The Global Politics Seasonal School Iran: First Impressions from Tehran

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26 talented researchers from Iran, Germany and China tackle the current challenges in the EU and the MENA region
Prof. Segbers and Dr. Seyed Ali Sadat-Akhavi
Prof. Dr. Klaus Segbers, Director of the Center for Global Politics, and Dr. Seyed Ali Sadat-Akhavi, Director of the Center for Graduate International Studies

From July 1st to July 12, the Center for Global Politics at Freie Universität Berlin and the Center for Graduate International Studies at Tehran University are hosting the Global Politics Summer School Iran for the first time together. This program offers 26 participants from Iran, Germany and China the opportunity to look at the current challenges in the EU and the MENA region from a new and different perspective.

News from Jul 07, 2017

The Global Politics Seasonal Schools are short-term intensive certificate programs for advanced students with a talent for research and a global mindset. Organized by Freie Universität Berlin and a renowned partner university abroad, each school brings together highly qualified students to discuss today’s main developments in politics, economy and society.

The last Global Politics Seasonal School Iran in Tehran took place in 2013, followed by programs which invited and welcomed Iranian students to FU Berlin in 2014 and 2015. Given the great success of our previous Global Politics Seasonal Schools Iran, we decided it was time to come back to Tehran again. For 2017, we are delighted to have joined forces with Tehran University. Together, we have created an exciting program which has been off to a great start so far.

This year’s Global Politics Seasonal School Iran focuses on “The EU and the MENA Region: Perspectives of European and Iranian Scholars on Regions in Crisis”. Over the course of nine modules, participants will learn about the interplay between domestic, regional and global politics and international responses to political and social challenges. The program puts a special emphasis on Iran’s role in the MENA region after the Vienna Agreement as well as on the EU’s current status and recent struggles.

The first few days of our program have provided participants with the necessary background knowledge to dive deeper into the topic. Module I, taught by Prof. Dr. Klaus Segbers, introduces globalization and its challenges as a framework for understanding regions in crisis in the context of increasing complexities. Prof. Dr. Segbers holds the Chair of Political Science at the Institute for East European Studies (OEI) and is professor for International Relations at the Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science (OSI) at the FU Berlin. He is also the director of the Center for Global Politics, where he is always looking for interesting ways to design innovative blended-learning concepts.

Against this backdrop, Module II, taught by Prof. Hamed Mousavi, analyzes some of the most important developments in the Middle East during the past two years. This includes the rise of Salman and his son Mohammed in Saudi Arabia, U.S. foreign policy in the region during the Trump administration and, finally, the issue of terrorism and instability. Prof. Hamed Mousavihas been working as an Assistant Professor at Tehran University since July 2016. He is teaching in the area of International Relations Theories, International Security, Middle East Politics, US Politics and Arab-Israeli Conflict.

While Module III was designed complementary to Module III and explores the European perspective on Iran and the MENA region in the context of the Vienna Agreement, this module takes place in the second week of classes. As the first week of coursework is dedicated to the Iranian perspective, Module II was followed by Module IV. Module IV, taught by Prof. Hamid Ahmadi, presents an analysis of the third wave of the Arab awakening. Prof. Hamid Ahmadi is currently working as a Deputy Director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies in Tehran. He is also a Professor of Political Science at the University of Tehran. He is teaching in the area of Politics and government in the Middle East, Middle East and International Politics, Contemporary Islamic Fundamentalist Movements and Iranian foreign policy.

Guided by expert lecturers, right from the start our participants have risen to the challenges at hand. The academic curriculum combines new teaching methods with an interdisciplinary approach designed to empower students to think about their own research from a new angle. Among the highlights: A panel discussion featuring Prof. Behzad Shahandeh and Prof. Nasser Hadian, both teaching at University of Tehran, and moderated by Prof. Dr. Segbers. Looking at Iran and Europe, the panelists compared expectations and realities when talking about these two regions.

In the vibrant setting of Tehran, however, we encourage students to get inspired in- and outside the classroom. The supporting program started with a Welcome Dinner on Sunday night, July 2nd. This fun get-together set the atmosphere for two weeks filled with new experiences. On Wednesday, July 5, participants took a break from their coursework and ventured into the colorful world of Tehran.

Once again we would like to thank the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as Heinrich Böll Stiftung and University of Tehran sincerely for sponsoring and supporting this program. We look forward to the remaining days of this exciting journey!

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