of Participation and a Certificate Supplement stating the details of your achievements. Accommodation can be booked via IAPSS, but can also be self-arranged. The location of the school is easily accessible via busses in Marrakech. 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.

IAPSS Membership is required in order to participate in the IAPSS Winter School 2016. IAPSS Membership comes at only 15 EUR (for citizens of Europe incl. Russia and Turkey, the United States, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia) or 10 EUR (for all other countries) per year (discounted rates for two-year membership are available for 25 and 15 EUR respectively) and offers you a wide range of benefits, including priority access to IAPSS Conferences, IAPSS Delegations, and IAPSS Study Trips as well as the opportunity to participate in IAPSS’ political science journals POLITIKON and ENCUENTRO LATINO AMERICA, and the IAPSS’ IR blog A Different View. Also, members receive the biweekly IAPSS News & Opportunities condensing political science opportunities such as internships, jobs, conference calls and more. Find all information on the services we provide and how to apply here.


You attended the IAPSS Winter School 2016 and need further documentation of your participation or support regarding your paper? Do you have questions or inquiries regarding the IAPSS Winter School 2016? Then do not hesitate to contact us at: winterschool@iapss.org.


Applications are currently open until November 22nd 2015

Please use this form to submit your application. You can also find FAQs here.

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