Secessionist and Statehood Bids in Times of Crises

On-site in Tartu, 28 July - 8 August 2024

With wars in Ukraine, Gaza and Nagorno-Karabakh dominating contemporary international relations the study of secessionist bids and the quest for statehood and recognition becomes paramount. Students of International Relations can benefit from a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the concepts and practices of secessionism as well as the way in which these aspects impact the international order.

This course highlights fundamental questions of sovereignty and statehood in the context of secessionist conflicts. It offers an insight into the topics such as self-determination and sovereignty practices, survival pathways, incomplete and negotiated secessions. We will also explore the topics of „frozen conflicts“ and de facto states and their agency. We then turn to analysing the politics of recognition, counter-secession strategies and engagement without recognition as well as the success and failure of secessionist movements. This course relies mostly on first hand research and is comparative in nature, with students having the opportunity to explore different cases of secessionist bids from across the world through a combination of teaching, independent work as well as discussions based on various films and a fieldtrip to Narva - a city directly bordering Russia with a Russian-speaking majority population. A separate part of the course will be dedicated to a simulation exercise where students will have the chance to gain first hand experience of negotiation techniques as well as practical knowledge of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Focus area: Political Science Coordinating unit at UT

Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies

Study Field: International Relations and Regional Studies Course Leader Prof Eiki Berg
Format Summer Course Location Tartu, Estonia
Course dates: 28 July - 7 August 2024 Apply by: 30 April 2024
ECTS: 3 Fee: 700 EUR
Study MA/PhD Language English


  • Prof Eiki Berg, University of Tartu
  • Dr Shpend Kursani, University of Tartu  
  • Dr Ana Maria Albulescu 

Two weeks prior to the start of the programme an information file will be sent to all participants. This file contains the daily schedule and relevant contact information of the programme managers.

Students are responsible for their travel, accommodation (except a night in Narva-Jõesuu) and travel insurance (visa arrangements if needed) from their home country to Tartu and back to their home country. It is recommended to visit the Tartu Welcome Centre website and arrival and housing section to find accommodation opportunities.

Mahreen received the certificate at the summer school

Exploring Federated Learning: My Journey at UniTartu Summer School

Janina Participants of the Summer School from Germany

2 weeks of personal growth surrounded by the best people

UniTartu Summer School 2023

UniTartu Summer School application period ends on 30 April