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Security and Society
A Flexible Course for the Modern Age
in the Heart of Central Europe

Security and Society is a wide-ranging program designed to take full advantage of Poland's many educational opportunities and provide students with a new perspective on global issues. This program is both an intensive and flexible experience - and one that is highly supportive of opportunities for personal and professional growth, including focussed research, internships, and independent travel in the region.

The semester offering focuses on Security and Society in the Information Age. We examine current issues such cybersecurity, information warfare, and how new and social media are changing the face of modern democracies. The Summer School session takes a broad but intensive approach looking at traditional and contemporary security issues. These range from maintaining international partnerships to developing domestic criminal justice and healthy ecological, demographic, entrepreneurial, and civic environments. Both semester and summer sessions offer a look at a case-study of one of the worst security failures of modern history: the Holocaust.

Security and Society is based in Warsaw, Poland, an excellent vantage to study all these issues. Poland was partitioned and dominated by foreign rule multiple times and suffered some of worst atrocities of WWII and the Holocaust. Taking its security issues particularly seriously, Poland has, in its post-Communist era, rapidly improved its economy and ecology, worked to build inclusive political and civic structures, and has taken active leadership roles in its region and in the wider EU.

This program is for students of sociology, political science, journalism, history, and computer science who are interested in better understanding security issues as they exist in today's world. This program is excellent preparation for a range of graduate programs, including security  studies, homeland security, international relations, urban planning, and law enforcement. Students will gain a powerful understanding of the modern world that surrounds them and how to build effective careers whether they be in government, the private sector, NGOs, or academia.

This program offers a wide range of internship opportunities in areas related to all of the fields of study offered. Knowledge of Polish language is not required.

IMPORTANT: The Security and Society programs have a separate application system hosted by Collegium Civitas. Please register here on the SRAS site and/or contact us - in either case indicating your interest in these programs - and we will send you instructions.



- Full Details -

Full details for both the
semester and summer options of this program
may be found below.

Semester / Full Year Program
Security and Society in the Information Age
Dates, Costs, and Curriculum

- Dates and Costs -

Semester: $9,750
     Fall, 2016: TBA  (Apply by May 15, 2016)
     Spring, 2017: TBA  (Apply by Nov 20, 2016)

Note on Fall Semester: dates follow the Polish academic schedule. Exams may be taken early (as early as December 20) or remotely if students need to return home earlier. Contact SRAS to find out how.

Full Year: $18 500
TBA  (Apply by June 25, 2016)


- Course Descriptions -
full descriptions also available in PDF (7 MB) 

Required Seminar (choose one):

New Media and Society
The seminar discusses the multiple connections between media, technology, and society. How is the media shaped by cultural, political, and economic forces? How do new technologies (ICTs) change the media, society and the relationships between them? New media are helping to shape our understanding of ourselves, our society, and our world. Our new society cannot be fully understood without an understanding of new media. 
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

Cybersecurity and Information Strategies
This seminar will encompass some of the most pressing issues of the changing landscape of international security. Students will analyse the evolution of threats on the national and international levels. They will engage in research on national and international cybersecurity, including cyberspace as means of mass communication and a way to influence political processes. They will also discuss changes to conflict management and strategy in both kinetic conflicts and asymmetric conflicts affected by the introduction of advanced communications and command and control systems to the modern battlefield.
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

Jewish Studies
Field trips, film viewings, and meetings with the witnesses of history will be held and discussed. Many topics presented during lectures and field trips will be highly controversial and students will be encouraged to ask and discuss difficult questions. This seminar will also be a forum to discuss the personal essays that will be written for all other courses in program.
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none


Electives: You may select up to nine electives per semester for a full-time load of 30 ECTS (15 US semester credits).

Required Core Electives (choose at least two related to your seminar choice):
Students may select any courses from the list below.

