CBSS Summer University

Please note that due to the developing situation of the global efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 the timing of the summer universities is flexible. We will update our channels as soon as more information is available.

University of Tartu (Estonia): The Baltic / Nordic Regionalisms in a Post-liberal Europe

The University of Tartu, together with the Universites of Jyväskylä (Finland), Linköping (Sweden), The Arctic University of Norway and Evangelic Academy in Loccum (Germany) are holding a summer programme that will critically discuss the main concepts that after the end of the Cold War shaped the emergence and development of discourses and policy practices of regionalism in the Baltic and Nordic Europe. The repertoire of topics traces the genealogies of the ideas of region-making/region-building back to the 1990s, and identify both liberal and post-modern(ist) roots of many of them. The sessions and panels will scrutinise the concepts of cross-/trans-border regionalism, regional security complexes, de-bordering, regional networking, city twinning, as well as soft security and ‘asecurity’ as applied to the regional international society. Invited lecturers are expected to discuss whether all of them lived up to the expectations.

Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) and European Humanities University (Lithuania): Nuclear Tourism in Postsoviet Sites

Vytautas Magnus University and the European Humanities University offer a multidisciplinary exploration of the phenomenon of Nuclear Tourism through a case study of Visaginas – a satellite town of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. The world has recently been shaken by a dramatized TV rendering of the aftermath of the explosion at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Most of the scenes of the series were filmed in Lithuania: Kaunas, Vilnius and Visaginas, a counterpart of Prypiat – while not as tragic in its destiny, it is a reminder that the tragedy was possible in this setting as well. Visaginas is a unique phenomenon in terms of its history, ethnic composition and challenges to its identity. It is also located in the picturesque part of Lithuania, surrounded by lush forests and lakes. The town has been facing a challenge of redefining its identity after decision was made to close the Nuclear Power Plant. With the town trying to turn from monoindustrial economy to a cultural tourism destination, it has to face many new and already existing challenges: proper representation of multi-ethnic cultural identities, the role of commodification and self-exoticizing, power relations, community engagement. Dominant official and local discourses shaping politics of identity and memory in Lithuania tend to eliminate those parts of memory and identity which refer to the Soviet past. These dominant discourses create obstacles performing authentic multi-ethnic identities in Visaginas, while also creating place identity to develop socialist heritage tourism.

See the full programme here.

University of Latvia

University of Latvia’s Faculty of Medicine offered an intensive and timely programme on the topical issues of medical research in the digital era. This was a summer course for those interested in advanced epidemiology and scietific methods in medicine in general.

Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University: “Kaliningrad: Bridge between Europe and Russia”

This one-week summer school explored captivating features of the Kaliningrad region, a Russian exclave in the middle of Europe on the Baltic sea coast and its role in the international arena. Throughout the course the participants had a possibility to attend Russian language classes, thematic lectures and a selection of activities.

The day started with a Russian language class followed by a 2-hour lecture on various characteristic features of the region, including history, geography, culture, law, economics and international cooperation. In the afternoon the participants joined various activities closely connected to the morning lecture: a city tour, excursions to museums, a quest, etc. The main goal of these activities was to illustrate the facts discussed during the lectures, making the study process more interactive and hands-on.

As a final project the participants prepared and gave group presentations on one of the aspects covered during the studies.

In addition, a number of leisure activities took place at the end of the course. These included a Russian movie night at the university library, an excursion to Svetlogorsk, a seaside resort and a goodbye dinner where the participants were awarded their certificates and celebrated this special occasion.

For more information, see the full programme, visit the programme webpage or contact

During this very hot and sunny summer, students from our region and beyond attended the several CBSS Summer Universities taken place in Latvia, Sweden and Russia.

Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (Latvia) – “Media Literacy and Democracy: Baltic Perspective”

In 2018, the “Baltic International Summer School” organised by Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Latvia was devoted to media literacy and democracy. The purpose of the intensive programme was to improve the ability of communication and journalism students to evaluate the information provided by the media and to develop its content and to perceive the published information in a more analytical and critical way. In order to facilitate the critical evaluation of information, the students have created several videos on the topics of fake news and fact-checking which you can watch here.

Further, on 26 June 2018, the students visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia to attend a seminar on media literacy and where the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrejs Pildegovičs, spoke to the students about the interaction between diplomacy and media and risk factors in contemporary international relations.

