Expiry of University Consortium cooperation with FU Berlin
News vom 18.12.2017
Scholars from the Center for Global Politics and/or the Department for Politics at the Institute for East European Studies have been part of the University Consortiums first project round (running from October 2015 to December 2017), a project which has the main aim to reinforce and support cooperation between Universities from Russia and "the West". During the above mentioned timeframe, UC fellows from FU Berlin have been happy to participate at two Annual Meetings and various modules. FU Berlin has also been the host of one module and has organized a couple of UC funded events at FU Berlin. Thanks to the University Consortiums financial support, it was also possible to organize a round-table on “Populism in Eastern Europe” at this year's ASEEES Annual Convention in Chicago.
However, content-wise, the perceptions and understandings of various issues have led to disagreement between FU Berlin representatives and the project organizers, which ultimately lead to our decision to leave the project at the end of 2017. To name only two contested topics, FU Berlin has always advocated to broaden the amount of partner
organizations participating, especially trying to incorporate Universities from other Eastern European countries like Ukraine and the Baltics. Secondly, while most participants have mainly been interested to discuss high-politics, have understood current times of crises from a “New Cold War” perspective and were mainly interested in questions on "how to move forward", FU Berlin participants did not share these interpretations and approaches. We do not see a “New Cold War”, and do not think that we are facing basically misperceptions.
We would like to thank the University Consortium and its principal investigator, Dr. Julie Newton, for the valuable experience to be part of this project. We certainly think that future cooperation might be possible if divergences and different interpretations are not that deep and fundamental as in this project conceptual setting, or if there would be more space provided for diverging visions of the current conflicts.