International Relations and European Studies - Course descriptions - Core Subjects
History of the 20th Century I
This course focuses on world history between the years 1914-1945. It concentrates on the new power settlement after the Great War, the most serious problems of the 1920s, and European politics in the beginning of the 1930s, i.e. efforts to reach any form of collective security and to settle the problem of German reparations. Moreover, the course pays attention to the rise of totalitarian regimes in Russia (Soviet Union), Italy, and especially in Germany, after Hitler came to power in 1933. Emphasis is also put on the domestic politics of democratic countries in the inter-war period, such as Weimar Germany, France, Great Britain, and the USA. The final part of the course is dedicated to studying the causes of WW1 and describing its major events.
Introduction to Economics
This course is a first level, introductory course covering the major ideas in economic thinking. The microeconomic section covers consumer behaviour and competitive market behaviour including the gains from trade. Further coverage presents an analysis of other market structures such as Oligopoly and Monopoly and market failures. The macroeconomic section begins with the topic of money and interest rates. Then we contrast neo-classical and Keynesian ideas concerning stabilization and growth. Finally, we will examine currency values and exchange rates in modern economies. The students will achieve a basic understanding of economic principles and their connection to contemporary issues in the economic world.
Introduction to International Relations
This course is meant to introduce and familiarise students with International Relations Theory. It covers a wide range of theoretical material and provides important historical case studies. The first half will be geared towards theories such as idealism, realism, marxism, constructivism etc. The second half applies these theories to case studies.
Introduction to Law
This course is aimed at providing students with a basic knowledge of Law as a normative system of behaviour. Full participation of students will be expected to discuss each given topic. As the course is held in English it shall be more general and comparative. It will not be focused solely on the Czech Legal system, but the Czech legal system shall be taught in outlines. Students will be required to prepare for each session by reading selected texts and answer questions for each class.
In this course students will learn strategies to improve their writing, comprehension and time¬management skills,as well as effective study skills. This course equips students with the tools necessary to successfully operate in an academic environment and provides advice on how to manage studies at the university level. This course will focus on important issues such as avoiding plagiarism, proper referencing, communication skills, and building academic skills and good practices.
World Political and Economic Geography
This course will introduce the topic of political and economic geography, with an emphasis on its impact upon international affairs. It focuses on the strategic relevance of geography, and examines various case studies.
This course is aimed at expanding the knowledge and skills obtained in Intro to Law. It is built more as a constitutional comparative law overview rather than focusing solely on Czech constitutional law. Nevertheless, the Czech constitutional system is heavily accented. Students will be required to prepare themselves for each session by reading selected texts and preparing answers for questions which will be submitted for each session.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF EUROPEAN COOPERATION AND INTEGRATION
This course aims to provide students with an introduction to European Studies and European Integration. It is divided into four parts: The first part introduces the historical concepts of European Unity and thinking in the interwar period that led to a unified Europe and the most important theories of European Integration. The second part of the course focuses on the historical developments of cooperation and consequent integration that led to the creation of the European Union. In the third part the most important policies of the European Union are discussed, such as the Enlargement policy or the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The course concludes with general issues concerning Europe, namely the future development of integration and its impact on the Member States.
HISTORY OF THE 20TH CENTURY II
This course focuses on world history after the Second World War. It concentrates on the new power settlement after the war, the beginnings and course of the Cold War. The lectures will take into account development in the Eastern Bloc countries as well as in the western democracies. We will focus on the process of European integration, and decolonisation as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union and the communist regimes in Central and South-Eastern Europe. The last part of the course concentrates on the problems of the contemporary world and the development of science and culture after the Second World War.
This course develops a comprehensive understanding of international organisations (IOs). The first part of the course is devoted to the examination of theoretical debates. The second part addresses effects of IOs in international relations and focuses on empirical cases. Theoretical and empirical aspects of international institutionalised cooperation are balanced with examples of IOs’ activities in the third part of this course. The course tackles issues of interstate cooperation, the role of IOs in shaping state interests and as norm promoters, state (and non-state actors) compliance in international cooperation, the sources of international legitimacy, the issues of IOs failure, the relationship between IOs and NGOs, the role of bureaucracy and the bureaucratic process in the rise and persistence of IOs, state strategies within international organisations and more.
