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Fundamental Modules and Professional Skills

Five fundamental modules form the framework of teaching and research at CIFE. Generally, the courses take place every week. Each module is directed by a permanent faculty member. Additionally, guest lecturers from other countries, experts from various European and international organisations, as well as researchers from partner institutions contribute to these modules.


1. Conflict Management and Peacemaking

The Mediterranean is a case study par excellence for Peace and Conflict Studies. Understanding and explaining questions of war and peace has been at the heart of "International Relations" as an academic discipline – from its very beginning after the First World War.
In the last two decades Mediterranean societies have been significantly affected by inter-group violence and inter-state conflicts: from the Western Balkans to Cyprus, from Israel to Palestine, from Syria to Libya. Mediterranean conflicts are partly characterised by external interventions. The module will focus at causes and dynamics of escalation and de-escalation, including international law and peacemaking in a multiperspective approach. Theories of violence and peace will help to analyse the case studies.

2. Economics, Sustainable Development, Inequalities and Forms of Poverty

The economy in the 21st century is globalised. All countries, with a few exceptions, participate in trade in goods, services and capital. There are many actors in this globalisation (states, transnational corporations, international institutions, non-governmental organisations). Apart from the need to ensure sustainable development and promote human development, these various actors must to be able to coordinate their actions, which brings us back to global governance.
The rise of emerging countries is shaking up power relations to the point where we are witnessing a shift from the centre of the world to Asia. The next emerging power could be not a country but a continent: Africa. While most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are developing countries facing many challenges (hunger, education, health, conflict), they are neither inactive nor resigned.
Overall, the global economy is dynamic and allows many countries to escape poverty. But it is also a source of deep inequalities that give rise to many fears. Only a thorough analysis, based on rigorous methodological tools, makes it possible to understand and measure the issues and challenges of globalisation.

3. Regional Integration and Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation

The European Union has become a role model of regional integration. Nation states agreed to transform their sovereignity into a multi-level governance system sui generis to maintain regional peace, increase welfare and economic power. How does the dynamic architecture of European institutions function – in times of both Europeanisation and Euroscepticism? And to what extent are the Arab League or the Union for the Mediterranean comparable models of regional integration?
Regional integration is primarily an elite-driven, government-sponsored transformation process. However, socio-economic and political change can be triggered by civil society and social movements, as the "Arab Spring" has shown transregionally in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Change and continuity differ significantly in the MENA region. Why? And what are the repercussions for the Union for the Mediterranean?

4. Mediterranean Societies and Cultures

Mediterranean politics are shaped by an interplay of different policy fields and policy actors. Theories of International Relations (i.e. Foreign Policy Analysis, Migration Theories) will help to understand the dynamics of policy making towards and in the Mediterranean region. Migration constitutes a challenging and complex policy field throughout the Mediterranean. 
In the second part of this module we will approach Mediterranean societies with a generational focus upon "youth". The current number of young people in the Mediterranean is unprecedented. At the crossroads of theory and practice this module will identify solutions to the challenges the young generation faces in the Mediterranean.

5. Professional Skills Workshops

This module equips the participants with professional skills and competences that will enable them to work in the context of Euro-Mediterranean organisations. They will actively take part in negotiation and mediation courses, simulation games and follow workshops on project cycle management and intercultural communication. There are seminars and workshops on:
- Project cycle management: How to create, finance and accompany a project?
- Intercultural communication
- International negotiation
- Risk and catastrophe management: How to identify and measure them? How to coordinate collective action?
- Drafting of position papers and policy recommendations



CIFE's MAEIS Mediterranean Studies programme offers an exceptional course in the contemporary Mediterranean area in its geopolitical dynamics and its multiple socio-economic components.
The course takes a pragmatic and comprehensive approach based on renewed and more complex readings of Mediterranean societies and states in their mutations and in their relations with the rest of the world.
It offers multidisciplinary skills and tools of expertise that allow all those who benefit from it professional perspectives in a wide range of activities (European institutions, NGOs, Ministries, research-action...).
Finally, the originality and international dimension of the programme's pedagogical framework provides a unique and stimulating setting for meetings, exchanges and multiple experiences.

Karima Direche, Research Director CNRS at Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l'Homme, University of Aix-Marseille



CIFE's Master programme is remarkable on several counts:
1. It is multidisciplinary, which ensures tolerance and reflection, thus avoiding the one-dimensional approach too often associated with false certainties.
2. It is open to the world, even if the European Union is more "present" than other spaces. In a context that is sometimes one of wariness of the outside world, this is a major plus.
3. Coming from varied backgrounds, students are given the opportunity to compare ideas and analyses for their mutual benefit, and they eagerly seize it!

Jean-Claude Vérez, Lecturer at the University of Artois, Director of MAEIS Mediterranean Studies




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