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University Consortium at Oxford University

News vom 12.12.2017

Last week, the University Consortium launched its last module for the University Consortiums first project phase in 2017. Tobias Lechner, GSGP PhD candidate, took part as a fellow from FU Berlin and he reports the following: “The team from the University Consortium with its principal investigator Dr. Julie Newton organized an excellent module hosted by Oxford University. Students from the six UC partner universities had the opportunity to discuss recent developments and questions in Russia-West relations. Of course, there are some fundamental differences in terms of security perception, and very different approaches to questions of self-determination as well as hegemonial spheres. However, the module showed how easy it can be to discuss major problems in a friendly environment. It included lectures on negotiation, a conflict resolution simulation with experts from government institutions, and talks with VIPs such as Gennady Burbulis (who signed the treaty on the dissolution of the Soviet Union) and Sir Roderic Lyne (former UK ambassador to Russia). The academic highlight was Prof. Alex Cooley from Columbia University who presented recent developments of the „Russiagate“ in the U.S. and the consequences of “One Belt, One Road” for the great game in Central Asia. He also showed how Central Asian elites use Western infrastructure for kleptocratic means. I hope that European students can participate in future UC modules too, especially because Europe is at the heart of the current American-Russian conflict. Many thanks to the Center for Global Politics, Freie Universität Berlin, for participating in the University Consortium, and for giving me the opportunity to present my ideas and research at this year’s module.

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