New Media

New Media and Democracy: Case Studies
This course will analyze digitally-mediated protest movements in post-communist Europe as case studies for understanding modern processes of democratization. Recent Ukrainian anti-authoritarian protests will be discussed to see how the Internet can support civic engagement and activism. We will try to understand the phenomenon of state propaganda in the digital age, based on the example of today’s Russia. We will analyze comparative data on Internet penetration in the region, trust toward the media, human rights rankings and other relevant research data to better understand the link between new media and democracy. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to the seminar by making their own mini-case studies based on the relevant publications and studies available online. 
4 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

New Media in Socio-Political Context
Digital natives (persons born into the digital society) are changing the old paradigm of politicians, journalists and campaign organizers reaching for the undecided center with the help of the old media (radio, TV, newspapers, and traditional advertisements). Now, they increasingly build coalitions of different digital “tribes.” Facebook and Twitter “armies” move campaigns, revolutions, and political movements, and they even play a role in real military conflicts. The new media are also reshaping the way the digital natives think about issues such as rights, privacy, and political ideologies. This course will focus on insights based on readings from some of the major theorists of media (Giovani Satori, Michel Maffesoli, Don Tapscott, Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, Joshua Green, and others). More practically, particular techniques used in campaigns and cause-based movements will be analyzed.
4 ECTS credits.
** Prerequisites: none


Cybersecurity and Information Strategy

Theory of Information Strategy
Focus on modern information security threats and gain insight into disinformation and propaganda issues. This course will also encompass information asset protection, confidential information and counterintelligence. It will take into consideration new technologies influencing gathering, processing, and distributing governmental and commercial information.
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

Cyberspace as a New Security Domain
Explore the intertwined functioning of “real life” and “virtual reality” in physical, technological, political and social dimensions. Gain insights into net-centric warfare and use of new technologies in law enforcement activities.
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

Terrorism and Other Threats to International Security
Study international terrorism as one of the most prominent modern threats to national and international security. This course will introduce the international security environment of new, non-state actors, changes to international law, changes to national security systems, and the especially dangerous asymmetric dimension of terrorism.
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none


Jewish Studies

Holocaust and Genocide
This course will combine lectures on the genocidal ideology and practices of Nazi Germany towards the Jews with field trips to the sites connected with Holocaust. We will also meet with witnesses of history, including Holocaust survivors, and view films and hold discussions on related topics.  
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

History of The Jews in Poland
Run jointly by the Collegium and The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, this course will present history of the Polish Jewish population which in fact will be history of Jews as such because for many centuries the vast majority of the world Jewish population was living in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This course will also include field trips to the places connected with the Jewish history.
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

Foreign Security Policy of Israel
This course will present Israeli foreign policy from the viewpoint of the security of the Jewish state, discussing both Arab-Israeli relations as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the efforts to solve or manage it. The main stress will be put on the threats and opportunities created by the Arab Spring and related developments.
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none


Other Electives (optional):
Students may select any courses from the list below and from a current (extensive) list of all Englsh-language electives offered by Collegium Civitas.

Polish Language
Small, intensive classes focused on reading, writing, grammar, speaking, comprehension, and phonetics. Upper levels include literature and/or language of the media or security.
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

Yiddish Language 
Small, intensive classes focused on reading, writing, grammar, speaking, comprehension, and phonetics. Upper levels include literature and/or language of the media or security. 
3 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none  Additional Cost: contact us.  

Intensive Beginning Polish Language
Arrive a month early and take a crash course in the local language! This optional course will deliver 100 hours of Polish language study - enough for you to gain basic skills before beginning your program.
6 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none  Additional Cost: $1500; must arrive one month prior to semester start.   

Professional Internship
Participate in a professional internship at a company, not-for-profit organization, think tank, museum, or media organization. Internships are supervised by CC staff and faculty. Optional academic credit can be awarded based on satisfactory completion of work and academic expectations, including a regular journal and final paper. One credit hour is awarded for every 40 work hours. Note that the internship elective may limit other class options due to a more intensive schedule.
3-6 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none  An extensive list of example placements can be found here.

Research Project
Conduct field or archival research in Poland in cooperation with the Museum of the History of Polish Jews or Auschwitz Museum. Students will submit a project proposal in advance, which will be discussed with CC faculty to hone methodology and focus. The project must result in a paper of at least 15 pages.
3-6 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none

Summer Program
Security and Society Summer School
Dates, Costs, and Curriculum

The Security and Society Summer  School is structured to allow for individual courses, tracks (more than one course taken together), or customization.

