In August I attended a weeklong summer school course on comparative authoritarianism with Joe Wright, (assistant professor Penn State) at the University of Oslo in Norway.
The course was part of the Oslo summer school in Comparative Social Science Studies and was a great opportunity to learn and discuss about recent works concerning authoritarianism. It brought together an international group of 20 PhD students that are all on ther own dissertation concerned with authoritarianism. In that respect the summer school provided
The program was designed along different issuesfrom the academic debate on authoritarian regimes such as: personalist rule, military rule, institutions, elections, parties and so on. During the sumemr school we also gradually adapted the schedule in order to have more time to actually discuss and bring our own research into the debate. This was great because we could actually gain very valuable feedback from Joe and other PhD-leve peers working on the topic. My personal experience was that the feedback I received in Oslo during the summer school here was better than the feedback and comments you tend to receive in larger conferences.
There was also a couple of organized trips and activities such as a city tour. Generally Oslo was a very pleasent environment academically and city-wise. The fact that the weather was so good (hottest norwegian summer in 100 years) did the rest in a city that is right next to the sea.
All in all the summer school turned out to be very worthwhile and fruitful for my research.
is a researcher and PhD student in political science, freelance journalist and photographer interested in Democracy, Transition, Authoritarianism and Security especially in the MIddle East and North Africa.