M.A. in Democracy Studies (Interdisciplinary)

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Introduction1

The M.A. in Democracy Studies is an interdisciplinary program whose aim is to cover the topic of democracy from as wide a perspective as possible. The program is based on the concept that views democracy as a political philosophy, a political and social system, a way of life, and an educational outlook. The program consists of studies in various fields, including political science, history, law, sociology, economics, philosophy, psychology, education and theater.

The program is intended for position holders in the public, private and government sectors; for teachers and for social activists. One of the major goals of the program is to contribute to deepening education toward democracy throughout the public sector, and in the educational system in particular. The program also provides professional training for those who plan to teach civics. Individuals with a teaching certificate who complete the program will be licensed to teach high school civics, as will those who complete teaching certificate studies after completing their masters studies.

Study Tracks

The program of study is offered in two study tracks:

  • Program of studies without a thesis

  • Program of studies with a thesis (for outstanding students)

There are four areas of specialization

  • Society and Politics (sociology, political science)

  • History, Education and Citizenship

  • Communication and Culture (communication, philosophy, theater, literature)

  • Government and Public Policy

Requirements

Applying for studies

Acceptance to the program is determined by the Admissions Committee. The requirements are:

  1. Students with a grade point average of at least 80 in a Bachelor's degree in any discipline. In some cases, students may be required to take qualifying courses, depending on the discipline in which they have an undergraduate degree. Students required to take qualifying courses (see qualifying courses, below) will be accepted with probationary status.
  2. Exceptions: Students with a grade point average below 80 in any discipline may apply. The Admissions Committee may decide whether to accept them and under what conditions.
  3. Probationary status: Students with a grade point average below 80 who are admitted to the program will have probationary status.

The Admissions Committee may take into account additional factors.

Qualifying courses

Students whose degree is in a discipline not directly related to the fields of study in the program in Democracy Studies, or who lack essential basic courses, will be required to take between one and three of the following qualifying courses:

Credits

Democracies and Dictatorships: Ideas, Contexts, Regimes (10660)

3

Introduction to Theories and Methods in Political Science (10165)

6

Introduction to Political Thought (10611)

6

or Introduction to Public Administration (10437)

6

Students who have completed all but one of the required qualifying courses (or who are required to take only one qualifying course), will be allowed to take one graduate course in the program while concurrently taking the qualifying course.

Beginning in the Spring 2012 semester, students in the Government and Public Policy specialization may choose Introduction to Public Administration (10437) as a qualifying course instead of Introduction to Political Thought (10611). Note: if these students later change their area of specialization, they will be required to take Introduction to Political Thought at some point, even if toward the end of their studies.

Transition from probationary to degree candidate status

Students with probationary status who are not required to take qualifying courses will be accepted as degree candidates if their average grade in the three required courses in the program is 80 or above.

Probationary students who are required to take qualifying courses will be accepted as degree candidates if their average grade is 80 or above in the first three courses they take (qualifying courses or required courses in the program).

Accreditation of Prior Studies

The departmental Masters committee will consider granting accreditation for up to 12 credits and no more than 3 courses, exempting students from electives in section e) and from two additional elective courses. Additional details can be found in the Regulations Pertaining to Graduate Studies.

Program of Studies

Students in the non-thesis track must take at least 11 courses (37-40 credits). Students in the thesis track must take at least 9 courses (31 credits).

a) Required courses for students in all areas of specialization in both tracks (9 credits):

Credits

Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach (12001)

3

Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues (12002)

3

Contemporary Democratic Theories (12008)

3


b) Required course in each area of specialization (3 credits):2

 Society and Politics specialization

Credits

Democracy and Democratization (12003)3

3

 History, Education and Citizenship specialization

Selected Problems in the History of Western Democracies (12006)

3

or Education Policy: Education for Democracy in Democratic Societies (12007)

3

 Communication and Culture specialization

Democracy and Mass Communication (12037)4

3

 Government and Public Policy specialization

Selected Topics in Public Administration (12042)5

3

c) Elective courses advanced seminars (12-18 credits)

Students in the non-thesis track must take at least 6 elective courses, of which at least 3 are in the area of specialization (18 credits altogether). Students in the thesis track must take at least 3 courses, of which at least 2 are in the area of specialization (9 credits altogether).

