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 the swift and largely peaceful systemic change from Soviet-type socialist dictatorships to Western-type capitalist democracies (1989-91). They were responsible for the consolidation of democratic regimes in CEE, but also for the authoritarian shift in Russia and Belarus. Their decisions were pivotal for further differentiation in development paths in response to the Great Recession of 2008-15.

In old democracies, including the USA, broadly defined political elites 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.

Entry qualification

High school / secondary education (or higher)

There are no prerequisites for this course. Previous courses and/or interest in history, politics, sociology or the region helpful.

The entry qualification documents are accepted in the following languages: English.

Often you can get a suitable transcript from your school. If this is not the case, you will need official translations along with verified copies of the original.

Language requirements


Other requirements

At least 1 reference(s) must be provided.

A motivation letter must be added to your application.

Tuition fee

$2,995.00 per programme

Discount is applied if combining either Crossroads I or Crime and Punishment with Crossroads II.

Program costs include tuition for study as outlined, shared accommodation, pre-departure materials, local orientation, health and accident insurance, airport meeting, cultural program, and in-country support. Lunches are included M-F and during travel segments (when applicable) breakfast is also included.

  • Application fee $50.00 one-time
  • Deposit $250.00 one-time
Program taught in:
  • English

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
15 days
2,995 USD
Application fee $ 50; Deposit $ 250
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