Our curriculum combines an in-depth understanding of the political, historical, social, and economic developments that characterize the EU, the Russian Federation, and their shared neighbourhood, with a strong multi-disciplinary perspective prioritizing each student’s personal development.
The curriculum consists of five key components:
Methods module (18 ECTS)
The goal of the module is (a) to provide an overview of social science methodology, (b) to introduce the main approaches and methods used in the study of contemporary democratic governance, and (c) to teach how to use these methods in applied problem-solving settings.
Core Module (36 ECTS)
The module aims to provide specific and in-depth knowledge about the functioning, institutional nature, and decision-making structures of the European Union and Russia and the evolving nature of their mutual relations. Specific attention is devoted to the multidimensionality of the process of European and regional integration (both per se and in relation with Russia) in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood.
Specialization module (24 ECTS)
The module aims to provide students with an opportunity to specialize according to their academic interest. A student can choose between a variety of courses focusing on different policy areas or disciplinary fields, dealing with the Russian Federation, the EU, and their shared neighbourhood.
Regular courses represent only one component of the learning experience, which also includes field trips abroad, international summer and winter schools, academic boot camps, student-centred social activities and ad-hoc out-door motivational training.
Click on the title to read the synopsis of a course
Methods Module (18 ECTS)
The aim of the course is to place more emphasis on the development of academic writing. It examines how writers (whether novice or expert) understand the requirements set by writing assignment within their discipline and respond to these assignments appropriately (supporting different writing tasks). As the course is about developing skills, students are required to write a text. The text will be developed by writing a series of drafts, which will be commented on by peers and teachers to support the development of writing as well as developing a better sense of audience in writing.
The objective of the course is to provide students a foundation in social science methodology that will serve as a basis for their studies in the rest of the program and for completing the MA thesis. The course has three parts: an introduction to core components of social science methodology, an examination of various epistemologies in the social sciences, and an examination of approaches to research design and case selection. It will also feature the pedagogical approach of a flipped classroom, in which in-class assignments and group work figures prominently.
The aim of the course is to enable students to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of constructivist political theory, and to use constructivist methods in their own research. This interactive course provides an overview of constructivist and post-structuralist approaches in political theory, introduces key concepts, critically analyses the strengths and weaknesses of particular approaches and discusses their methodological consequences and possible research designs. A significant part of the course will be devoted to discourse analysis as the method most widely used by constructivist scholars.
NB! This is an alternative to Quantitative Methods course.
The objective of the course is to provide an overview of different quantitative methods in the social sciences and help MA students acquire the necessary skills for applying these approaches in their own research. The course covers the basic elements of social science methodology with an emphasis on quantitative methods and approaches (tests for means, measures of association, regression analysis, logical models, graphing). The students will acquire skills necessary for understanding scholarly texts using statistical methods, especially regression analysis. The course includes multiple sessions where the covered methods are applied on real data and research questions using specific software. The ultimate aim of the course is giving students the skills necessary for using these methods in writing their MA thesis.
NB! This is an alternative to Constructivist Theory and Method course.
The aim of the course is to provide students with the conceptual background and practical skills necessary for being able to assess and carry out qualitative evaluations in applied policy research and related fields of professional inquiry. The course offers hands-on skills development in qualitative data collection methods (such as in-depth interviewing, focus group research, ethnographic techniques) and in qualitative data analysis. In addition to applied research skills, the students will have a chance to learn about the issues of ethics and quality in conducting qualitative evaluation in professional settings.
Core Module (36 ECTS)
The objective of the course is to provide course participants with an understanding of the nature and functioning of the EU within the wider international context. The overarching problem the course seeks to address is the question why the EU, despite continuous development of its foreign policy dimension over the last decades, remains a somewhat peculiar international actor, often seen to be "punching below its weight". The course will provide course participants with an understanding of the potentials and limits built in to the EU's foreign policy dimension. In particular, the course will address the "Russia factor", i.e. the role of Russia, in the making of EU foreign policy. At the same time as promoting understanding of the functioning of EU's external dimension, key conceptual debates will be introduced, enabling students to critically assess current debates on the nature of the EU as an international actor.
The course explores the institutional and historical developments that relate to the emergence, transformation, and consolidation of the EU; while comparatively discussing the post-cold war attempts of regional integration in the former Soviet space. Part of the course will be specifically focused on the comparative dimension and the interaction between the EU and Russia from an historical and political perspective. The course will focus on the multidimensionality of the process of regional integration in Europe and Eurasia moving throughout the analysis of the relevant cleavages in contemporary societies, determined by the progressive decline/redefinition of nation-states and the emergence of the transnational and multicultural polity in Europe.
