Building on its longstanding ties with the Department of Political Science within the Faculty of Social Sciences at Paris Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS), the Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Faculty of Law and Political Science (FLPS) has participated in a variety of events, teachers’ academies, training workshops, lectures, and expert seminars in June and July of 2022 in Salzburg, Austria, related to the European Higher Education Quality Assurance (QA) of joint program management, Erasmus+ funding, digital communication and leadership, just governance, and conflict transformation.
Despite the ongoing economic struggle in Lebanon, the FLPS continued its successful cooperation and is now in its fourth year of collaboration with PLUS through Erasmus+ and the Joint Master in Political Science–Integration and Governance (PoSIG), headed by the Consortium Executive Director, Dr. Franz Kok.
FLPS Professor, Dr. Eugene Sensenig, and Instructor, Ms. Rouba El Helou, took part in high-level workshops and meetings bringing together professors and university administrators from Central Europe, the Western Balkans, the Caucasus, and the West Asia North Africa (WANA) region. These included the European Accreditation of PoSIG and the PoSIG Teacher Academy 2022 titled, “Trade Policy in the Age of Populism,” as well as training on quality management and curriculum development of joint programs. These meetings were highly productive and the FLPS is now preparing its fourth cohort of NDU students to join the PoSIG program at PLUS in Salzburg this fall.
Furthermore, the FLPS is proud to announce that it has been invited to be part of the 2023 conference organizing team for next year’s Teacher Academy dealing with “Integration, Migration, Diversity, and Governance.” It will highlight civic education and resilience in multiethnic/multireligious societies, dealing with historic and current dimensions of conflict transformation, from old empires to modern forms of integration in Europe and Western Asia
During the stay, Dr. Sensenig spoke at the invitation of Matthias Hohla, Director of the Archdiocese Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue at the Residence of the Archbishop and of Dr. Dietmar Winkler, founding director of the Center for the Study of the Christian East at the University of Salzburg, on the topic of “The Crisis in Lebanon as a Challenge for Christianity.” They discussed the opportunities for Catholics in Austria, and Christians in general, to use the current crisis as an opportunity to promote a faith-based social justice and sustainable development agenda. Professors, clergy, and lay activists took part in this debate, along with representatives of Pro Oriente, founded in 1964 by Cardinal Franz König to improve relations between the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches.
In the coming Academic Year, FLPS professors and students alike will strengthen ties with PLUS and the Archdiocese Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue through projects related to conflict transformation in the WANA region, the Western Balkans, Caucasus, and Ukraine. This will include a further development of the FLPS Musa Dagh Thanatourism History Hike focusing on the Armenian Genocide, as well as similar projects in Bosnia, Armenia, and Eastern Europe linking culture, history, and intergenerational trauma.