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Introduction

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, I will offer the 2020 edition of my Media Representations and Research Methods Summer School as an online course. My other Summer School courses at Maastricht University have been cancelled. Please contact me for more information.

Are you looking for inspiring, engaging and inclusive Summer School courses? Then have a look at my four courses at Maastricht Summer School:

Below you can read short introductions to these Summer School courses.

[MOVED TO 10-21 AUGUST/24 AUGUST-4 SEPTEMBER 2020; ONLINE COURSE] Summer School “Media Representations and Research Methods: Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Semiotics and News Framing

The tweets of US-President Donald Trump, the heated social media debate on Greta Thunberg and the many angles on migration stress the pivotal role of texts and images in our societies.

This course teaches you the analytical skills to study the possible meanings of textual and visual media representations. Interactive lectures offer you concepts and methods to examine what combinations of words and/or visual elements mean in terms of a broader debate in society. These lectures further help you to understand how national identities and power relations affect the interpretations of media representations.

Your individual assignment concerns a short paper, in which you apply a method to study one or two news articles, cartoons or social media posts. Specially for this Summer School, Dr Leonhardt van Efferink developed a template that helps you to write a well-structured course paper.

On top of this, he offers individual feedback in class and active personal tutoring by e-mail. Finally, his support includes a simple framework to develop focused, consistent and transparent research questions.

[CANCELLED IN 2020] Summer School “Country Risk Analysis: Macro-Economic and Political Risk Drivers of Emerging Markets”

Rising political risks, recent calls for protectionism and warnings of a global recession underline the relevance of country risk analysis.

This course teaches you the skills to study country risks in Emerging Markets from both an economic and political perspective. What kind of research framework do banks use to assess country risk, and which concepts are pivotal in this regard? What are important macro-economic and political risk drivers for Emerging Markets? How can these risk drivers affect country risk, and do they have critical values?

To answer these questions, interactive lectures teach you the skills to work with country risk concepts, analyze country risk drivers and write a country risk report. You do assignments in which you collect open source data for the risk drivers of two Emerging Markets. Other assignments concern the writing of the economic and political risk sections of a country risk report.

Finally, two workshops help you to use the “Country Risk Canvas” to visualize the causality between macro-economic risk drivers, political risk drivers and country risk.

[CANCELLED IN 2020] Summer School “Geopolitical Trends Analysis: China’s Global Power, Nationalism in Europe and Africa’s Natural Resources”

The world seems to change faster than ever, raising important geopolitical questions.

For example, how does China’s Belt and Road Initiative change the power relations between China and other states? How does nationalism influence the coherence of the European Union and the geopolitical position of Europe’s countries such as Hungary, Russia and the United Kingdom? And how do conflicts over natural resources such as hydrocarbons, rare metals and fresh water affect the international relations of African states?

To answer these questions, this Summer School offers you interactive lectures about three influential geopolitical approaches. In these lectures, the differences between geopolitics, geostrategy and geo-economics are discussed as well. Another lecture explains key geopolitical concepts such as nation-state, national identity and national power. You will also be taught methods to assess national power, analyze geopolitical frames and conduct a geopolitical study of natural resources.

To apply freshly acquired skills, you do a few group assignments and one individual assignment about geopolitical trends of your choice.

[CANCELLED IN 2020] Summer School “Geopolitical Scenario Planning: National Security, Territorial/Maritime Conflicts and Foreign Policy Strategy”

The melting Arctic ice cap, the disputed South China Sea boundaries and the tense situation in Kashmir underline the importance of territorial and maritime conflicts in international relations. This Summer School helps you to better understand and manage the related geopolitical uncertainty.

The central question is how scenario planning can help you imagine plausible futures of territorial and maritime conflicts. Interactive lectures and workshops teach you to identify the geopolitical drivers of inter-state conflicts, and use these drivers to write geopolitical scenarios.

This Summer School also enables you to assess the impact of your scenarios on the foreign policy strategy of the involved states. To do this, you learn to analyze common notions of national security and national interests in these states.

To apply your newly developed skills, you do a few assignments about an inter-state conflict of your choice. Step-by-step, you become more familiar with a basic, yet effective approach towards scenario planning, which has proven to be an excellent starting point to study more advanced approaches after the course.

Would you like to know which Summer School courses would be most beneficial to you? Or whether Summer School courses or in-house skills training sessions would be most beneficial for your organization? Then contact me to explore your options.
My Summer School Courses at Maastricht University

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