The School of International Studies’ Applied Workshops on Global Affairs

The “Applied Workshops on Global Affairs” aim at bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The Workshops introduce students to specific problems of international relations, European affairs and policies, and international security by adopting a practical approach and innovative teaching methods. Students are involved in simulations, debates, role-play, etc., by qualified instructors with direct knowledge in the relevant field.

Workshops take place each year in September and February, before the kick-off of the courses, and are open to a limited number of students (maximum 20-25), who would like to gain specific skills and experience, under the guidance of qualified practitioners, concerning the management and resolution of practical cases.

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Forthcoming Edition - February 2024

Workshops are scheduled according to the following timetable:

Surveillance Technology, Ubiquitous Borders: How technology is expanding borders beyond the visible - and how to fight back

  • Instructor: Antonella Napolitano - Researcher and Policy Expert (Tech & Human Rights, Migration) | Strategy & Impact Advisor 


Two sessions of 3 hours each: February 12, 14.00-17.00 & February 13, 09.00-12.00

Abstract of the Workshop

The use of data and new technologies are driving a revolution in immigration enforcement, and affected people are going to be at greater risk. Government authorities are building a highly data-driven approach to make life-changing decisions about them while extending status checks to daily interactions in society. Companies are feeding data about migrants into the state surveillance and data exploitation ecosystem, making hefty profits.  Compounded, these practices mean that migrants are bearing the burden of the new systems and losing agency in their migration experience, particularly when their fate is being put in the hands of systems driven by data processing and tech innovation. This workshop aims at providing an overview of the pervasive surveillance embedded in the migration and asylum system and the systemic consequences on people involved. With case studies and exercises, it will propose an interdisciplinary approach to understand and challenge surveillance technology in these systems and propose solutions to make them more humane.

Instructor’s bio

Antonella Napolitano is a tech policy expert, with a focus on technology on society and human rights, particularly on migration, welfare and reproductive rights. Currently, she works with public interest journalism newsrooms and human rights organizations in Italy and Europe, and recently authored the report “Artificial intelligence: the new frontier of the EU’s border externalisation strategy” for human rights NGO EuromedRights. Previously, Antonella was Senior Policy Officer and Network Coordinator at Privacy International, where she developed a workstream on migration and surveillance technology and led the engagement of the organization’s international network of partners. Before joining PI, she was Communications Manager at CILD, the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights, where she also led the Civil Liberties in the Digital Age program. In the past she was also Europe Editor of Personal Democracy Media, covering civic technology and political participation in Europe, and worked as Communications and Media consultant for the public and private sector. 

International disaster law (IDL) in practice

  • Instructor: Tommaso Natoli (Ph.D) - IFRC-ItRC Disaster Law Focal Point for Europe


Two sessions of 3 hours each: February 13, 15.00-18.00 & February 14, 09.00-12.00

Abstract of the Workshop

International disaster law (IDL) refers to a set of legal principles and norms that govern the international community’s response to disasters caused by natural hazards or man-made activities. Its overall aim is to mitigate the impact of disasters and ensure assistance to affected populations through the promotion of cooperation among countries and other stakeholders in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. IDL encompasses a range of instruments of different nature, from international conventions to policy frameworks and guidelines, that aim to enhance the legal preparedness of domestic legal systems and a more efficient coordination among all actors involved in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) activities. The Workshop aims to provide students with the necessary information and elements for understanding the main international regulatory dynamics that address the conduct of DRM actors at all levels. This will be done through a mixture of lectures, practical exercises and interactive working groups aiming at providing a dynamic and tailored learning environment. Main topics will include: key legal issues in disaster management; disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation law; human rights protection, displacement and other cross-cutting themes in disaster-settings such as protection of cultural property and migration issues; regional and sub-regional approaches to disaster law; legal and operational challenges in relief operations. At the end of the Workshop students will be able to approach legal problems featuring this sector of activity with a better understanding of the applicability of diverse legal framework and through greater skills in the collection and analysis of normative sources.

Instructor’s Bio

Tommaso Natoli (Ph.D) is the IFRC-ItRC Disaster Law Focal Point for Europe. In his role, Tommaso offers technical advice on strengthening disaster law and the auxiliary role through law- and policy-making to European Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, respective governmental authorities, and other relevant stakeholders. Tommaso has a 10-year experience in the arrangement of training and workshops on legal issues in disaster risk management and legislative advocacy, as well as in the development of comparative research, training materials and reports on legal issues with relevance for disaster risk management and the identification of best practices and standards. In 2019-2021, Tommaso was an Irish Research Council/Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action CAROLINE Fellow at the School of Law of the University College Cork (UCC) and in that role has been seconded as a researcher to the IFRC headquarters in Geneva (2019-2020). He is Co-Director of the IDL Course organized yearly at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (Sanremo) and Head of the Editorial Committee of the ‘Yearbook of International Disaster Law’ (Brill).

Demystifying international environmental negotiations

  • Instructor:  Jennifer Bansard - International Institute for Sustainable Development


Two sessions of 3 hours each: February 14, 14.00-17.00 & February 15, 09.00-12.00

Abstract of the Workshop

COP 21 – IPCC – 1.5°C. Thanks to unprecedented media attention and the work of activist movements such as Fridays for Future, many people are at least vaguely aware that a certain COP 21 was a big milestone in global climate policy because it lead to the adoption of the Paris Agreement. They might also have heard that the ominous IPCC says we need to do more to limit global warming to 1.5°C, and that this somehow relates to the Paris Agreement. But what exactly is a COP? What does the Paris Agreement really entail? How does the IPCC relate to any of this? And are there comparable things going on for issues other than climate change? The workshop will address all these questions and many more. The workshop aims to guide students across the big alphabet soup of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). It will provide an overview of the intricate network of agreements covering issues such as biodiversity loss, desertification, ozone depletion, trade in endangered species, and chemical waste. It will point to structural similarities between these agreements and touch upon the difference between MEAs and science-policy bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Hands-on exercises will provide students with practical insights into the dynamics of international environmental negotiations, demystifying the specific diplomatic language used at Conferences of the Parties (COPs). 

Instructor’s bio

Jennifer Bansard is a Team Leader with the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB), as well as an independent consultant providing in-depth insights on current developments in environmental governance and capacity-building support on engagement in multilateral negotiation processes. She has more than a decade of experience working for various (inter-)governmental and academic institutions, mainly on climate change and biodiversity. With ENB since 2017, she has been leading the coverage of processes such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Jennifer has published on a range of topics, including cities’ climate action and the role of science in environmental governance. She holds Master’s degrees in Environment and Resource Management (VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands), International Relations (Sciences Po Aix, France), and Applied Political Sciences (University of Freiburg, Germany). 

Application (deadline: January 22nd 2024)

on-line form to apply

Each workshop is open to max 25 students: registration is mandatory. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please note that, as registration is open to a limited number of students, joining the workshops implies the assumption of a commitment to participate. Acceptable justifications for absence only include illness or other compelling reasons.  Please note that participation in workshops does not constitute a valid excuse for absence in other teaching activities. Students engaged in simultaneous and incompatible teaching activities (e.g. crash courses, compulsory language courses) are requested not to attend the workshops.

Participation in each workshop will allow students to gain one virtual micro-credential for each workshop (further information available at