Summer Programme on International Affairs



Throughout the programme, an interdisciplinary approach allows students to acquire knowledge in international law, political science, international relations, international economics and international history.

WEEK 1 : The uses and abuses of humanitarianism: its history and politics

This week will introduce students to the issues related to the uses and abuses of humanitarian politics and its history.

The module will acquaint participants with a contextualized and critical understanding of humanitarianism, humanitarian interventions, the Responsibility to Protect, humanitarian actors and their actions, including their campaigns.

The sessions will examine a number of issues related to humanitarian interventions, humanitarian actions and campaigns. Sessions will be devoted to the mapping of stakeholders, unpacking the broader contexts in which humanitarian actors operate and the ways in which humanitarianism is used and abused and/or become a politicized issue when the some of the actors performing it claim to be a-political or beyond politics.

Instructors come from various disciplines: International Law, Anthropology, Political Sciences IR and History in an attempt to grasp very different facets, units and level of analysis of this controversial issues.

The approach adopted is interactive, multidisciplinary, and historically-informed.

WEEK 2 : Security and Insecurity Today

This week will introduce students to the issues related to security in contemporary international affairs.

The module will acquaint participants with a broader understanding of the dynamics of security and insecurity.

The sessions will examine conceptual and practical aspects of the issue of security, tackling the mapping of a fast-evolving landscape, and unpacking the logic(s) of the policy process when it comes to security.

In particular, participants will be presented with ways to critically understand the fullness of what security has come to mean today beyond the traditional understanding of military affairs and national security and into newer areas from human security to cybersecurity.

The approach adopted is interactive, multidisciplinary, and historically-informed.


WEEK 4 : The Global Environmental Crisis: Rising to the Challenges

The learning programme of the fourth week provides a 360-degree view of global environmental governance. The impact of human activities on the planet has reached such proportions that there is now significant support for renaming our epoch the ‘Anthropocene’, the epoch of the Earth System where humans are the defining geological force.

The programme introduces participants to a diversity of debates relating to our current environmental crisis. It reviews the history and foundations of the international system developed since the 1970s, provides background on integrative concepts such as those of biosphere, the Anthropocene or ‘planetary boundaries’, and then analyses in more detail areas such as water, food security, climate change, energy and plastic.

Each day starts with a framing lecture and a discussion of contemporary issues in the relevant area by distinguished faculty. The afternoons are devoted to case-study exercises and state-of-the-art lectures by practitioners working at the cutting-edge of each subject. A visit to the UN headquarters will also be organised.