International Summer School for doctoral students

Civil Society around the Baltic Sea

Åland Islands, Finland, 6–11 June, 2010

CFP as a pdf file

Call for participation
This summer school is aimed at doctoral students researching topics related to civil society, with a focus on post-socialist states and/or the Baltic Sea area. Twenty-five students will be selected to participate, based on open competition. Organisers will cover the travel expenses, accommodation and meals of participants from the Nordic and Baltic countries and north-western Russia. Doctoral students outside this area are also invited to apply but they will need to have funding of their own.

Scientific content
With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the socialist systems of Eastern Europe two decades ago, many people had high hopes of a burgeoning civil society and a swift transformation to a consolidated democracy. The euphoria soon faded and it has become apparent that the road is both long and divergent, while the complexity of democratisation and civil society has also become evident. It is equally clear that there is enormous variation between the former Soviet states. Lively civil society and stable democratic institutions flourish in some, while others are much more fragile and still others are ruled by totalitarian regimes with little space for democracy.

Topics to be discussed during the summer school include:

  • Democratisation and political culture
  • Social movements and associational activity
  • Gender aspects of civil society
  • Civil society during socialism, long-term development, historical dis/continuities
  • West-east transfers, Western influences and impacts, democracy assistance, debates on the implementation of democracy, intended and unintended consequences
  • Ideas and new theoretisations within post-socialist societies, choices and alternative ways

The course focuses on the civil societies around the Baltic Sea, paying particular attention to the post-socialist states, especially Russia. The constitution of the course is multidisciplinary, incorporating political science, sociology, history and gender studies to illuminate the complexities of the subject.

Invited lecturers

  • Risto Alapuro, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Geir Flikke, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Norway TBC
  • Vladimir Gelman, European University at St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Ann-Cathrine Jungar, Södertörn University, Sweden
  • Maria Lipman, Carnegie Moscow Center, Russia
  • Markku Lonkila, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Katalin Miklossy, University of Helsinki/Aleksanteri Institute, Finland
  • Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, Great Britain
  • Suvi Salmenniemi, University of Helsinki/Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Finland

The summer school will consist of lectures, workshops with presentations of participants’ papers, roundtable discussions and an excursion. The course counts for six ECTS credits and will be conducted in English.

A preliminary programme is availabe here

The course will be held in the Åland Islands, an area of Finland renowned for its environment; spectacular views of the archipelago and the glimmering Baltic Sea are never far away. Also, as an autonomous demilitarised area with specific regulations to guarantee the rights of the Swedish-speaking population and the status of the Swedish language, the setting is particularly interesting for scholars of civil society. The island provides a perfect setting for interesting discussions with junior and senior researchers from many countries while exploring the pure Nordic nature, Scandinavian design, medieval sights and magnificent cliffs.

Please fill in the e-form at
The application should include an abstract of the paper to be presented at the summer school (approximately 300 words). The deadline for applications is 14 March, 2010.

The summer school is organised by the Aleksanteri Institute ( in cooperation with the Södertörn University/BEEGS (, and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)/ Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies ( All three institutions are leading national research and research training centres in Russian and East European Studies. The course is funded by NordForsk.

Contact information
Eeva Korteniemi, Aleksanteri Institute
E-mail: eeva.korteniemi (at)
Phone + 358 9 191 23645