The second GEM-STONES Summer School ‘Institutional Proliferation and EU External Action’ will take place at the Global Studies Institute of University of Geneva in Switzerland, on 2nd – 6th July 2018.

The GEM-STONES (Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism - Sophistication of the Transnational Order, Networks, and European Strategies) PhD program aims at understanding the developing transnational order, and at assessing EU’s role within it. Since the establishment of the League of Nations in 1920, Geneva has long been a hub for international governance, through an unequaled concentration of International Organizations gravitating around the UN European Headquarter Office. The institutional proliferation approach of this Summer School will aim at identifying the multiple formal IOs, the QUASIOs (such as ISO) and the myriad of NGOs and examining whether and how efficiently they interact with each other. The regime complex approach developed by IR scholars, and the International Law constitutionalisation/fragmentation debate will be the most central theoretical approach mobilized. Based on this understanding of the functioning of the “Geneva Governance Hub”, the participants will investigate the EU action on the Geneva stage. PhD candidates presenting their work will discuss how their own research fits within this complex and sophisticated transnational order perspective and contribute to the development of a theoretical framework capturing the evolution of multilateralism within a globalized world.

Format of Activities

Lecture Sessions:  Five lectures by invited senior academics are foreseen. The speakers have chosen a relevant topic for each session, and the presentations will be followed by a Q&A.

PhD Sessions: The papers to be presented will be circulated in advance, and will be discussed both by academics, as well as by the PhD student’s peers. As a result, paper-givers are provided with ample constructive feedback on their research. The PhD workshops are designed to meet the needs of maximum 12 PhD paper-givers, with an equal amount of student discussants to be assigned by the organisers.

Debriefing Session: Following the logic of a flipped classroom, the debriefing session will be centered on the participants’ learning experiences acquired during the week (including their field work accomplished during the no-teaching day reserved for interaction with actors of the “international Geneva”). Several instructors from the PhD schools and professors from the University of Geneva will participate in this debriefing session. Through the interactions between all the participants, shall emerge a better (and hopefully common) understanding of the meaning and consequences of Institutional proliferation on IR scholarship.

Application Process

5 spots have been reserved for non-GEM-STONES participants selected through this Call for Applications. Applicants should be currently enrolled in a PhD program.

The PhD Students are expected to attend the full week, and participate in all the Summer School’s various sessions and activities - excepting the excursion where attendance is optional. Candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English, as it is the PhD Summer School’s working language.

Applicants are free to suggest any presentation topic of their choosing that fits the broad scientific agenda of the Summer School. If selected to participate in the Summer School, the materials to be submitted can be either: (1) a detailed draft of some 5-10 pages describing a paper still being crafted; (2) a finalized draft paper being fine-tuned for submission: or (3) a chapter from the Applicant’s own doctoral work which could benefit from a wider discussion. 

Selection Criteria

  • Academic profile of the Applicant
    • Applicants from within the following fields of study will have an advantage: EU Studies and other Area Studies; Political Science; International Relations; Economics; International Political Economy; Law; Sociology; Development Studies; Global Studies; Communication Studies; Critical Studies
    • Participation is limited to students currently enrolled in a PhD program, and who do not yet hold a PhD
  • Relevance of the suggested presentation

Content of Applications

  • Academic CV
  • Title of the Applicant’s ongoing PhD thesis project - Including name and contact information of Supervisor(s)
  • 1-page abstract describing the Applicant’s suggested presentation – please do not submit full papers

Timing Overview

May 16th 2018, 12pm CET Application Deadline – no exceptions
May 25th 2018 Notification of Results to all applicants
May 28th 2018 Confirmation of participation by selected applicants
June 22nd 2018, 12pm CET Receipt of Approved Papers
July 2nd – 6th 2018 Summer School

Covered Costs

This Summer School is a closed door event for selected participants. The organisers‘ aim is to gather a limited number of informed and motivated participants who will see their expenses covered by the host.

  • Accommodation in Geneva will be booked and paid for directly by the organisers
  • Travel to and from Geneva will be paid by the organisers
  • Lunches during the Summer School, welcome dinner on Monday 2nd July and a public transportation card in Geneva will also be provided

Any other incurred costs are at the participants’ own expense.

Applications and any questions are to be sent to:

Quick Links:
Full Call for Applications (PDF)
Look back: Summer School 2017 (webpage)


















This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.