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BIGSSS Summer School on INTERVENTIONS (extended deadline: March 14, 2014)

- Deadline extended: March 14, 2014 –

Call for Applications: BIGSSS-Summer School 2014 on Interventions (July 8-11, 2014)

Since the 1990s the theory and the practice of intervention have become some of the most heatedly debated topics (not only) in the field of International Relations. The first BIGSSS summer school is an occasion for 15 - 20 advanced M.A. students and Ph.D. candidates to intensely discuss their work on interventions with a group of international scholars. The term ‘intervention’ is understood in its broadest sense and also addresses projects in the neighboring fields of development policy, social policy, etc. The 2014 faculty consists of Michael N. Barnett (George Washington University), Bai Gao (Duke University), Evelyne Huber (UNC Chapel Hill), Peter Mayer (University of Bremen), Joel S. Migdal (University of Washington), Herbert Obinger (University of Bremen), Ingo Rohlfing (BIGSSS), Dominic Sachsenmaier (Jacobs University), Klaus Schlichte (BIGSSS), Chris Winship (Harvard) and Arndt Wonka (BIGSSS).

Students will discuss their own projects and academic literature of their choice with leading international experts. Applicants of the major disciplines of political science, sociology, history and social anthropology are asked to relate their projects to the following three sections:

1. "Constituting Authority"
Interventions are intentional actions that try to influence other actors’ behavior. Interventions are in any case based on claims of authority by the intervener. But how are these claims constructed? What are the bases and limits of claims, when is authority acknowledged, when is it refused?

2. "Intervention by Reform"
Interventions can be understood as large-scale policies that aim at transformations in social and organizational spaces. Since the 19th century, reforms have been known as one major form of such actions to transform societies at large or in particular organizational realms of it. Attempts to modernize states or the creation of welfare systems can be seen in that light. What are comparative lessons of these forms of interventions? What can we learn from these huge experiments for the contemporary discussion on interventions?

3. "The Power of Intervention"
Interventions consist of discourses and practices by which actors attempt to exert power. Even in unsuccessful cases, power is exerted by all parties involved. What forms of power can we distinguish here? What sort of conflicts result from clashing power games or non-coordinated actions? And what are the results of such conflicts?

We hope for an academically excellent and international group of participants and do not charge any program fee. Board and lodging is included for all accepted participants of the Summer School. Lodging is organized in a college on the Jacobs University Campus. Travel costs cannot be covered by BIGSSS.


Application Deadline is March 14, 2014.


Find out how to apply at


Dr. Christian Peters
Executive Secretary

BIGSSS - Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences
FVG West
Room W1170
Wiener Straße / Celsius Straße
28359 Bremen
Phone:  +49-(0)421-21866402
Fax:      +49-(0)421-21866353

Postal Address:
Postfach 33 04 40
28334 Bremen

For further information see flyer