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Master Political Science

Core and Advanced Section Political Science 1

Core Modules

With the exception of core modules IV and VI, these are lectures with a written exam of 60 minutes at the end of the semester. There may be several seminars available in module IV; however it is only possible to complete one seminar per module.
Students choose three (out of six) modules from this section. Each module is awarded 6 credit points. The seminars in Module IV may be held in English or German, all other courses are taught in English.

Core module Political Science I (Political Institutions)

Lecture – Comparative Political Institutions

Introductory course for the field of comparative political institutions that covers the evolution, behaviour and effects on politics of institutions. It introduces  relevant analytical concepts such as: institutional equilibria; institutional design, institutional change, and endogenous institutions; path dependence; collective action. These concepts are applied towards the distinction between autocracy and democracy, democratization and development.

Core module Political Science II (Comparative Political Economy)

Lecture – Comparative Political Economy

This lecture discusses analytical approaches and methods of comparative political economy, with a special focus on the relationship between political and economic power in the governance of labor and financial markets. It covers classical authors such as Smith and Marx, and newer concepts of labor and business power. Moreover, the lecture broadens students’ understanding of challenges political economies are facing such as financialization, debt, skills, migration, labor-market dualization and globalization.

Core module Political Science III (Empirical Democratic Theory)

Lecture – Democratic Theory and Practice

The lecture provides students with a survey of different theories of democracy (both classic and more recent work). It discusses how “democracy” can be conceptualized and measured, and also what phenomena like inequality, concerns about voter competence / voter misinformation (“fake news”) and immigration (borders) mean for democratic states.

Core module Political Science IV (International Relations)

Seminar – Selection of one out of various offered seminars

The Seminars offered in this module cover a wide range of topics related to the field of international relations, including: international politics, foreign policy, transnational politics, conflict- and cooperation studies, security politics, geopolitics, international regulatory policies, information and communication

Examples of seminars offered in past semesters:

  •     Radicalism, Terrorism and Extremism
  •     Menschenrechte und Internationale Politik
  •     Internationale Beziehungen: Theorien der Außenpolitikanalyse
  •     Latin America and the United States since the Cuban Revolution

Core module Political Science V (European Politics)

Lecture – Comparing European Democracies

This course introduces students to analytical frameworks to understand both domestic and supranational politics in Europe. The goal of the lecture is not to cover a few European countries in depth, nor to survey as many facts as possible about Europe. Instead, the objective is to equip students with analytical tools (including delegation models, the spatial model of politics, formal reasoning) to understand and examine contemporary developments and political puzzles that are of particular relevance to European democracies.

Core module Methods of Political Science

Seminar – Research Design and Research Logic

The goal of the seminar is to establish a genuine understanding of the ingredients of theory building and the elements needed to develop a rigorous research design for social inquiry. Specifically the seminar adresses topics such as: Identification of a research question, concept formation and formulation of hypotheses, selection of a research design, case selection, data collection and analysis.

Special Aspects of Social Sciences

Module for crediting courses from universities abroad. Courses from abroad can also be credited easily in the supplementary section (12 or 24 credits).