2nd International Summer School for Pak-Afghan graduates

The Department of Political Science at the University of Peshawar in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation, Islamabad is pleased to invite applications from M.A./M.Phil/ Ph.D students of Universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan for the summer school to be held in Bara Gali, the summer Campus of the University of Peshawar from June 1-15, 2014.
The Summer School intends to focus on the dynamics of conflict transformation and state building in the Pak- Afghan region. Though human societies are hardly free from conflicts, the specific interplay of socio-political, cultural, historical, ideological and economic facets have made the Pak-Afghan region highly susceptible to instability, war, violence and extremism. Despite the perpetual persistence of conflict in the region, scholars and policy makers alike have scantly addressed the constructive and systemic transformation. The field of ‘conflict transformation’ emerged in the early 1990s, initially focusing on the question of how smaller conflicts blossom into larger ones, embroil the conflicting parties in violent and nonviolent coercive struggles to achieve their goals. This led to inquiries about transitions of conflicts from their destructive and violent manifestations into non-violent and non-contentious forms. The up-coming summer school will focus on the exploration of various theories and approaches to conflict transformation in the context of the Pakistan Afghanistan region. It aims at engaging the participants from both countries in a deeper and thoughtful process of learning and contributing to our understanding of conflict transformation in the region.
Conflict transformation demands fundamental structural changes in society, economy and polity. The political success of such transformation critically depends on how institutions, especially within the formal state structure are built and how their capacity can be improved to deliver services to the people. State building, which is understood as the process of building a political system around the features of the modern (Weberian) state, has been the most prevalent challenge for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan foreign intervention and the ensuing post 2001 state building exercise have generated new forms of institutional and liberal paradoxes. There is a need to understand these paradoxes and related dilemmas, not only in order to comprehend contentious issues, but also to devise strategies for more successful state building ventures in the region.
The aim is not only to educate and train students and graduates of Pakistan and Afghanistan universities on issues of governance, conflict, peace and institution building, but also to provide opportunities to interact, discuss and exchange ideas. The region is seeing new forms of co-operation between the two neighbouring countries on issues related to security, extremism and terrorism. We at the department of Political Science believe that no relationship between the two neighbouring states can be complete without genuine and sincere efforts at building trust among the people of the region. The Summer School is one such platform, which will go a long way in promoting neighbourly relations through understanding the dynamics of conflict, governance and transformation in the region.
The approach of the program will be interactive and participants are expected to learn not only from the resource persons but also from each other by sharing their own experiences. Along with the academic sessions, other activities will also be a part of the program. These include group meal, games, campfire/cultural nights, hiking to the nearby tourist resorts, visits to some government and non-government institutes/offices and sightseeing ventures.
Participants will be provided transport, accommodation and food during the summer school. Required reading will be provided to the participants before the formal start of the school and each participant is expected to study these readings and contribute enthusiastically to each session in the Summer School.
Students from Social Sciences particularly Political Science, Sociology, Area Studies, Anthropology, International Relations and History are encouraged to apply. Seats are limited to 25 and preference will be given to M.Phil/Ph.D students who are doing or plan to do their research work on the region.
The application process will get underway with the submission of your CV and a statement of motivation (500 Words) to Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar, Pakistan.
Dr. Abdul Rauf, Organizer, Phone +92-91-9216751, summerschool@upesh.edu.pk
Last date of the submission of Applications is April 25, 2015.
Further instructions will be given to the selected participants in due course of time.