Social Sciences

Research at the Institute of Political Science is characterised by close connections with its partner institutions within the Faculty and the linkage between fundamental and applied research. Against this backdrop, general political science topics take on their own UDE-specific shape in the Institute’s main areas of research. These include Development Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Comparative Regional Research with a focus on Europe, Africa, Central and East Asia, Administrative Studies from a political science perspective, and Policy Management, Political Communication and Public Opinion.

  • One of the exemplary ongoing projects within the period under review is a project on political parties in the Federal Republic of Germany (Professor Karl-Rudolf Korte). It discusses their politics and history, party-internal decision-making processes and strategic potential.
  • Regulation of parties in Africa was at the centre of a project concluded in 2009 and funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung. The “Party Bans in Africa” project (Professor Christof Hartmann in collaboration with colleagues in Bremen, Hamburg and Darmstadt) examined the variance of party bans in Africa, their causes and effects on competition between parties, democratisation and conflict resolution.
  • Comparative questions were also the subject of several research projects funded by the DFG or the Haniel Stiftung and dealing with governance in China, in particular “Administrative Reforms in Germany and China in Comparison: Environmental administration in the rural areas” (Professor Dieter Grunow and Professor Thomas Heberer together with the China Centre of Comparative Economics and Politics, Beijing), politics and autonomy within the local state, district and township cadres as strategic actors of the reform process (Professor Heberer in collaboration with Professor Gunter Schubert, University of Tübingen). Whilst the first project also plays a policy consulting role, the DFG project examines in its systematic empirical comparisons of Chinese districts and townships the previously little researched subject of the significance of local cadres for the political development of contemporary China.
  • Since 2010, Professor Heberer has also been coordinating a BMBF-funded competence network for political science research on China (“Governance in China: Prerequisites, Constraints and Potentials for Political Adaption and Innovation Capacity in the 21st Century”).
  • Professor Heinz-Jürgen Axt considered the subject of governance of European Monetary Union following the euro crisis and presented a range of research work on this topic.