The course will explore and frame, conceptually, practically and theoretically the process of economic integration in the EU and relate it to relevant developments in Eurasia. The diversity of the EU member-states and the role of the EU, especially in monetary, trade and regional development will be scrutinized. Several questions will be addressed: How does the state interfere with private sector economic activities? What are major challenges to the EU? Why the EU is a unique project? How the crisis affected the EU and monetary and economic governance? The role of Russia in the international economy will be also examined (CIS, EU, WTO).
The course offers an in-depth analysis of the key concepts that frame foreign policy strategies of the EU and Russia. Lectures and seminars provide opportunities to comprehend the primordial importance of ideas for normative policies and institution building and the different theoretical vantage points to frame them. The gist of the course is to unpack a variety of (the languages of) conceptualizations of Russia and Europe, as seen from different hegemonic and counter- hegemonic perspectives, including those of their common neighbours.
Course keywords: ideas, political practices, Russia, Europe.
Specialization Module (24 ECTS)
States in the international system regularly form alliances with others in order to ensure security as a mutual benefit. Across a number of world regions, alliances can shape a pragmatic peace through deterrence and the stable balancing of rivals. This course aims to give an insight into the dynamics that allow inter-state alliances to form, function and disband as well as the role that alliances have in shaping the strategic balance across a number of regions. Of principal focus will be the regions of critical importance for contemporary international security: the Euro-Atlantic area, the post-Soviet area, the Middle East and East Asia. The course will take the form of an 8-week (interactive) lecture series beginning with an examination of the past alliances and concerts that have shaped peace and conflict at important junctures in European political history.
The course is specifically designed to equip students with a thorough understanding of the relevance of critical theory for the key contemporary liberal, post-Marxist, Gramscian, and bio-political approaches. The course will also assess their impact on the practices of domestic and foreign policies of Russia and European countries. The focus is made on those approaches that strongly resonate in cultural, social and political discourses by shaping debates on power mechanisms.
The aim of the course is to provide students with a detailed understanding of the development of fiscal, monetary and budgetary integration, as part of the wider process of economic integration in Europe. The course offers conceptual, analytical, and theoretical tools to critically frame and assess the specific nature of these policies. It starts with a discussion of budgetary integration and fiscal policy coordination within the framework of the Single European Market and EU Cohesion Policy. It then turns to the establishment of centralized monetary policy within the framework of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Specific attention is paid to the eurozonecrisis and its post-crisis policy implications (enhanced fiscal coordination and Banking Union). Finally, the implications of multi-speed Europe for budgetary, fiscal and monetary policies are dealt with.
The course covers the key political, economic and security issues of the EU - Russia relations against a broad empirical background of official texts and legal documents. It demonstrates how key events / nodal points in the trajectory of EU-Russia relations can be analyzed from normative and political perspectives. Both lectures and seminars will discuss the sources of politicization of the EU - Russia agenda, and single out the different interpretations by the two parties of key issues in the bilateral agenda - security, interdependence, common neighborhood, visa regime and border protection, civil society and democratic development. The course will also explain how domestic developments in the EU and Russia might affect the state of bilateral relations.
The course covers the challenges, experience and visions of EU enlargement and neighbourhood policy. The course focuses on the transition processes, history of modernisation, globalisation, regionalisation and conditionality connected to the EU enlargement process and neighbourhood policy. Empirical part of the course analyses the perspectives, problems and challenges of current and perspective candidate states as well as neighbourhood countries. In particular, the course will focus on history of the EU enlargement as part of the processes of "deepening" and "widening"; theories, processes, and institutional and legal framework of the EU enlargement; theories, processes, and institutional & legal framework of the EU neighbour policy (with focus on Eastern Partnership); case studies of success and failure (with focus on Europeanization); and recent development and potential future trajectories.
The course offers a systematic and comparative overview of EU Security Policy with emphasis on the EU`s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP); provides a detailed understanding of the historical and institutional development and the current functioning of the CSDP; compares the CDSP vis-à-vis the wider international security arena; analyses critically some different theoretical and practical approaches to the CSDP and relates them with relevant EU internal security policy issues for comprehensive understanding of the domain.
