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University of Groningen
Dear [name],
Globalisation Studies Groningen

Dear colleagues from Groningen, stakeholders of Globalisations Studies Groningen,
We are pleased to present another newsletter to you on recent and upcoming activities directly originated by or supported  through GSG. From the wealth of topics and events you will recognize the enormous richness and potential that the University of Groningen and its staff have in engaging in innovative research at the interface of various disciplines. More and more external stakeholders identify the advantages of teaming up with scholars of Groningen University; more and more Groningen profiles itself as leading expert on contemporary global issues such as stabilizing post-conflict societies, creating societal acceptance of technological innovation, shaping a sustainable energy future, exploring the role of religion in conflict and post-conflict situations and positioning access to public health facilities as a human right to be globally effectuated.  Truly, Groningen is a higher education institution with global goals!
  Summer Schools 2012

Democracy and Transitional Justice Summer School
3-13 August, 2012. Sousse, Tunisia 

The Summer School on Democracy and Transitional Justice in Sousse (3 August -13 August 2012) hosted at the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Sousse was a tremendous success. On 3 August 2012 the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tunisia, Caroline Weijers, welcomed students from the Universities of Groningen and Sousse, along with students from the United States, Germany, Italy, Australia and Egypt to an intensive 10 day course which not only introduced students to challenges and dilemmas facing the Maghreb, but also provided students with the opportunity to meet with leading figures from civil society and government.
During the summer school students attended a wide range of lectures on democracy and transitional justice from scholars from the universities of Groningen, Sousse and Exeter and representatives from Tunisian civil society and political parties. In addition to meetings with prominent human rights activists and a labour union officials, students were provided the opportunity to meet with the president of Tunisia’s largest political party, Rachid Gannouchi of Ennahdha and with Tunisa’s prime minister Hammadi Jebali. Students also attended a special reception at the Dutch Ambassador’s residence where they met with Embassy staff and prominent Tunisians.
The summer school organisers are grateful for the generous support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tunis, GSG, the Faculty of Arts, the Groningen University Fund, the Rabbani Foundation for making this event possible.

European International Relations Summer School: World Society & Energy Transition
9-20 July 2012, Groningen

GSG successfully organised the 2012 European International Relations Summer School for PhD students. It tackled the complexities of energy transition by taking a truly interdisciplinary approach: economics, physics, law, geography, and social sciences (in particular International Relations theory).

The summer school managed to enlighten the insights of a highly attentive group of 30 PhD-students from over 20 nationalities. Some 23 lecturers from a similar broad range of disciplines, two excursions and a simulation game constantly confronted the students with new ways of thinking about energy and news ways of producing and using it.

The students had to present each other’s research projects, leading to shocks and remarkable discoveries. Or as one of the participants remarked after a fascinating lecture on the different rationalities behind energy: “I will never again say that social sciences are easy.” Yet, other faces initially turned blank during presentations that covered basic physics of energy and climate change, and the number crunching necessary to analyse the future potential of new technological developments. A surprise visiting ‘Maasvlakte 2’: huge long-term investments, but no vision of transition – just business as usual, on an ever larger scale.

Two intensive weeks, filled with active debates on all aspects of energy – before, during and, yes, even long after the lectures. I.a. on the EIRSS facebook page, created by the students. Thirty open minds showing that as long as one is passionate, everything is possible.

The European International Relations Summer School is organized each year, somewhere in Europe on the initiative the Standing Group on IR of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). Under the umbrella of GSG, this EIRSS was jointly organized by IRIO, GESP, EDI, and EDGaR.

Medical Sciences Summer School Global Health
7-16 July 2012, Groningen

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) and staff from the Educational Institute of University Medical Center Groningen organized the first summer school focusing on Global Health.  The aim of programme was to provide international non-UoG students with a highly stimulating environment and increase their knowledge in specific areas of Global Health: Equality, Economics & Right to Medicine; Disaster Medicine; Reproductive Health; Infectious Diseases and Non-Communicable Diseases.
A group of 30 mostly 3rd year Bachelor in Medicine students (19 nationalities of most continents)  were offered state of the arts lectures by staff of  Groningen faculties,  partner universities (Ruhr-Universität, Bochum;  London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine;  Royal Free and University College Medical School London) and non-governmental organizations as Médecins Sans Frontières and AIDS Foundation East-West, Amsterdam. Groningen PhD students gave insights in their research work. Each afternoon 6 students presented their views on the topic of the day, after which active participation of all students was stimulated during workshops.
Citing from the participants' evaluation forms "The IFMSA committee was really good, planned many interesting activities (including social events) and had a good relationship with all students...." The content of the programme was graded with an 8+/ 10, very rewarding! Next year's summer school will be offered from 6-15 July, find details here.