SRAS is pleased to announce that the Summer, 2016 session of Security and Society, will take place parallel to the 2016 NATO summit. The NATO summit will see the gathering of the Heads of State and Heads of Government of NATO who meet to discuss the priorities and problems facing NATO members and the world. The Crossroads II course will follow the summit proceedings closely, as they will provide considerable material and structure for the course. During lectures students will be divided into groups representing various interests at the summit and will participate in debates and presentations, playing as a representative of a particular country. In this way, students will learn about the issues facing the summit leaders and will become familiar with the procedures at the gathering. Students will have the opportunity to see firsthand the importance of defense and security issues in this part of the world, and indeed globally.


- Security & Society Tracks -

The following tracks combine courses that are related and may be taken sequentially. The more courses you take, the more you save. Contact us about additional discounts available to students from affiliate schools and to small groups applying together.

Crossroads: Crossroads I, II (5 weeks, June 4 - July 10, 2016) - $6,295

Regional/Society: PolishCrossroads I, Elites (6 weeks, May 28 - July 10, 2016) - $6,295

 Crime/Security: Crime & Punishment, Crossroads II, Intro to Cybersecurity Policy (7 weeks, June 4 - July 24, 2016) - $8,395

Society/Security: PolishCrossroads I, Crossroads II, Intro to Cybersecurity Policy (8 weeks, May 28 - July 24, 2016) - $8,595

Application deadline: April 25, 2016

See list of courses below for all individual course dates and costs and contact us about other combinations/tracks. An internship and/or Polish language study may be added to any track or to the Building Blocks and Jewish Heritage courses.


- All Individual Courses -
full descriptions also available in PDF (7 MB)

Credits are indicated in ECTS (2 ECTS = 1 US semester credit).

Polish Language        back to top^
This small group course is an intensive immersion into the Polish language. 30 hours per week of small group study with active language activities in the city. Students seeking to continue their study of the Polish language may do so with individual (one-on-one) throughout the remainder of the Summer School and should contact SRAS for more information.
2 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none; May 28-June 5, 2016; $995

Crossroads I - The History and Culture of Central Europe      back to top^
To understand the present, you must understand the past –nowhere is that more true than in Central Europe. Through an understanding of history, this course offers a rich, entertaining, multi-disciplinary, and comprehensive insight into the culture, politics, and modern life of Central Europe. This critically important region has been a global flashpoint for centuries. It has been contested by Russia, Austria, Germany and by many smaller nations. It was fought over in the First World War and was victim to Hitler’s racial policies in World War II. After 1945 it was governed by Soviet-communist regimes but later saw the birth of Solidarity, which helped lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Central Europe has helped drive global change – it was home to giants like Mahler and Freud, Einstein and Kafka, Copernicus, and many other writers, scientists, artists, thinkers, and activists. This course will concentrate primarily on modern history but will also touch on earlier periods and overview the region's deep Jewish cultural heritage. It will look at Poland's post-1989 economic success, its role in EU migration and ecological issues and other current events. Students will experience Central Europe through field trips to museums and cultural sites, films and exhibitions, cultural and culinary events, guest lectures given by a host of specialists from the region, and travel to various cities within the region. 
6 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none; June 4 - June 26, 2016; $3,995

Jewish Heritage      back to top^
Poland once housed a majority of the world's Jews and today, 70 percent of the world's Jews can trace their ancestry back to Poland. The Jews in Poland created a rich, diverse and unique culture, traces of which can still be found across Poland, in spite of the Nazi-inflected tragedies of WWII. This course will examine the triumphs and tragedies of Poland’s Jews and acquaint you with the burgeoning revival of Jewish culture now taking place in democratic Poland. It will also examine the influence of the Polish Jews on American culture and their contribution in forming the Israeli  identity. The course will be co-directed by Dr. Maciej Kozlowski, the former Polish ambassador to Israel and Dr. Jolanta Zyndul, Senior Historian at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Both of these individuals have authored numerous publications dealing with Polish-Jewish relations including the history of the Second World War and the Holocaust.
8 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none; May 28 - June 26, 2016; $5,495

