Global Peace Security and Strategic Studies
(6th Edition)

SUMMER SCHOOL

Dive deep into the critical issues of global peace, security and strategy, and forge connections with experts and peers alike.

Co-organised by the Global Governance Institute & the Belgian Royal Military Academy

21 – 30 June 2024

Brussels

Closing Soon

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About GPSSS

Europe and the wider world face complex, multifaceted and fundamental security challenges at an ever-expansive scale. Whether it is new threats such as cybersecurity, the impact of environmental degradation on security and livelihoods, the societal impacts of the impending robotics and artificial intelligence revolution or the resurgence of classical threats, such as nuclear proliferation, arms races, regional conflicts, information warfare, hybrid warfare and the challenges of peacekeeping, peace-building and conflict resolution, the next generation of students and analysts must be literate in the analytical tools and policy-oriented solutions to a wide range of security problems.


To this end, since 2018, the Global Governance Institute, the Belgian Royal Military Academy, and a network of senior scholars and policy-makers from international organisations (such as NATO, the European Union and the United Nations) team up every summer to deliver a unique 10-day intensive summer school from the political capital of Europe. This summer school brings together theoretical and policy-oriented perspectives from peace studies, security studies and strategic studies. Students will learn first-hand from some of the leading scholars and senior practitioners about major security challenges and how to apply concrete policy solutions in an integrative manner.

Focus

Theoretical perspectives
During the foundation sessions, students will discuss the major theories in the fields of security, peace and strategic studies and will acquire the ability to analyse, assess and evaluate major assumptions behind core paradigms and policy decisions. Sessions on peace, security and strategic studies combined with an introduction to geopolitics will allow students to conduct a thorough analysis of contemporary security issues from a European and Global perspective.

Institutions and major actors
With the help of a variety of lecturers and in-depth expert seminars, students will be given both a critical academic and honest internal perspective on the history, policies and outcomes of the major international organisations present in Brussels that deal with European and global security issues. Students will understand that almost every organisation tries to tackle a large number of security problems but that none of them can deal with all these problems on their own, necessitating comprehensive and integrative approaches.

Major issues and challenges
Once students have understood core theoretical explanations as well as the opportunities andlimitations of the major actors and tools, a variety of interactive lectures, seminars and exercises will be provided to allow students to analsze the main peace, security and strategic challenges that policy-makers face today and will in all likelihood face in the near future. Ranging from ‘traditional’ challenges, such as war and conflict, geopolitical rivalries, terrorism, global economic governance, the summer school will also explore more recent issues, such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and the robotics revolution as well as environmental security, the migration-security nexus and the impact of populism and extremism on security.

Forward-thinking and skills training
The summer school will challenge students to not only ask the right questions, but also to collectively think about innovative, yet implementable policy solutions. Senior practitioners and think tank experts will share their insights into their policy work, scenario-building and ‘blue sky’ thinking. Students will also receive training on diplomatic mediation and negotiation, as well as rare insights into the inner workings of international policy-making.

Approach

Experiential learning and networking will accompany each session and peer learning will be facilitated throughout the programme. Participants will get ample opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions and debates with lecturers, Brussels-based practitioners, or fellow students, in order to build new long-lasting networks.

At the end of the intensive 10 days, students will apply and test their knowledge and understanding with the help of an interactive simulation. Students will be guided by experts from the field and will work in groups on a major issue related to global peace, security and strategy-making, through the lenses of governments, NGOs and international organisations.

Foundation Sessions
Introductory lectures about major theories and findings from research

Forward-Thinking Sessions / Hands-On Sessions
Discuss innovative problem-solving strategies and approaches to address evolving challenges

Experience Sessions
Lessons learned from experienced practitioners and specialists

Practical Sessions / Skills Labs
Workshops to put into use newly acquired skills and knowledge

Learning Objectives

Understand the basics of peace, security, strategic studies and geopolitics.
Understand the history, functioning, and impact of the major international organisations such as the EU, NATO, and the United Nations.
Explore the issues that are relevant for international security today and how these will shape international environments of the future.
Expand professional networks through interaction with fellow student academics, senior policy-makers, military experts and peace activists.
Engage closely with leading practitioners and learn from their  experience working in Brussels.
Test, develop and apply the acquired knowledge in real-life scenarios and active simulations.
Discover exclusive insights from the capital of global policy-making with a rich history and culture.

