Faculty of Humanities

Institute of Political Science

The Institute of Political Science has a twofold research strategy, which consciously allows for and encourages heterogeneity in all research endeavours. At the same time, it strives to build a strong research profile by providing appropriate staffing and financial support, recruitment strategies, and other institutionalisation measures. This includes the foundation of specialist schools within the institute as well as a systematic link with research facilities at the UDE (INEF, INEAST and a Käte Hamburger International Centre for Political Cultures).

In light of all the diverse research efforts undertaken, a whole host of essential activities have now come to the fore based on these premises, including peace and conflict research, comparative politics, political control, governance and administrative research, election and party research, policy, policy management, political communication and public opinion, as well as teaching methodologies for social sciences and political education.

The institute also plays a key role within the UDE’s research strategy as a result of being incorporated into one of the university’s main research areas – transformation of contemporary societies. This can be seen, for example, in the interdisciplinary project initiated by Prof. Achim Goerres and funded by the Funk Foundation, which deals with major social risks such as climate change and national debt from a political perspective. Similarly, the “Non-violent resistance and democratic consolidation” project led by PD Dr. Daniel Lambach and supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to investigate peace and conflict also makes a key contribution in this regard.

The strength of the institute with regard to political communication is evidenced in various forms, including Prof. Andreas Blätte’s PolMine project, which focuses on processing the Bundestag’s plenary protocols for machine analyses. What’s more, by registering the project as a CLARIN Centre, the Duisburg-Essen site now boasts a digital research infrastructure that is renowned throughout Europe.

Building upon this data, the work undertaken by Prof. Karl-Rudolf  Korte and Dr. Kristina Weissenbach investigates the “Policy management and inequality discourse” research project supported by the Hans Böckler Foundation from a comparative political science perspective. Conducted at the NRW School of Governance, this project takes the debate on social inequality in the context of the European banking and financial crisis as an example to address questions such as “How does Germany tackle the subject of inequality?” and “How is policy management handled with regard to the discourse on inequality?”

The research training group for “Work and its subjects – medial discursivity since 1960” is yet a further contributor to the topic of political communication. This college is funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation and supervised by Prof. Christoph Bieber alongside colleagues from the fields of literature, language and media sciences.

In terms of election and party research conducted at the IfP, the “Loss of membership experienced by popular parties” project undertaken by Prof. Nicolai Dose represents a fine example of this kind of work. Furthermore, together with Dr. Dennis Spies (University of Cologne), Prof. Achim Goerres has managed to secure funding from the DFG for Germany’s first ever electoral study of migrants for the 2017 parliamentary election. This will make it possible to elicit differentiated data on the voting behaviour of Germany’s various migrant groups and generations for the very first time.

The university enjoys a strong reputation for didactic research, which is evidenced in particular by the ProViel project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). With its focus on professionalisation and diversity, this project falls within the domain of Prof. Sabine Manzel. In addition to diversity and inclusion in schools, it also investigates language learning and new forms of learning as well as quality assurance and development. Emerging new scientists in this field can benefit from a research training group that focuses on the subject of “Transitions in science teaching at secondary-school level”. Supported by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research for North Rhine-Westphalia, this college is also co-supervised by Prof. Manzel.

A prime example of the institute’s interdisciplinary focus on a trans-university level can be found in the project entitled “Multiple risks. Contingency management in stem cell research and its applications – a political science analysis”. This venture is funded by the BMBF and led by Prof. Renate Martinsen in cooperation with the Schools of Medical Ethics and Law at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and the University of Augsburg.

The institute’s strong international connections can be seen in the cooperation between Prof. Kaeding and Radboud University, Nijmegen, which has given rise to activities such as an international and intradisciplinary workshop on compliance and implementation of EU law. Furthermore, the 26th Scientific Congress of the German Association for Political Science (DVPW) held at the Duisburg campus in the summer of 2015 has made a crucial contribution to the UDE’s visibility on both a domestic and international scale. Organised and executed by Prof. Pickel, the event saw over 800 political scientists from across Germany and a whole host of international guests discuss key research results on the topic of “Caution, safety! Legitimation problems with the organisation of freedom”.