COIMBRA Group Summer School. Land Issues in the Age of Globalisation
19-31 August 2012. Szeged and Balaton Uppland National Park, Hungary

The European Development Master Initiative, which is organized under the Coimbra Group of classical European universities, organized its annual Intensive Programme this year in Hungary. Hosted by the University of Szeged, we spent probably the hottest 12 days of the year in both Szeged and in the field work area of Balaton for a very intensive learning period, which included 2 days of field work in villages in the Balaton area. 32 Master students from a wide range of countries participated, as well as some 8 professors and lecturers. An excellent experience for students, but also a good experience for staff to learn about teaching methods and group work as practiced in other European universities. The CGDMI (Coimbra Group Development Master Initiative) gives students the possibility to migrate between the participating universities in order to gain specialist knowledge in specific fields and to experience alternative approaches to development and it offers special learning events such as the annual Intensive Programme. The next year Intensive Programme of the CGDMI will take place in Salamanca in July 2013 on the theme of Water & Development. An EU subsidy under the Lifelong Learning Programme has been secured for this activity.
  Banda Aceh International Symposium on Peace and Human Security

Dr. Christopher K. Lamont participated in an international symposium on peace and human security held on 8 September 2012 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia which was organized by the Japan University Consortium for Peace and Human Security and hosted by the Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies at Syiah Kuala University. In Banda Aceh Dr. Lamont spoke on transitional justice in the context of a stalled transitional justice process in post-conflict Aceh and also participated in a study program (7-18 September) organized by Syiah Kuala University and the Osaka School of International Public Policy. While in Aceh, Dr. Lamont visited the Aceh People’s Representative Council (Aceh’s parliament), the Aceh NGO Forum, the International Centre for Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies, and participated in discussions on post-conflict combatant and community reintegration, human rights, and transitional justice.

The symposium on peace and human security attracted wide coverage in the Acehnese media as it occurred at an important juncture in Aceh’s transition following elections held in the province in April 2012. Indeed, despite the inclusion of human rights provisions in the 2005 Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding which ended the armed conflict in Aceh, these human rights provisions remain unimplemented as of 2012.
  Farmland Acquisition and Governance in China – Participatory Learning and Experimentation Project (LANGPLE)

Since May 2011 the Faculty of Law is engaged in a project titled “farmland acquisition and governance in China – participatory learning and experimentation (LANGPLE)” funded by the Ford Foundation. LANGPLE’s goal is to provide evidence-based approaches, guidelines and tools on participatory farmland acquisition in China to enhance transparency and accountability in land governance with the ultimate aim to maximizing farmers’ interests and rights. LANGPLE works with Chinese researchers, practitioners and policy-makers in an interdisciplinary and interactive format to explore locally-based and tailored-made solutions. It assists the Chinese government especially at the local level in strengthening its capacity in applying appropriate mechanisms and procedures of public participation that involve farmers, businesses and governments in decision-making and implementation. Major components include: action research, capacity building, demonstration pilot, and dissemination.
Staff involved:
Prof Leon Verstappen (Faculty of Law)
Prof Wilbert Kolkman (Faculty of Law)
Dr Pieter Boele van Hensbroek (Globalisation Studies Groningen)
Dr Yongjun Zhao (Faculty of Law and Globalisation Studies Groningen)

Read more: Http://www.langple.net (in Chinese)
  STEM - State of Emergency Mapping

