Call for Application 2017


Interrogating Populism

From the Perspectives of Vulnerable Minorities

 Budapest, Hungary, 17-22 July 2017

The Tom Lantos Institute (TLI) and the National University of Public Service (NUPS) in cooperation with the Middlesex University London (MU) are organising their fifth international summer school on minority rights with a special focus on populism from the perspectives of vulnerable minority communities.

The rise of populism around the world is making headlines. Populist leaders are gaining support, and an increasing number of populist parties are obtaining votes, securing parliamentary seats, and entering government coalitions or emerging as an active opposition.  While populism is not a new phenomenon, there is no consensus on its definition, and it is open to a wide range of explanations. In the media, populism is often used to refer in general to anti-establishment and anti-elite sentiments. In academic literature, the term has been used to describe different political movements, parties, ideologies and leaders across continents, historical eras, and political contexts. Each continent has experienced waves of populism, both rightwing and left-wing. However, there are important distinctions among its varieties, including differences between its exclusive and inclusive types. The exclusionary forms of populism often target minorities, immigrants and other vulnerable groups and pose a threat to democratic values and human rights. On the other hand, some variants of populism have been associated with a more inclusionary and democratic view of society, bringing together diverse identities and demanding that politics be opened up to vulnerable minority groups.

We plan to examine this issue across the different continents at the GMRSS 2017, bringing together journalists, policy makers, civil society activists, and academics. The six-day interactive summer school will address conceptual issues underpinning contemporary trends, examine their impact on institutions at national and international level and present case studies, with the primary aim of understanding their impact on minorities. 

The Summer School will host 30 participants from all over the world and offer a forum to discuss relevant issues related to minorities with leading experts and practitioners in the field of international human rights law, political science, international relations, economy, and journalism. Lecturers will:

  • Discuss current trends of populism through describing and explaining the phenomenon, forms of its manifestation and its relationship to human rights;
  • Examine concepts, theories, and analytical frameworks utalised to understand populism from the perspectives of journalists, political scientists, international relations theorists, and economists;
  • Explore responses and remedies to rise of populism by investigating the roles of and solutions offered by international and supranational organisations and transnational actors;
  • Investigate the impact of different forms of populism on Indigenous Peoples, national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, women as well as refugees;
  • Analyse case studies from Europe, Americas, South-East Asia, and the Middle East and compare responses and remedies to populism across different national contexts.

The Summer School aims to:

  • Examine the phenomenon of populism by exploring its meaning, causes and its impact on vulnerable minority communities;
  • Study different concepts of populism and analyse current populist forces across the different continents;
  • Understand and discuss the exclusive and inclusive characteristics of populist forces and investigate the relationship between populism, democracy and human rights;
  • Explore causes of and responses to populism by studying theories of populist mobilisation and assessing national and international responses to the rise of populism.

This Summer School is envisaged as a space for meeting, consulting and debating with authoritative academics, practitioners, public servants and decision-makers. It provides excellent networking opportunities and the chance to share experiences and discuss current research projects. The programme is complemented by interactive and informative cultural events.

The participation fee is 150 Euros. It covers tuition, accommodation, meals and cultural events. Financial support is available for a limited number of participants. Please find the details below.

To apply, fill in the application form, save it with the following name: 2017GMRSS_[lastname_firstname], and submit it to applications@tomlantosinstitute.huPlease do not send any other documents. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The deadline for application is Monday 20 March 2017, 09:00am CET. Applicants will be notified by Friday 7 April 2017.

Who should participate?

  • MA and PhD students who wish to acquire competitive personal competence beneficial for their future careers in academia or in practice-oriented professions;
  • Public servants, decision-makers, teachers in higher education and journalists with an interest in diversity management, equality policies, minority rights, ethnic conflict resolution, and relevant international law;
  • Members of civil society organisations, practitioners;
  • Everyone who is interested in recent developments, current theories and advanced training in the field of minority protection.

A strong command of English is required.

Watch the videos of the 201320142015 and 2016 Minority Rights Summer Schools.

Financial support

Financial support is offered by TLI and NUPS.

  • A small number of full scholarships are available for applicants coming from outside of the Council of Europe member countries to cover the participation fee and travel costs to Budapest (except airport transfer and visa fees.)
  • Partial scholarships are also available to cover the participation fee (tuition, accommodation, meals, and cultural events). Travel costs to Budapest are not covered by the partial scholarships.

Applicants for scholarship require:

  • Proven current interest or work in the field;
  • Strong motivation to improve their understanding and skills;
  • Demonstrated plans for future activities or career utilising the knowledge, contacts and skills acquired.

We strongly encourage the application of people belonging to national or ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, as well as Indigenous Peoples.

Location and Institutions

The Summer School will be hosted by the NUPS Faculty of International and European Studies in Budapest, 2 Ludovika Square, in a nice green environment, close to the city centre. Accommodation and meals will be offered in the campus of the Faculty at the same location.