Elites and Politics in New and Old Democracies      back to top^
Elites are organized minorities capable of affecting political and policy outcomes of nation-states regularly and seriously. They are key social-political actors in all societies and all political regimes, including modern democracies. In new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, political elites have played the crucial role in: (i) the swift and largely peaceful systemic change from Soviet-type socialist dictatorships to Western-type capitalist democracies (1989-91); (ii) the consolidation of democratic regimes in CEE and the authoritarian shift in Russia and Belarus; and (iii) further differentiation in development paths in response to the Great Recession of 2008-15. In old democracies, including the USA, political elites (broadly defined) shape the policies of consecutive "administrations" (including the top leadership)  as well as the electoral competitions in which these "administrations" (re-)emerge. This course introduces the concept of elites together with its contemporary theoretical framework and outlines the patterns of elite and social-political transformations in CEE (including Russia) as well as the old democracies. The course is designed for higher-level undergraduate and advanced (postgraduate) students.
6 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none; June 25 - July 10, 2016; $2,995

Introduction to Cybersecurity Policy     back to top^
Cybersecurity issues are atop the agenda of governments, international organizations, and the corporate world. Although many individuals do not yet grasp the multifaceted nature of cybercrimes, the potential of such crimes to affect both individual and state security, as well as the functioning of modern economies is great. This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity as a domestic and international policy issue; we will focus cybersecurity's role in a functioning state rather than discuss the details of software and hardware in-depth. We will examine different dimensions of cybersecurity: inter-state, transnational, civil, economic, corporate and individual. We will discuss contemporary cybersecurity strategy studies and related policies. We will learn about data theft, web defacement campaigns, cyberterrorism, and targeted cyberespionage attacks. We will see how the cybercriminal underground has been coopted by governments to prepare for cyberwars. Perhaps most importantly, we will discuss why the European Union, NATO, or other international organizations have failed to set an effective framework for combatting cyberthreats.
6 ECTS credits. ** Prerequisites: None; July 9 - 24, 2016 / $2995

Crime and Punishment in Central/Eastern Europe      back to top^
This three-week course will overview a number of important popular criminological issues. It is best geared for students of social science, socio-legal or policy studies, but is not restricted only to those seeking to pursue a career in criminology. All topics will be explored mainly from the vantage point of sociology with the goal of helping students to better view judicial and law enforcement issues in socio-political and economic contexts. Poland will serve as a case study of how criminal justice operates in Central-Eastern Europe and will be contextualized against three distinctive periods in Polish history: under socialism / communism; in the transition period from 1989 – 2004; and after Poland joined the European Union in 2004. Students will actively debate topics, study theory, view films, hear guest speakers, and even visit several Polish penal institutions to see firsthand how these broader criminological concepts operate in practice.
6 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none; June 4 - June 26, 2016; $3,995

Building Blocks: What Cities Tell Us about Society, History, and Change
back to top^
Changes in urban landscapes carry with them conflicting interpretations of the past and conflicting desires for the future. After the devastation of WW2, the creation of a new social and political order shaped the reconstruction of the cities: new buildings, street names and commemorative monuments told a specific version of the past and offered a vision for future transformation. The fall of communist regimes was also written in the fabric of the city: new glassy skyscrapers now compete with postwar architectures, while new monuments and landmarks offer competing (and often contradictory) interpretations of the past. In this course we will ask many questions about what a city is and how it funcitons. Who are the main actors in the shaping and reshaping of a city? How can historical preservation and economic development be balanced? How can competing interpretations coexist? What is the relationship between urban changes and broader social, cultural, and political transformation? This course includes travel to Wroclaw, Krakow, and Berlin.
8 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none; June 11 - July 10, 2016; $5,495