 Society and Politics specialization

Credits

Political Participation in Democratic Regimes (12004)

3

Democracy and National Security (12016)6

3

Africa Between Democracy and Dictatorship (12012)

3

Social Democracy in Western Europe: 1875-2000 (12015)

3

Democracy and Democratization in the Arab World (12021)

3

Dictatorship and Democracy in Latin America (12024)

3

Strikes and Lockouts in a Democratic Perspective (12018)

3

 History, Education and Citizenship specialization

Students must take at least one course from Group A, and one course from group B.7

Group A

The Formation of Parliaments in the Middle Ages (12022)

3

The National Question in the USSR/Russia: 1917-1991 (12017)8

3

Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005)

3

Democracy and Feminism: Gender, Citizenship and Human Rights (12026)

3

Social Democracy in Western Europe: 1875-2000 (12015)

3

Group B

The Pain of Knowledge: Reflections on Holocaust and Genocide Issues in Education in Israel and Elsewhere (12019)

3

Distance Teaching Universities: The Democratization of Higher Education (14014)

4

Choice in Education: Schools and Alternative Processes (14001)

4

Citizenship: A Comparative Perspective (12041)9

3

 Communication and Culture specialization

Religion and State: Philosophical Aspects (12013)

3

Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005)

3

Equality and Inequality: A Philosophical Perspective (12036)

3

Israeli Theater: Processes of Democratization in Israeli Society (12027)

3

The Pain of Knowledge: Reflections on Holocaust and Genocide Issues in Education in Israel and Elsewhere (12019)

3

Theories and Approaches in Cultural Studies (14205)

3

 Government and Public Policy specialization

At least one of the following courses:10

Workshop: Writing a Policy Paper (12039)9

3

or Policy Analysis (12043)

3

Leadership in Organizations (13023)

3

Strikes and Lockouts in a Democratic Perspective (12018)9

3

Labor Relations in Globalization (13040)

3

Management and Organizational Behavior (13004)

3

Participation Programs in Work Organizations (13031)9

3

Information Systems Policy (13006)

3

Democracy and Democratization (12003)9

3

Political Participation in Democratic Regimes (12004)9

3

Social Democracy in Western Europe: 1875-2000 (12015)9

3

Citizenship: A Comparative Perspective (12041)9

3

The Welfare State: Citizenship, Rights and Resource Distribution (12040)9

3

Dynamics of Negotiation (13017)

3

Relations between Society, Politics and the Military (12189)

3

d) Methodological Courses 6 credits

The courses are required for students in the thesis track. In the non-thesis track, they are electives for students who fulfill the course prerequisites.

Methodological Seminar for Democracy Studies (12190)

3

Qualitative Research Methods (MA) (14210)11

3

e) One elective course at least 3 credits

The elective course can be chosen from section c) above, or from among the undergraduate courses listed below:

Level

Credits

The Political Economy of Israel (10929)

advanced

6

Citizenship: Theory and Politics (10903)

advanced

6

Human Rights in International Relations (10535)

advanced

6

Issues in Sociology of the Internet and On-line Communication (10921)

advanced

6

Individual Liberties and Constitutional Structure in a Federal Democracy: Continuity and Change in United States Government (10336)

advanced

6

Youth, Education and Politics in the Middle East (10510)

advanced

6

Idea and Practice: Thomas Jefferson and the Making of American Federalism: 1780-1820 (10317)

advanced

6

Selected Topics in Modern Democracy (10326)

advanced

6

Religion, State and Politics (10342)

advanced

6

Approaches to the Study of Politics (10375)

advanced

6

Modern Political Ideologies (10538)

advanced

6

Social Movements and Political Protest in Israel (10392)

advanced

6

Business Ethics (10523)

advanced

6

Labor Laws in Israel (10354)

advanced

6

Labor and Industrial Relations (10588)

advanced

6

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discriminatory Employment (10901)

advanced

6

Social Gaps and Inequality in Israel (10576)

advanced

6

Social Stratification: Issues in Social Inequality (10349)

advanced

6

East and West in Israeli Cinema (10534)

advanced

6

Organizational Culture (10566)

advanced

6

Historical Thinking: Issues in Philosophy of History (10337)

advanced

6

Issues in the Study of Nationalism (10374)

advanced

6

Leadership and its Applications in Education (10528)

advanced

6

Culture, Communication and Leisure in Israel (10503)

advanced

6

Communication as Culture (10532)

advanced

6

Medieval Jewish Political Thought (10585)

advanced

6

Literature and Ideology in Palestine in the 1930s (10346)

advanced

6

The Canaanite Group: Literature and Ideology (10335)

advanced

6

Holocaust Survivors, Outsiders and Others in Israeli Cinema and Literature (10551)

advanced

6

Visual Representations of Zionist Ideology in Israeli Culture (10594)

advanced

6

Organizational Behavior (10430) 12

intermediate

6

Sociology of Organizations (10728) 12

intermediate

6

Tutorial sessions

Attendance at tutorial sessions is mandatory. Sessions include student presentations, and take place several times (5-6) a semester in the late afternoon.

