TFAS Prague

Come to TFAS Prague to join more than 100 young leaders from North America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia and explore fundamental issues related to political philosophy, political economy, and conflict management. Accredited through Charles University, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities, the three-week long academic program challenges participants to engage in dialogue with a diverse group of peers, faculty, and guest lectures in the classroom and as they experience Prague together.

TFAS Prague students in Wenceslas Square
ACADEMICS

The program’s academic goal is to engage students in a thorough and philosophical examination of government, economics, society and culture, and conflict management. The interdisciplinary course is divided into four components and taught by a team of professors from prestigious universities in the United States who will give daily reading assignments which students are expected to complete.  Classes are scheduled in the mornings and afternoons, and students will receive 9 ECTS credit hours (equivalent to 4.5 U.S. credit hours) from Charles University upon successful completion of the program.


Ibrahim Almarashi Headshot

Ibrahim Al-Marashi, California State University San Marcos

professor, conflict management

Professor Mike Collins

Michael J. Collins, Georgetown University

professor, the good society

Adam Martin Headshot

Adam Martin, Texas Tech University

professor, political Economy

Josh Mitchell headshot

Joshua Mitchell, Georgetown University

professor, political philosophy

Ibrahim Al-Marashi

Ibrahim Al-Marashi is an Associate Professor of Middle East History at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). Formally, he taught courses on Conflict Resolution in the Middle East, and Conflict Resolution and the Media at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, and at the UN University of Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica. He has worked with organizations such as UNDP, UNESCO, and other NGOs on developing media in post-conflict environments, particularly Iraq.

His research deals with the security issues in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, and is the co-author of Iraq’s Armed Forces: An Analytical History (Routledge, 2008) and The Modern History of Iraq (Westview, 2017), and the Modern History of the Middle East (Routledge 2018).

He obtained his D.Phil. at University of Oxford, completing a thesis on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He is also a 2001 graduate of TFAS’ Institute for Political and Economic Studies (IIPES) convened in Chania, Greece. Ibrahim is an Iraqi-American who lived at various times in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey, and has travelled extensively through the Middle East, Balkans, East Africa, and South Asia.

Michael J. Collins

Dr. Michael Collins began his tenure at Georgetown University in August, 1981, as Dean of the School for Summer and Continuing Education. As Dean, Dr. Collins was responsible for administering the graduate and undergraduate courses offered each summer at Georgetown and at locations abroad. He also oversaw a variety of continuing education courses and programs throughout the year, including the graduate and undergraduate degree programs in liberal studies, the Alumni College, and a variety of non-credit courses and certificate programs for the personal and professional development of adults. He was also responsible for the various academic and residential programs at Villa Le Balze, Georgetown’s study center in Fiesole, Italy, and, for several years, the Office of International Programs.

In 2003, Dr. Collins was appointed Distinguished Professor in the Department of English and Dean Emeritus. He has taught courses on such subjects Shakespeare, the American Idea, and Modern British Theater in Georgetown College and the Liberal Studies Program. He lectures frequently in American studies and on Shakespeare in performance. He is on the faculty of the Bryce Harlow Institute of Business and Government Affairs and taught for sixteen years in the International Institute for Political and Economic Systems in Greece. He has published many articles on Shakespeare, modern poetry, and teaching and has edited three collections of essays: Text and Teaching(with Francis J. Ambrosio), Shakespeare’s Sweet Thunder, and Reading What’s There. Collins earned a Ph.D. (1973) and M.A. (1964) from New York University and a B.S. degree from Fordham College (1963). He served as a Captain in the United States Army from 1965 to 1968.

Adam Martin

Adam Martin is Political Economy Research Fellow at the Free Market Institute and an associate professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University. Dr. Martin earned his B.A. in economics and theology from the University of Dallas and his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. Prior to joining Texas Tech University, he was a lecturer in political economy and leader of the Rationality, Choice and Uncertainty Research Group at King’s College London.

Dr. Martin has also served as a post-doctoral fellow at the Development Research Institute at New York University and has been a visitor at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University and the Social Ontology Group at Cambridge University.

Dr. Martin’s research interests include Austrian economics, economic methodology, economic development, and public choice. After receiving his Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2009, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Development Research Institute at New York University. He has also been a visitor at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke and the Social Ontology Group at Cambridge.

Dr. Martin is a co-founder of the Carl Menger Undergraduate Essay Contest run by the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics. More information about him and about the contest can be found at his personal website, www.adamgmartin.com.

Joshua Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell is currently a professor of political theory. He has been Chairman of the Government Department and also Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs at SFS-Q. During the 2008-2010 academic years, Dr. Mitchell took leave from Georgetown University, and was Acting Chancellor of The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani. His research interest lies in the relationship between political thought and theology in the West.

He has published articles in The Review of Politics, The Journal of Politics, The Journal of Religion, APSR, and Polticial Theory. In 1993, his book, “Not by Reason Alone: Religion, History and Identity in Early Modern Political Thought,” was published by the University of Chicago Press. A second book, “The Fragility of Freedom: Tocqueville on Religion, Democracy, and American Future,” was published in 1995, also by the University of Chicago Press. Dr. Mitchell’s book, “Plato’s Fable: On the Moral Condition in Shadowy Times,” was published by Princeton University Press in 2006. The University of Chicago Press will publish his book, “Tocqueville in Arabia: Dilemmas of the Democratic Age,” in August 2013. He is currently working on a book-length manuscript entitled, “Reinhold Niebuhr and the Politics of Hope.”

He has recently completed a book-length manuscript entitled, Identity Politics: An American Awakening, Without God, and Without Forgiveness.

Political Economy
This course component will examine the structure and functions of a market economy in the context of such fundamental issues as free trade, the role of government in the economy, and private property rights. Students will not only discuss economic theory, but also analyze economic strategy in real world political situations.

