PSIA Lecture Explores European Identity; Training Cultivates Research Skills

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By Dr. Syuzanna Vasilyan, PSIA Assistant Professor, Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies


YEREVAN, Armenia – On February 22, 2014, the American University of Armenia (AUA)’s Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program hosted a guest lecture entitled “European Identity and How it Matters in International Politics” and an academic training on “Information Sources and Research Design in European Studies,” delivered by Dr. Tom Casier, senior lecturer at the Brussels School of International Studies (University of Kent) and Jean Monnet chair. These were organized by Dr. Syuzanna Vasilyan, Jean Monnet chair of European studies and PSIA assistant professor.

The lecture delivered by Dr. Casier dealt with European identity, analyzing the concept of “Europe” through geographic, historical, cultural, and political dimensions. It also elaborated on a variety of concepts, such as “civilian power Europe” and “normative power Europe”. The lecture intended to show how identities are used, specifically by elaborating on the European Union (EU)-Russia relations. It was accompanied with active participation of the audience both through comments and questions.

During the academic training Dr. Casier first sketched a research design sample by focusing on EU energy policy and called for audience input. Secondly he provided a list of sources leading to official EU documents, databases, directories, catalogues and showed how to retrieve information as necessary.

“The guest lecture tackled an important issue – that of European identity, which has hardly been neatly defined, not least because identities are multi-layered and in a flux. The value of the academic training was to help especially our students writing (reflexive) position papers, policy (research) papers, theoretical papers and, most importantly, MA theses, on the EU, its decision-making and policies to navigate through sources,” said Dr. Vasilyan.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values. 


Dr. Tom Casier speaks to students in AUA’s Political Science and International Affairs Program. 


Students were eager to share their perspectives and thoughts on European identity.


Dr. Syuzanna Vasilyan speaks to PSIA students. 

 Students had lots of questions for Dr. Casier.

Dr. Tom Casier, Senior Lecturer at the Brussels School of International Studies (University of Kent) and Jean Monnet Chair.



Dr. Syuzanna Vasilyan, PSIA Assistant Professor and Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies.


During the academic training, students gained valuable research skills. 



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