Courses Summer Semester 2016

Introduction to Comparative Politics

Prof. Dr. Nils B. Weidmann
Head tutor: Lukas Kawerau 

Thursdays 10:00 - 11:30, A701

The lecture provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of comparative politics. It discusses the most central questions covered in comparative politics, the underlying theoretical approaches as well as the analytical tools to study them. Some of the core topics are democratic and non-democratic political institutions and regimes; regime change; political participation and collective action; political violence; political economy and redistribution. The readings consist primarily of textbook chapters, but also include selected academic articles.


Prof. Dr. Nils B. Weidmann

Thursdays, 13:30-15:00, D 435

This colloquium is intended for Bachelor and Master students writing their thesis on topics related to violent and non-violent conflict and contention. The goals of the colloquium are for students to obtain feedback on their project and research progress, both theoretical and methodological, and to build up skills in scientific presentation and discussion. For the latter, we will emulate a conference setting, where students act both as presenters and discussants.

The Politics of Authoritarian Regimes

Espen Geelmuyden Rød

Thursdays, 11:45-13:50, D 431

Since the emergence of the first nation states, most people have lived under authoritarian rule. Yet, we know a lot less about authoritarian politics than about democratic politics. This seminar offers an introduction to authoritarian regimes. The seminar is structured into four main blocks. First, what is an authoritarian regime, what different types of authoritarian regimes exist, and how do they come into existence? Second, how do autocratic governments survive in power? Third, how does authoritarian rule influence domestic and international conflict? Fourth, what explains transitions to democracy? The readings for the course covers both classic and contemporary literature, with a particular focus on analytical and quantitative work. Therefore, it is required that students have completed at least an introductory course in research design and quantitative methodology.

Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies

Dr. Johannes Vüllers

Tuesdays, 13:30 - 15:00, D 247

The course provides an overview of the recent literature in the field of peace and conflict studies with a focus on intrastate conflicts. The first part of the course examines theories analyzing the outbreak of conflicts and available preventive measures. In the second part, the course focuses on the dynamics of violence, interaction between the conflict actors and conflict management attempts. The final part of the course discusses recent research on post-conflict countries, including UN peacekeeping operations and power-sharing institutions. Aside from the discussion of the main theoretical and empirical studies, we use the civil war in Nepal as prime example during the course to discuss the explanatory power of the different theories.

Contentious Politics and Social Movements

Dr. Johannes Vüllers

Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30, C 421

The course provides an overview of the classical approaches in contentious politics and social movement research. The first part of the course examines the main theoretical approaches of the field, including collective action, grievances, resource mobilization, framing approaches, and political opportunity structures. In the second part, the course examines theories on mobilization, collective identities, different types of protests, cycles of protest, state repression and the success/failure of social movements. In the final part, we discuss conceptual and empirical challenges (e.g. impact of information technologies, transnational social movements) of the field.