TFAS Prague Guest Speaker

Political Philosophy
This component of the course will study the principles of democracy and market economics, and apply those principles to the region. Lectures will contrast the features of democratic and authoritarian regimes and evaluate the economic, international and political benefits of democracy. Students also will discuss frameworks for developing and sustaining civil societies in the countries of the region.

The Good Society
This component will examine various historical writings of influential people, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, former Czech President Vaclav Havel, and Nobel Prize Winning Irish author Seamus Heaney amongst others. Students will examine the texts in depth in order to understand the messages of the authors and see how they can be applied both in their countries and in the wider world.

Conflict Management
This course component will examine the role of the international community in reducing violent conflicts. Lectures and readings will analyze the politics of international conflict management, the roles played by states and international organizations, and examine relevant concepts offered by a variety of theories from the social sciences.

As a TFAS Prague participant, you will have many opportunities to see the sights and discover the history that give Prague it’s unique charm, including excursions to enjoy the landmarks, heritage, and stunning architecture of this European capital.

Walking Tour of Prague
On one of the first days of the program, students go on a walking tour of the beautiful, historical city, including sites such as the grounds of Prague Castle, the narrow streets of Staré Město (Old Town), the statue of St. John of Nepomuk on the Charles Bridge and the world famous Prague Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square.

Students gathered in Old Town Square during walking tour.

Cultural Presentations
During this annual event, students showcase their countries or cultures through traditional dance, costumes, songs, poems and cuisine. This is a unique opportunity for students to share their traditions and provide information for others to come and visit their homelands. Each group is given 2-3 minutes to prepare something entertaining for every student to enjoy.

Bowling Night
Towards the beginning of TFAS Prague, students will gather at a local bowling alley to get to know each other and to exercise their bowling skills.

Alumni Panel
Every summer a group of TFAS Prague alumni returns to Prague sharing their academic and professional experiences with the current class. The alumni serve on a professional/career development panel and then spend the weekend during the institute further cultivating networks between the alumni and current TFAS Prague class.

Accommodation + Meals
As part of TFAS Prague you will live in Charles University dorms located a short distance from downtown Prague. The dorms are fully furnished, apartment style suites. Each suite has three rooms (with two single beds in each room) and one bathroom that six students will share. There is wireless internet available in the lobby of the dorm and internet cable ports in each room. The dorm has washing machines located throughout the building.

TFAS Prague students taking the metro between campus and the dorms.

Transportation
Students have convenient access to explore the city and go to class using public transportation, as the dorms and the university classroom are located near metro stops. The Prague Main Train Station and Main Bus Station are also easy to get to from the dorms using the Prague Metro system.

Neighborhood
The neighborhood surrounding the dorms is home to many of the technically oriented faculties of Charles University as well as a variety of shops, restaurants, coffee houses, and pubs.

By taking the metro a few short stops, you could find yourself walking through the grounds of Prague Castle, strolling along the streets of Malá Strana (Lesser Town), crossing the Vlatava River on the famous Charles Bridge, exploring Staré Město (Old Town), gazing at the Prague Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square, or walking through Wenceslas Square, the site of historic protests during the Prague Spring of 1968 and the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

Please note this schedule gives an idea of the program’s general structure and is subject to change. Participants will receive the final schedule prior to the start of TFAS Prague.

Sat
2:00PM – 6:00PMRegistration
7:00PM – 8:00PMGroup Dinner
8:00PM – 9:00PMWelcome Orientation I
Sun
10:20AM – 11:00AMDepart with Staff to Classroom
11:00AM – 1:00PMOrientation II
2:30PM – 6:00PMGroup Activities
Mon
9:20AMDepart with Staff to Classroom
10:00AM – 11:15AMThe Good Society Lecture 1
11:15AM – 11:30AMBreak
11:30AM – 12:45PMPolitical Economy Lecture 1
1:00PM – 2:15PMLunch
2:45PM – 4:00PMThe Good Society: Lecture 2
4:00PM – 4:15PMBreak
4:15PM – 5:30PMConflict Management Lecture 1
5:30PM – 8:30PMWalking Tour of Prague
Tue
10:00AM – 11:15AMThe Good Society Lecture 3
11:15AM – 11:30AMBreak
11:30AM – 12:45PMPolitical Economy Lecture 2
1:00PM – 2:15PMLunch
2:45PM – 4:00PMThe Good Society: Lecture 4
4:00PM – 4:15PMBreak
4:15PM – 5:30PMConflict Management Lecture 2
8:00PM – 11:30PMBowling
Wed
10:00AM – 11:15AMThe Good Society Lecture 4
11:15AM – 11:30AMBreak
11:30AM – 12:45PMPolitical Economy Lecture 3
1:00PM – 2:15PMLunch
2:45PM – 4:00PMThe Good Society: Lecture 5
4:00PM – 4:15PMBreak
4:15PM – 5:30PMConflict Management Lecture 3
Thurs
10:00AM – 11:15AMThe Good Society Lecture Breakout
11:15AM – 11:30AMBreak
11:30AM – 12:45PMThe Good Society Lecture Breakout
1:00PM – 2:15PMLunch
2:45PM – 4:00PMPolitical Economy Lecture 4
4:00PM – 4:15PMBreak
4:15PM – 5:30PMConflict Management Lecture 4
8:00PM – 11:30PMBowling
Fri
10:00AM – 11:15AMPolitical Economy Lecture 5
11:15AM – 11:30AMBreak
11:30AM – 12:45PMPolitical Economy Lecture 6
1:00PM – 2:15PMLunch
2:45PM – 4:00PMThe Good Society: Lecture 6
4:00PM – 4:15PMBreak
4:15PM – 5:30PMThe Good Society: Lecture 7