Novgorod State University (Russia) – “Intercultural Dialogue as a Key Factor for Sustainable Development of the Region”

This CBSS Summer University brought together a multidisciplinary group of students and professors from different countries of Baltic Sea Region to discuss and explore the strategic importance of intercultural dialogue as a way to achieve sustainable development in Veliky Novgorod, Russia. Featuring cross-cultural trainings and case studies based on culture assimilators, the programme encouraged the participants to solve vital problems appearing in real and virtual life interaction.

The nexus of history, culture, and economics was outlined in the lectures and seminars on the history of Veliky Novgorod, with the Novgorod land in the Viking Age come into focus of attention from an archaeological point of view both during the lecture at the museum and the field trip to archaeological excavation site in Staraya Russa.

You can find more detailed information [in Russian] about the different programme items on the website of the Novgorod State University.

Uppsala University (Sweden) – “War and Peace Journalism in an Age of Global Instability”

The Summer School took place on 10 – 16 June 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden. The participants came from international programmes on bachelor and master levels, from Vilnius University, Estonian Business School, Tartu University, Turiba University as well as Uppsala University itself. The course offered a mix of lectures, role-plays, workshops, discussions, and study visits, focusing on the role of media in conflict situations from various perspectives. On the final day of the course, the students held their own presentations of the key aspects of what they had learned. The Summer School was made possible with funding from NordPlus and included also a visit to the CBSS Secretariat where the students gained a deeper understanding of how an intergovernmental organisation works – especially with issues related to civil security.

Södertörn University (Sweden), University of Gdańsk and European Solidarity Centre (Poland)- “Populism and Radical Politics, across East and West, Right and Left”

While in previous, the partner universities aimed at studying regional identity through understanding the impact of cultural memory and institutionalisation of the contemporary Baltic Sea Region, this year populism and radicalism across the political spectrum both theoretically and empirically was in focus of this Summer University. Particular attention had been paid to the European post-1989 context within Baltic, Central and Eastern Europe, and the cultural, economic and political developments that these developments have caused. The learning process has been enhanced by a ferry travel from Stockholm to the heart of European solidarity of Solidarity – Gdańsk – reaffirming also the importance of transnational endeavours for constructing a genuinely connected, regional community.

This Summer University programme has been possible thanks to the resources provided by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) at Södertörn University, by the University of Gdańsk and the European Solidarity Centre as well as the City of Gdansk Mayor’s Office.

More details of the Summer University at Södertörn and in Gdansk can be found here and here.

Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics (Russia) – “Baltic Energy in Changing Energy Landscape”

For the second time, the Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics invited master and PhD students of economics, business or political science to Russia to explore Russia-EU and Baltic Sea Region relations and current energy trends in the world. Discussing the reasons for and consequences of the recent oil price drop and its implications for other fossil fuels as well as its relation with international carbonization efforts, the students worked towards a better understanding of the link between theory, the institutional framework and practical problems with respect to a sustainable approach in the energy cluster.

The programme included also a presentation by CBSS Senior Adviser Daria Akhutina, laying out the Sustainable & Prosperous Region’ portfolio and highlighting the CBSS’ work on energy, sustainability and the economic and social development in our region.

Read more about the Summer University here.

The CBSS Summer University 2017 took place at Södertörn University, Stockholm and at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk on 21 June – 1 July 2017.

The theme “Identities and Cultural Memory of East and West in the Baltic Sea Region” attracted about 20 PhD students from most of the countries in the region, and beyond – from Thailand and India. The course aimed to enhance the  understanding of the impact of cultural memory and its institutionalisation on contemporary discourse in the Baltic Sea Region.

It offered seminars on memory studies, on the narratives of ‘East’ and ‘West’ in the region and on the institutions that preperve the past or construct new horizons of expectations and identities. These transdisciplinary phenomena were studied by observing the interplay of past and present in socio-cultural contexts of the Baltic Sea Region countries. The students were invited  to critically examine how the memory and the history of a certain place or space serve to form a cultural identity. In particular, they focused on the discourses of ‘East’ and ‘West’ and centre-periphery relations as frames that have been instrumental for conceiving narratives of the region as a borderland.

