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Small States in Europe: Towards a Cross-Disciplinary Approach
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Small state studies are a growing discipline within International Relations, where it is an increasingly accepted notion that in order to fully understand the intricate structure of the international community it is important to study all states – small and large. The discipline has clear cross-sectoral relevance with its focus on the specific challenges facing small states in all areas of public life. This strategic partnership creates a pan-European, cross-disciplinary, consortium of experts in the field of small state studies. It will expand the traditional scope of small state studies by targeting new disciplines and thus enhance the possibility for a wider understanding of small states, their capabilities, challenges and interests. This is especially important for European Union studies considering that the EU is a Union predominantly made up of small states. The teaching and research themes developed by the consortium are specifically created to address the common challenges facing small states in Europe today. The primary objective of this partnership is to create a pan-European consortium of experts in small state studies that will train young teachers and researchers from International Relations and Political Science as well as other disciplines, such as Economics, Business, Public Administration and Law, in applying insights from small state studies to their research and teaching. This endeavor aims at promoting and encouraging small states studies within these disciplines as well expanding it into other fields. Furthermore, at the end of the project the consortium will have developed four new and innovative inter-disciplinary curricula in small state studies based on the four teaching and research themes. The ten universities participating in this strategic partnership were all chosen based on their unique and outstanding academic standing in the field of small states and European integration. Their academic expertise lies within different disciplines but converges on their focus on the contemporary challenges and opportunities of small states in the international community. The consortium has developed four interlinked teaching and research themes (TRTs) that are built on the specific expertise of the partners and jointly create new cross-border synergies fostering the interdisciplinary development of small state studies at the European level. Together they form an integral part of the objective of developing expertise in teaching in small state studies while moving the discipline forward into new fields. The TRTs are:TRT 1: Small states: Foreign policy and economic securityTRT 2: Small states addressing the migration crisis TRT 3: Small states in international law TRT 4: Small states and the challenges of good governance The objectives of this project are linked to the following activities that will be developed in relation to the four TRTs: a. Two-week intensive summer academies open to the project’s target groups of advanced Master's students, Ph.D. students and post-doctorate researchers b. Intensive study programmes (one week duration) focused on training new and upcoming teachers c. Multiplier events targeting an audience from a wide range of disciplinesd. Transnational meetings held in conjunction with the multiplier eventse. Blended mobility for students and young researchers/teachersf. Development of four new and innovative inter-disciplinary curricula in small state studies based on the four teaching and research themesThe methodology applied in the project is based on elaborative consultation and communication between the partners during the preparation and implementation of the planned activities as well as during the dissemination phase of the project. All the partners have jointly developed the four teaching and research themes and will contribute to the execution of the project according to their specific field of expertise.The project is expected to provide advanced Master’s students, Ph.D. students and post-doctoral researchers with greater skills and experience in teaching, and thus answers to the lack of training of teachers within higher education in Europe. All partner organizations will benefit from better trained teachers, which ultimately will have an impact on the quality of the education provided by the participating organizations. Furthermore, the expected impact of this project will be the integration of small state studies into new disciplines, as well as further strengthening small state studies in IR and Political Science. By training new teachers in incorporating a small state angle to their curricula the partnership ensures a wider impact of the project through its cross-disciplinary approach, with participants coming from disciplines outside of IR. This in turn will broaden the scope of small state studies given the impact from other disciplines on the study of small states.
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9 Partners Participants