Social Sciences

Institute of Political Science

The Institute of Political Science has a two-fold research strategy. This strategy consciously allows for and encourages heterogeneity in all ­research endeavours. At the same time it ensures that the appropriate institutional and financial support is given in order to build a strong research profile.

The success of this strategy of heterogeneity, which the different professorships within the ­Institute also reflect, is apparent from fruitful initiatives such as that of Prof. Renate Martinsen. In her capacity as member of the “Constructivist theories of politics” working group of the German Political Science Association (DVPW), she published a corresponding collection of papers with Springer VS in 2014. Activities in this area were further consolidated by a convention for early career scientists and the completion of a second volume of work on the theme. Individual research projects are a further indication of the successful excellence through heterogeneity strategy. They include a project conducted by Prof. Achim Goerres with Prof. Staffan Kumlin and Rune Karlsen (Oslo) on the pressure to reform the ­welfare state in Germany, Norway and Sweden, which is partly funded by the Norwegian Research Council. Substantial financial support is also ­being given to a current externally funded ­project by the Hans Böckler Foundation. It deals with the consequences of federalism reforms for civil servants and is headed by Prof. Nicolai Dose.

The profile of the Institute of Political Science is defined by research in the following areas:

  1. Global cooperation research.
  2. Political systems with a particular focus on parties and elections.
  3. Migration research.
  4. Transformation of contemporary societies as part of the University’s Main Research Area of the same name.

One indication of the IfP’s strength in research on political systems is Prof. Andreas Blätte’s role in a collaborative project supported by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr on “Arenas of political interest mediation”. The “Party Politics” Institute Colloquium, which was initiated by Prof. Achim Goerres and Prof. Michael Kaeding, and is an expert forum for research on political parties with prestigious national and international guests. It has been instrumental in creating a concentration on scientific research into parties and elections. This research focus has led to various publications, including a collection edited by Prof. Karl-Rudolf Korte analysing election, party, communications and government research on the 2013 German parliamentary elections, titled “Die Bundestags­wahl 2013: Analysen der Wahl-, Parteien- und Kommunikations- und Regierungsforschung”, as well as numerous journal and book contributions by the Institute’s members. Several events relating to the European elections, including a writers’ workshop, are among the activities in this central area of research. The events were sponsored by the Ministry for Federal Affairs, Europe and Media of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and organised by the Jean Monnet Chair (Prof. Michael Kaeding) and the NRW School of Governance. Within the broader context of this research focus there is also a joint project funded by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr on “Cultures of Transparency” with Prof. Christoph Bieber.

One of the outcomes of the diverse research undertaken on the theme of migration was a monograph published by Springer VS by Prof. Andreas Blätte on immigrant associations and political decision-making processes, titled “Einwanderer­verbände und politische Entscheidungsprozesse”. In conjunction with the Rhine-Ruhr Institute for Social Research and Political Consulting (RISP), two large collaborative projects funded by BMAS and the EU and located at the Chair of Prof. Nicolai Dose were conducted on the intercultural opening of administrations and organisations.