Secessionist and Statehood Bids in Times of Crises, Short Course | University of Tartu | Tartu, Estonia
Short On Campus

Secessionist and Statehood Bids in Times of Crises

11 days
700 EUR/full
700 EUR/full
Tuition fee
Apply date
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This course explores secessionist conflicts, sovereignty, and statehood, offering insights into self-determination, survival pathways, and more. It includes field trips, film discussions, and a hands-on simulation exercise for practical knowledge.


On-site in Tartu, 28 July - 8 August 2024

With wars in Ukraine, Gaza and Nagorno-Karabakh dominating contemporary international relations the study of secessionist bids and the quest for statehood and recognition becomes paramount. Students of International Relations can benefit from a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the concepts and practices of secessionism as well as the way in which these aspects impact the international order.

This course highlights fundamental questions of sovereignty and statehood in the context of secessionist conflicts. It offers an insight into the topics such as self-determination and sovereignty practices, survival pathways, incomplete and negotiated secessions. We will also explore the topics of „frozen conflicts“ and de facto states and their agency. We then turn to analysing the politics of recognition, counter-secession strategies and engagement without recognition as well as the success and failure of secessionist movements. This course relies mostly on first hand research and is comparative in nature, with students having the opportunity to explore different cases of secessionist bids from across the world through a combination of teaching, independent work as well as discussions based on various films and a fieldtrip to Narva - a city directly bordering Russia with a Russian-speaking majority population. A separate part of the course will be dedicated to a simulation exercise where students will have the chance to gain first hand experience of negotiation techniques as well as practical knowledge of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Programme Structure

Mon, 29 July

Self-determination and Sovereignty PracticesFilm screening and discussion “How to Start Your Own Country” (2011)

Tue, 30 JulyPeace and Violence in Secessionist Bids: What Works?Film screening and discussion “Parts of the Circle: History of the Karabakh Conflict”(2019)

Wed, 31 JulyDe Facto States and “Frozen Conflicts” Film screening and discussion “PMR: In the State of Limbo” (2014)

Thu, 1 AugPatronage and De Facto State Agency Film screening and discussion “Abkhazia: The Long Arm of Russia” (2009)

Fri, 2 AugPolitics of RecognitionFilm screening and discussion “The Agreement” (2013)

 3-4 Aug Fieldtrip to Narva 

Mon, 5 Aug

Counter-secession Strategies and Engagement without RecognitionFilm screening and discussion “Somaliland: An Experiment in Democracy” (2015)

Tue, 6 AugSuccess and Failure of Secessionist MovementsFilm screening and discussion “Ghosts of Karabakh” (2021)

Wed, 7 Aug

Negotiation and simulation exercises: Israel-Palestine Conflict




Prof Eiki Berg, University of TartuDr Shpend Kursani, University of Tartu  Dr Ana Maria Albulescu 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 11 days

Start dates & application deadlines






On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any specific GRE, GMAT or GPA grading score requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Student insurance

Make sure to cover your health, travel, and stay while studying abroad. Even global coverages can miss important items, so make sure your student insurance ticks all the following:

  • Additional medical costs (i.e. dental)
  • Repatriation, if something happens to you or your family
  • Liability
  • Home contents and baggage
  • Accidents
  • Legal aid

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Other requirements

General requirements


  • Online application form
  • Application fee of 25 EUR
  • Motivation letter (up to 1 page) that demonstrates the applicant’s motivation to participate, his/her expectations about the programme, how participation in the summer programme relates to his/her studies and interests, and how the applicant plans to use the gained experience and knowledge in the future.
  • Transcript of academic records
  • Copy of passport

Tuition Fee

To always see correct tuition fees
  • International

    700 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 700 EUR for the full programme during 11 days.
  • EU/EEA

    700 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 700 EUR for the full programme during 11 days.

Living costs for Tartu

300 - 600 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


1. Estonian National Scholarships at 

You can read more about the scholarships on the homepage of

2. ENLIGHT scholarship 

More information and the application form are on the ENLIGHT scholarship page: 

3. DAAD scholarship 

More information and application form on the DAAD scholarship page:

4. Partial tuition fee coverage scholarship

More information and the application form for the partial tuition fee coverage are on the scholarship page:

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