Skills Acquired

Analysing assumptions, evaluating theories critically
Exploring contemporary issues, understanding geopolitics, strategy, and global approaches
Policy-making and core policy insights
Understanding integrative approaches, problem-solving
Analysing challenges, foresight in emerging issues.
Engaging in forward-thinking, devising solutions
Learning from practitioners, understanding scenarios
Practicing diplomatic mediation, negotiation, international policy-making strategies
Honing  international, inter-personal and inter-cultural skills and expanding professional networks

Programme

Testimonials

The GPSSS programme provided me with precious insights into the fascinating world of security issues. The added value of having speakers coming from the military, the academic environment and IOs is that you get to approach each of the many topics of the programme from different angles. Moreover, the possibility to connect with like-minded people from literally everywhere is priceless!

Chiara, GPSSS '23

As a GPSSS participant, I can confidently say that the programme was an enriching and rewarding experience. The courses offered over ten days covered a wide range of subjects including cybersecurity, environmental degradation, nuclear proliferation, regional conflicts, information warfare, hybrid warfare, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and conflict resolution. The diverse speakers, including academic experts and practitioners from various national, European, and international institutions, provided valuable perspectives. I highly recommend this summer school to anyone who is looking to expand their knowledge and skills in a dynamic learning environment.

Melina, GPSSS '23

As a young professional with a background in international security (holding an MA in International Security), I found GPSSS to be an incredible experience. The thorough organisation of the learning process, diverse speakers, high quality of teaching, the interactive structure of the course, and the opportunity to network with like-minded and motivated individuals are exactly what GPSSS offers to its students. The summer school provides deep insights into the fascinating domain of international security, aiming to develop a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and complexity of the field and its nuances from a global perspective.

Vitalii, GPSSS '23

A great programme, comprehensive and a lot of experts that work 14 years in relevant positions in UN, EU or NATO or academia. As an IR student I was able to get a broad overview of security studies without losing the ability to go in depth. It was enriching to be able to ask the experts any question that comes into your mind. The simulation game was also interesting in the end of the two weeks, where we were simulating a G20 summit. All in all, it was very much worth it, and I thank once again the organisers, lecturers, and participants!

Florian, GPSSS '22

As a GPSSS graduate, I can guarantee that this intensive summer school will exceed your expectations. With a variety of lectures and simulation games, I was able not only to acquire new knowledge but to also interactively engage with my highly reputable professors and experts that helped me to better understand the complex but exciting topics of strategy, security, global governance and many more. If you want a summer school that is well structured, that is run by professionals and that you will graduate knowing that you will make good friends along the way, look no further.

Diodoros, GPSSS '22

Admissions – Applicants need to fill out the summer school application form. After submitting the form successfully, applicants will receive a confirmation email. We evaluate and accept participants to the programme on a rolling basis. An answer can be expected within maximum one week of submission. For any questions or requests, please get in touch.

Certificate – The Global Governance Institute will award a certificate to all participants who successfully complete the programme. This can be achieved if participants attend a minimum of 70% of all sessions, actively engage in all activities and complete the assignments.

Credits – The Royal Military Academy and GGI will award 6 ECTS for successful completion of the credit track. This can be achieved if students attend all sessions, take part in the final simulation and complete one written assignment in the form of a policy paper. Students’ institutions will decide whether the credits can be integrated in an educational programme.

Registration Fee€1700. The fee includes access to all sessions, learning materials and a 3-month access to the digital learning platform, lunch, coffee and refreshments throughout the summer school, as well as the welcome dinner, graduation ceremony reception, and social activities in Brussels.