I hope that I can soon make up for that and deliver some posts on those events and experiences. However the main point of this post is my stay at the European University Insitute (EUI) in Fiesole (just of Florence) that has just began a week ago.
I am staying at the EUI until mid December as a visiting scholar at the Department for Social and Political Sciences and will primarily work with Donatella Della Porta on Diffusion effects among regimes during the Arab Uprisings and Ulrich Krotz on coordinated international effects on regime (in)stability and with Olivier Roy to get some insights on elite interviews and fieldwork in the Maghreb region. All three of them are based at the Robert Schumann Center for Advanced Studies.
The first week after my arrival was much about setting my self up and getting to know the people and the possibilities the EUI has to offer. Let me assure you there are loads. However as my primary aim dunring my limited time in Italy is to proceed with my dissertation and get two current work in progress papers to the next stage I have decided not to take too many courses or the like but to rather partcipate in selected courses and workshop and use the opportunity to present some of my current work in progress in some of the working groups here over the course of my stay.
From my first impression the EUI seems like a great place for exactly that and I have already caught myself wishing I could stay longer. But as my fieldwork is up next in the beginning of the next year I will have to return to Berlin for at least a month before leaving yet again.
I will surely post more regularly during my stay at the EUI and report form the workshops and the academic environment on the over the next months. Exiting times are also ahead as I am going to visit my first conference in the US in november at the Middle Eastern Studies Association yearly gathering in november in Washington DC and I am invitied to the opening conference of the newly founded Center for Advanced Studies South Eastern Europe (CAS) in Berlin with the title: "What makes New Forms of Authoritarianism so Attractive? Rethinking the Shades between Authoritarian and Democratic Rule" to speak on the topic of: Morocco as a role model for constitutional monarchy for the 21st century? (big questionmark).
I will close with some another foto from the EUI campus to give you an idea of what the charme of this truly unique institution is all about.