Seminar papers, workshops and writing a thesis

Seminar papers will only be written on topics in advanced seminar courses listed in section c) above, and only after having successfully completed the course. In both tracks, students must submit two seminar papers, of which at least one is on a topic from an elective course in the area of specialization. Required courses in one specialization may be taken as electives in the other specializations. Each seminar paper grants 2 credits, and the grade has the same weight as a course in the calculation of the final degree grade.

Note: Seminar papers cannot be written in the framework of the three general required courses (section a, above) or in the electives from among the advanced undergraduate courses (section e, above).

Students who have a high school teaching certificate and wish to be granted a teaching license by the Ministry of Education are required to participate in a workshop on teaching Civics. The workshop does not grant credit.

Final exam

Students in the non-thesis track who began their studies since the fall 2007 semester are required to take a final exam (12997). The exam is based on both required and elective courses. Students may take the exam after accumulating at least 37 credits.

Application for the thesis track

After completing six courses (not including qualifying courses), submitting at least one seminar paper, having a grade point average of 85 or above and having received the required grade in the methodological courses Qualitative Research Methods (MA) (14210) and Methodological Seminar for Democracy Studies (12190), students may apply for the thesis track when they submit their program of studies. Students who are accepted will gain the status of thesis track candidate after their thesis proposal is approved by their supervisor and the departmental Masters committee.

The thesis will be written under the supervision of a senior faculty member at the Open University or another university. Two years are allocated for writing the thesis after the proposal is approved.

Bibliographic Training

During the first two semesters of graduate level courses, the students are required to submit two bibliographic assignments on the following topics:

  • Use of the Aleph inter-university catalog: Searches of books, journals or other items by title, author and topic in the national network of university libraries and the combined catalogs of monographs and print and electronic journals

  • Searches for a Hebrew article in the Haifa Index database, which includes articles from journals and newspapers

  • Searches for articles in various bibliographic databases

Program of Study Approval and Changes

Following the completion of six courses (which are not qualifying courses), the student will plan a study program for continued studies in pursuit of a Master's degree, and will submit the plan to the program advisors for approval.

Changing the study program

A student who wishes to change the study program after it was approved may submit a request to change the program to a program advisor. The advisor will consider the students request and decide whether to approve it.

Duration of Studies

Students are required to complete their studies within 7 years of being accepted as a degree candidate in either track.

In exceptional cases, students may apply to the departmental Masters committee for an extension.13 In the thesis track, students may, in exceptional circumstances, request an extension of up to two years for writing the thesis. In any case, these students are required to complete all the other requirements (courses, exams, referats and seminar papers) within 7 years.

Degree Eligibility

Students will be eligible for a degree subject to fulfillment of the following conditions:

  • Having completed all qualifying courses (if required)

  • Having successfully completed 11 courses in the non-thesis track, and 9 courses in the thesis track, as per the approved program of study

  • Having written two seminar papers

  • Having written a thesis in the thesis track

  • Having passed the final exam in the non-thesis track

Final Degree Grade

The final grade in the non-thesis track is made up of the student's grade point average in the program courses and seminar papers (90%), and of the grade on the final exam (10%). In the thesis track, the final grade of the thesis constitutes 30% of the grade and the remaining 70% are calculated on the basis of the grade point average in the program courses and seminar papers.


1

The contents of this section are subject to the Regulations Pertaining to Graduate Studies.

2

The courses in section b) can be counted as electives in other areas of specialization (section c).

3

Students who took Conditions for the Rise and Fall of Democratic Government (10325) as part of their undergraduate studies must take Political Participation in Democratic Regimes (12004).

4

or Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005) for students who took it as a required course in the Democratic Culture specialization before Spring 2010.

5

or The Welfare State: Citizenship, Rights and Resource Distribution (12040) for students who took Public Policy (10723) as part of their undergraduate studies.

6

An elective only for students who did not take National Security and Democracy in Israel (10509) as part of their undergraduate studies.

7

For students who took The Polis: Government, Succession and Revolution (12023) or Multiculturalism in Society and in School (12025) before Fall 2012, the courses will count as electives in the History, Education and Citizenship specialization.

8

An elective only for students who did not take The Nationality Question in the USSR/Russia 1917-1991 (10504) as part of their undergraduate studies.

9

Students may write a seminar paper in this course.

10

This requirement applies to students who began their studies since the Fall 2012 semester.

11

This requirement applies to students who began their studies since the Fall 2011 semester or began their studies before Fall 2011 and accumulated less than 15 credits up to that semester. Students who are exempt from this course are required to take an additional elective course from section e. Students are advised to take this course before taking the Methodological Seminar for Democracy Studies (12190).

12

An elective only for students in the Government and Public Policy specialization who did not take it as part of their undergraduate studies.

13

The committee may require that students take additional courses, which will be included in the study program, instead of, or in addition to, courses that the student has taken.