Courses in the Fall Semester 2022/23

  • Courses in the Bachelor Program

    Course nameCreditsDetailsTerm
    Sabine Carey: VL Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: Political Violence6 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
    Marie Meye: PS Einführung in die Internationalen Beziehungen: Causes of Intrastate Conflicts: Theories and Empirical Evidence5 ECTS

    This seminar aims to give students an in-depth understanding of the causes of intrastate conflicts or civil wars. The seminar is divided into two main parts. The first part focuses on dominant theoretical models of intrastate conflict onset. We will analyze, compare, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of theories and concepts such as ‘greed’, ‘grievance‘, ‘opportunity’, and ‘relative deprivation’. The second part of the seminar focuses on empirical research based on the theories introduced in the first part of the seminar. We will analyze theories in the context of particular conflicts, focusing both on quantitative and qualitative studies. The seminar will also prepare students for writing their final paper and provide the opportunity to take a closer look at the data and empirical methods researchers use when studying intrastate conflicts.

    Fall Semester
    Felix Olsowski: PS Einführung in die Internationalen Beziehungen: Peace and Conflict5 ECTS

    With the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 for many Europeans the topics of peace and conflict have gained much more relevance. Armed conflicts between state and/or non-state actors often cause great suffering, casualties, and enormous costs. This makes it important to understand their reasons, characteristics, and possibilities to curtail and end them. Why do states attack each other? What causes civil wars? Why do conflict parties attack civilians? Does peacekeeping work? – These are some of the questions we want to answer. The aim of this seminar is to give students a broad overview of the field of conflict research. We will consider both interstate as well as intrastate conflicts and take different perspectives on armed conflicts. Students will be familiarized with classical explanations and discuss them in the context of new theoretical arguments in the field. The seminar also provides the opportunity to take a closer look at the conceptualizations, data, and the empirical methods researchers use when studying peace and conflict.

    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 Program

    Course nameCreditsDetailsTerm
    Christoph Steinert: Advanced Topics in International Politics: Human Rights Politics10 ECTS

    This seminar focuses on human rights violations as a theoretical concept and as an empirical phenomenon. It tackles questions such as: What are human rights violations? How can we study human rights violations empirically? When are human rights violations most likely to occur? Which groups of individuals face an elevated risk of human rights violations? And which types of interventions are effective to promote human rights? The seminar will be structured according to different political contexts analysing distinct dynamics of repression during 'peace' and armed conflicts. The seminar sheds light on different perpetrators of human rights abuse and on patterns of civilian victimization and sexual violence during armed conflicts. The seminar also covers selective types of external interventions to conflict-torn societies such as UN Peacekeeping missions or international criminal prosecutions. To bridge the gap between theory and practice, current real-world examples of human rights violations will be discussed in relation to the theoretical concepts introduced in class. By the end of the seminar, students are expected to write their own empirical research paper on a topic of their own choice related to the field of human rights.

    Fall Semester