Courses for international students
The courses taught in English—listed below—are designed both for international students (including Erasmus students) and CEVRO Institute students who have been studying social science (or a similar program) at least one year on the undergraduate level. The courses cover a wide range of topics and disciplines such as political science, international relations, history or applied economics. After completion, students are awarded easily transferable European credits (For more on ECTS see below). International students are advised to sign up for about 5 courses in each semester.
Courses for the fall semester 2016/2017
The below courses will be opened provided that a sufficient number of students sign up for them. For this reason applicants are recommended to announce alternative courses in the application form.
The Making of European Idea (ECTS 6)
The primary objective of the course is to offer some insights into various understandings of what Europe is. Therefore, the course presents a critical analysis of the key features accompanying the formation of European society and the system of states and presents theoretically grounded views on the processes related to their evolution. Moreover, the course intends to ground its explanations in the general, sociological understanding of history, thus transcending the “mechanical” enumeration of more or less important events, discussing instead long-term developments, bearing within themselves values and opinions justly understood as core elements of European culture and identity. The course is not intended to produce a single explanation of “Europe”, but rather to highlight cornerstones of our contemporary understanding of Europe.
European Union Law (ECTS 6)
The course provides an introduction to European Union Law. Students will deal with the constitutional framework of the European Union and the development of European integration. In the second part of the course they will consider the institutional framework of the organization and the functioning of its main organs. Students will further examine the role of the EU Court of Justice and its impact on the development of EU constitutional principles. The course will also provide a brief overview of the EU human rights system.
Alternative Currencies and Decentralized Monetary Systems (ECTS 6)
This course is focused on the new and old phenomena of alternative currencies and their role in an economy. Students will learn the history and theory of alternative currencies, will understand the functions that money perform and they will know the newest trends in usage of cryptocurrencies, local currencies, virtual currencies, scrips, commodity money, gift economy, voucher-money, moneyless systems and other alternatives. It is also anticipated that the course will take account of new developments in this rapidly evolving field. At the conclusion of this course, students will be well-versed in both the potentials and the challenges of the most important alternatives to the current monetary system.
The Post-Communist Experience (ECTS 6)
The course aims to capture the specific nature of the postcommunist experience and use it to analyze the historical trends of the last quarter of a century and attempt to throw light on the current predicament of the West. Students will learn about social factors leading to the fall of communism, about challenges of transition and about new uncertainties of today.
Modern Policy-Making (ECTS 6)
This course uses modern tools of behavioral economics and identifies new approaches to policy-making. There are new arguments for governmental regulations stemming from the existence of people's biases. At the same time, one need to have in mind that individual freedom is vital for development. The course focuses on modern literature attempting to find an acceptable compromise and emphasizes the idea that small change in decision-making environment (a nudge) can alter people’s behavior in a predictable way and at the same time it does not forbid any options people have available. These new insights enable policy-makers to learn how to improve policies and at the same time preserve the idea of market freedom. Among others, the course will teach you how to make people to save more money for their retirement, how to induce others to be more honest or how to reduce speed without using any deterrence.
Christian-Jewish Roots of European Civilization (ECTS 6)
The course deals with formative texts of Jewish and Christian tradition, the Bible and the texts it inspired. It starts with the question of a canon ("a holy book") and its function for the identity of a community. It deals with the historical circumstances of both what the Bible narrates about and how it itself emerged. Introducing the concepts of the Old and New Testament and the texts of emerging Church and Synagogue, the role of the discourse fixed in the Bible shall be elucidated.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to understand how the Bible in its originally extra-European, Ancient Near-Eastern Hebrew and later Hellenistic Christian setting has become substrate and framework of Euro-American thinking, culture and politics.
The Euro-American Relations in Past, Present and Future
Relations between the United States and Europe are currently going through major changes that can have far-reaching implications for the future of European and Czech security as well as for the future role of Europe in global politics and economics. The USA is turning its attention to the Asia- Pacific region, while the EU is quickly demilitarizing and undergoing a protracted institutional crisis. The course, led by the former defense minister of the Czech Republic and ambassador to the USA, Alexandr Vondra, offers a comprehensive reflection of the development of transatlantic relations in the last two decades. The course assesses the current situation and the problems the Euro-American relations face, and considers the prospects for their future development and their impact on the security and political interests of the Czech Republic.
Coursers for the spring semester 2016/2017
Please note that the range of courses may be subject to change. Definite list of courses will be announced in fall.
Conflict Regions in the Current World (ECTS 6)
What are the origins, present and future of conflicts around the globe? Can we predict new conflicts? Can the West prevail in the war on terror? What are the main insurgencies and how to fight them? Former Yugoslavia, Former USSR, Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Northern Africa, Islamic Immigration to Europe, Central Africa, Southern Asia and the War on terror in general…
Lectured by former head of Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan and long-year correspondent from the Balkans.
Central European Politics (ECTS 6)
This course is based on a comparative approach towards current political developments in countries of (primarily, but not exclusively) the Visegrad Four, i.e. in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. Following general discussions of what the notion of Central Europe means and how we can understand it, the course will elaborate historical and social issues helping to shape the region currently known as Central Europe. After historical considerations are taken into account, the region as a whole is put under scrutiny, beginning with communism through regional attempts at integration, up to the accession procedures regarding EU and NATO. Finally, political and social issues in all of the four countries will be presented with topics like foreign policies, major rifts, party systems, institutional arrangements etc.
