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Archive VSU 2008


16. June – 03. July 2008

The Use and Abuse of Power.

Cultures of Corruption in the Modern World


Prof. Dr. Alexander Nützenadel / Prof. Dr. Timm Beichelt

Corruption is one of the most disturbing problems of modern societies. Recent scandals in business, politics and sports have demonstrated that even the most advanced societies are strongly affected by corruption. New empirical research has disproved classical modernization theories which linked patronage, clientelism and other corrupt practices to traditional formations. While there is a growing specialized literature on corruption, there is a lack of general theories and comparative research explaining this phenomenon. Why are some societies and cultures more affected by corruption than others? What are the long-term economic and social consequences? Is corruption really increasing, or is there rather a growing awareness of this phenomenon? And finally: How can leaders in politics and business effectively prevent and fight corruption?

Viadrina Summer University combines multidisciplinary findings with a strictly comparative approach. It connects discussions from economics, anthropology, history, law, sociology, and political sciences and explores empirical findings in past and present. The main focus of the curriculum will be on Europe and the transitional societies in the former socialist countries. However, examples from other parts of the world will be analyzed as well.

The faculty staff of Viadrina Summer University 2008 consists of distinguished scholars from a variety of disciplines and academic institutions. While academic training and research is at the heart of the program, legal and practical issues of anti-corruption agendas are addressed in special workshops with the help from experts from politics, business and public administration. We co-operate closely with the anti-corruption organization “Transparency International” which is located in Berlin, as well as with renowned academic institutions, including Humboldt-University in Berlin, the Center for the Study of Contemporary History in Potsdam and the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin.

The Summer University offers one-day excursions to Berlin, the famous historical monastery at Neuzelle, the “socialist industrial city” Eisenhüttenstadt and a tour on the river Oder. The program includes numerous cultural and recreational activities (sports, movie screenings, a barbeque, etc).


Who can participate?

Viadrina Summer University welcomes advanced students and young researchers from the social sciences, economics, humanities, and law. Applications from candidates who already hold a first degree and/or have specialized in issues related to the program will receive preferential treatment. Full-time attendance of the Summer University is obligatory for all participants. Students are expected to contribute a short presentation and a research essay. Proficiency in English is required as all parts of the program will be taught in English


Teaching and Syllabus

The Summer University combines lectures, small seminar discussions, student presentations, practical training and case studies. Details on the course program, reading requirements and syllabus are available in advance on the Summer University’s website.



The Viadrina Summer University Certificate requires active participation in one core course, three seminars, one workshop and three lectures. Participants who wish to transfer their credit points to their home universities are expected to submit a research paper and a short seminar presentation. Students can earn up to 18 ECTS-points.


Course fees and fellowships

The registration fee of 200 Euros includes tuition, course materials and other costs related to the course program. The Summer University offers 25 fellowships provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Foreign Office for foreign participants. Fellowships cover tuition, accommodation, travelling costs and a lump sum of 200s Euro  towards meals and living costs. Travelling costs will be reimbursed according to the regulations of the DAAD.

The Summer University is open to a limited number of regular Viadrina students who will not have to pay the registration fee.