Our research areas
The Professorship for Political Theory and the History of Ideas has broad interests in 19th and 20th century political thought and modern intellectual history. Interested in the intersections of intellectual history and political culture, history of science or philosophy, we discuss multiple approaches to the history of political ideas. Besides the intellectual as an intermediary of political ideas we debate the ideas and practices of democracy and politics in the age of ideologies, globalization and the digital revolution. Our recent research topics include the problem of political radicalization in the sixties, the intellectual history of post-war Germany, political extremism in sports and civil society and the adoption of classical political philosophy in modern political theory.
The department of Political Systems analyses not only the political systems of individual states as a whole, but it also examines systems of sub-state units like the German federal states. One emphasis is placed on the analysis of the political system of the German Federal Republic. Moreover, the professorship conducts research on major subsections of political systems, also from a comparative perspective. Among other research subjects, this work includes the analysis of electoral systems, elections, parties, parliaments, coalitions and stakeholders.
At the professorship “Political Systems”, research is directed mainly toward an empirical-analytical approach. The application and further development of adequate methods is of particular significance, provided that the adequacy is oriented to the scientific problem of concern. In accordance with this approach, both quantitative and qualitative methods are utilized just as formal models based on the theory of choice as well as the game theory.
The research emphasis of the department of International Relations lies on European Integration, particularly on aspects of German EU policy, European Neighbourhood Policy and European energy policy. Further research areas include global shifts of power and emerging risks for international politics, security and conflict studies, as well as German foreign policy.
Comparative analysis of political systems is of increasing importance in political science. At the Professorship for European Comparative Government, political systems and their development are researched using a comparative approach. Our research focuses on the behaviour and interaction of central constitutional bodies (head of state, government, parliament, constitutional court). Additionally, contract research and third-party funded research as well as numerous ERASMUS cooperations play an important role.
Next to minor projects in the fields of Germany’s political system, international party research, and macro-qualitative methods (QCA), the Junior Professorship for Political Science Research Methods addresses three main research areas: (I) the epistemological and typological analysis of political right-wing, left-wing and religious extremism, which includes the search for individual psychological as well as social causes and concomitant features of extremist attitudes and values respectively; (II) the comparative empirical analysis of causes, peculiarities and consequences of political culture in Germany in special (subnational cultures) and in various regime types in general; (III) the methodological evaluation of political science indices.