The Master’s Program in Conflict and Democracy Studies focuses on the discussion of 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. A key question therefore becomes whether it is possible to democratize (or decentralize) various (deeply divided) societies without fuelling ethnic, religious, or other conflict. 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.
We are, moreover, currently 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 nondemocratic tendencies. To prevent things from going wrong—or even to make them better—it is crucial that these processes 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.
To confront all these and other questions, we seek scholars with a desire to develop advanced critical, analytical, and strategic thinking whose wish is to positively impact the society in which we live.
You should apply if:
- you want to understand the causes (political and historical) of various (ongoing) conflicts.
- you want to discover the means of overcoming crises and increasing (or maintaining) the quality of democracy
- you want to understand how (state) power is distributed throughout the political structure.
- you want to learn about the current state of discussion of democracy, new forms of authoritarianism, democratization, and security.
- you are interested in relations between states, governments, supra- and sub-state institutions etc.
- you want to know how propaganda works and what tools are used to disseminate information across nations.
- you want to carry out your own research in the field of conflict and democracy studies.
- you want to deepen your research skills (e.g. to gather, organize and understand data from both primary and secondary sources), to develop your soft skills (e.g., being able to identify, analyse, and advocate solutions for various situations) and independent critical thinking.
- you are interested in current (global) politics, conflicts and discussions about the quality of democracy.
- you want to understand how to evaluate the quality of democracy and how to improve it.
A successful graduate is able to
- critically evaluate and independently analyse questions and issues connected with democracy, democratization and conflicts
- understand current conflicts, be able to propose a suitable solution of them, or to predict them and prevent them from happening
- identify key actors of the process of democratization and conflicts
- assess the quality of democracy at national and international level (to compare it in international perspective)
- carry out their own research in the field of democracy, democratization and conflicts
Applicants should submit the following:
A completed application form in the Masaryk University information system (the online form is active from 1 Feb-30 April for fall semester admission and from 1 Sept-30 Nov for spring semester admission—select Conflict and Democracy Studies) and fill in the application form.
Bachelor’s degree certificate (or documentation indicating that the applicant will receive such a diploma by the time of enrollment in the program). Proof of qualifications (diploma copy certified by an authorised university office or a public notary) including a final transcript of records. A diploma or transcript of records not issued in English or Czech should be accompanied by an official English language translation, stamped and signed by an authorised translator or university office.
A copy of the final transcript (record of courses and grades) in the original language, accompanied by an official English language translation (when necessary).
A statement of purpose (of approximately 500 words) outlining the applicant’s intellectual background and presenting his or her motivation for applying for the program.Unless otherwise indicated, all application materials should be in English.
Certificate of proficiency in English. You may be asked to demonstrate your English proficiency e.g. in a video conference interview.
Letter of recommendation by a former university or college teacher.
The graduates of the program receive the training necessary for a successful professional realization 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 realization are provided by the institutions of the European Union, as well as by other international organizations.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated November 7, 2017