This course aims to give a systematic overview of the populist radical right (PRR) party family in Europe. The populist radical right (PRR) is a party family that is rising in popularity throughout most of Europe. In recent years, the PRR has gained unprecedented momentum and success. At first, the populist radical right was a marginal political force on the extreme end of the spectrum in most European countries. Then, these parties began to use the European elections as a litmus test to increase their visibility and test their political platforms. Finally, the populist radical right began to win key elections and in 2014, Europe was hit by the "Eurosceptic earthquake" that saw PRR parties win an unprecedented number of seats in the European parliament. The last two years have also seen a rise in support for the populist radical right primarily due to the refugee crisis.
The course is divided into three parts. Part 1 consists of topics presenting globalisation from an ideational viewpoint, i.e. as a set of concepts, theories, and ideas. Part 2 covers the issues of agency, focusing on a variety of global actors, norms and policy outcomes. Part 3 turns to studying different aspects - both intellectual and institutional - of resistance to globalisation, and also includes the discussion on alternative scenarios for the global world in the years to come.
The relevance of the course is related to an ever-growing interest in energy studies in international political economy. The course aims to outline the historical background of international energy relations, starting with the emergence of oil geopolitics, OPEC and oil shocks. The course will address the evolution of the energy security concept since 1970s. It will also outline major developments in international energy governance (i.e. investment protection, Energy Charter Treaty) and its limits (resource nationalism, conflicts around the scope of the Energy Charter). A particular emphasis will be given to the EU-Russia current energy relations, including clash of values regarding energy governance, vis-à-vis the Energy Charter and security of supply vs security of demand.
The course gives an overview of the Russian media landscape in historical and media-political perspective and provides knowledge about the functioning of media system in transitional democracy, as well as in the framework of the global structural and economic crisis of the media market.
The main objective of the course is to familiarize students with the diverse forms and causes of global migration, to analyze the impact of global migration on economy, society, culture and identity of sending as well as receiving country. Furthermore, the objective is also to analyze EU migration policy and internal EU migration processes. Course introduces students also to the migration research methods, sources of information and databases.
Course keywords: Migration policy, development policy, demographics and population policy, human rights and International refugee law, citizenship policy, EU policies in the areas of migration, human rights, conflict management, common market, free movement.
The lectures give a systematic overview on the EU policy-making process and policy and rule transfer. The course is functionally organized around three distinct learning issue-based clusters: 1. actors, 2. policies, and 3. modes. The following aspects will be discussed and analyzed: the policy-making cycle of the EU, its peculiarities and exemptions; the decision-making practices and powers of main institutions (focusing on commission, parliament, and council); the influencing power and strategies of interest-representation of different actors (incl member states); the interactions among the European, national, and sub-national levels in a system of multi-level governance. A key feature of the course is the direct involvement of national and supranational stakeholders who would share their first-hand experience concerning the main principles of the EU decision-making and policy transfer processes that characterize today's EU.
This course will focus on the interaction between political and economic dimensions of transition. To this end, it will analyze different experiences occurred at the global level since the 1980's. Thereby, the course will address the transition experiences in Latin America, Russia and CEE, Africa, South-eastern Asia and China. Accordingly, for each region the main patterns will be outlined and some case studies will be analyzed in depth.
Power is a multidimensional and a relational concept. In the discipline of International Relations (IR), power is ubiquitous: indeed, the very nature of international politics has been described as 'power politics' (Morgenthau 1948). Realists have used power as a central variable for explaining actor interests and outcomes, analysing it mainly through military indicators or some composite index involving GDP. As well as covering realist interpretations and the military aspects of power, this course will seek to grant insight into the radical, constructivist and liberal theories of power in IR. Power, its origins and dynamics, represents one of the most pertinent concepts in world politics, in discussing the various forms of power (e.g., material/hard; ideational/soft power; 'power to', 'power over'; power as a relation and a practice), this course will simultaneously seek to examine the wielding of power in different empirical scenarios within the international system.
The course will examine both theoretical frameworks explaining the development of the third sector as well as more practical case-studies of how third sector organizations perform in relation to both the state and average citizens.
The focus of this course is regime change, political and socio-economic developments in the Eurasian region. Explaining why regimes break down, why new ones emerge, and how these new regimes are consolidated is one of key questions in political science. Regime change is an illustration of the importance of politics showing the consequences of political decisions and choices in times of institutional crisis. This course will help you to understand the nature of regimes in CIS, why they emerged and how have they been evolving.
Master Thesis module & development seminar (30 ECTS)
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