Department of International Relations

Department of International Relations

Department of International Relations (Katedra mezinárodních vztahů, KMV) was established in 1994, with the aim of developing a specialization in International Relations. Since its inception, the Department provided an M.A. and a Ph.D. study program in International Relations and, simultaneously, it participated at the B.A. program Political Science and International Relations. In 2007, the Department offered a new M.A. program in Security Studies, which was since 2012 accompanied with its English-taught variant entitled as the Master in International Security Studies. In 2015, part of its members left the Department to set up a new Department of Security Studies within the Institute of Political Studies, which also took over both Master’s programs in security studies.

Nowadays, the KMV pursues, in the first place, the Master’s program in International Relations, both in its Czech version (Mezinárodní vztahy, MV) and, since 2015, also in its English version (Master in International Relations, MAIN). The Department’s utmost priority is to keep and further strengthen the program’s complex character, covering the majority of the main spheres of international relations. The program’s core consists of theories of international relations, international institutions, international security, and international economic relations. The mandatory courses also involve a course on international law, which simultaneously belongs to one of the elective specializations within the program’s final state exam. A considerable part of the program’s courses is devoted to European integration and the programs allows for a formal specialization in this area.

Apart from the Master’s program, the Department runs, in co-operation with the Department of Security Studies, the doctoral program in International Relations, and keeps contributing to the teaching in the Bachelor’s program of Political Science and International Relations.

In its professional profile and research, the KMV as a small-size institution concentrates on two tightly inter-related fields, namely global institutions and European integration. Concerning global institutions, a number of publications originating in the Department dealt with the general functioning, design, and effectiveness of international institutions. Most recently, the Department’s activity in this area has concentrated on an original research of a few substantial questions concerning the functioning the World Trade Organization (WTO).

As for European integration, the Department’s members have built an outstanding publication record in this field, with a number of articles published in the main international impact-factor journals in European Studies (European Union Politics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Integration, Journal of European Public Policy, West European Politics). These publications contributed in particular to the research on the decision-making process in EU Council and on the involvement of national parliaments in EU decision-making.

Besides this empirical focus, the research carried out in the Department is marked with the use of relevant theoretical and methodological approaches. A large part of the Department’s members associate themselves with the currently dominant, analytically oriented line of research on international institutions, as it has been evolving approximately since the 1980s in the USA and in a number of Western and Northern European countries. They seek to enrich this research line, in a cumulative manner, especially with new and original empirical findings about on the specific fields of selected institutions. This research orientation naturally has its manifestation in the otherwise complexly conceived of Master’s study program and, in this way, provides the program with a feature that is, in the Czech environment, distinctly unique.

Head of the Department is Assoc. Prof. Jan Karlas, his Deputy is Dr. Michal Parízek. The Academic supervisor of the Master’s program is J. Karlas, who is assisted by M. Parízek (Admissions Coordinator). The coordinator for students is Mgr. Viera Martinková, Ph.D.