Very different than planned – but still a wonderful experience: the virtual "Contested Governance" Summer School 2020 was a success!
25 participants from Africa, Asia and Central America joined us for a two-week online programme on "Contested Governance" from 7 to 18 September 2020. Invited were Master and Ph.D. students from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, all scholarship recipients in the In-Country / In-Region Scholarship Programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
The first week was dedicated to basic concepts, understandings and adaptations of governance. Dr Martin Adelmann and Dr. Jan Claudius Völkel, both from the organising Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI), discussed in interactive sessions different aspects of the concept, which has become one of the core terms in comparative political analysis.
The second week opened the focus towards the current COVID-19 pandemic. Under the adept guidance and supervision by Matthias Süßen, a professional journalist, blogger and trainer, participants started to learn how to produce advanced videos with their smartphones, and then applied their newly-gained knowledge on governance to the actual situation in their home countries. As output, they produced an impressive number of educational videos about different aspects of the ongoing health crisis.
Not least, Cita Wetterich offered an academic skills training on "Literature Review", presenting a lot of helpful hints and tricks regarding the acquisition, handling and utilisation of academic references.
Additional inputs came from Dr Markus Böckenförde, Associate Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Central European University in Vienna. From the side of the DAAD, Marc Wilde (Head of Section P 32), Yvonne Visarius, Kristina Kühn and Jana Bömer served as contact persons for the participants and answered questions about the DAAD's general work as well as scholarship-specific concerns.
In sum, the summer school achieved its four core learning outcomes successfully: gaining knowledge about governance, applying academic insights to a timely problem area, namely the COVID-19 pandemic, and enhancing academic as well as professional skills. Of course, the intercultural experience remained rather limited, since travelling to Germany remained impossible this year, but all participants are of good hope that next year, this could be an additional benefit from the "Contested Governance" Summer School 2020.
=> Have a look "behind the scenes" and enjoy our 2020 "Contested Governance" Summer School video (4'22 minutes).
(c) Photos & video: Arnold Bergstraesser Institute 2020.