STEM is a student run project that aims to map state of emergency declarations all over the world. The aim is to compile a database that contains information on emergency powers de lege and de facto in order to gain a better understanding of the politics of law in different regions of the world. One of the outcomes should be an open source database for researchers to study the occurrence, circumstances and backgrounds against which emergencies are being declared and to connect these with the laws governing the declarations as well as providing further literature. More information on this project can be found here
Prof. Andrej Zwitter has published an edited volume on state of emergency examining in detail Legal Theory, International Law, European Law, German and Austrian Law concerning emergency regulations. The book, Notstand und Recht: Im Überblick: Rechtstheorie, Völkerrecht, Europarecht, deutsches- und österreichisches Recht, is written in German and can be purchased here.
  Biotechnology and Society in Africa Summer Academy

The Biotechnology & Society in Africa (BTSA) working group of the University of Groningen (UoG) organised the Summer Academy, in collaboration with the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) and Michigan State University . The main objective was to present and clarify the European perspectives and experiences on biotechnology regu­lation to contribute to the development of African regulation frameworks. Twelve participants from seven African countries, working in the field of biotechnology regulation, attended the Summer Academy. Interactive lectures were presented by speakers from Europe, Africa and the USA. Important topics addressed during the lectures were: the current situation of biotechnology in Africa and Europe; risk assessment and regulation of GMOs; the role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA); the Precautionary Approach and its impact on European decision making; the importance of a co-evolutionary approach, where not only technical scientific criteria for risk assessment are taken into account but also public values, stakeholders’ interests and societal perceptions of risks; differences in regulation between Europe and the USA; the importance of communication and journalism and other issues. The summer academy report can be found in this link.
  Public Lecture and visit Prof Prof Zuo Ting’s visit to the University of Groningen

From 17-19 July 2012, Professor Zuo Ting, Vice Dean of the College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD) of the China Agricultural University visited the University of Groningen (RuG). Welcomed by Professor Dirk Jan Wolffram, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Arts and coordinated by Globalisation Studies Groningen (GSG), Professor Zuo had detailed discussions with GSG staff including Professor Joost  Herman, Dr Pieter Boele van Hensbroek and Dr Yongjun Zhao on a feasible framework of cooperation between the two institutions. On 18 July Prof Zuo gave an interesting public lecture in the Senate Room of the Academy Building on: “Diversity, Decentralization and Dynamics: Rethinking China’s Regional Development”. An overview of the action points resulting from Prof Zuo Ting’s visit to the University of Groningen can be found here.
  GSG Research Reports

The GSG Research Report series publishes research papers, interesting working papers and pre-prints, as well as GSG seminar reports. The series includes papers of University of Groningen staff as well as of overseas partners who have participated in GSG workshops or who have studied or conducted research at the University of Groningen. The series has an active policy in arranging co-publications with partner institutes. GSG Research Reports cover a broad range of Globalisation, Development and Humanitarianism related subjects and discuss these from various disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. All texts are peer-reviewed. Reports are published in the English or in the French language. During the summer months, GSG has published 3 new research reports which are now downloadable from our website.
  GSG Policy for establishment of thematic PhD Hubs

The Governors of the GSG have agreed with a policy initiative of GSG to establish several interdisciplinary thematic PhD Hubs. The Hubs will bring together PhD researchers and professors who all work on a similar topic, organizing joint activities, seminars etc., including an annual research conference. With these Hubs the University of Groningen offers a very attractive context for prospective PhD researchers from our partner universities as well as self-financing PhDs. The hubs encourage co-supervision of PhD candidates by professors from their home university, thus forging new academic links. Hubs under discussion include: Humanitarian Studies, Governance for Sustainable Resource Use, Education and Lifelong Learning, Good Governance and Sustainable Society. GSG director prof Joost Herman and Dr. Yongjun Zhao will participate in major PhD Workshop in Beijing in November this year to advertise the PhD Hubs.
  Minor Development Studies in Full Swing

The interfaculty Minor programme in Development Studies of the GSG breaks records in student participation this year. 85 students registered for the complete minor and single Minor courses attract a broad range of students (100 in Environment & Development, 155 in Ethnicity, Culture, Politics, and several hundreds in Global Development Studies – which is also a core course in the IB&M programme). We kicked-off the Minor with an afternoon session of discussion, ‘Development Game’ and drinks in the USVA building. The Minor consists of 7 courses (incl. 1 optional) and is given in the first semester. This year, the Ethnicity course also includes complementary seminar groups discussing background issues related to the lectures. The majority of the students registered for one of the four seminar groups. A student volunteer group (the ‘Discover Development Group’) is being formed to organize additional evening programmes.

