Courses in the Spring Semester

  • Courses in the Bachelor Program

    Course nameDetailsTerm
    Eline Drury Løvlien: HS Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: Violent conflict in Europe: theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of terrorism

    The course will use theoretical and empirical studies done on the causes and consequences of terrorism to better understand terrorism as a political weapon and strategy. In addition to looking at different theoretical and empirical approaches the course will use specific European cases to illustrate this. We will look at the historical roots of terrorism in Europe, while also placing the European case in a broader global context to get a better understanding of how and why terrorism manifests. The course will also spend some time refreshing the topic of academic writing and how to write a research paper, in order to prepare for the final paper.

    Spring Semester
    Cosima Meyer: HS Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: Political elites in times of conflict

    During the last half-century, the world witnessed an increasing number of civil wars. They are often long-lasting and hard to solve. But who are the actors playing crucial roles in these conflicts? How do political elites interact in conflict settings? Are political leaders with conflict experience more likely to engage in fighting? What do we know about women’s power in conflict as well as post-conflict countries? How successful is a rebel group’s transformation to a political party? And what do we know about so-called warlord democrats? Approaching these and related questions, the course addresses various actors in the political elite — both on the national and international level. 
    Besides the content-based input, this course prepares students to write term papers and incorporates writing as part of the learning process. The readings and class discussions should encourage students already during the semester to think critically about appropriate topics for their final paper. Students work continuously, in guided steps, on their final papers.
    The course language is English.
     

    Spring Semester
    Felix Olsowski: HS Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: States and the Strategic Use of Repression

    The aim of this seminar is to deepen students’ expertise on the topic of state repression. Thereby, we will investigate regimes and components of the state apparatus in democracies and autocracies as violators of human rights. The seminar addresses questions such as: Why do states apply repression? What tactics do states use? How can we identify state repression? Upon successful completion of the seminar, participants shall be aware of important theories and measurements in the field. Furthermore, the seminar is designed to make students think critically about current research on the topic of state repression. The course is taught in English.

    Spring Semester
    Eline Drury Løvlien: Ü Kolloquium Abschlussarbeit Internationale Beziehungen

    This colloquium assists BA students in developing and completing their final thesis in the field of international relations, with particular focus on empirical conflict research. The colloquium facilitates feedback from the instructor and students on each stage of the thesis.

    Spring Semester
  • Courses in the Master Program

    Course nameDetailsTerm
    Sabine Carey: Selected Topics in International Politics: Repression, Security & Peace

    This seminar discusses seminal and current work on state repression, security and peace. It introduces on why and how states violate human rights. It focuses on how governments organize and implement repression and how they aim to justify or obfuscate state violence, particularly in the context of democratic institutions and international human rights norms. The discussion also discusses peace as a more heterogenous concept than the absence of war. Over the course of the seminar you will develop your own research question on one of the topics discussed in the seminar and carrying out your own research. Additionally, you are expected to read all required materials, provide feedback on other student’s work and lead one class discussion.

    Spring Semester
    Sabine Carey: International Politics

    The security of individuals and states depends profoundly on international politics. Beyond the realm of security, structures and actors of “global governance” have been proliferating for many years. They influence crucial public policies in diverse ways. This lecture surveys academic debates on key topics of international politics, including: the sources of war, peace, and terrorism, the emergence and operation of international organizations and transnational civil society, and the making of key international policy outcomes including respect for human rights and climate policies.

    Spring Semester
    Sabine Carey: Thesis ColloquiumSpring Semester

    Courses in the Fall Semester

  • Courses in the Bachelor Programme

    Course nameCreditsDetailsTerm
    Sabine Carey: VL Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: Political Violence7 ECTS

    This lecture introduces students to key topics on political violence. We will cover classic and current debates on interstate warfare, civil war, insurgencies and armed groups, coup d’états, terrorism and state repression. Given the vast amount of research in this broad field, we will not be able to cover all aspects in depth, but you will be equipped with key insights and conceptual and analytical frameworks and tools to better understand characteristics and causes of different forms of political violence.

