For this year’s Global Politics Workshop in Ukraine, fifteen young researchers from around the globe gathered to discuss current trends and developments in International Relations. Once again, the program proved to be on the pulse of time as the different components shed light on academic as well as political developments in the region and in IR. Among the highlights: A panel discussion with the head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Alexander Hug, and a workshop on the topic of framing strategies on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
The future of Ukraine between Europe and Russia looks quite difficult: Tensions remain in the occupied territories and the Minsk process seems to be heading towards a dead end, if it is not dead already. Despite the fact that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine seems to have disappeared from European media coverage, this year’s workshop addressed the role of academia in dealing with and, more important, in moderating conflicts.
From April 24 to May 5, the Center for Global Politics (CGP) and the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) therefore invited young researchers from Ukraine, Belarus, Germany, the U.S. and China to Lviv to discuss recent developments in IR and politics. Participants, mainly at PhD and Postdoc level, engaged into ten days full of fruitful discussions and heated debates. Academically, participants jointly worked on a future-oriented curriculum in the field of IR. Combining on-the-ground-experience with state-of-the-art teaching methods, the workshop also set up a hotspot for new ideas and trans-border cooperation.
Each year, the workshop aims not only at academic/faculty exchange, but also at tackling current political debates and developments. These issues were addressed in the frame of a panel discussion on the topic of “The Minsk Process: Taking Stock” and a one-day workshop on framing strategies of the conflict. One of the highlights of the workshop: participants met with OSCE’s Alexander Hug, who agreed to take part in this year’s panel discussion. He was joined by political analyst and editor-in-chief of Ukraine Analytica, Dr. Hanna Shelest, as well as Dr. Alexander Wittkowsky, Head of the Peace & Security Project of the Center for International Peace Operations in Berlin. The panelists discussed the Minsk agreement from each of their expertise’s perspective, thereby not only focusing on the academic, but also on the practical spheres. As Mr. Hug is dealing with the conflict on an every-day basis, he contributed valuable information from a practitioner’s point of view.
Participants, CGP and UCU were even more honored when Mr. Hug decided to not only attend the program as an expert on the panel, but also wished to engage in the next day’s academic workshop on “Framing Strategies of the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine”. During the one-day academic workshop, experts Petro Burkovskiy and Dr. Gulnaz Sharafutdinova each introduced Ukrainian and Russian framing strategies for the conflict. Mr. Burkovskiy is currently the Head of the Department of Political System Development at the National Institute for Strategic Studies, while Dr. Sharafutdinova is a senior lecturer at the Russia Institute of King’s College. After the expert’s inputs, the group worked on deconstructing the individual framings and discussed possible joint framings of the conflict that might be adaptable in the future. Both, the discussion and workshop, were moderated by Prof. Klaus Segbers, director of CGP.
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 and the Department of Political Science of Ukrainian Catholic University.