World in Transition and Central European Transformation
History has taught us that governments are fluid, able to move between dictatorships, autocracies, democracies and monarchies. This course uses the Central-European path to democracy and applies the knowledge learned to the problems of today's world. Central Europe’s political, social and economic transformation of the 1990s provides an excellent case study for students looking to better understand the complexities of forming democratic societies. By narrowing in on the experiences of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, students will analyze what did and did not work, and apply these learnings to countries undergoing transitions today.
Through the interdisciplinary lens, students deconstruct the social barriers to political and economic change. Each module compares lessons of Central Europe to current examples, enabling students to see a direct relation to what they are learning. Students come away with a better knowledge of the Central European transformation, and how politics, society, law and economics are interconnected in country transformations.
The participants of this course will:
- Grasp the theory of relevant academic fields towards a major transformation of state system
- Learn about cases of the Czech and its neighbours’ transformation experience and assess it critically based on the theory and comparison
- Engage in stimulating interdisciplinary and intercultural discussions about current cases of transition states in the world
- Utilize acquired knowledge of the transformation theory and practice and apply it to a current country undergoing transformation in the world.
Credits: Students will receive 8 ECTS upon successful completion of this course.
Dates and Fees
Dates: 20 June – 11 July 2021
Cost: The cost of this program is €700
- All students who apply and commit by June 1 will receive a €100 discount.
- An additional discount will be provided to students of Masaryk University. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Tuition for the summer school
- Virtual Site Visits (Radio Free Europe, UN, etc.)
- Masaryk University Transcript
Online classes will take place at 14:00 CET Monday-Friday for two hours. Students are expected to participate in the live lectures, however they will be recorded.
- Central Europe as the region
- Struggles and Challenges of Political Transformation: Searching for Democracy
- Social Change and Civil Society in Central Europe
- Economic Transformation
- Transformation of the Legal System
Virtual ‘coffee hours’ will be offered throughout the week to provide a space for students to ask questions that may come up, and to get to have a chance to better know who is in the course. They are not required, but are encouraged.
This time is subject to change based on enrollment, in which case a class time will be agreed upon by all involved.
Final grades will be awarded using the A-F grading system. Grades are based on daily quizzes based on readings, participation in online courses, a final project, and a final paper.
The final group project is meant to showcase what students have learned over the course and apply their knowledge. Through working in groups, students will gain a valuable skillset in giving virtual presentations and will have the opportunity to work with people from different cultures, hence expanding their intercultural communication skills.
Meet our Team
Erin Anna SmithSummer School Manager
Richard Turcsányi is a Key Researcher at Palacky University Olomouc, Assistant Professor at Mendel University in Brno, and Program Director at the Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS.eu). He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and further degrees in economy and political science. In past, he conducted long-term research stays at the University of Toronto, Peking University, National Chengchi University in Taipei, and the European Institute for Asian Studies in Brussels. He is an author of "Chinese Assertiveness in the South China Sea" and has published a number of academic articles and opinion pieces on Chinese foreign policy and relations between China and (Central and Eastern) Europe. He is a member of various networks focusing on contemporary China and EU-China relations, including European Think Tank Network on China (ETNC), China in Europe Research Network (CHERN), or Chinese Observers in Central Europe (CHOICE).
Michal Mochtak is a Research Associate at the Institute of Political Science, University of Luxembourg working on a project titled “ELWar – Electoral Legacies of War: Political Competition in Postwar Southeast Europe”. Prior to joining the university in October 2017, he was a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Political Science, Yale University (2017), a Cvachovec Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto (2017), and a Research Fellow at the International Institute of Political Science, Masaryk University (2012-2017). In his research, he focuses on the existing challenges to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe with a special emphasis on election-related conflicts, political violence, and modern forms of authoritarian rule. He is the author of Electoral Violence in the Western Balkans. From Voting to Fighting and Back (Routledge; 2017) and a co-author of Challenges to Democracies in East Central Europe (Routledge; 2016). His papers on electoral violence and democratization have been published in a variety of international peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Terrorism and Political Violence, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Problems of Post-Communism, Journal of International Relations and Development, Nations & Nationalism, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Democracy and Security, or World Political Science). See more www.mochtak.com.
Libor Žídek earned his Ph.D. in Economics at MU in 2002. He is an associate professor at the Department of Economics at MU. His primary research field is economic history and foremost transformation of economies in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the communist regimes.
He lectured on these topics in a number of countries, including the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, the UK, Poland, Finland, Ukraine, Jamaica and Hungary. The scientific activity (in the form of grants awarded – GAČR 15-09404S, GAMU) also covers foremost topics functioning of the centrally planned economies and from the transformation process. He is the author and co-author of several monographs foremost (foremost Žídek, L., Centrally Planned Economies: Theory and Practice in Socialist Czechoslovakia, Routlege, 2019, Žídek, L.: Transformation in Central Europe, CEU Press, Budapest-New York, 2017; Žídek, L.: Transformace české ekonomiky, 1989-2004. C. H. Beck, 2006) and articles dealing with the transformation process in Central Europe. He teaches courses Macroeconomics I, World Economic History I, II, Economics of Transformation.
Ladislav Vyhnánek is an Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law, Masaryk University. He has been teaching courses in constitutional law, human rights and judicial studies for the past 12 years (with a year gap that he spent as a Fulbright Scholar at New York University School of Law). He has also worked for more than 10 years as a law clerk at the Czech Constitutional Court. He has published numerous articles and co-authored several books in the respective fields of his expertise, most recently on the position of the Czech Constitutional Court, constitutional identity or judicial treatment of the European Court of Human Rights case-law.
Dr. Runya Qiaoan is a researcher at Palacky University and Mendel University, and she is also an analyst at The Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS). Runya has a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in sociology, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Runya’s research interests include civil society, cultural sociology, and China-Central Eastern Europe relations. Her publications include papers and reviews in international scientific journals, such as China Information, Journal of Chinese Political Science, and Journal of Cognition and Culture.
What does online mean at MUNI?
We recognize that students all over the world have had different experiences of what online classes mean. In this course, online instruction is meant to be both informative and interactive. Students will be expected to do the readings before the class, and to pose questions to the professors in their 250 word position papers. This will help guide the conversations to make the most of the online lectures.
Online live lectures will take place daily and students are expected to attend and participate. The professors will ask questions throughout the class to keep engagement high. The lectures will be recorded, if students are unable to attend live, however this will need to be agreed upon beforehand.