MUNPlanet: Although EIUC is pretty familiar to MUNPlanet members, could you introduce yourself and the DE.MA Master in Democratic Governance program to our community?
The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) is an interdisciplinary centre of excellence formed by 41 universities from all European Union Member States. It was founded in 2002 on a commitment to the realisation of the values promoted by the EU, the promotion of high-level inter-disciplinary human rights education, research, training and culture, and a shared global understanding of human rights and democracy. EIUC is located in Venice, Italy.
The mission of the EIUC is to foster a community of scholars, researchers and professionals to promote democracy and the implementation of human rights worldwide. The EIUC advances innovative programmes and projects that contribute to policy formation in Europe and assistance to neighboring countries, democracy and good governance, promotion of the rule of law, and overseas development cooperation.
Thanks to the support of the European Union and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) launches the third edition of the Master in Democratic Governance in partnership with the following universities:
International University of Rabat (Morocco),
Birzeit University (Palestine),
Saint Joseph University (Lebanon),
Ca’ Foscari University (Italy)
University of Carthage (Tunisia)
The Master in Democratic Governance is:
An intensive advanced course in the field of democracy and human rights;
Professional Master’s Degree (60 ECTS) from Ca’ Foscari University in cooperation with the other partner Universities;
An intensive learning combined with an action and policy-oriented approach;
Comprised of two semesters: one in Venice and the other in a participating University;
A supervised Master’s thesis in one of the partner universities;
The foundation for a successful career on national, international, and non-governmental levels;
The Master in Democratic Governance has been made possible by the support of the European Union and the support of the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
It has been shaped and will be taught by high level academics, experts and practitioners from different area studies.
It targets candidates (students and professionals) with a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, experiences and motivations and will offer a multidisciplinary courses of study.
MUNPlanet: EIUC has plenty of academic programs. What makes this one stand out?
The DE.MA Master offers a unique combination of for people who are interested in Human Rights and in the MENA Region. EIUC has the purpose of promoting Human Rights worldwide but to do that it is necessary to create different areas of study for the different continents and this Master represents our answer for what concerns the Arab world. Moreover, in the last years the geopolitical situation in the region changed considerably, this is why we think that there is the need for specialised experts who can contribute to the study of these events.
MUNPlanet: Please, tell us something about DE.MA’ Master history, for how long has the program been around?
The first edition of the Master in Democratic Governance was inaugurated on 9th February 2015. A second edition of the Master started on 13th January 2016 with 17 total admitted students coming with a share of almost 50% from European and Arab countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine). Students of the second edition of the Master are now completing the second semester in one of the partner universities with a thesis defense and graduation ceremony foreseen for the second week of July.
MUNPlanet: What are the main goals of this program?
The Master in Democratic Governance is a unique programme designed to meet the needs of students, professionals and experts who want to specialise in the field of democratic governance and human rights with a focus on the Arab world, but also gain the practical experience needed to build or improve their career/research activities
MUNPlanet: Could you share with us what big names the students will have the honor of learning from?
The programme for next year is still not finalized, however here are some of the academicians who participated to the last edition of the Master:
Dr. Barbara De Poli: professor of Contemporary History of Islamic Countries, Political Thought of Islamic Countries and Cultural Geography of the Mena Region at Ca' Foscari University. She is also the Programme Director of the DE.MA Master.
Mudar Kassis: Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University and Council Member for the MA Program in Democracy and Human Rights since 1999 in representation of the university.
Carole Rizkallah Alsharabati: Carole Rizkallah Alsharabati is the Director of the Political Science Institute at Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth.
Soukeina Bouraoui, Director of the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR).
Raja Bahlul: he has authored publications in Arabic and English (with some translated into Italian) in the areas of Metaphysics (Identity of Indiscernibles), Islamic Philosophy (Ghazali, Avicenna, Islamic Kalam), Democracy and Women’s Rights, and Contemporary Islamic Political Thought (Constitutionalism, Secularism).
Basem Ezbidi: he holds a PhD in political theory from the University of Cincinnati in the United States and currently teaches at Qatar University. He has written on numerous aspects related to Palestine, the West and the Moslem World, Hamas, state-building, democratization, political reform, corruption, local government and development.
Amine Ghali: he is the Program Director of Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM) working on issues related democracy, reform and transition in the Arab region (activities and initiatives in more than 10 Arab countries). Currently he focuses his contribution on the democracy transition process in Tunisia, especially on political reform, on elections and on transitional justice issues.
