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Summer University 2022

XVIII International Summer University at DKU in Almaty

2 August — 14 August 2022

Civic activism in Central Asia and the South Caucasus: overview and perspectives

The Kazakh-German University (DKU) in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Foundation (DAAD) invites students from Germany and Central Asia to participate at the XVIIIth International Summer University in 2022!

In recent years, the countries of Central Asia and the South Caucasus, which had been spared social unrest for a long time after independence, have been experiencing the rise of civic activism in the region. Despite the growing dynamics of civic activism, our knowledge of the causes, structures, and actors in these two regions is limited. The purpose of the Summer University is on the one hand to assess the development of social movements since independence and on the other hand to critically review theoretical approaches explaining social activism in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

Our courses were designed to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of previous explanatory approaches in research and to point out new approaches to the study of civic activism in the post-Soviet region. Participants should gain a deeper understanding of the development and dynamics of civic activism in Central Asia and the South Caucasus and thus be able to develop possible scenarios for the future of social activism in these two regions.


The Summer University 2022 will offer 2 main modules on Central Asia and South Caucasus, which are structured to cover broad spectrum of issues relevant to social activism in the region. The course on Central Asia is related to political science and sociology, the course on the South Caucasus is more anthropological.

Students should apply only for one module. Each module will consist of group of
10−15 students and will be taught by an experienced lecturer in English. Course work consists of group work, seminars, presentations, and usually covers the time until lunch. After lunch we plan to have presentations by external experts for students of both modules. We also encourage students to present their own research!



1. Central Asia

Civic activism in Central Asia

(political science and sociology)

2. South Caucasus

Civic activism in the South Caucasus (anthropology)

Cultural program

As the summer university also intends to create an impression on the region Central Asia, Kazakhstan and the city of Almaty, we also plan a variety of events like field trips and mountain hikes, sightseeing, interactive and guided visits to exhibitions. Most of the costs will be covered by the tuition fee.

Eligibility: We encourage to apply current students (BA and MA) as well as young professionals and civil activists who have experience and interest in this year’s main theme

Application documents:

  • Letter of motivation (max. 300 words)

  • Proof of adequate English language skills (please include test results, if available);

  • Proof of enrollment at a university or university of applied sciences, if applicable;

  • Filled in questionnaire (download here).


Participants from Central Asia:

Students and young academics from Central Asian countries (outside Almaty) can apply directly to the DKU. Depending on availability of funds the DKU will provide scholarships to cover travel allowance in Central Asia, accommodation costs in shared rooms (incl. breakfast) and tuition fees. Meals during conference days are also provided. Dinners are not included. While arranging your travel we suggest considering the most affordable option (e.g. marshroutka from/to Bishkek and train from/to Tashkent).

Participants from Germany:

Participants from Germany are eligible to apply for 1 out of 8 DAAD funded scholarships. The scholarship consists of a lump sum to cover subsistence costs, travel allowance and tuition fee. Meals during conference days are also provided. Dinners are not included. For more information, please, visit: https://www.daad.de/de/im-ausland-studieren-forschen-lehren/praktika-im-ausland/goeast/sommer-und-winterschulen/ausschreibung-go-east-winterschulen-2020/

The application procedure requires that interested students must apply separately to the DKU for admission and to the DAAD for a scholarship!


The tuition fee for students from Germany is 650 EUR, for students from Central Asia — 35.000 tenge. It must be paid on the first day of the summer university. We can assist self-funded students with flight arrangements and accommodation at reasonable costs.

We also recommend asking the international office of your home university for financial aid.

Language of instruction: English

Certificate: Upon successful completion of the summer school the participants will receive a certificate stating the topic of the course and the number of 3 ECTS obtained

Deadline: Please send your application documents by 15 May at the latest to int_office@dku.kz