International Summer University for International Leadership 2018

International Summer University for Intercultural Leadership 2018:

“Mobility, Migration, Refugees and Xenophobia”


The Aladdin Project’s International Summer University for Intercultural Leadership is an annual program supported by UNESCO and the European Commission. It brings together students from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas for two weeks every summer. Its aim is to give them the opportunity to study key issues in international affairs that are linked to coexistence, diversity, the rule of law and good governance, to develop their understanding of the topic from a political, sociological, historical and cultural perspective and to equip them with intercultural and leadership skills which will prepare them for a successful career in today’s culturally diverse and globally-connected work environments.

2018: “Mobility, Migration, Refugees and Xenophobia”

60 students from 35 partner universities and 27 different nationalities have gathered in Istanbul, Turkey for the Aladdin Project Summer University 2018 to engage in a number of topics related to the intersection of ethnicity, migration, indigeneity, religion and human rights. The two-week program was launched in Istanbul on Monday July 9, 2018 with the inaugural conference: “The Dynamics and Challenges of Migration and Refugees in a Globalized World”.

An international panel of lecturers has provided a broad, theoretical discussion of human mobility and the impact of migration on economic and political processes, globalization and social change. The course has included some discussion of key literature and major debates on contemporary migration from a number of disciplinary perspectives in the social sciences. The course has also provided a deeper understanding of some of the dilemmas facing policy-makers at both national and international level as well as a better comprehension of how to transfer theoretical knowledge to more specifically policy-oriented engagements. Students have been able to discuss migration from different countries in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, in both contemporary and historical settings.

Discussions with representatives of refugee agencies enabled students to reflect on the role and responsibilities of local governments, international organizations and NGOs, and to examine issues like how to listen to refugee stories, how they should be used and who is justified in using them. Students also reflected on how religious communities respond to the local immigration situation and how individuals and communities engage with the issues from an ethical or value-based belief system. In addition to lectures, workshop sessions have enabled students to conduct research in small groups.  Students will submit their research projects at a later date in October 2018 for a review by an international jury. This group work will enable the students to keep in touch with their peers after the program and maybe qualify for the Aladdin Awards which will be given during a special ceremony in Berlin in 2019.

Finally, extra-curricular activities allowed the students to explore the vibrant and fast-developing city of Istanbul, at the crossroad of European and Oriental cultures faiths and civilizations.


Intercultural dialogue

Ms. Ann Belinda Preis - UNESCO

Workshop on tools for a more effective Intercultural Communication

Ms. Ann Belinda Preis - UNESCO

What solution(s) to the migration crisis?

Dr. Thorsten Jelinek

The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492): Forced Migration, Trauma and Myth

Prof. David Katz

On the Lausanne Side, 1923: Population Exchange and Migration

Prof. David Katz

Mobility, Migration and Refugees in the New Millennium

Prof. Ulaş Sunata

Environmental/Climate Changes

Prof. Caroline Zickgraf

Gender and migration

Prof. Caroline Zickgraf

Housing Access of Refugees and Negotiating Precarity

Prof. Nilay Ünsal

Doing Research in Forced Migration: Methodology and Ethics

Prof. Lea Müller-Funk

Research experience in Lebanon

Prof. Lea Müller-Funk

Acculturation and Multiculturalism

Dr. Arzu Karakulak

Refugee Settlement Dynamics and Rationales

Prof. Ulaş Sunata

UNHCR’s work in Turkey

Ms. Selen Ay Head of UNHCR Istanbul Office

Perceptions on migrants

Prof. Ebru Canan Sokullu

The future of citizenship, migrants' integration, and migration policies in the Global North

Prof. Christophe Bertossi

Displacement and Connectivity: Communication Technologies in the Life of Syrian Refugees

Prof. Nilüfer Narlı

The consequences of the anti- immigrant politics on the post- 2015 European migration and asylum policies and the latter's interaction with regional and international migrations, with a focus on Sub-Saharan and Middle Eastern countries.

Prof. Christophe Bertossi

Rise of Radical Right in European Politics after the Refugee Crisis and Turkey-EU relations

Prof. Selcen Öner

Syrian Youth Employment in Turkey

Prof. Bülent Anıl