Crossroads II - Security Issues and Central Europe      back to top^
With the collapse of the Soviet Union many of the countries of Central Europe quickly moved to detach themselves from the Russian sphere of influence and joined western institutions including NATO and the EU. The west saw this as the fulfillment of the right of self-determination; Russia tended to view it as a threatening move reminiscent of "encirclement." This course will examine the complex historical roots of the conflicting stance between NATO and the EU on one hand, and Russia on the other, and show how this is influencing events in Ukraine and beyond. We will discuss the importance of intelligence in the murky world of hybrid war. We will discuss how energy and non-energy natural resources play roles in security policy. We will also look at the role that traditional and new media are playing in state security and what states need to do to bolster cybersecurity within their borders. Central Europe will be discussed on all these facets as a case study to understand the issues. Poland's increasing relevance as a regional player is reflected in the fact that the NATO summit will be held in Warsaw in June 2016. The summit proceedings will provide considerable material and structure to this course. Due to the nature of this opportunity, space is limited and priority for enrollment for this course will go to students enrolling in at least one other course.
6 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none (Crossroads I is not a prerequisite for Crossroads II). June 25 - July 10, 2016; $2,995

Professional Internship      back to top^
Participate in a professional internship at a company, not-for-profit organization, think tank, museum, or media organization. Internships are supervised by the internship coordinator at Collegium Civitas. Optional academic credit can be awarded based on satisfactory completion of work and academic expectations, including a regular journal and final paper. One credit hour is awarded for every 40 work hours. A wide range of internship opportunities are available in areas related to all courses on this summer program. Knowledge of Polish language not required. Contact us for more information about internship placements.
3-6 ECTS credits.** Prerequisites: none; internship dates may fall anywhere in the period of May 28 - August 31, 2016 - to accommodate enrollment in the summer school courses (at least one required); $1,150*   An extensive list of example placements can be found here.  


Register To sign up for this program, you must first register with our site and indicate your interest as a comment. If you have already registered, please contact us. SRAS will send you additional instructions on your next steps!
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- Scholarships and Funding -

The Crossroads Scholarship will apply $2500 to a program combining at least four weeks of study in Poland with any full-semester program in St. Petersburg (RSL or RSA) or $1000 towards to a program combining at least four weeks of study in Poland with Policy and Conflict Program (based in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus). 

Additional Requirements: Recipients will write a 3-page program summary before the end of the program describing what they learned by studying in multiple locations. Recipients will also write weekly blog entries for after the initial 4-week term has ended.

To apply, write a one-page essay on "Why Poland Matters." Submit this plus two additional writing samples (papers written for college-level classes on any subject) via email to Josh Wilson, SRAS Assistant Director, when applying for this program! Indicate in your email which scholarship you are applying for.

For more on funding for all SRAS programs, click here. Of special interest may be: The Braver Grant ($500); Discounts for multiple courses taken in summer in Warsaw (some combos listed above); Group incentive (5%) for groups of 3 or more students applying together; Affiliate discount (10%) for current students at SRAS affiliate schools.

- Personal Invitations to the Program! -

Experience Warsaw!



*Costs: Program costs include tuition for study as outlined, shared accommodation (summer school only), pre-departure materials, local orientation, health and accident insurance, round-trip airport transfers, cultural program, and SRAS in-country support. During the summer school, lunches are included M-F and during any travel segments, breakfast is also included.

*Visa: Students are responsible for securing their own student visa for Poland. A letter of support will be provided by Collegium Civitas and SRAS will provide guidance. As is the case with many EU countries, you will likely need to visit the nearest Polish consulate for an interview. Note that a visa is only necessary for programs over 90 days in duration.

*Program dates: Note that the standard fall semester officially runs into January. Students are welcome to either stay this full period or to arrange for early exams and depart by late December.

- Housing is not included in SRAS semester program costs in Poland. It is included in summer programs during all courses with the exception of internships.
- Housing options include shared apartments and private apartments.
- Housing costs are estimated at approximately $200/month (shared dormitory room) - $750/month (private apartment), subject to change based on exchange rates and availability.

*Prerequisites: Participants 18 years of age and above are encouraged to apply. Prior knowledge of Polish language not required.

*Language: All sessions are in English; some discussions may be facilitated by an interpreter.

**Credit Transfer and Transcripts: Transcript of study is provided by Collegium Civitas. Credits are noted in ECTS. 2 ECTS credits = 1 US semester credit. Full time is generally considered 30 ECTS credits per semester - approximately 7-10 courses.