Courses Winter Semester 2016 2017

Political Impacts of Information Technology

Prof. Dr. Nils B. Weidmann
Annerose Nisser

Thursdays 10:00 - 11:30, D 404

The digital age is fundamentally transforming our society. This course examines the political effects of information- and communication technology (ICT), with a particular focus on political mobilization in non-democratic countries. We start with an introduction to the technology behind cellphone and Internet communications, in order to develop a basic understanding of how they work. Next, we discuss different ways in which this technology affects political mobilization. Last, we give particular attention to empirical tests that can (or cannot) let us gauge these hypothesized effects. The course requires a good background in research design and quantitative methods.

Non-Violent Resistance

Dr. Johannes Vüllers

Tuesdays, 08:15 - 09:45, C 421

The Arab Spring illustrates the importance to understand under what conditions nonviolent resistance occur and what conditions explain success and failure of nonviolent resistance. The course provides an overview of the classical approaches in the study of nonviolent resistance and insights in the emerging field of nonviolent resistance in conflict research. The first part of the course examines different explanations why civilians decide to use nonviolent strategies. In the second part, we discuss theories on mobilization, different nonviolent strategies and the dynamics of nonviolent resistance. The final part of the course analyzes relevant conditions for the success and failure of nonviolent resistance.

Data Sources in Peace and Conflict Research

Dr. Johannes Vüllers

Tuesdays, 15:15 - 16:45, D 431

Peace and conflict researchers make use of different types of data sources in empirical studies. This course provides an introduction in the methodological challenges and opportunities of different data sources for qualitative and quantitative research design. The course focuses on data sources that are especially relevant in peace and conflict research. The first part of the course offers an introduction to the general relevant methodological aspects regarding the use of data sources and an introduction to (historical) source analysis. In the second part, the course examines the use of different data sources (e.g. newspapers, satellite images, archive material, interviews) especially suitable for qualitative and quantitative research regarding political violence, refugees, or international interventions. We discuss problems and potentials on the basis of data sources collected by the students for their own research. The course requires a good background in research design. Part of the course will be a visit to the city archive of Konstanz.