Please find info on the minor online.  
  Spirit Program

The University of Groningen is designing an integrated program for PhD students from Indonesia participating in the SPIRIT program on ‘Good Governance.’  A key objective is to offer advanced training in the integration of theoretical and empirical perspectives on good governance, especially suitable for civil servants moving into leadership positions within the national ministries of Indonesia.  While the PhD candidates will have individual research projects, there will be collaboration across the research team and inter-disciplinary supervision by various departments within the University of Groningen and key partnership universities in Indonesia. More information online.
  Lustrum Conference IRIO

The recent Arab revolts brought about a period of dramatic political transformation across the Middle East and North Africa. It resulted in some (supposedly stable) dictatorial regimes crumbling in the face of popular protests, whilst other regimes desperately hang onto power through promises of democratic reforms. The choices and dilemmas of rapid democratic change have underlined the urgency to revisit our understandings of democracy, its relations to the socio-economic order of societies, and the implications for contemporary international affairs. The Arab Spring does not only pose challenges to the existing political and economic order in the region and the world, but also raises serious questions about how we imagine democracy. For the last two decades, many Western scholars have adhered to a solely liberal capitalist image of democracy, and in the West, this model of democracy (and its promotion) seems to have become an end in itself. Yet, this Western approach to democracy leaves some fundamental problems unresolved, like for example tensions regarding the nature of representation, the boundary problem as well as the potential tyranny of the majority – to name but a few. Furthermore, it is not at all clear that liberal democracy can live up to the claims made on its behalf, or that it can and should be exported to other parts of the world. This makes it all the more urgent to look at alternative conceptions and imaginations of democracy.
For this reason, this conference is looking towards the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region as well as towards Asian experiences of democracy. We wish to explore the parallels and differences between these alternative models of governance, including issues such as: the complex relation between collective/cultural/religious rights versus individualist rights, the difficult relation between the market and governance, as well as the different forms of authoritarianism and democratic governance. Hence, focusing on Middle Eastern, North African and Asian perspectives on democratic thought and practices, this conference will address, but is not limited to, the following questions:
  • How should we imagine democracy? What are its proper forms and institutions? Can there be “proper” forms and institutions?
  • What are the arguments against dominant democratic theories and practices?
  • What are the different visions on democracy within the MENA region amongst the different actors?
  • What are the different visions on democracy within Asia amongst its different actors?
  • What is the influence of Asian governments on democratic developments in the other regions – and vice versa?
  • What are the impacts of American and European democracy promotion on images and imaginations of democracy in the MENA region and Asia?
  • What can Western conceptions and practices of democracy learn from Asian and Middle Eastern and North African experiences and thoughts?
  Launch Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain

On the 14th of September during the launch event of the centre, GSG director Joost Herman presented his vision on religion, conflict and humanitarianism in a global context. The Centre for 'Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain' explores, from various perspectives, the contentious role of religion in the public sphere in modern Western society. Combining theoretical and methodological approaches from history, philosophy, law, religious studies, theology and social and political science, the Centre engages in research that is particularly focused on the intersection of religion with Western culture, politics and society. Moving beyond secularist assumptions concerning the irrelevance of religion to the West, the Centre aims to provide critical, self-reflective insight regarding the role religion has played and continues to play in social, political, philosophical and legal contexts. More information about the centre can be found on their website.
  Erasmus Mundus Action 2 Mobility

The coming four years, the University of Groningen will be actively involved in eleven new Erasmus Mundus Action 2 (EMA2) projects, facilitating mobility between consortia of universities in EU and in non-EU countries and regions. Within these projects, calls for applications for EM scholarships will be opened starting in autumn 2012.
The new projects RUG will be involved in are:
EU-SATURN:  incoming mobility of Master and PhD students, and of staff from South Africa. The University of Groningen is coordinator of the EU-SATURN consortium. More information on this project can be found in the article below. Website: not available yet
Fatima Al Fihri:  incoming and outgoing mobility at all levels and all fields of study with North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt). Website: http://www.alfihri.eu/
AURORA: incoming and outgoing mobility at all levels and fields of study with Russia.
Website: www.utu.fi/em-aurora
ALRAKIS II and IANUS:  incoming  and outgoing mobility with Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Websites: http://www.alrakis.eu/.    IANUS not available yet