    Fall Semester
    Sabine Carey: HS Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: Actors and Dynamics of State Repression

    This seminar discusses seminal and current work on state repression. The goal is to develop a deeper understanding of key actors and strategies of state violence. It focuses on how governments organize and implement repression and how they aim to justify or obfuscate state violence, particularly in the context of democratic institutions and international human rights norms. It addresses questions such as when leaders use repression and how they aim to implement this strategy, when and why security forces comply with orders and how security forces are perceived by the wider population. Over the course of the seminar you will develop your own research question on one of the topics discussed and carrying out your own research. Additionally, you are expected to read all required materials, provide feedback on other student’s work and hold one class presentation. The course language is English.

     

    Fall Semester
    Eline Drury Løvlien:PS Einführung in die Internationalen Beziehungen: War and Peace: Micro, meso and macro perspectives on political violence5 ECTS

    The aim of the course is to give students an in-depth understanding of political violence and to give us the opportunity to discuss some of its specific manifestations, both within Europe and globally. Through this we will touch upon some of the broader literature on the topic, while connecting it to specific cases. A wide range of cases will be introduced in the seminars, allowing us insight into the actors and the nature of political violence. The seminar will also give students the necessary tools to discuss some of the larger political science theories used to explain how and why actors mobilize and participate in political violence. To do this we will focus on both micro, meso and macro explanatory factors. The seminars also will also prepare the student for writing their final paper and familiarize them with relevant datasets.

    Fall Semester
    Christoph Steinert: PS Einführung in die Internationalen Beziehungen: Autocratic Politics and State Repression5 ECTS

    This seminar will introduce students to the political science literature on autocratic regimes, the most prevalent form of government throughout global history. Drawing on a mixture of classical literature and recent empirical articles on autocratic politics, the students will learn about different dimensions of authoritarianism and acquire an understanding of the key concepts of research on autocratic politics. The courses places a particular emphasis on repression in autocratic regimes. Which types of repression are most commonly applied in autocracies? Which factors determine the intensity of repression in autocracies? Which groups are most likely to be targeted in autocracies? Which variables explain variation in repression between autocratic regimes? The seminar will also shed light on citizens' responses to state repression in autocracies. We will discuss common strategies that citizens apply in anticipation of state repression such as `preference falsification'. The seminar will also tackle the question of whether state repression in autocracies incites or deters protests against the regime. The abstract theoretical concepts will be illustrated with empirical examples from various historical cases of autocratic regimes such as Nazi Germany or the former German Democratic Republic and contemporary cases such as China or Russia. Students of this seminar will be actively encouraged to critically discuss the literature and to contribute with their own ideas to the study of autocratic politics.

    Fall Semester
    Eline Drury Løvlien: Ü Methoden der Internationalen Beziehungen: Capturing attitudes in IR6 ECTS

    The seminar will provide a basic introduction to working with survey data in Stata and combine this with more practical run-throughs of Stata usage. The aim of this is to help prepare the students for later BA thesis work, spending time on data treatment and creating usable measures of different political and social attitudes. The students should have some familiarity with Stata, but there will be some time set aside at the beginning for a short re-introduction to the Stata interface. Some of the more common survey datasets will be discussed, with the aim that the students should be able to use these and critically discuss them in their own work.  In addition to this the seminar will briefly look at the broader IR and conflict literature that uses survey data as part of their research designs.

    Fall Semester
    Felix Olsowski: Ü Methoden der Internationalen Beziehungen: Applied Data Preparation in Conflict Studies6 ECTS

    Especially in the field of International Relations (IR) political scientists frequently must invest major efforts in the pre-processing of data before turning to empirical analyses. This is because data often stems from various sources with different time- and data-formats as well as mixed labelling of observations. Researchers unfamiliar with these and other issues as well as mechanisms to solve them are easily overwhelmed by the necessary steps of data preparation. In this course you 1.) get to know major datasets in the area of conflict studies and their peculiarities, 2.) become acquainted to the major obstacles in the pre-processing of data in the field of IR, and 3.) learn how to address these issues as well as apply the gained knowledge to new data-processing problems in IR and beyond. Specifically, the course addresses problems such as the correct identification of data-formats, the harmonization of observation-identifiers, the merging of datasets, and others.

    All data-preparation tasks are done in Stata! While the theoretical principles of pre-processing are similar to other statistical software applications, basic knowledge in Stata is highly recommended (i.e. how to open datasets, generate variables, work with if-commands, etc.). As there will be no anew introduction into the software language, students that have not worked with Stata in a while are advised to get familiar with the respective commands again before the course starts.

    Fall Semester
  • Courses in the Master programme