Images of Europe at Times of Global Challenges: Perceptions of EU (Foreign) Policy Making Inside and Outside Europe – Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Reflections

Winter Training School at the Aarhus University on November 11-14, 2019


A fully-funded Winter School “Images of Europe at Times of Global Challenges” would like to invite our colleagues – early career researchers as well as experienced scholars – to join us in a four-day event on November 11-14, 2019, in a wonderful Aarhus, European Capital of Culture 2017!

We are planning an intensive, interactive, yet exciting and full of opportunities event. Our team are keen to set up a tight network of peers and experts to share knowledge and skills on how to research and conceptualise perceptions of the EU at times of major challenges in Europe and globally. We will bring leading scholars in EU perceptions studies and facilitate discussion across generations, disciplines, methods and theories.  If you are interested in developing your research agenda and learn about new theories, methods and cases in the field of EU perceptions (internal and external), come and join us in November 11-14 at University of Aarhus!

Among our expert presenters:  Natalia Chaban (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Ole Elgström (University of Lund, Sweden), Alister Miskimmon (Queen’s University Belfast, UK), Ben O’Loughlin (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK), Bernd Schlipphak (Münster University, Germany), Veronika Zapletalová (Masaryk University, Czech Republic).

We all value scholarly publications as tangible outcomes of any academic event. Winter School “Images of Europe at Times of Global Challenges” aims to produce a book co-edited by the organizers and the most motivated early-career participants consisting of written contributions by the participants – early-career researchers and leading experts.

The event is funded by the EU COST action ENTER. It is organized and run by Natalia Chaban and Jan Osicka (leaders of the Action’s Working Group 2 “Perceptions”) and Veronika Zapletalová.


Winter School “Images of Europe at Times of Global Challenges” invites its participants to engage with a range of key topics associated with the study of images and perceptions of the EU in policy-making (foreign policy is one of the main foci, but not only). We will discuss the perceptions of the EU’s roles and identities, ideas and discourses, framing and narrative-building of the EU. We invite reflections from outside and inside the European Union.

Among our main topics are:

  • Perceptions of the EU within EU member states countries and/or regions
  • EU self-perceptions vs. external perceptions of the EU
  • Images of the EU in international organizations
  • Mutual perceptions of the EU and of other major global players (the US, China, Russia)
  • Comparison of views on the EU across third countries or regions
  • Evolution of images and perceptions of the EU across time.


The Winter School will feature three activities:

  1. In-depth sessions by leading scholars. The experts will talk about leading theories and new methods in the studies of perceptions of the EU and engage in discussions with the participants. Participants will learn about new theoretical synergies and have an opportunity to ask critical questions.
  2. Participant seminars, which will follow the sessions with experts. In these seminars, the participants will introduce their own ideas of perceptions-related research in group discussions guided by the expert presenters. Our participant will receive informed critical feedback from peers and experts.
  3. Networking events. The Winter School will put an emphasis on networking and socializing. We hope the Winter School gives you an opportunity to meet new colleagues from a variety of European countries, learn about new perspectives and ideas and strike new collaborative projects.

Who is the School for?

The School is open to all researchers interested in the study of perceptions. We welcome experienced scholars as well as those who have just started exploring images and perceptions of the EU as a main or secondary research perspective.

Given the COST Action’s financial rules, the School can only accept participants from these countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, The Republic of North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

How to apply?

The applicants need to send the following documents to COST Project Manager Dr. Jonas Schoenefeld at by September 13, 2019:

  • Motivation letter describing the applicant’s past endeavors in perception studies and the envisioned added value of the School for his/her personal and professional development.
  • Abstract describing the applicant’s current or future idea for a perception-related research of European politics. The abstract should be no longer than 400 words long (excl. references) and should include 1) problem statement, 2) justification of its relevance, 3) research question or aim, 4) envisioned theoretical and methodological approaches, and 5) expected results.
  • A two-page CV with up to 10 main publications listed (if any)

The applicants are also required to include the following information in the body of the application e-mail:

  • Name of the institution and country, at which the applicant is based
  • Gender (“prefer not to say” will be respected)
  • Years since PhD graduation

The participants will be selected based on their motivation and on the quality of the abstracts and their compatibility with the main theme of the School. As per COST guidelines, we will also endeavor to ensure gender balance, as well as participation from early career scholars, as well as colleagues from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC). ITC countries are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.

After the School

The selected participants will be working with the organizers and the leading experts on developing the edited book. The activity schedule is as following:

  • November 2019: Sign off meeting at the School with all the participants
  • December 2019: The selection of the book contributors will be announced by the organizers
  • February 2020: Submission of detailed research proposals by the contributors
  • June 2020: Submission of the first drafts of the book sections
  • September 2020: Submission of the pre-final sections
  • November 2020: Final submissions

Further Information (Link)