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*Developing Dynamics of Democracy

Prague, Czech Republic

IntroductionAcademicsLocation Faculty program director CostsDatesApplication

 

Introduction

The MU International Center sponsors this summer, faculty-led program in collaboration with Department of Political Science and Truman School of Public Affairs. MU professor Mary Stegmaier will lead this three-week program in Prague, Czech Republic.

Examine democratic governance in theory and practice through this study abroad course in the heart of Europe — Prague, Czech Republic. In this course, you will consider what defines a democracy and the ways in which democratic institutions vary across countries. You will learn about the trajectories of democracy in post-communist Central Europe, covering the revolutions in 1989, the complexities of the democratic and economic transitions, and the governance variations we observe today. You will consider how differences in democratic institutions (parliamentary systems vs. presidential systems), electoral systems (proportional representation vs. single-member districts), and party systems affect political representation, quality of governance and policy outcomes. In assessing this, you will compare the U.S. to the Czech Republic and other European countries. In addition to in-class meetings, course excursions in the Prague region will deepen your appreciation of history, culture and politics in the Czech Republic.

Academics

Courses

You will be enrolled in one MU course for a total of three credits. This course can be used for capstone credit and can count toward a minor in American Constitutional Democracy.

POLI SC 4840/PUB AF 7001: Developing Dynamics of Democracy (3) — In this course, you will consider what defines a democracy and the ways in which democratic institutions vary across countries. You will learn about the trajectories of democracy in post-communist Central Europe, covering the revolutions in 1989, the complexities of the democratic and economic transitions, and the governance variations we observe today. You will consider how differences in democratic institutions (parliamentary systems vs. presidential systems), electoral systems (proportional representation vs. single-member districts), and party systems affect political representation, quality of governance and policy outcomes. In assessing this, you will compare the U.S. to the Czech Republic and other European countries. In addition to in-class meetings, course excursions in the Prague region will deepen your appreciation of history, culture and politics in the Czech Republic.

Academic credit

You will be enrolled in actual MU courses. You are guaranteed to receive MU credit for successfully completed courses; however, you must work with your academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how courses might fulfill degree requirements.

MU students: Grades will calculate into your MU GPA and appear on your MU transcript when grades are recorded by the faculty program director. You must work with your academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how the courses might fulfill degree requirements.

Non-MU/visiting students: Transcripts will be issued from MU and can be mailed to your home university. You must work with your home university to determine how credit from the program will transfer. The MU International Center will issue one transcript per student to one domestic address, as indicated on your Non-MU Student Application for Study Abroad. Additional MU transcripts for study abroad must be requested and purchased from the MU Registrar.

Location

Accommodations and meals

You will stay in shared rooms in centrally-located apartments with access to kitchen and laundry facilities. Some group dinners are included in the program cost; you will be responsible for all other meals on your own.

Host cities and surrounding areas

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is known as the City of a Hundred Spires and ranks among the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has long been at the crossroads of the most important trading routes, as well as a cultural and political center in Europe. One of its major landmarks, Charles Bridge, symbolizes the historical connection between the east and west that made Prague a place where elements of Slavic, German, Italian and Jewish cultures merged to create a picturesque city. The historic center of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1992, and its lower cost of living makes it a popular European tourist destination.

Faculty program director

MU faculty member Mary Stegmaier, associate professor and interim vice provost for International Programs, will accompany the students to the Czech Republic.

Faculty-led programs enrich the study abroad experience as well as the MU campus by providing students with opportunities to study other cultures and disciplines in depth while gaining new perspectives on our own society. Faculty leaders serve as mentors, role-models and resources as students explore their host institution and country.

Mary Stegmaier

Mary Stegmaier

Dr. Mary Stegmaier is an associate professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs and interim vice provost for International Programs. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa. Prior to coming to MU, Stegmaier was an assistant dean in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Science at the University of Virginia. Her research concentrates on elections, voting behavior in the U.S. and abroad, with an emphasis on Europe. Her articles have appeared in a variety of academic journals, including Public Choice, Electoral Studies, East European Politics and Societies, and the Annual Review of Political Science. In addition to academic articles, she has also published in the Washington Post, the Brookings Institution blog and the London School of Economics blog. Stegmaier has extensive international work and research experience. She has spent time teaching and conducting research in the Czech Republic, and has served as an international election observer in Macedonia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. She has also led spring break programs for students to Prague and Brussels.

Costs

Program budget

Additional expenses

In addition to the program costs paid to MU, you will have expenses associated with international travel and living abroad. The amounts listed are estimated costs based on current exchange rates and on the information provided to us by your host institution and past participants. Depending on your personal spending habits, you may spend more or less than the figures provided.

Please note that these expenses do not include vacation travel or sightseeing.

Financial aid information

If you are awarded financial aid for study abroad, it will be applied to your MU account according to the regular financial aid disbursement schedule. Reminder: You must be enrolled in study abroad and have completed the required financial aid forms for study abroad in order to be considered for aid.

Because non-resident tuition charges apply, MU students should be eligible to use non-resident scholarships toward program costs.

Dates and deadlines

Term Application deadline Program start Program end
Summer 2019 02/15/2019 05/20/2019 06/14/2019
Summer 2020 02/15/2020 05/26/2020 06/12/2020

Application

We are delighted that you are applying to study abroad. This is the first step of your journey, and while there is a lot to do, it should not be overwhelming. Once you start an application for the program, you will have an electronic checklist to help you through the process. In addition, our study abroad staff are available to answer your questions.

  1. Meet with the International Center study abroad adviser listed in the program snapshot if you have any questions.
  2. Start an application using the button below if you are an MU student.
    • Non-MU students should visit our page for non-MU participants for more information about the application process.
    • Once you have started an application, you can return to it later by logging in to myStudyAbroad (see the button at the top of the page).
  3. Complete and submit your application.
  4. Receive your admissions decision within 7–10 business days.

Note: If you do not have an MU PawPrint, please review our instructions for Non-MU (visiting) students.

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