Summer school “Standing for the West on Its Borderlands: Soft and Hard Security Dilemmas and Opportunities of the Baltic States”

Period: 17 July 2023 - 28 July 2023 ( 2 weeks )

Form: on-site course

Course location: Riga, Latvia 

Organizing institution: University of Latvia

Language of instruction: English

Level: Bachelor

Target audience: open to all students on the level of BA and MA. The programme is designed to familiarize the building blocks of hard and soft security dilemmas. The course focuses on main key trends in security dilemmas.   

Credits: 6.0 ECTS credits

Course fee: €750.00*
*Course fee includes lectures, course materials, some cultural activities

Housing fee: From 300 EUR (the approx. price for 14 days in the city)


Application deadline: 01 June, 2023

Apply now

About the course

This Summer school will provide an overview of one of the key trends in soft and hard security dilemmas and opportunities of the Baltics states.  
The objective will be to expose students to the latest trends in soft and hard security dilemmas (with more practical examples), including, countering disinformation, critical thinking, media literacy, propaganda and emotions and their impacts on large scale groups.  
This Summer school will be divided into 2 parts:  

1. Introduction part – this part will cover historical background of the Baltics experience of systematic Russian gaslighting designed to make people doubt their national history, culture and economic development; 
2. Hard and Soft Security Dilemmas with practical examples – this part will cover brief introduction in Latvia – Russia relations and how deterring Russia in Baltic region from EU perspective, also, this part will cover Baltics experience in countering with disinformation, propaganda, fake news and media literacy 

In covering these concepts during the course, the focus will be on practical aspects of hard and soft security dilemmas from practical aspects. Based on summer school description, organizers will provide some practical fieldtrips to Latvian Institute, LATO (Latvian Transatlantic Organization), STRATCOM (NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence) and parliament (Saeima) of Republic of Latvia.  

What you will learn:  basic knowledge of hard and soft security dilemmas concept and how small countries can deter big neighbours. Students will also improve knowledge of countering disinformation, propaganda and fake news.  

Students will be able to successfully complete the course and obtain 6 ECTS through submitting a paper within a month after the course ending.

This course is also part of a joint programme with the Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Students are able to join one or both of the joint summer programmes and earn 10 ECTS for the track (recommended combination: European Encounters: Diversity and Integration from West to East - Track

Download the day-to-day programme 

Download the Syllabus

Survival guide

Contact person for more information:

Marta Vilkauša
+371 67034706
Mobility Division,
University of Latvia