Omar Hammady: he is a specialist of comparative public law and international law. He has accompanied post 2011 constitutional reforms in the MENA region since their early days. As a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative public Law and International law, he was tasked with providing technical support to the Tunisian Constituent Assembly during the drafting of the constitution as well as to the Libyan National Transitional Council and, later on, National General Congress.
Sara Benjelloun: she is a doctoral student at the University of Grenoble Alpes and an affiliated searcher at the “Laboratoire d’Etudes Politiques et de Sciences Humaines et Sociales (LEPOSHS)” of the International University of Rabat (UIR).
Zaynab El Bernoussi: she teaches research methodology, politics and political economy of North Africa and the Middle East, international political economy, and development politics at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University.
MUNPlanet: Venice is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world. What would you say are some MUST SEE places there?
San Marco’s Square is the most famous location and a “must see” in Venice, next to it are a beautiful St. Mark’s Basilica and a palace of doges (Palazzo Ducale); moreover, are also worth seeing the beautiful Rialto Bridge on the Great Canal and the “Basilica della Salute”, a beautiful church almost in front of San Marco. A ride on the Venetian waves, in the Venetian gondola or with a vaporetto (water bus) would be for sure an unforgettable experience.
MUNPlanet: What are the academic background and interests of the ideal candidate for your program?
Applicants are required to hold a university degree of a high standard in a field relevant to human rights, including disciplines in law, social sciences and the humanities and must have a minimum of 180 ECTS (Bachelor/General Degree).
Candidatures can be considered as long as the applicant has obtained a degree corresponding to:
180 ECTS credits (generally a 3-year course) or 240 ECTS credits (generally a 4-year course) or a combination of a degree of 180 ECTS and relevant proven additional experience or studies (such as 1-year MA or summer courses).
Applicants completing the degree entry requirements subsequently to the application deadline are requested to provide a current transcript of exams. Eventual admission into the Programme will be conditional upon receipt of documentation of the completed degree (by 31 August 2016).
All selected candidates who hold a non-EU degree are required to produce upon admission a “declaration of value” of their degree. Non-EU candidates are moreover required to obtain a study visa which must cover the entire duration of the academic year (September 2016 – September 2017). Both the study visa and the “declaration of value” are preconditions for enrolment and should be requested from the competent Italian Embassy or representation offices.
MUNPlanet: We all soar towards perfection. Students will attend your program to advance their skills and knowledge. What areas would you say your students will advance in on your program?
The programme and its core curriculum are structured in such a fashion to offer the students a wide array of intellectual and academic theories and methods to the study of human rights and democracy. Given the variegated academic ( and in some cases professional) backgrounds of the future students of the Master programme, EIUC offers lectures and learning modules both in anthropology and philosophy of human rights: theories of democratic transitions, international law, international relations, political science, sociology, religion, nationalism, legal aspects of human rights implementation and development studies.
The Master in Democratic Governance will also provide the students with the intellectual and practical tools to understand the regional dimension of several issues and analyse the differences and challenges of countries in the region.
Moreover the programme wants to offer its participants a challenging and unique learning experience, where the possibility of visiting, living and studying in a country different from the home country impart decisive and additional capabilities for the development of those intellectual and professional capabilities considered pivotal for the development of an élite of experts in the fields of human rights and democratisation.
MUNPlanet: Where are your previous participants now? Is there an alumni organization of your program?
Our previous students are now working at NGOs and International organisations such as the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in Egypt, the Office of the High Commissioner in Brussels, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) or they have chosen to continue their academic career and apply for Phd or positions.
The previous graduates together with the current students are now setting up the first Alumni Association of the Master which would definitely strengthen a community of human rights defenders and activists working on the Mena region that will get bigger every year.
MUNPlanet: Everyone loves Italian food. However, the participants of your program will have the chance to try the authentic Italian food. What traditional meals should they not miss?
On the Seminar day lunch will be served in our canteen that always offer us delicious and fresh food. Moreover Venice is full a famous restaurants and we have plenty of typical dishes that a visitor can enjoy. Pizza is always a “must” in Italy but in Venice one should also try the fish, we have very good fried fish and many types of “risotto” that one can enjoy together with a glass of good wine or a spritz, a traditional cocktail with Prosecco.
MUNPlanet: What is one sentence you would like the participants to leave your program with?
We would like them to leave with a sentence like this: “thank you for organizing this Master, it was a precious and enriching experience”.
DE.MA, thank you for devoting your time to MUN Spotlight and telling us more about you and your programme. MUNPlanet is looking forward to your event and strongly advises all MUNers to check it out. Good luck and we wish you all the best!