WORLD ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
This course takes a Comparative Economics approach to an analysis of major world economies. It begins with contrasting market and planned economies focusing on how these ideas have determined the transforming world since 1989. The theoretical framework is developed emphasizing both economic and cultural histories as the drivers for economies today. The students will examine the major economic players in the world emphasizing the different approaches taken by the U. S., Continental Europe, Russia, China, India, and the Islamic States. Students will achieve an understanding that economics is best explained in a broader context than is typically presented in Anglo-American mathematical models.
EUROPEAN ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
This course covers the major economic policies and programs of the EU. A prior understanding of the politics and history of the EU is assumed. Each economic policy is analyzed in terms of its rationale, development and current reform efforts. We begin with the single market and move on to the EU’s budget structure and its largest program: The Common Agricultural Policy. The second half of the course covers the Single Currency (Euro), macroeconomic stability, Cohesion policy, and Social Policy. We conclude with an examination of the effects of integration on the newest member states that have joined in the 2004 and 2007 enlargements. The student should achieve a full understanding of EU economic policies and how they influence political and economic life under national regimes.
This course is designed to introduce students to the major developments, trends, and phenomena in world politics through the diversity of conceptual frameworks in international relations, the multiple challenges of the twenty-first century, and their possible responses. The goal of the course is to provide an analytical perspective of international politics to understand patterns of conflict and cooperation through the analysis of today’s events. The aim of the course is to make students aware of the international dynamics in relevant matters such as peace, conflict, international political economics, and transnational issues. By the end of the course, students will be able to think critically about challenges and solutions to global issues.
INSTITUTIONS AND DECISION-MAKING IN THE EU
The aim of the course is to introduce students to the institutional structure and the decision making processes of the European Union. Some of the main topics to be covered pertain to the history of the Union, to the different roles played by the multiple european institutions, and the main issues related to EU policies, such as the common market, the competition policy and foreign policy. The objective is to make students aware of how the EU is organized and how it adopts its policies. By the end of the course, students will have a full understanding of the EU and how its policies work within the greater European framework.
INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE
The main objective of the course is to introduce students to the major categories and concepts of contemporary western political science. Stress will be put particularly on the methodological framework and parameters of political science, the formation of modern states and civil societies, the theory of liberal democracy and civil society, and recent challenges to liberal democracy related to globalisation.
INTODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY
The objective of this course is to introduce the discipline of psychology – specifically, to explore the field of psychology and its approaches through a selected series of topics, which are not only especially fitting for their apparent current relevance or because they allude to the perplexities of the human mind and consciousness, but most important of all, because they have been some of the most essential phenomena of human existence and experience since the dawn of mankind. The course will take advantage of the wealth of new and recent research in evolutionary psychology and social psychology, as well as delving into and incorporating elements of postmodern psychology. This multi-perspective approach will sharpen students’ critical and analytical faculties and allow them to endorse their own preferred approach to the subject at hand.
EU COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY
The aims of this course are to present the European Union Foreign and Security Policy in its entirety. The course begins with an introduction to the theory and positioning of the EU as an international actor in international relations. The second part of the course investigates political integration with a focus on foreign security and defence integration and the creation of institutions and agencies that led to the Common Foreign and Security Policy as we know it today. The third part of the course is more practice oriented focusing on specific issues of European Foreign Policy such as the Transatlantic relationship, External Trading Policies and international environmental activism.
COMPARISON OF MODERN DEMOCRACIES
The main objective of the course is to introduce students to the major concepts, varieties and forms of contemporary western democracies. Stress will be laid particularly on the historical evolution, social and cultural preconditions as well as institutions of western liberal democracies and civil societies. We will also focus on recent challenges and problems of modern liberal democracies in the West related to globalisation.
INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION
This course focuses on existing approaches to conflict resolution and conflict management. After the initial overview of terminology, key approaches to conflict resolution are outlined and discussed. What follows is an examination of types and phases of conflicts and of key political concepts in this field, namely peacekeeping, peacemaking, peace-building, and humanitarian intervention. The most important instances in which these concepts have been applied are discussed and critically assessed. After completing this course, students should be able to bridge relevant concepts with empirical evidence as far as the analysis of the most pressing humanitarian topics in world politics is concerned.
This course shall enlarge the legal knowledge and skills with special task to International Law. The course will be held as interactive with full participation of students on each topic. Throughout the course we shall touch upon the major international institutions of judicial nature as well as domestic practice in selected states in application of International Law by domestic courts. Students will be required to prepare for each session by reading selected texts and preparing answers to questions submitted for each session. There will be simulated case trial during the semester and students will be required to take an active part in every phase; applicant, defendant and court part of the case. Assignments, as well as other information will be published on www.vyukaprava.cz, where students are required to register.
INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
The main objective of the course is to provide the students with a broad overview of sociology, its major theoretical perspectives, and concepts. Thus, the students are to become acquainted with basic sociological terms such as: sociological imagination, culture, socialization, social groups, social stratification, social class, social institutions, etc. As a result, students should be able to view people’s behavior from a sociological perspective and be able to apply their own sociological knowledge to a variety of social problems and situations.
THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND THE EU
This course looks at the evolution of the Czech Republic’s membership in the European Union with emphasis on current political issues related to the EU. The first part of the course covers pre-accession development and Czech foreign policy vis-à-vis the EU. The second part is dedicated to the participation of the Czech Republic in EU institutions and policies (Czech priorities and agenda), while the third deals with current political developments in the Czech Republic. Special emphasis is put on the Czech public and political debate, particularly, EU related issues in comparison to debates in other EU countries.
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN POLITICAL SYSTEMS
This course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of the political systems of Central and Eastern European countries with a focus on comparison. The main task is to analyze and describe recent political developments in a comparative approach rather than a country-by-country approach. Stress will be put on postcommunist development and a perspective for the future rather than deep historical excursions. The focus will be on analyzing the geopolitical situation of the region, political institutions, political parties, electoral systems and differences between institutional frameworks and real political life. Students are required to follow the current political developments in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the media to be able to discuss practical examples of topics analyzed during the course. Students are expected to participate in discussions, to analyze required readings, theoretical questions and developments in the region.
INTERNAL SECURITY OF THE EU
This course aims to provide an overview of the European Union internal security policies and related issues. Its aim is to familiarise students with broader notions of security threats in Europe that go beyond the borders of nation states as well as the implications this security cooperation has on state sovereignty (and legitimate use of force). The course will provide the students with an introduction to security cooperation in Europe, its history and its institutional structure(s). Moreover, it will provide information on policies in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, including the Schengen Area and Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters. The course will conclude with a discussion on the (democratic) legitimacy of Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters and the future of internal security cooperation in light of the looming Lisbon Treaty.
BASICS IN EUROPEAN LAW
This course continues to introduce EU law principles in greater detail. It focuses on the case law of the European Court of Justice, which shifted the content of EU law further than the mere text of the Treaties might have indicated. The ECJ has decided many times in the name of internal market reasoning, but on the other hand, it also had to take into consideration the other interests of the Member States. Similarly, the principle of rule of law requires the review of the legality of actions not only of the Member States, but also of the EU Institutions and even those of non-state actors. The course also brings updated information on the impacts of the Lisbon Treaty.
Terrorism has climbed the agenda of policy-makers since 09/11, but what is understood today as terrorism has been a recurrent problem in history. The aim of the course is to deal with the hot topic of international politics in order to clarify and to deepen our understanding of a long-lasting debate for political scientists: What is terrorism? How is the phenomenon of terrorism presented in modern society? How do we deal with it? These questions and more will be answered during the course. The answers will be looked at by analyzing terrorism in a historical perspective and at several case studies such as the LTTE, Sendero Luminoso, the PKK, Hamas, Al Qaeda, and others. By the end of the course, students will be capable of distinguishing the many facets that are hidden inside the general word of terrorism and will have a better understanding of how to respond to these threats.
ETIQUETTE AND DIPLOMATIC PROTOCOL
Diplomacy plays a key role in the study of international relations. Understanding the history and the main procedures of communication between states (at different levels) is crucial not only for future diplomats, but also for those who want to pursue careers in Ministries, International organizations, NGOs, think tanks, etc. The course aims to give students the general knowledge of different aspects of diplomacy.
NATIONAL SECURITY AND ASYMMETRIC THREATS
Understanding current trends in international relations requires an understanding of how the main actors perceive their political and security environments. This course is meant to comprehensively address two areas: national security (in theory and practice) and asymmetrical warfare. Understanding the first area, (national security) entails a theoretical understanding of the relationship between national-states, military affairs and foreign policy, while understanding the second (asymmetrical warfare) implies grasping the emerging relationship between states; and between state and non-state actors. This course is divided into two main parts: theoretical and empirical. The theoretical part of the course explores how national security priorities are set and challenges identified and confronted. The empirical part presents important historical examples to highlight the theoretical work undertaken.