New York / Washington D.C. 01.07.2008 - 11.07.2008


The study trip journey to New York and Washington DC focuses on the political developments in the Near and Middle East. Our aim is to understand all the different aspects of this complex region where crises seem to pop up on an almost daily basis. This includes a profound insight into the several conflicts as well as the exploration of interrelations, reappearing patterns and common causes.

What does the future of Iraq look like? What consequence has a majoritarian Shia-composed government in Baghdad on Iran’s claim for power? What does this in turn mean for Israel which feels threatened by the perspective of a nuclear-armed regime in Teheran? How big is the destabilizing impact of Hamas and Hezbollah in the region? And in general: Is the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict an indispensable condition for a pacification of the political situation of the whole of the Near and Middle East?

But the purpose of our journey is not only to have a close look at these questions but to go one step further and to learn how two heavy weights on world stage, the US in its role as world power and the UN as globally active international organisation, approach the challenges with this region’s origin..



How effective is the UN and its Security Council which often finds itself in a dead-lock situation? How promising are the UN-peacekeeping missions like UNIFIL in the south of Lebanon? Are UN-sanctions an effective instrument to reach a breakthrough in the negotiations concerning Iran’s nuclear program?

Or will the US-government see itself forced to unilateralist actions more often in the future? What’s the story behind US-attempts to form an anti-Iranian alliance? How to the military commanders intend to bring stability to Iraq? What are the interests at stake and strategies of the administration in the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians after Annapolis?

And which extent is the upcoming elections affecting the US foreign policy in regard to the Near and Middle East?

We want to find answers to these kinds of questions with the help of discussions with political, economical and social actors and debate the within our group.

Participants from all different origins will give our group a very special international flavour. Our aim is that that around half of the 20 participants will come from the region in question. The different cultural, political and geographical backgrounds guarantees stimulated and exciting discussions, the highest learning effect possible and last but not least long-standing friendships overcoming all geographical and cultural borders.