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Master of European Studies (University of Leuven)


Dear Colleague,

We would like to draw your attention to our interdisciplinary and international Master of European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives (MAES), which we offer at the University of Leuven in Belgium. We would be grateful if you could pass on the information about the MAES programme to your students.

Our programme offers five specialised modules – ‘European History, Diversity and Culture’, ‘EU External Relations’, ‘Globalising Europe’, ‘Europe-Asia’, and a completely new module on ‘Russia, Wider Europe and the EU’. Fully taught in English, it builds on the expertise of professors from the Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences, Law and Economics. Together with a wide range of elective courses, these modules allow students to tailor their academic profile according to their own personal background and career goals.

The University of Leuven has been ranked 40th worldwide and 5th in the continental Europe by the Times Higher Education Survey in 2016/2017, reflecting KU Leuven’s position as one of Europe’s most prestigious and resourceful universities. KU Leuven is also the most innovative university in Europe according to the new Reuters ranking, which ensures state of the art education and research-based teaching are offered to all students.

During their studies in Leuven, students can take advantage of the many guest lectures of high-ranked European diplomats and officials (such as that of former European Council President Van Rompuy), of the visits to the European and transatlantic institutions in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, and of excursions to the World War I battlefields and the historical cities of Flanders.

While the internationalisation of the MAES programme is already reflected in the nearly 40 nationalities represented in our student group each year, we would be very pleased to welcome more Eastern European students in particular. KU Leuven invites excellent students to apply for Master Minds Scholarship to study in the Master of European Studies. Furthermore, your students may also be interested in our Europe Inside Out Summer School.

More information on the MAES programme, scholarships and the attractive tuition fees (an annual fee of € 3.500 for non-EU/EEA students, reflecting the Flemish government’s strong financial support to higher education) can be found on our website:  We thank you in advance for bringing our Master in European Studies to the attention of your students.

With kind regards,

Prof. Stephan Keukeleire, Director / Jean Monnet Professor
Prof. Patrick Pasture, Co-Director
Dr. Kolja Raube, Programme Coordinator
Dr. Gustavo Müller, Postdoctoral Assistant
MA Irina Petrova, Teaching Assistant

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Centre for European Studies

Blijde Inkomststraat 5

Leuven 3000




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Contested Global Governance, Transformed Global Governors?

International Organisations and “Weak” States


This project aims to explore the ongoing contestations of global governance interventions of international organisations (IOs) by ostensibly “weak” states and the impact of such contestations on IOs. It proposes to approach these issues in a theoretically, empirically and methodologically innovative and ambitious way.

Theoretically, the project proposes to analyse contestations of global governance and their outcomes through the lenses of gift-giving theories originated within social anthropology and developed within international political economy focusing on such issues as international aid. On the one hand, studies of gift-giving are historically central to the French research tradition which is clearly evidenced by the seminal works produced on the topic starting from Marcel Mauss. However, the international (global) dimension of gift-giving is certainly underexplored. On the other hand, the studies of IOs and their global governance generating activities tend to focus only on their impact on “the field” and “local” actors. There is clearly not enough attention to the influences that “local” actors and “the field” project on IOs themselves. The project is interested in possible transformations of IOs at micro (individual practices and discourses), meso (organisational practices and discourses in the field) and macro (organisational practices and discourses beyond the field) levels.

Empirically, the project will investigate global governance contestations in the largely underexplored two post-Soviet Central Asian countries often defined as “fragile” or “weak” – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. The focus on Central Asia is particularly justified by its mixed post-colonial and post-Soviet context, as well as by attention of various international actors to Central Asian states, some of which have been used as textbook examples of “failing” governance. Revealing variations in global governance contestations in Central Asia can help explaining similar dynamics or the lack of them in other post-Soviet and post-colonial contexts. Consequently, it will allow to better appreciate transformations of IOs through such interactions. The analysis will cover various IOs present in the region and engaging with global governance frameworks of development, security, migration, human rights and gender equality.

Methodologically, the project is inspired by a relatively recent “practice turn” in international relations. Studying interactions between IOs and “weak” states as instances of international gift-giving, involving practices of acceptance, resistance and reciprocity seems promising for understanding the impact of such interactions on governance outcomes and on governors themselves. Studying such practices in the context of the post-Soviet Central Asia with a multitude of IOs whose governors’ roles are largely unexplored should be particularly rewarding. The project will combine insights from field-guided practice tracing and theory-guided process tracing relying on a combination of three strategies: investigating sites, studying controversy and following concepts. Exploring global governance contestations will, thus, involve studying controversies around certain concepts as transformative practices contextualised through different “local” sites and actors.

ANR grant: 360 956 euros
Beginning and duration: June 2016 / 42 months

ANR Programme: Accueil de Chercheurs de Haut Niveau (ACHN) 2016

Project ID: ANR-16-ACHN-0034

Project coordinator:
Dr Oleg Korneev (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur l’Action Locale)

Заставка MIGGOV

MIGGOV Project

TITLE NEWKnowledgeable Governors of Uncertainty:

International Organisations in the Absence of a Global Migration Regime



This project seeks to break new ground in the analysis of international organizations (IOs) as key objects of study in the broader research field of international migration governance and of international governance more generally. The key questions are: to what extent, how and why do IOs impact upon and shape international migration governance in the absence of a global migration regime? Specific questions include: how do international migration governors articulate their activities and strengthen their positions in the field? What do international organisations deploy to impact migration governance? Why have international organisations become increasingly involved in the active production and dissemination of expert knowledge?

MIGGOV shifts the focus from international governance as a (changing) structure to ‘international governors’ as sources of agency and, consequently, to the outcomes that flow from interactions between various agents. Their activities contribute to global governance, which is taken to denote a complex structure of power relations between various governors (states, IOs, NGOs, etc) seeking to impact on migration policy-making either globally or regionally, which is secured mostly by influencing governments in destination and transit countries. As most international migration governance takes place under conditions of uncertainty about future migration scenarios, this project will specifically explore the issues of the production and the use of expert knowledge by IOs striving to impact upon international migration governance.

The project also proposes to analyse a region that has experienced relatively large migration flows, but has not been to the fore in analyses of international migration governance. Consequently, it is focused on the outcomes that flow from interactions between various agents and their capacity to affect the type and form of migration policy pursued in four Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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