International Summer School on European Politics: Interests versus Culture, Czech Republic

Publish Date: Jul 01, 2016

Deadline: Jan 31, 2017


The Summer School on “European Politics: Interests versus Culture” is a one-week program for undergraduate and graduate students of various nationalities and academic backgrounds (political science, sociology, media studies, anthropology and cultural studies, behavioral sciences, gender studies) from all parts of the world. The program is designed for those who are interested in the complex ways in which culture and interests affect politics, especially within the European Union.

The impulse for launching the Summer School stemmed from the observation that the vital processes of the symbolic construction of European polity are sadly underrepresented in didactic practices.

Many of us encounter symbols and myths of Europe on a daily basis, be it through the press article on the migrants’ “waves”, EuroNews TV channel, European museums or European Football Championship. Not many know, however, that social anthropologists, linguists and ethnographers, political scientists and sociologists have conducted a number of studies aimed at examining and explaining these phenomena and demonstrating what consequences they have for the European public sphere, politics, identities as well as the daily lives of the Europeans.

The idea of the Summer School is to offer students a variety of perspectives on symbolic and discursive construction of European political and social processes as well as European identities. These perspectives will allow students to gain cultural sensitivity and reflexivity which, no doubt, are crucially important for successfully functioning in contemporary knowledge economies as well as global civil society.


We aim to pay closer attention to the cultural dimensions of political institutions and processes in Europe (e.g. political communication, symbolism and ritualism of power). The European Union seemed to be coming ever closer to defining its finalité politique, yet how this political body will be actually constructed and how it will perform largely depends on identities, values and cultural imageries shared by its citizens. The objective of the program is to equip students with most recent research findings on if and how contemporary European institutions and processes of Europeanization rely on values and deeply rooted symbols. Are these values and cultural symbols capable of mobilizing people to action, (re)creating identities as well as rendering the EU policies and politics legitimate?

Politics and policies of the EU are produced not only by the EU institutions but also through the sense-making practices of people who are involved in them either as an insider or a subject. The program will pay particular attention to the construction and use of lobbying strategies through the fundamentally cultural processes of communication. The program’s purpose is to also discuss how various cultural aspects are related to political processes and how they could influence decision making in Europe.

The program’s ultimate goal is to allow students to broaden their possibilities of interpreting the unique European political phenomena. It is aimed at providing students with the knowledge and analytical skills in the area of cultural analysis of political events, processes and institutions. The dialogue with distinguished lecturers, experts, practitioners and fellow students will allow the participants to cultivate their knowledge in the motivating intercultural milieu. Visit ACADEMICS to find out more about the program.


The classes will be held at the Prague Summer Schools venue (Marianeum, Machova 7, Vinohrady, Prague 2, website). Accommodation will be provided to students in double rooms at the accommodation facilities in the venue or Hotel Ametyst which is located within a walking distance from the venue. Each room is equipped with a shower, WC, satellite TV, Internet connection and telephone. Meals provided by the organizer will include breakfasts served in the hotel and dinners in restaurant located nearby the Summer School venue. As the days are demanding there will be coffee, tea and small snack available free of charge during the breaks between lectures.

Application Procedure

Although there are application deadlines, students are accepted on rolling basis. In order to allow time to carefully review all student application materials, an e-mail notifying the application status to Prague Summer Schools will be sent to applicants approximately 14 days after the application is received. Applications received by the early bird application deadline of January 31st will receive preference in admission decisions. Late applications may be considered. However, late applicants run the risk of finding the program full. All students will be informed about admissions decisions by April 1. Participants will be selected according to the following three criteria:

  • Educational Background (Year, Grade Point Average and Area of Study)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Level of English (if applicable)

Approximately 30 students will be admitted to every program of Prague Summer School. We intend to restrict the class size to ensure interactive courses and discussions. We aim to create a truly international student body. Students must be currently enrolled in a college or university or be recent graduates. The Prague Summer Schools admit both undergraduate and graduate level students. Priority will be given to students with at least some academic background related to the topics of Prague Summer Schools. Nevertheless, students of other academic backgrounds, but with strongly demonstrated interest in the Summer School topic, will be considered on an equal basis. Students admitted to Prague Summer Schools are expected to participate fully in the program by attending all classes, lectures and social events.

Program cost

The program fee for early-bird applications: 720 EUR

The program fee for students who submit their applications after January 31st: 790 EUR

The program fee covers:

  • Tuition and reading materials
  • Accommodation in double rooms for one week
  • Half board which includes breakfasts, dinners and coffee breaks
  • Prague public transportation tickets and maps
  • Site visits, social program, and cultural and special events (e.g. boat tour on the Moldau River, tours of Prague by a local homeless and farewell dinner).

Students are responsible for their travel to Prague, lunches and personal expenses. You can find more information about eating out in Prague here.

The individual deadlines for the receipt of payment will be stated in the official letter of acceptance. Payment plans can be arranged. The final deadline for receiving payments is 1 May.


Unfortunately, as a non-profit organization, SCHOLA EMPIRICA is not able to provide students with financial aid. Nonetheless, we do encourage students to explore funding opportunities available through their home universities, non-governmental organizations and government sources.

Who can apply?

PSS are open to students (both undergraduate and graduate level) and recent graduates who wish to deepen or broaden their knowledge in a specific field.

You need to apply through the online application which you can find in the homepage of the announcement.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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Political Sciences


Eligible Countries


Host Countries

Czech Republic