Field of studies : Interdisciplinary Studies on Social Change: Mediterranean and Other European Borderlands (ISSC)
Form of studies: full-time, second cycle
Responsible units: University of Warsaw „Artes Liberales” Faculty and University of Warsaw Centre of Migration Research.
Language of instruction: English and Spanish or Italian
ISSC are studies offering broad understanding of sociocultural issues, describing problems and challenges faced by the modern world, in perspective of Poland, the borderland and the Mediterranean. Courses are conducted by scientists working at the „Artes Liberales” Faculty and at the Centre of Migration Research, who also carry out research in the areas of interest of ISSC studies.
Program combines the following elements:
- extensive familiarity with books and research („the canon”) in the field of sociocultural sciences and critical thinking skills;
- in-depth interdisciplinarity allowing to prepare for future academic career and operating in the highly competitive and dynamic labour market;
- methodological discipline, regarding both quantitative and qualitative approach, as well as various research methods typical of cultural science , sociological science, political science, economy;
- participation in the research process;
- cultural awareness and language skills - compulsory linguistic-cultural module (languages: Italian, Spanish and English) is a significant component of the didactic offer.
Studies are highly individualized: students will be able to choose from among seminars, lectures and monographic discussion sessions, workshops and cultural-linguistic classes. This allows each student to create a different program, adjusted to individual needs and expectations. We provide three main thematic pathways and two linguistic pathways - Italian and Spanish.
Main themes of studies:
- Subject matter: the issue of mobility / liquidity / variability and various dimensions of contemporary and future crises;
- Pathway 1: country / sovereignty / institutions (a model of sovereign authority, national state, population managing, globalization, institutions);
- Pathway 2: social change and identity (social movements, revolutions, wars, post-modern condition, post-colonialism, religion, liberalism / individualism);
- Pathway 3: risks and crises (historical and contemporary crises, the idea and dimensions of risk, risks / crises) taking three perspectives into account:
- methods (managing and authority relations),
- institutions’ perspective and
- individual perspective (e.g. of migrants or other mobile persons).
Other raised issues include for example: fluid life, security, risk, crisis, state of emergency, disaster; (illustrative subjects: climate catastrophe, mass global and local migrations, authority of science in the culture of post-truth, democracy quality, new social movements, hybrid wars, global threats to public health (pandemics), precarity, work automation, digitization, global economic crises, demographic aging, inequalities and social mobility); lessons from the past: ancient and modern standards of politics / society / entity, revolutions and social changes, role of knowledge and philosophy.
Types of classes:
- seminars (conducted in tandems);
- linguistic modules (consisting in acquiring language skills and cultural competences at the same time);
- methodological workshops: methods of cultural studies research and methods of social research;
- lectures and monographic discussion panels, often monodisciplinary and detailed;
- optionally - intensive courses offered by leading researchers from abroad (in close connection with thematic pathways) and serving useful purpose (e.g. academic writing).
The graduate will acquire extensive humanistic knowledge and basic social knowledge. They will ultimately have a high level of skills regarding interdisciplinary approach to cultural and social issues; they will understand the meaning, but also problems with regard to intercultural communication; they will acquire many soft skills (teamwork, creativity, ability to learn efficiently, ability to present one’s ideas and views in speech and in writing, ability to collect, categorize and synthesize data, especially digital data). They will also acquire extensive language skills (the linguistic-cultural module). They will additionally acquire the ability to obtain / use / interpret / visualize - in a conscious and reflective manner - different types of data, including the so called big data regarding complex social phenomena such as crisis situations, identity issues, migrations, inequalities, or demographic changes.
The graduate will have the possibility to acquire practical skills useful both in the potential future research work and in the labour market:
- the ability to plan / prepare / carry out the research process;
- the ability to process and visualize data in an innovative manner;
- the ability to link knowledge regarding social processes with evidence-based policies.
The graduate equipped with such competences will be prepared to work for state cultural and social institutions and for non-governmental organizations of similar profile, for companies and institutions dealing with culture animation and introducing to the culture of other countries, as well as for companies and institutions looking for intercultural contacts specialists.
The condition to admission to the list of students is to get at least half of the points that can be obtained from the exam or the interview, whereas the result must also qualify the candidate for the ranking list within the admission limit provided for the given registration round.
Basis of qualification:
Stationary qualification exam
Languages of conducting the qualification:
From the following reading list candidates have to choose three texts (one text from each Part) and study them in order to prepare for the interview. The interview will be based on the issues raised on three chosen texts. Candidates should be able to analyze those texts, particularly to refer to the main arguments they contain as well as interpret them.
Texts are available via the links below, or at the ISSC website: https://issc.al.uw.edu.pl/ (pdf files).
Part I – Fundamentals of Politics
- Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, fragment: Pericles' Funeral Oration (full text) available online
- Plato, Republic, Book VII (Cave Allegory), available online
- Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Machiavelli, chapters 14-19, available online
Part II – Society and Risk
- J. O. Zinn (2020) “Understanding Risk-taking” Critical Studies in Risk and Uncertainty. Palgrave Mcmillan (Chapter 1), available at the ISSC website: https://issc.al.uw.edu.pl/
- Nick Bostrom, Milan M. Ćirković, Global Catastrophic Risks, OUP: 2008 (Chapter 6. Observation selection effects and global catastrophic risks, Milan M. Cirkovic and Chapter 7. Systems-based risk analysis, Yacov Y. Haimes), available at the ISSC website: https://issc.al.uw.edu.pl/
- Luciano Floridi, The Fourth Revolution: How the infosphere is reshaping human reality, OUP: 2014. (Chapter 4. Self-Understanding: The Four Revolutions and Chapter 8. Politics: The Rise of the Multi-Agent Systems), available at the ISSC website: https://issc.al.uw.edu.pl/
Part III – Society and Economy
- Mazzucato, Mariana. 2018. The Value of Everything. Making and Taking in the Global Economy. London/New York: The Penguin Press (Introduction and Chapter 1), available at the ISSC website: https://issc.al.uw.edu.pl/
- Thaler, Richard H., Sunstein Cass R. 2008. Nudge. Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness. New Haven & London: Yale University Press (Chapters 3 and 4), available at the ISSC website: https://issc.al.uw.edu.pl/
- Kate Crawford, Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence, Yale UP: 2021 (Introduction, Chapter 6. State and Conclusion. Power), available at the ISSC website: https://issc.al.uw.edu.pl/
Qualification exam: 8th of July, 2022, 00-312 Warsaw, Dobra 72
Announcement of results: 19th of July, 2022
Reception of documents: 20th-22nd of July, 2022
Candidate from the Ukraine is exempted from the obligation of submitting legalization, apostille and sworn translation of high school/higher education diploma issued in foreign language. Candidate from the Ukraine submits regular translation of these documents.
Limit of places available in this round of admission: 8