Electronic Democracy (ECTS 6)
The aim of the course is to analyse democracy and its procedures in the context of modern information and communication technologies that affect current understanding of politics, participation and democracy. The course combines theoretical and empirical approaches to demonstrate how new ICT influence various areas of politics – e.g. patterns of party organization, new political issues, political marketing etc. A particular emphasis of the course shall be given to the issue of electronic elections. As new technologies appear, they are used for different purposes, one of them being casting a ballot through various electronic devices – Internet, mobile phone etc.
The Economics of European Integration (ECTS 6)
The objective of the course is to present the process of economic integration in Europe. The course includes an introduction to the history of the European Union (EU), its institutions and the decision making. The integration theory covers customs unions, the Internal Market, competition policy, the Common Agricultural Policy and monetary union. Towards the end of the course, current issues of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), financial markets regulation, the Banking Union, the Stability and Growth Pact will be discussed. The course should provide students not only with an understanding of integration processes in Europe and their economic aspects but also insights useful for their future career.
Business Cycle Theories (ECTS 6)
The aim of this course is to present and compare different theories of the business cycle. Students will know Kondratiev waves, endogenous and exogenous theories, Keynesian theory, Austrian theory, Real business cycle theory, Political business cycle, Marxist theory, Financial instability hypothesis, Yield curve theory, Schumpeterian innovation cycle, Georgist theory and other relevant explanations of the boom and bust cycle. Each lesson explains the history and theoretical foundation of the theories and discusses possible reactions. Business cycles have severe consequences and yet economists do not agree about the causes. By studying their theories students will be able to critically evaluate the appropriateness of different explanations.
Comparative Systems of Public Administration (ECTS 6)
The aim of the course is to provide students with a comparative perspective on the various systems and structures of public administration, with the main focus being on European states, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. The course begins with a focus on legal aspects, i.e. constitutional, legal and international norms applicable to public administration in these states, taking into account differences in legal cultures between continental law and common law states, as well as taking into account the influence of EU law and regional treaties. Additionally, the course introduces the historical and theoretical underpinnings for contemporary systems of public administration in order to trace and explain the development of these systems. Finally, the course examines the common theoretical principles of public administration which are relevant in all jurisdictions, including the principle of good administration, both in the context of EU member states, as well as in the wider European and international contexts.
Geopolitics and Diplomacy in Practice – Czech Experience (ECTS 6)
The aim of the course is to point at many myths of international politics, show strengths and limits of diplomacy in the real world and also analyse interstate relations and the importance of history and geography for international relations to show functionality of international organizations such as NATO, the EU, and regional groupings such as the Visegrad Four, as well as to argue that there is no real diplomacy which is not backed by power of economy and military.
The course will be based on the concrete experience of the Czech Republic and its long term relations with direct neighbours as well as bigger regional and world powers. Crosscutting issues such as energy security, economic diplomacy, support of human rights and democracy or military to military and intelligence cooperation will be closely examined. The course will be attended by several guest speakers, practitioners who have been dealing with issues of foreign relations, defence and security in several positions and from various points of view during their careers.
Experimental Methods in Behavioral Sciences (ECTS 6)
Since commencing their work in 2010, the UK Behavioural Insights Team (“the Nudge Unit”) has pioneered an increasing trend in the mainstream application of behavioral sciences to public policy making. In recent years, leading countries across the globe have started running their own “nudge units”. This course aims to provide students with knowledge of experimental methods which should be used to verify behaviorally informed public policies before they are put to work. Lectures are designed with an emphasis on practical use of acquired information – students are about to design their own experiments, participate in laboratory and field experiments or visit an international conference covering the course’s topic. The course is meant to be a practical extension of a course Modern Policy Making (MPM) but absolving MPM is not necessary to be able to follow the lectures of Experimental Methods in Behavioral Sciences.
United Kingdom on the Map (ECTS 6)
The course will examine the role of United Kingdom in the international relations with special focus on 20th and 21st century. The position of the UK has been changing since the 16th century with unexceptionable decline throughout the 20th century. From the Empire which dominated one fourth of the world population to the country which is seeking its new role in the world relations after the referendum about the EU exit.
Content of the course: Rise and fall of the British Empire, World War II, Decolonization, UK and USA, UK and European integration, Post-Brexit UK
There are two deadlines for applications: (1) for the fall term and (2) for the spring term.
Application deadline for the fall term: 27 May
Application deadline for the spring term: 1 November
Internet and computers
CEVRO Institute is equipped with wireless Internet. Students are recommended to bring their laptop. On their arrival students receive login information to enter the school system. There is also a computer lab available at the college.
Living in Prague
CEVRO Institute does not have its own accommodation capacities. Still, there are plenty of opportunities to find accommodation in Prague. Students usually find their accommodation on their own. They may also ask the International office and CEVRO Institute buddy students for help. Prague is a very unique place with many things to see and enjoy. If you need more practical information about the Czech Republic, you may try Guide to studying and living in the Czech Republic
For further information about Prague see http://www.cityofprague.cz