The future of Ukraine between Europe and Russia looks quite difficult. In addition, tensions are rising again in the occupied two Eastern territories of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk. The implementation of the Minsk process is in doubt. Trading in energy resources between Ukraine and the rebels in the Eastern parts has been blocked. The OSCE observers cannot move freely anymore in the occupied territories. Recently, all major Russian sites of social networks and search engines have been blocked. Increasingly, the Russian government is handing out Russian passports in the occupied territories – a step that resembles a silent takeover.
It was in this context that CGP went back to Lviv for its second workshop on “International Relations and Political Science in a Collapsing World: Perspectives and Challenges”. From April 28 to May 4, the Center for Global Politics (CGP) invited young researchers from Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Russia, China and Myanmar to Lviv, to discuss recent developments in IR and Political Science.
The focus of the workshop was set on recent trends in International Relations and global politics. Participants, mainly at PhD and PostDoc level, engaged into a week full of fascinating lessons and debates. Academically, participants jointly worked on a future-oriented curriculum in the field of IR. Even more important, the workshop brought together global minds from different academic as well as regional backgrounds to exchange experiences among their peers. Combining on-the-ground-experience with state-of-the-art teaching methods, the workshop also set up a hotspot for new ideas and transborder cooperations.
Certainly, it was and could not be expected that the workshop would keep away from current politics. Therefore, these issues were addressed in the frame of the workshop’s supporting program. As a first political highlight, participants met with Lviv’s mayor and leader of the Ukrainian party “Self Reliance”, Andriy Sadovyy. After talking about his responsibilities and the administration's current projects, he took the time for a short Q&A, before the group headed to the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe to listen to a panel discussion on the topic of "Three years after Euromaidan: Where is Ukraine heading? - A state between reform, stagnation and failure”. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Klaus Segbers, director of CGP, and featured panelists Kálmán Mizsei, former Head of Mission at the European Union Advisory Mission on Civilian Security Sector Reform in Ukraine, as well as Oksana Yurynets, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament (Petro Poroshenko Block).
To draw attention to societal actors, the workshop’s program sought to make a variety of voices heard. To meet this demand, Oksana Yakovets, Deputy Head of Social Welfare of the Lviv Regional State Administration, gave an overview of the situation of IDPs in Lviv Oblast. Following, Lubov Maximovych introduced the Ukrainian NGO “Women’s Perspectives” as well as her social handicraft enterprise “Rukomysly”. The evening finished with a powerful talk by volunteer Julija Tarasjuk of the Ukrainian NGO “Hundred of Lviv”, an organization that supports soldiers on the frontline as well as the wounded in the military hospital in Lviv.
As for the level of discussions and interactions, this second workshop even surpassed last year's first meeting. For observers and teachers as well as for the participants themselves, it was great to watch the level of interaction, engagement and enthusiasm. CGP expects the links and networks recently established in Lviv to survive any hardship that may be waiting in the future, and to contribute to the fabric of a spreading European orientation.
The project is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and was jointly organized by the Center for Global Politics of Freie Universität Berlin, the International Institute for Ethics and Contemporary Issues of Ukrainian Catholic University, and the Institute of International Relations of the University of Warsaw.
For further information on this year’s CGP workshops and seasonal schools, please have a look here.