Winter School

  ACADEMIC YEAR 2023/2024

Introduction to Foreign Investment Law from the standpoint of Least Developed Countries
Padova, 6-11 November 2023

Scientific responsible: Tarcisio Gazzini (Professor of International law, University of Padova),


The Winter School offers an introductory course on the legal protection of foreign investment from the standpoint of Least developed countries (LDCs). The importance of foreign investment in the global economy cannot be overestimated. This is especially true for LDCs, whose sustainable development often depends on foreign assets and technology.

The ultimate objective of the course is to expose participants to the key legal issues related to the complex legal relationship between foreign investors and the governments of LDCs. The challenge is to strike a balance between, on the one hand, the need to attract and protect foreign investors, and, on the other hand, the safeguard to the right and duty of LDCs to pursue the interests of all stakeholders (especially the protection of the environment, human rights, labour standards). The course will also address the question particularly important for LDCs, including transfer of technology, public health, and corporate social responsibility.

The course is composed of nine 2-hour sessions. The first eight sessions (Monday – Thursday) focus on the legal framework, the main standards of protection and the settlement of disputes. In the last session (Friday morning), participant will be divided in groups and assigned a hypothetical case of expropriation which they will examine and discuss.

On Friday afternoon and Saturday morning participants are invited to attend – either online or in presence – a workshop on The African Renaissance in the Age of Globalization. What Role for International Investment Law?. Professor José Alvarez of New York University will be the keynote speaker. The full programme of the workshop will be available at the end of August.

The course is meant to strike a balance between theory and practice. It will systematically use primary sources (most prominently international treaties and arbitral decisions) and introduce to participants the main electronic tools to research in the field of foreign investments. Participants are expected to take part in the discussion and in the final practical exercise.

The course is free of charge.

It is designed primarily for national and international civil servants, junior diplomats, lawyers and judges from LDCs who intend to deepen their knowledge on foreign investment law. In order to keep a balance amongst participants, a maximum of 5 participants from each LDC will be admitted.

It is open to 20 participants in presence and up to 80 on line.

Up to 10 participants will benefit from a remboursement up to 400 euro to partly cover the accomodation expenses for attending the course in presence. Scholarships will be allocated on the basis of professional qualifications and considering gender and nationality balance.

The course is also open to master and research students in international law and germane disciplines.

All materials will be available through a Moodle platform. They include:

  1. key legal instruments;
  2. key arbitral decisions;
  3. bibliographical references.

Applicants are requested to fill in the application form including a 2-page curriculum vitae by 15 September 2023.

Only for on line participants the deadline for submitting applications is 15 october 2023

Attendance certificate
Upon conclusion of the course, participants in presence will receive a formal certificate of attendance.


  ACADEMIC YEAR 2020/2021

  • Online Winter School
    Escuela de Verano in “Gestiòn de Pymes y Territorios” (Costa Rica)

    This year due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the fourth edition of the Winter School (Escuela de Verano) will be held online from March, 4 2021 to May,  28 2021.
    For more information, please visit: Escuela de Verano 4 edizione


  • Online Winter School
    Times and Spaces of Globalization
    Sustainable Glocal Futures: Knowledge, Democracy and global Communications
    February-April 2021
    a partnership between: University of Padova (IT), Next Generation Global Studies, University of São Paulo (BR), Department of Modern Languages Leiden University (NL), Global Transformations and Governance Challenges Initiative

    The 8th edition of the Winter School Times and Spaces of Globalization addresses the many challenges to knowledge development and dissemination in times of crises, conflict, globalization and digital transformations. 

    This year due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Winter School will be held online and will be structured around a series of events "diffused in time and space". 

    Programme of the Winter School Times and Spaces of Globalization ed.2021 

    EGoS Students from the University of Padova interested in participating should complete this online application form

  ACADEMIC YEAR 2018/2019

The 2019 edition of the Winter School Times and Spaces of Globalization addresses the many challenges to knowledge development and dissemination in times of crises, conflict, globalization and digital transformations. Particular attention is posed on higher education institutions, their role and responsibilities and the initiatives they can activate to protect students and researchers and support their educational and research activities.

