Course Objectives | Summer University
Prague Area Studies | Faculty | University

Course Objectives

The world has begun to change in recent years, precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent political and security crises in many parts of the world. Conflicts, raising social and political polarisation and the redefinition of the role of international institutions have become part of today's reality and need to be seriously addressed. Already at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the term 'polycrisis', a series of multiple crises occurring in parallel, was beginning to emerge and brought steady instability into national politics and societies. Thus, the reality of the Western world has become one of increasing social conflict and political polarisation, leading to the destabilisation of traditional values and of traditional institutions. The Russian aggression in Ukraine and the threat to geopolitical stability in Europe, and the presence of a large-scale military conflict outside the gates of the European Union, have had an extremely strong impact. The very position of the United States of America, as the traditional guarantor of European security, is being shaken ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections. In this situation, the traditional world of functional institutions (UN, NATO etc), relationships and values is gradually becoming diluted. Hybrid threats, fake news and the growing influence of disinformation on entire societies are increasingly mentioned.

The key objective of the Summer School 2024 is to understand the reasons for the emergence of conflicts in the contemporary world with examples of contemporary types of conflicts in the world (the Post-Soviet space, the Balkans, the Middle East). Related to this is an understanding of the reasons for social and political polarisation - both in European society and in the United States. Populism is partly behind the polarisation itself - it is therefore necessary to understand its origins and patterns. The result will be an understanding of the reasons for the gradual redefinition of the world order and the role of international institutions, including the rising role of other countries with ambitions of increasing influence such as China or other BRICKS members.

The Summer School was established in 2009 and has been offering a quality course for international students ever since. In the preparation and implementation of the course we ensure a high level of both academic and accompanying programmes and the overall satisfaction of the students. We place great importance on student evaluations and try to improve the courses based on them every session. 

The Summer University 2024 is an interdisciplinary course that combines multiple learning methods. Its learning space is divided into asynchronous and synchronous components. Synchronous learning involves lectures and in-class discussions. Asynchronous learning, via Moodle, is designed to facilitate both individual preparation and group projects. The course includes an online reader. Our teaching methods encourage the students to apply the knowledge they gain from reading various texts in academic journals in a practical way. Lectures, group projects, discussions, and reading help students develop critical thinking about potential solutions for the problems faced by international politics today. In group projects and discussions, students will have an opportunity to express their personal opinions and demonstrate their knowledge during the course. Students will practice their soft skills and develop their ability to discuss contentious topics in a diverse environment composed of students from various countries who hold different views, and potentially come to agreement. Students will learn to express themselves well and cooperate with other students in an open international university environment.

After attending the course, students should: