Geschwister Scholl Institute of Political Science

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Thematic areas of focus

Focus Area 1: Democratic Politics and Governance

The aim of the focus area “Democratic Politics and Governance” is to develop a comprehensive understanding of democracy and its theoretical as well as empirical analysis, and to extend this understanding to non-democratic regimes. The focus is on institutions, actors and political processes within the framework of nation states, which are analyzed from the perspective of comparative politics and governance research. Both democracies and non-democratic regimes are analyzed, including processes of system change and transformation.

Focus Area 2: Global and European Politics

The focus area “Global and European Politics” deals with political problems, structures, institutions and actors beyond the nation state. The focus is not only on issues of war and peace, but also on questions of effective and legitimate governance in and through international institutions, including the European Union (EU). In the age of globalization, problems such as climate change, disease control, terrorism, civil wars, and financial stability can often only be effectively addressed in such institutions. International (governmental) institutions such as the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the EU, but also international (non-governmental) institutions such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace or Transparency International have therefore gained political authority. In addition, the importance of transnational social movements such as Fridays for Future have been growing. The focus area aims to provide an introduction to the analysis of the changing global and European politics. It also deals with the analysis of Europeanization and internationalization of former nation-state politics.

Focus Area 3: Public Policy and Public Administration

The aim of the focus area “Public Policy and Public Administration” is to provide in-depth knowledge of the basic principles, organizational structures, and tasks of the modern state. The focus will be on the change of modern statehood and the conditions of public task fulfillment. On the basis of various theories and concepts of organizational theory, the course will deal with the changing task profile of the modern state, the interaction of private, civil society and public actors in the performance of the state's tasks and the resulting conflicts and problems. The focus area covers the entire policy cycle, from agenda setting and policy formulation to implementation and evaluation.

Cross-cutting theme: Political Science Methods and Research Design

The aim is to convey to students extensive methodical knowledge for the planning of research projects and for the advanced analysis of empirical data. Students will engage with current and concrete examples of research questions as well as with special advanced methods of qualitative and quantitative political science. The objective is to enable students to develop methods-oriented research designs for their master thesis. A specialization to methods and research design in different fields of application is encouraged.