LOTUS III:  incoming mobility at all levels and all fields of study from Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. Website: www.lotus.ugent.be/
Svagata:  incoming mobility at all levels and all fields of study from India. Website: not available yet

BABEL, PEACE and Mundus Lindo: incoming mobility from Latin America at all levels in a wide range of study programmes. Website: not available yet

ANGLE: incoming and outgoing (only staff) mobility in all fields of study with ACP countries (Angola, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Congo, Cape Verde, Madagascar, Mozambique, East Timor, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago). Website: http://mundusacp.up.pt/

Outgoing mobility for RUG students and staff is possible in the projects Al Fihri, AURORA, ALRAKIS, IANUS, and ANGLE at all levels (except for ANGLE: only available for outgoing staff) and all fields of study.
  EU-SATURN Project

Erasmus Mundus (EM) EU-SATURN is a European-funded mobility project for the exchange of Master and PhD students as well as staff from South Africa to Europe. The EU-SATURN consortium consists of 16 partners, 7 in Europe and 9 in South Africa. EU-Saturn has budgeted a total of 82 mobilities for master, PhD and staff mobility from South Africa to Europe that will take place in the period 2013-2016. Mobilities may take place in a broad range of academic fields: Agriculture Sciences, Architecture; Urban and Regional Planning; Business Studies, Mana gement Science; Education, Teacher Training; Engineering, Technology; Geography, Geology; Mathematics, Informatics; Medical Sciences; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences; Communication and Information Sciences; and Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Human Rights. For more information contact Dr. Michel Doortmont
  Jitse van Dijk Honoured with Achievement Award

During the opening of the Academic year, on Monday September 17, Jitse van Dijk was honoured with an award (Gouden Legpenning) from the  Pavel Jozef Šafárik University in Košice (Slovakia) for many years of successful collaboration. More information about his work and research can be found here. 
  GSG Staff

We are proud to  introduce a new member to our team. After the successful implementation of the Biotechnology and Society in Africa Summer Academy, Isma Moualhi has joined our team to support the further development of this project.  
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to a few other colleagues. Gerlin de Lange, who was part of a work experience-placement within the GSG, has successfully found a job elsewhere. She has helped us greatly with our PR and communication activities and we wish her all the best in her career.
In July GSG organized a farewell party for Leandro Vergara Camus who coordinated the minor Development Studies for GSG and also taught International Political Economy at the International Relations and International Organization department at the Faculty of Arts. Leandro Vergara Camus accepted a job at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London as a lecturer in the Theory, Policy and Practice of Development.
Renée Bakker who has worked for the NOHA master programme as the coordinator for over 10 years  has left to join the Medical Faculty of the RUG. Here she will help to institutionalise the Global Health theme into the curriculum of the international and Dutch Bachelor of Medicine. Also, she has started a PhD trajectory for herself. Renée Bakker will, however, remain connected to the NOHA master programme where she will continue teaching the Public Health module.
Lastly, we would like to congratulate Monique Westra and Justine Jones who have been granted a research position within the faculty of Arts. The new PhD candidates in Globalisation Studies and Humanitarian Action are under the supervision of our director Joost Herman.

Upcoming Events:

6 October 2012: Diversity Day Groningen [PDF]

8 October 2012: GSG-REG Roundtable:
Transitional Justice in the Former Yugoslavia

12 - 14 October 2012: After Summer Schools Weekend:
The Future of African Youth in Europe and Africa

8 November 2012: Breaking the News: How Social Media Change Journalism in a Globalizing World

28 - 29 November 2012: IRIO Lustrum Conference:
Imagining Democracy: Arab Spring, Asian Visions and Western Lessons

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  University of Groningen
Globalisation Studies Groningen
Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
9712 EK Groningen
The Netherlands
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