The Centre for German and European Studies was established in 2004 on the initiative of The St Petersburg Dialogue, a regular discussion forum between Russia and Germany. CGES is one of more than 10 similar centres supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) worldwide. It is a joint institute of St. Petersburg State University and Bielefeld University.
The mission of the CGES consists in bridging Russian, German, and European scholars in order to disseminate the highest standards and best practices of academic work, to promote high-quality education, and to facilitate cutting-edge comparative interdisciplinary research.
In light of this mission, the Centre‘s most important tasks are as follows:
- facilitate academic exchange at all levels, including undergraduate and postgraduate students, early-career and senior scholars;
- encourage scientific dialogue by organizing and supporting conferences and workshops, with a particular focus on the involvement of early-career scientists into international academic networks;
- assist cooperation in the field of education, support development of joint teaching programmes, empower students and early-career academics;
- foster collaborative research, with a special emphasis on the engagement of early-career scholars;
- ensure information and outreach through public lectures, events, publications, and access to the CGES library.
CGES sees educational activities (the MA Programme Studies in European Societies as well as conferences and workshops for undergraduate and graduate students of Russian universities) as its essential task.
CGES carries out research as part of international cooperation projects. At the core of these is the interdisciplinary analysis of European societies in a broad comparative perspective. Research projects run by CGES are closely linked to educational programmes and are particularly aimed at supporting scholars in the early stages of their careers.
At present, research at CGES is concentrated around the following topical areas:
- Network Structures in Germany, Europe and Russia
- Creativity, Communities, and Public Spaces in Germany, Europe and Russia
- Civil Society and Participation in Europe and Russia
- Europe in World Society
CGES organizes scientific seminars, workshops and lectures on the regular basis. They are open to the public.
To spread the best practices in research and intensify collaboration of scholars within CGES core topical fields, regular research activity is empowered by a range of tools, including:
- online publications of CGES working papers;
- mobility grants to Europe for the most promising researchers, particularly those in the early stages of their careers and post-graduates;
- contests of scientific papers by students and postgraduates;
- publications support;
- open up-to-date social science library;
- consultations on international research collaboration.
The CGES is open to cooperation with Russian and European educational and research structures as well as with individuals - academics, students and PhD candidates interested in German and European Studies.
Each year, on the basis of their activities CGES publishes annual reports. Activity reports from 2008 on are available here.