FOKUS BALKAN ONLINE - A digital simulation game about EU enlargement processes in the Western Balkan

Fokus Balkan Online is a blended-learning simulation game developed and digitized by the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Baden-Württemberg and CIVIC, which simulates the procedure of the admission of third countries as candidates for accession to the European Union (EU) in the Western Balkans. The simulation game, which is suitable for the upper secondary school level, is very complex and realistically simulates the entire application process, including all participating EU institutions, the press and delegations of the applicant countries. The aim of the project is to prepare this successful game for international digital university teaching and to make it available in the long term. The special transnational character of the simulation - with participating students and teachers from EU member states and candidate countries - not only allows for a better understanding of the complex process of EU enlargement, but also raises awareness of different positions and opinions, thus promoting intercultural exchange across political borders in Europe. The project is carried out by a multinational team with members from the University of Göttingen, the Andrássy University in Budapest, and the University of Belgrade - Faculty of Political Sciences, peaking in a joint digital seminar taking place at all three universities.

IVAC Conversations / Fokus Balkan Online: International simulation game

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People involved in the project

Sven Ivens - Project Manager (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
Sven Ivens has been a research assistant at the Department of Political Science/Didactics of Politics at the Institute of Political Science at University of Göttingen since 2016. Previously, he successfully completed a double-degree program with an M.A. in Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz and an M.Sc. in European Governance at Utrecht University. At the University of Göttingen, he teaches various courses in the Master of Education Politics/Economics program, including advanced seminars in International Relations and German Politics, as well as seminars on Political Corruption. From October 2019 to March 2020, he established an international and digital simulation seminar on lobbyism in EU legislation in cooperation with the University of Antwerp. This simulation seminar has been perpetuated by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Institute of Political Science for a further five years. Additionally, Sven Ivens is conducting research on this project for his Ph.D. next to his teaching obligations. He is a member of the German Society for Political Didactics and Political Youth and Adult Education (GPJE) and of the Swiss Austrian German Simulation and Gaming Association (SAGSAGA). Since October 2020, he has been leading the DAAD International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) project "Fokus Balkan Online - Ein digitales internationales Planspielseminar über die EU-Erweiterungspolitik" (Focus Balkans Online - A Digital International Simulation Game Seminar on EU Enlargement Policy) at the University of Göttingen which was initiated together with Dr. Kristina Kurze.

Dr. Kristina Kurze - Project Partner (Andrássy University Budapest, Hungary)
Dr. Kristina Kurze is Associate Professor for International and European Politics at the Andrássy University Budapest. Her position is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Before coming to Budapest, Dr. Kristina Kurze was Senior Lecturer (Postdoc) in International Relations at the University of Göttingen. In 2015, she gained her PhD in Political Science from the University of Osnabrück. She completed her undergraduate studies in London and Roskilde and her graduate studies in Bonn and Berlin. Her main research interests include energy and climate policy, EU external relations, in particular EU enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. Dr. Kristina Kurze has published in peer-reviewed journals as well as two books on EU energy policy. She is currently involved in an international research network “The Governance of Sustainability in Europe” and is co-leader of the IVAC-project “Fokus Balkan Online”.

Ivana Radic Milosavljevic, Ph.D. - Project Partner (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
Ivana Radic Milosavljevic was born in Belgrade, Serbia. She is an assistant professor in European Studies at the University of Belgrade - Faculty of Political Sciences, teaching several courses such as EU Enlargement Policy, Serbia and the EU, Public Administration in the EU, The Political System of the EU, European Integration Theory. She has previously worked as a teaching assistant at the same University. In 2018, she defended her Ph.D. thesis on the politicization in the EU as a compound, consensus polity. She has published articles, studies, and analyses on neo-functionalism, European parliament, parties and elections, the politicization of the EU enlargement issue in EU and Serbia, Europeanization processes in Serbia, possibilities of altering the current EU’s approach towards Western Balkan countries, etc. In 2019, she co-edited a special issue of “Godisnjak”, the scientific journal of the University of Belgrade - Faculty of Political Sciences. She is a member of the University of Belgrade - Faculty of Political Sciences’ Council, its main governing body. She is a member of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA), UACES, and the ECPR’s Standing Group on the EU. She has participated as a member of the project team in several Jean Monnet and Tempus (Erasmus+) projects at the University of Belgrade.

Lea Marie Quilitz, BA – Project Assistant (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
Lea Quilitz holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Educational Science from the University of Wuppertal. After a one-year stay abroad in Australia, she is currently in the final semester of the interdisciplinary master’s program Euroculture - Politics, Society and Culture in a Global Context at the Universities of Strasbourg, Uppsala and Göttingen, where she is conducting research on sustainability in higher education. For Fokus Balkan Online she supports the team in project coordination, design and communication as well as public relations. She is particularly enthusiastic about the intercultural exchange, the stimuli for a change of perspective, and the international cooperation offered by the project and the simulation game.