Understanding Humanitarian Action

Understanding Humanitarian Action

This summer school provides participants with an understanding of the main stakes and questions in humanitarian action and contributes to building critical thinking.

The first week introduces the main concepts of humanitarian aid – including elements that should be considered (or not) when defining humanitarian action – and presents the humanitarian principles and framework in which assistance activities take place. Besides history, law and geopolitics of humanitarian action, we also analyse the context and the characteristics of humanitarian crises and the various types of responses.

Through case studies from contexts such as Philippines, Syria, Haiti or Afghanistan, the main operational challenges faced by international and national organisations will be identified during the second week. Finally, working on a concrete scenario during two days, participants will partially experience the tasks undertaken by humanitarian workers and get the opportunity to practically apply their newly acquired knowledge.
Overall, the three weeks allow participants to capture the complexity and diversity of humanitarian action.

Assessments are based on active participation and an assignment carried out during the two days. Upon successful completion of the course, participants are evaluated based on a group presentation on the last days of the two-weeks summer school (equivalence of 4 ECTS). Students wanting to acquire 6 ECTS have the opportunity to do so on the basis of a satisfactory take-home paper, to be written within a week after the end of the summer school.

Subjects

  • Humanitarian Action

Related Programs

Internet Law Summer School

June 19 - 30, 2017 (2 weeks)

Study Internet Law in Geneva, where the World Wide Web was born!

Topics that will be covered include cybersecurity, consumer protection, legal issues of social media, Internet and telecom infrastructure, data protection, intellectual property, antitrust, and much more...

This is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the framework of an Internet law clinic and to discuss cutting edge Internet law and policy issues with academics (including researchers participating in the Geneva Internet L@w Research Colloquium), practitioners, representatives of global policy makers, international organizations and leading institutions, including the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP).

In the previous years (2014, 2015 and 2016), the Geneva Internet l@w summer school gathered a group of highly talented participants from very diverse backgrounds and countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Jordania, Lithuania, Pakistan, Ukraine and the US.

The summer school includes an exciting social programme, with excursions and social gatherings, and affords the fantastic opportunity to build a global network of new friends as well as of Internet law and policy experts.

A video testimony of participants to the 2014 edition is available here!

Students of the summer school will receive a certificate for completing the summer school.

The equivalence of 6 ECTS credits can be obtained (to be validated by the home university) upon submission of a paper.

Please note: changes to the draft program may be made at any time prior to the start of the course.

University of Geneva

8-10 Passage Daniel Baud Bovy

Understanding Islamist Movements: Historical Roots and Current Realities

This course asks how we should understand the various political movements that claim to act in the name of Islam. What do the Islamic State and the various affiliates of al-Qaeda in the Middle East have in common with each other, or with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, among others? What distinguishes these movements from the Taliban in Afghanistan or Boko Haram in West Africa? Why do some of these groups act or inspire others to carry out attacks in Europe and North America? To what extent can they be explained in political terms, and what exactly is the role of religion? How do they compare with non-Islamic terrorist or revolutionary movements?

This course will address these and other questions by going beyond the conventional geopolitical and Western journalistic perspectives. We will examine the historical roots of political Islam, trace the origins of the movement known as Salafism and the changing uses of the term jihad. We will also look in depth at the discussions that Islamists have amongst themselves, how they see themselves and what they stand for. We will look at the jihadist poetry and the religious debates they conduct between themselves, as well as ask how people in the affected regions, especially writers and intellectuals, view the movements. Finally, there will be sessions addressing practical questions, such as how do Islamist groups acquire their weapons, and how does the global oil market affect Islamism?

Interdisciplinary by its very nature, the course is taught by distinguished faculty in a variety of fields from Europe and the United States, as well as experts from the international community in Geneva.

The course will treat the following topics, among others:

  • The origins and nature of Salafism
  • The changing uses of the term “jihad.”
  • Arab intellectuals’ views on religion and Islamic movements
  • The Iranian Revolution and its legacy
  • The View from Moscow: Russia and Islam; Russia and the Middle East
  • The poetry of the Islamic State; How do jihadists represent themselves?
  • Arms and ammunition: How do groups get their weapons?

Equivalence of 4 ECTS credits

University of Geneva

8-10 Passage Daniel Baud Bovy

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