Courses in the Spring Semester 2024

  • Courses in the Bachelor Program

    Course nameCreditsDetailsTerm
    Alina Greiner: HS Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen:Causes and Consequences of Armed Conflict6

    The world is facing the highest number of active violent conflicts since the end of World War II. According to UN estimates, 2 billion people currently live in areas affected by conflict. Understanding the causes and consequences of armed conflict is thus of vital importance. This undergraduate seminar introduces students to literature that uses empirical methods to shed light on key questions such as “What are risk factors associated with the outbreak of conflicts?”, “Who fights in civil wars?”, and “How does political violence shape individuals’ behavior and attitudes?”. The objective of this seminar is to familiarize students with the key readings, theories, and debates on the causes and consequences of armed conflicts. Particular emphasis will be on detailed discussions of empirical approaches to study conflicts.

    Spring Semester
    Alina Greiner: Ü Kolloquium Abschlussarbeit Internationale Beziehungen2

    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
    Amelie Freiberg: HS Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: Sexual violence in armed conflicts – Patterns of wartime rape in civil wars6

    Wartime rape “is arguably one of the most horrifying and least understood aspects of modern conflict” (Cohen 2013, 461).
    One of the most horrendous outcomes of civil wars is committing mass scale wartime rape. Previously, wartime rape was seen as an inevitable result of war. The genocide in Rwanda and the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina changed this attitude as a result of massive accounts of wartime rape in both conflicts. Nowadays, wartime rape in civil wars is recognized as a challenge that the academic community as well as the international community needs to address. This recognition was demonstrated by the ratification of the 2019 UN resolution condemning sexual violence against women and the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 to advocates for victims of sexual violence in wartime, Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad.
    In recent years, sexual violence in civil wars has received increased scholarly attention. In this seminar, we will engage with the growing body of research  contributing to the academic understanding of wartime rape. Different approaches and theoretical frameworks, ranging from ethnic hatred, gender inequality to combatant socialisation will be discussed, as well as various research methods and their feasibility.
    This seminar addresses the main research puzzles of sexual violence in armed conflict, namely the fact that we see widespread rape being committed in some conflicts, but not in others. Furthermore, wartime rape predominantly is gang rape,
    whereas most rape during times of peace is single offender rape. Different dynamics of gang rape and single offender rape indicate that there is a fundamentally different underlying motivation which leads to the perpetuation of gang rape  rather than single offender rape during wartime.
    The seminar will put an emphasis on the current literature on wartime rape and military socialization, which provide cohesive theories and models that investigate the factors that determine different levels of wartime rape. These theories and models will be analysed and discussed. Students will be asked to develop their own theories and research designs in order to engage with the discourse on sexual violence in armed conflict.

    Spring Semester
    Amelie Freiberg: Ü Methoden der Internationalen Beziehungen: Data analysis in conflict research using Stata6

    The objective of this course is to introduce students to the basic statistical concepts and programming skills needed to address social science questions in the fields of conflict studies. The course offers a hands-on introduction to Stata. The aim of this is to help prepare the students for later BA thesis work, spending time on data treatment and creating usable measures and get to know major datasets in the area of conflict studies and their peculiarities. 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 IR data sets 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 as part of their research designs. The course is taught in English.

    Spring Semester
    Marie-Therese Meye: HS Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: Electoral Violence in (Non-) Democracies6

    Peaceful political competition is a central component of democracies, but the spread of electoral democracy as the global norm has not always implied inherently peaceful transitions of power. Instead, electoral processes in many countries are marred by violence, as illustrated by recent violent elections in Brazil, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, the United States, and Zimbabwe. Electoral violence is defined as the use of force by political actors against property or humans linked substantially to an electoral contest.

    In this comprehensive course, we delve into the intricacies of electoral processes in these environments, focusing particularly on the phenomenon of electoral violence. We will explore the workings of elections in these specific contexts and analyze the factors that shape the nature and operation of electoral politics therein, including various forms of electoral manipulation. Throughout the course, we will address critical questions such as: Who are the perpetrators, and who are the victims of electoral violence? What are the various types of electoral violence, and do they share common causes and consequences?

    Our in-depth examination of electoral violence will be complemented by an extensive analysis of case studies from developing and young democracies, as well as non-democratic countries. Students will engage with diverse data sources related to electoral violence, enabling them to identify trends and characteristics. This hands-on approach provides a unique opportunity to gain insights into the realities of electoral violence on the ground. Based on our discussion of the case studies, we will also identify risks and opportunities for the prevention of electoral violence throughout the various phases of the election cycle, including the often-overlooked time between elections.

    Spring Semester
  • Courses in the Master Program

    Course nameDetailsTerm
    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.

    Spring Semester