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 challenging coursework will give students the academic background necessary to become influential policymakers and global leaders of tomorrow.
The intense academic program includes course components covering political economy, political philosophy, and conflict management. The lectures and readings connect scientific, theoretical, and philosophical analyses with the hope that students will apply what they learn at TFAS Prague when they return to their home countries.
The course is accredited by Charles University and all classes are held in one of Charles University's Social Science classroom buildings that is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Prague.
The central part of TFAS Prague is an interdisciplinary academic course that is divided into four components: Political Economy, Political Philosophy, The Good Society, and Conflict Management. The course is 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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Adam Martin
Assistant Professor/Department of Agricultural and Applied Sciences
Political Economy Research Fellow-Free Market Institute
Texas Tech 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.
Adam 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.
Dr. Joshua Mitchell
Professor, Georgetown University
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.
The Good Society
Dr. Michael J. Collins
Professor of English
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.
Dr. Collins was awarded the Edmund J. Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching at Georgetown in 2007 and was nominated for the College Dean’s Teaching Award in 2008.
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Marashi
Associate Professor of Middle East History
California State University San Marcos
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.
Dr. Pavol Demeš
Pavol Demeš is an internationally recognized NGO leader based in Bratislava, Slovakia. Prior to the "Velvet Revolution" in November 1989, Demeš was a bio-medical researcher at Comenius University in Bratislava. He is a graduate of Charles University in Prague (1980). After democratic changes in 1989 he served as the Executive Director of the Slovak Academic Information Agency-Service Center for the Third Sector, a leading NGO in the country. He also served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Slovak Republic (1993-97), and from 1991-92 he was the Slovak Minister of International Relations. In 1999 he was awarded a six-month public policy research fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. Since 2000 until September 2010 he was the Director for Central and Eastern Europe of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Now he is non-resident senior fellow with GMF US. He is also external advisor to the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and was elected to the executive committee of the European Endowment for Democracy. He is accomplished photographer and author.
The EU-US Democracy and Civil Society Award (1998)
USAID Democracy and Governance Award (1999)
Royal Dutch decoration Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau (2005)
Yugoslav Star of First Class (2005)
South East Europe Media Organization Human Rights Award (2009)
Medal of Honor from the Friends of Slovakia (2011)
Dr. Ivan Mikloš
Ivan Mikloš is former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic (2002-2006, 2010-2012), Deputy Prime Minister for Economy (1998-2002), and Minister of Privatization (1991-1992). He co-founded and led a think-tank MESA10 (1992-1998). During 2006-2010 and 2012-2016 he was a Member of Parliament. In 2014 he was appointed as President of MESA10 and became a member of the International Advisory Board of National Reform Council of Ukraine and VoxUkraine. Until April 2016 he served as a Chief Advisor to the Minister of Finance of Ukraine and as an Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. Since April 2016 he serves as a Head of the Group of Advisers to the Prime Minister of Ukraine and Co-chairman of the Strategic Advisory Group for Support of Ukrainian Reforms, as well as a member of the National Reform Council of Ukraine.
He was one of the leading figures of economic transformation in Slovakia. Ivan Mikloš significantly contributed to the entry of the Slovak Republic into the OECD and started an extensive and effective tax reform. He led the government agenda on economic restructuring and fiscal consolidation. The second Dzurinda´s government (2002-2006) gained a very reformist reputation thanks to severe austerity measures and a comprehensive program of structural reforms (tax, social sector, pension, healthcare, public finance, labour market) backed by Ivan Mikloš. Thanks to these reforms Slovakia was able to join Eurozone in 2009. In 2004 he was awarded by Euromoney the best Minister of Finance of the Year and the top business reformer by the World Bank´s Doing Business report. Ivan Mikloš is the author of the Book of reforms (2005), Rewriting the Rule (2001) and also of dozens of studies and articles in the expert and popular press.