Summer Workshop in International Organization Studies
“The UN and Regional Organizations: Partners for Peace and Security”

July 24 – August 4, 2007
Ghent, Belgium

Download the Call for Applicants 

Program Structure
The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and the American Society of International Law (ASIL), in cooperation with Ghent University and the Royal Institute for International Relations (IRRI-KIIB), are pleased to support the seventeenth ACUNS-ASIL Summer Workshop on International Organization Studies. Contingent upon funding, the workshop will run from 24 July to 4 August 2007, at Ghent University in Belgium.

The workshop is intended to foster excellence in emerging scholars and practitioners who are at a relatively early stage in their careers.  Therefore it is designed specifically for junior professors in international relations and international law faculties, post-doctoral and advanced doctoral level students, young lawyers and practitioners from civil society groups, policy staff from international organizations, human rights and development advocates, and others at similar early stages of their professional careers.

The purposes of the workshop are, first, to encourage new directions and new ideas in the analysis of international organization(s) and related legal studies; second, to establish and strengthen contacts between international relations and legal scholars and the United Nations practitioners; and third, to stimulate advanced research and teaching in the specific workshop subject matter.

The academic program of the workshop will be led by the co-directors, who have specific expertise as academics and/or practitioners in the fields of international politics and international law.  Each workshop participant selected will be assigned to one co-director, and will develop their research project with her/his guidance.

Program Themes
Regional organizations have come to play an increasingly important role in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict peacebuilding. NATO has shifted its focus from collective defence to peace support operations (PSOs) or ‘non-Article 5 operations’, acquiring a global reach in the process. The European Union has added a capacity to launch PSOs or the ‘Petersberg Tasks’ to its wide range of instruments and has emerged as a trend-setter in building integrated civil-military institutions for crisis management and in deploying civilian crisis management capabilities. At the same time, it seeks to strengthen the preventive effect of its long-term policies of aid and trade as well as to forge a link between integrated crisis management and long-term peacebuilding. Although it lacks the financial, economic and military strengths of the EU, empowerment of the African Union is generally considered the way forward to achieve effective conflict prevention and crisis management on the African continent. In Europe, the OSCE remains an actor that cannot be ignored, even though it has been eclipsed by NATO and the EU.

Cooperation between these and other regional organizations and the UN has increased simultaneously. While the UNSC in any case has to mandate military interventions, on many occasions it has also sub-contracted their implementation to regional organizations: on the Balkans, in Afghanistan, in Africa etc. NATO, still seeking its role in the post-Cold War world, seems inclined to strengthen its relationship with the UN. For the EU, the UN is at the core of its strategy of ‘effective multilateralism’. Consequently, a comprehensive partnership is being established, with the UN and with specialized and associated organizations. But the expanding role of regional organizations has created friction as well and raises many serious political, legal and other policy questions e.g. legal mandates and reporting requirements or responsibilities, division of labour, and the availability of capabilities and resources – and political will – for the UN as such.

The aim of this seminar is to assess the state of affairs of cooperation between the UN and regional organizations in the fields of conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict peacebuilding, with a specific focus on the EU, NATO and the OSCE. Which synergies can be created? What added value does this cooperation bring in terms of deployable capabilities, whether for the UN in conducting its operations, or for these (and other) regional organizations? What are the particular legal, political and operational challenges posed by sub-contracting operations? What has been done, or what needs to be done, to address the weaknesses that are identified? What role is the UN Peacebuilding Commission likely to play, if any?

On the basis of debates with practitioners and academics on these and closely related topics, the seminar aims to identify valuable lessons on improving the efficiency and efficacy of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations for the purposes of   supporting more effective and efficient (however these are defined) conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict peacebuilding programs.

Workshop participants will be selected by a review committee.  Those selected will be expected to submit a ten-page draft of a research or policy paper to their assigned co-director in advance of the workshop.  The paper must be original work prepared for the workshop, not material that the participant has undertaken for other projects or presentations.

The co-directors will make suggestions about additional readings, data or arguments in order for the participants to bring a more polished version of their paper to the workshop, to be distributed in advance of their presentations. Participants are responsible for providing copies of the paper.  Participants also will submit to the ACUNS Secretariat in advance of the workshop, a 2-page abstract of their paper, and will be required to make an oral presentation during the workshop. The working language of the workshop is English. It is hoped that the workshop will provide valuable guidance in the final development of a dissertation, publication or policy piece.