4th International Winter School


Fourth International Winter School

“Sports and Politics: Putting Sochi in Perspective”


The Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS) at the University of Tartu and the Department of Applied Political Science at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow invite Estonian and foreign students to participate in the Fourth International Winter School “Sports and Politics: Putting Sochi in Perspective” to be held in Kääriku, Estonia, on 9–15 February 2014.

Athletic mega-events are embedded in diverse contexts whose significance goes far beyond sports. They set off debates about issues as diverse as economic development, soft power, human rights, the environment, local democracy, etc. Global sports can be discussed as an important element of mass culture, entertainment industries, and commercial advertisement. By the same token, in many countries sports became a biopolitical (i.e. projected on human bodies) substitution of national ideology, which brings to life a peculiar aesthetics of sport as a core element of policy-supportive public performances. For a number of reasons, the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi have been particularly controversial, and thus provide a useful starting point for discussing wider implications of mega-events and drawing international comparisons. Getting together in Estonian countryside during the Sochi Olympics, a group of scholars and practitioners coming from Estonia, Finland, Germany and Russia will share their knowledge and experience with an international group of students.

Sessions of the Winter School will be conducted by:

  • Heidi Beha, FutureLab Europe (Frankfurt)
  • Olga Chepurnaya, St. Petersburg State University
  • Andrey Makarychev, University of Tartu
  • Sergei Medvedev, Higher School of Economics (Moscow)
  • Viacheslav Morozov, University of Tartu
  • Katri Pynnöniemi, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Igor Tomashov, Higher School of Economics (Moscow)

The venue of the School is Kääriku Leisure and Sports Centre of the University of Tartu, which is situated in a beautiful area in Valga County, about 40 km south of Tartu, and near the winter resort town of Otepää. The participants of the School will be provided with comfortable accommodation, full board, free Internet access and numerous sports and outdoor opportunities, including a gym, indoor basketball and volleyball courts, cross-country skis for rent, and will be able to use the cross country ski tracks, for which this area is famed.

Please  view the preliminary programme of the 2014 Winter School as well as Information about the instructors!

Practical information:

The working language of the school will be English. Participation is equal to 4 ECTS credits, which will be confirmed by a certificate awarded to each student upon successful completion of the School.

Participants are expected to cover their board and lodging expenses (210 EUR for the entire period, double room accommodation, full board) and arrange their travel to and from Kääriku by themselves. CEURUS will provide travel information and advice, as well as issue visa invitations for those requiring a Schengen visa (normally visas are free of charge for students participating in exchange programmes). For students of the University of Tartu, a limited number of CEURUS scholarships are available, covering 50% of the board and lodging expenses.

Application deadline is 1 December 2013. An application must include a motivation letter (one page, in English), the applicant’s full name and institutional affiliation (university, faculty/department, programme, year of study). Please send your applications to Dr Heiko Pääbo (heiko.paabo@ut.ee) at the University of Tartu. All questions and requests for additional information should be addressed also to Dr. Pääbo.

For information about previous winter schools and picture gallery, follow this link.