Titled Knowledges at Risk and organized in collaboration with the University of Trento and Scholars at Risk international network, this intensive course is devoted to addressing the many issues emerging from global dynamics that are putting at risk - or promise to transform profoundly and in unexpected directions - the very existence of academic knowledge, the roles and activities of higher education institutions, the lives and experiences of scholars, students and researchers.

Themes and programme

Universities around the world are experiencing profound transformations brought about by a plurality of contradictory processes. Globalization, marketization and business oriented management have an impact on how the educational mandate of university institutions is understood and translated into research and educational programs, often contributing to marginalizing important disciplines.
The widespread adoption of digital technology in educational activities offers new and productive opportunities for knowledge exchange; while at the same time transforming profoundly the very processes of knowledge pursuit, production, dissemination, ownership and utilization, the outcome of which developments – in terms of access to knowledge and its relevance to public interest and democracy - is largely uncertain.

At the same time, a strong push towards loosely defined ‘internationalization’ is leading to an increase of international agreements between higher education institutions, while a backlash against globalization and a rise in nationalist populism across the globe, along with growing anti-immigrant sentiment, are making it more difficult for scientists to conduct collaborative, international research and to share ideas, innovations and data – both with each other and the public.

In this context, in recent years the growth of authoritarianism and the rise of overt conflicts across the world has affected growing numbers of scholars in many regions, who have been exposed to violent aggression, imprisonment, prosecution, job loss, expulsion and travel restrictions. Developments which have spurred a widespread response by academic institutions, with the design and implementation of collaborative plans for the support and protection of at-risk scholars, as demonstrated by the activities of Scholars at Risk (SAR).

In all the above mentioned cases, the nexus between knowledge and governance - particularly higher institution governance and risk-related politics - requires adequate attention for its possible consequences, as well as in depth reflection on future developments.

Participants will have the opportunity to participate in an international event. They will engage in discussions and interactive sessions where changing notions of knowledge and power in a global society will be addressed. And they will be invited to reflect on different forms of violations of academic freedom and knowledge rights, but also on those initiatives and spaces of cooperation that are being created transnationally to foster dialogue, knowledge sharing and higher. Finally, they will have a chance to share their respective experiences and research activities, as young women and men, students and researchers, coming from a variety of geo-cultural backgrounds.

Winter School 2019 is an intensive 5-day course, bringing together international scholars and students from a range of disciplines and geo-cultural background.
The school consists of a total of 38/40 hours of lectures, interactive sessions and workshops organized as follows:

  • Opening event: interventional conference on Knowledges at Risk: Universities promoting Academic Freedom (public event)
  • Interactive sessions, thematic seminars and/or workshops 
  • Presentations and discussions of students’ researches
  • Social gatherings

The course is aimed at Italian, European and International graduates (maximum 10), Master’s and PhD students from different disciplinary areas, such as Political and Social Sciences, Communications Studies, Education, Language and Mediation. The organizers aim to guarantee a diversity of participating students on the basis of geo-cultural background, discipline of study and gender. The 2019 edition will also give continuity to a positive and consolidated practice: that of offering participating students the possibility to present their own research activities and to receive feedback from senior scholars and other participants.

The Winter School particularly welcomes PhD students from non-European regions, and from low income countries and countries in democratic transition, who want to master their understanding of current challenges to the implementation of democratic principles, in times where separation and marginalization are the everyday experience of walled politics. 4 Scholarships are available for students from such areas.

Click here to link to the application form.

Deadline for applications: 16th December 2018
Participants will be notified about the outcome of their applications by 22th December.

Organizing Committee :

Alice Baroni
Claudia Padovani
Giuseppe Acconcia
Francesca Helm
Mauro Farnese
Mino Conte

  ACADEMIC YEAR 2017/2018

The fifth edition of the Winter School on "Knowledges of the future. Professions of the future. Living in precarious times", addressed issues pertaining to education, the role of ignorance in scientific knowledge, innovation and technological developments, and feminist knowledge transfer.

Knowledges of the future. Professions of the future. Living in precarious times Padova, February 19-22, 2018