Spring Semester 2019

Bachelor courses


Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen II: Ursachen, Dynamiken und Beendigung von gewaltsamen Konflikten

Prof. Dr. Lilli Banholzer

Der Großteil von gewaltsam ausgetragenen Konflikten findet heute nicht mehr zwischen, sondern innerhalb von Staaten statt. Die Zahl der Opfer in Bürgerkriegen ist deutlich höher als in internationalen Kriegen.

Während in den letzten 50 Jahren etwa 3 Millionen Menschen in 25 zwischenstaatlichen Kriegen ihr Leben verloren, starben in der gleichen Zeit mehr als fünf Mal so viele Menschen in 127 Bürgerkriegen. Im ersten Teil dieses Seminars werden wir uns vor dem Hintergrund etablierter Ansätze der Konfliktforschung mit den Bedingungen beschäftigen, die zum Ausbruch von Bürgerkriegen führen, wir werden hinterfragen, welche Faktoren die Kriegsdauer und Intensität der Konfrontationen beeinflusst und schließlich auch Wege der Kriegsbeendigung und Möglichkeiten für den Aufbau einer stabilen Nachkriegsordnung untersuchen. Nachdem wir uns mit den theoretischen Ansätzen beschäftigt haben, werden wir unsere gewonnen Erkenntnisse auf konkrete Fälle von Bürgerkriegen und gewaltsamen Konflikten anwenden. Ziel dieses Seminars ist es, einen guten Einblick in die Bürgerkriegsforschung zu bekommen und einen Überblick über die Faktoren zu erlangen, die für den Ausbruch, Verlauf und die Beendigung von innergesellschaftlichen Gewaltkonflikten relevant sind. Das Seminar ist als Blockveranstaltung konzipiert.

Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen II: Between Democracy and Authoritarianism: Civil Society in Central Asia and Russia

Anna-Lena Hönig

In this seminar, we study political regimes to understand variation across civil society in Central Asia and the Russian Federation. We integrate the most important theories on democracy and authoritarianism with current research on repression, mobilization, and contentious politics. This allows us to study civil society and its development since the end of the Soviet Union in the Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan as well as Russia. We also analyze how internal and external actors can influence the consolidation and deconsolidation of democracy. By studying these hybrid regimes, students learn about the interconnectedness of democratic and autocratic politics and policies.

Students gain a critical understanding of the theories and key methods in the field as the course integrates theoretical discussions with practical sessions on research design. Students are introduced to the relevant datasets and sources. This seminar aims to prepare students intensively for writing their final paper with Latex and is taught in English.

Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen II: Coercive Bureaucracies

Christian Gläßel

In this seminar we engage with research on coercive bureaucracies. The main goal is to develop a deeper understanding of the important actors, strategies and processes that shape the structure of security   organizations and the production of state violence. How do states organize their coercive apparatus? What are the underlying motivations behind different systems and which constraints do governments face? What are the implications for human rights and civil liberties and under what
conditions do security organizations turn against their government? We will address these questions (among others) and discuss existing approaches to answer them. By the end of the seminar students shall be able to critically assess prior contributions in terms of theory and empirical analysis. The course is reading-intensive and requires active participation in class to allow for fruitful discussions. Prior knowledge of and experience in handling empirical data is strongly recommended. Course language is English.

Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen II: Actors and Tactics in Conflict Settings

Cosima Meyer

During the last half-century, the world witnessed an increasing number of civil wars. They are often long-lasting and hard to solve. But who are the actors playing crucial roles in these conflicts? What are their tactics? How do they act and why? And how does their behavior affect the conflict scenario? Approaching these and other questions, the course will address various actors ranging from non-state (armed) actors over national and international governments to international players. Along the way, the course considers their motives as well as their strategies and how this plays out in the conflict field. Besides the content-based input, this course prepares students to write term papers and incorporates writing as part of the learning process. The readings and class discussions should encourage you already during the semester to think critically about appropriate topics for your final paper. Students work continuously, in guided steps, on their final papers and provide and receive constructive feedback on a peer-review basis.This course is taught in English.

Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen II: States as Perpetrators of Human Rights violations

Felix Olsowski

It is the state that usually has the monopoly on the use of force in the society. In return, the state’s security apparatus is supposed to protect citizens from each other. Interventions in personal liberties are necessary means to fulfill this mandate, but what happens when states face dangers and struggle with a fair balance of personal freedom and security? Furthermore, examples in the past and present provide clues that states actively utilized citizens’ fears to extend their power further. Finally, issues of regulation and oversight can provide state officials with the necessary leeway to engage in human rights violations on their own. In this seminar we will investigate regimes and components of the state apparatus in democracies and autocracies as violators of human rights. Thereby, we consider incidences of intended and unintended human rights violations and discuss the difficulties we as researchers face when analyzing them.
Upon successful completion of the seminar, participants shall be aware of important theories and measurements in the field. The seminar is designed to make students think critically about the classical explanations for and perpetrators of human rights violations.
The course is taught in English.


BA Kolloquium

Lilli Banholzer

Das Hauptziel des Bachelorkolloquiums ist, den Bachelorstudierenden die Gelegenheit zu geben, Ihre Arbeit einem größeren Kreis vorzustellen und aus der Diskussion möglichst viele Anregungen für ihre weitere Arbeit mitzunehmen. Daher soll es jedem Vortragenden selbst überlassen werden, durch seinen/ihren Vortrag die Schwerpunkte der Diskussion mitzubestimmen. Ein weiteres Ziel des Bachelorkolloquiums ist, jedem Bachelorstudierenden einen Einblick in die Arbeit anderer zu ermöglichen und auch daraus Anregungen für die eigene Arbeit aufzunehmen.

Master courses


International Politics

Sabine Carey

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 and climate policies.

Research Seminar

Selected Topics in International Politics: Repression, Security and Peace

Sabine Carey

This seminar discusses seminal and current work on state repression, security and peace. It introduces on why and how states violate human rights. It focuses on how governments organize and implement repression and how they aim to justify or obfuscate state violence, particularly in the context of democratic institutions and international human rights norms. The discussion also discusses peace as a more heterogenous concept than the absence of war. Over the course of the seminar you will develop your own research question on one of the topics discussed in the seminar and carrying out your own research. Additionally, you are expected to read all required materials, provide feedback on other student’s work and lead one class discussion.


Sabine Carey