The Summer School featured lecturers and keynote speakers from universities in Södertörn, Lund, Gdańsk, Greifswald, Kaliningrad and others in the region.  The course was organized by Södertörn University’s Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) partnership with University of Gdansk, European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk and University of Greifswald, reaffirming the importance of such transnational endeavours for constructing a truly regional epistemic community.

More information can be found here.

A detailed documentations of the Summer School is available here.

The programme is available at: CBSS Summer University 2017 at Södertörn University

The CBSS Summer University Series for 2016 kicked-off in June, with the first of three programmes across our region. The first Summer University was held at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. In cooperation with the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), throughout the week, lectures and seminars connected to the topic “Cultural memory in Europe: East and West”  discussed and explored not only the history of the Baltic Sea Region but also notions of identity and memory politics. The 23 master and PhD students during this nine-day-long Summer University elaborated whether a Baltic Sea regional identity exists and if so, how it came to exist and how it could be further developed in the future. In this course, academic input was given by lecturers coming from different universities and institutions of the Baltic Sea Region such as the University of Tartu, Estonia, the University of Greifswald, Germany; and the University of Gdańsk, Poland. Thanks to the multidisciplinarity amongst the students and teachers, scientific questions addressing borderlands, ‘Eastness’, region-building alongside present and historic ties in the Baltic Sea Region were vividly debated and resulted in interesting findings which will also be useful for the CBSS and its priority area Regional Identity. Additionally, during the field trips to places such as the open-air museum Skansen and the Viking village of Birka, the students had the chance to discover different historical sights of the Baltic Sea Region and to approach the cultural memorial sites of the region also in a practical way.

The second Summer University took place in southern Norway at the University of Agder (Kristiansand), the Baltic Sea Region was explored through the prism of political science. The European Integration Summer School (EISS) which has been taken place since 1992 dedicated a weekly course this year to intergovernmental organisations operating in the Baltic Sea Region and multi-level governance in general in the BSR. With regards to this, about 25 master students from not only the Baltic Sea Region but from all over the world analysed the European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), familiarised themselves with the work of the CBSS itself and discussed Norway’s role within it as well as  vis-a-vis the EU. Since the second module of this Summer University focused on “The European Union in Crisis”, special attention was also paid to regional cooperation and its benefits and challenges during times of political or economic turmoil. In this course, theoretic input was given by lecturers from the host university and from Baltic Sea regional universities such as Aarhus University, Denmark and the University of Tampere, Finland.

The third Summer University took place at Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics, Russia in cooperation with the University of Helsinki, Finland; the University of Gdańsk, Poland and Södertörn University, Sweden. Dealing with the topic “Baltic Energy in a Changing Energy Landscape”, this Summer University approached the pressing issue of energy market operation and sustainable development in the BSR. Furthermore, about 20 students from the Baltic Sea Region as well as from Belarus and the Netherlands learned about the different energy landscapes and politics in the Baltic Sea States and discussed EU-Russian relations in this field. Receiving input not only from academics but also from leading experts such as Jurgis Vilemas, Chairman of the Lithuanian Association for Energy Economics; or Hans Jørgen Koch, CEO of Nordic Energy Research under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Summer University was closed with a British Parliamentary style debate on energy perspectives in the BSR, the outcomes of which could be valuable for the CBSS’ priority area Sustainable and Prosperous Region.

Go on the CBSS Flickr for some impressions!

From 4 – 14th August 2014, the 1st CBSS Summer University took place at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) of the University of Södertörn, Sweden, on “Governance and Administration in the Baltic Sea Region“. Around 20 advanced master and doctoral students from seven countries participated in a diverse programme on governance and administration in the Baltic Sea region. The modules included topics such as Quality of Government (QoG), concepts of governance and governance in multi-level governance, network governance, public management and administrative reforms in the Baltic Sea Region, macro-regional strategies and cooperation with Russia in the Baltic Sea regional context. A visit to the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat and discussions with practitioners of Baltic Sea cooperation made the programme complete.

The second round of the CBSS Summer University was held on 17 – 28 August 2015 at the Humboldt University, Berlin, and took the students to Hamburg and Kiel where they got the chance to learn about the administrative and practical work of public authorities within the Baltic Sea regional cooperation.

Read more about it here [in German].

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