Conflict and Democracy Studies
View modern struggle from a wider perspective
See the problem from the perspective of a permanent struggle and look at the bigger picture. Apply your theoretical knowledge to contemporary problems and find the patterns in the eternal conflicts of democracy and authoritarianism.
Understand the process of democratisation
Dive deep into the conflicts of personal freedom versus the security of an individual and society, the role of homeland security in the democratisation or de-democratisation process and the failures of democratisation which paved the way for the totalitarian way.
Gain the practical experience
Our department encourages the students to participate in internships in governmental or non-governmental institutions, think tanks, and NGOs.
The Master's programme in Conflict and Democracy Studies focuses on the discussion on the variety of potential relationships between democracy (and its quality), authoritarianism, totalitarianism, democratization, and conflict. We understand conflict to be a permanent, invariant feature of humankind, one that fuels both progress and failure. Since humans first began to establish rich social (and societal) ties, there have been struggles for power and a search for the best possible regime in any given time and place. Sometimes, to achieve their goals, conflicting parties use violence; sometimes they are able to come to a peaceful solution. Therefore, a key question becomes whether it is possible to democratise (or decentralise) various deeply divided societies without fuelling ethnic, religious, or other conflicts. Following that is the question as to whether and how the threat of violent conflict is used by authorities to entrench, sustain, or even deepen autocratic tendencies. A focus on these questions is therefore natural and prudent.
Moreover, we are currently a witness to a number of efforts to transform democratic societies around the world. There are many factors behind this development, but in each case, sooner or later, an intensive discussion of the necessary trade-offs between security and personal freedom arises. Sometimes, conflicting parties find an acceptable solution for most of these points, one which maintains the (democratic) status quo; sometimes all attempts fail and, in the making, open a pathway for securing and strengthening non-democratic tendencies. To prevent things from going wrong – or even to make them better – it is crucial for these processes to be understood. It is also important to ask how (homeland) security influences the quality of democracy and the functioning of democratic institutions, and how the quality of democracy influences the approach taken to homeland and international security.
The programme includes a practical component: an optional placement in a governmental or non-governmental institution (for example, think tanks, NGOs).
The graduates of the program receive the training necessary for a successful professional realisation in a number of professional areas. Typical job opportunities include political-analytical jobs, consulting, research and teaching positions at universities, positions in the state administration, positions within the apparatus of political parties, and positions in the diplomatic services. Further outstanding opportunities for professional realisation are provided by the institutions of the European Union, as well as other international organizations.
The program is open to students holding a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in the social sciences (political science, IR, European studies, and related disciplines, including history, law, economics, etc.) or the humanities from a recognised institution of higher education. Applicants are accepted on the basis of an evaluation of their prior degree (Bachelor's or higher) results, motivation letters, and other documents specified on the web of the degree program. Entrance video interviews are conducted subsequently. Applicants must have a good command of English.
Criteria for evaluation
Applicants are evaluated and admitted on the basis of the documents they submit and entrance video interviews. The evaluation scale is 0–100 points with 60 being the passing level.
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