Teaching

Winter term 2016/2017:

  • Introduction to International Relations [BA lecture taught in German; substituting for Prof. Anja Jetschke].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Model United Nations [BA / MA course taught in English].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Research Design for Final Theses in International Relations [BA / MA course taught in German].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

Summer term 2016:

  • Model United Nations [BA / MA course taught in English].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Research Design for Final Theses in International Relations [BA / MA course taught in German].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

Winter term 2015/2016:

  • International Politics and International Relations [BA course taught in German with English literature].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Textual Analysis and Coding as a Social Science Method [MA course taught in German].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Model United Nations [BA / MA course taught in English].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Research Design for Final Theses in International Relations [BA / MA course taught in German].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

Summer term 2015:

  • Conflict and Cooperation International Relations [BA course taught in English].

The world, it seems, faces an ever increasing number of international problems. From climate change to military interventions, from cyberterrorism to real-world terrorism, from migration to global finance, states and non-state actors have to deal with issues that are far-reaching, complex, interlinked, and practically impossible to solve for any one actor on their own. In this course, we will take a close look at a number of these headline-making events.

Our focus will be on issue areas of both conflict and cooperation. Constant conflict between actors is obviously not the norm, but this does not mean that most international problems are given to harmonious, cooperative problem-solving. The goal of the course is to develop a deeper understanding about particular issues facing the world in the 21st century, and to understand and critique the major approaches to studying these cases. Can neo-realists explain how world trade is organized? Can constructivist theories make sense of how the Polar Regions are governed?

At the end of the course, students will be familiar with crucial cases in international relations, be able to apply theoretical explanations of actor behavior, and generalize from these cases to other areas of conflict and cooperation on the international stage.

The syllabus and reading list is available here.

  • Model United Nations [BA / MA course taught in English].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Research Design for Final Theses in International Relations [BA / MA course taught in German].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

Winter term 2014/2015:

  • International Politics and International Relations [BA course taught in German with English literature].

Das Seminar führt in das Studium internationaler Beziehungen (IB) ein. Warum führen Staaten Kriege? Wie wird grenzüberschreitender Handel reguliert? Welchen Unterschied – wenn überhaupt – machen internationale Organisationen wie die Vereinten Nationen? Der Kurs wird diese und andere Fragen aus den Blickwinkeln verschiedener etablierter Theorien internationaler Beziehungen wie Neorealismus, Institutionalismus und Liberalismus beantworten. Ferner werden empirische Ausprägungen der IB in Form internationaler Institutionen, Akteure und Probleme betrachtet.

Texte und Sitzungen geben uns die Chance, internationale Phänomene zu diskutieren und die Erklärungsversuche von IB-Theorien durchzuspielen und zu bewerten. Der Kurs folgt einer positivistischen Linie: wir wollen das beobachtbare Verhalten von Akteuren zu erklären, egal ob wir dies begrüßen oder ablehnen; in normativer Weise die Moralität oder Ethik staatlichen Handelns zu diskutieren ist nicht Teil des Seminars. Mit anderen Worten versuchen wir die Welt so zu erklären, wie sie ist, und nicht, wie sie sein sollte. Hierdurch ergibt sich eine gewisse Spannung in einigen der Texte, da Autoren ihre Meinung darüber, wie sich Staaten tatsächlich verhalten und wie sie sich verhalten sollten, mischen. Im Seminar sind wir allerdings immer an generalisierbaren Erklärungen von Vorgängen internationaler Politik interessiert, selbst wenn es die Autoren nicht sind.

Nach Ende des Seminars kennen die Studierenden eine Reihe von portablen und verallgemeinerbaren Erklärungsansätzen der IB, und können diese auf Situationen von Konflikt oder Kooperation anwenden.

The syllabus and reading list is available here.

  • Textual Analysis and Coding as a Social Science Method [MA course taught in German].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Model United Nations [BA / MA course taught in English].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Research Design for Final Theses in International Relations [BA / MA course taught in German].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

Summer term 2014:

  • Theory and Reality of International Institutions [BA course taught in English].

Although states are commonly thought of as the highest level of authority in the international system, they often give up some of this authority to international institutions. In this course, we ask how institutions are constituted and established, and what makes them evolve and change over time; what effects they have, and how they influence state policy; why they have an impact, if at all; how they operate, what their membership and rules are, how they structure decision-making, and what effects those different designs have; and how international institutions affect domestic politics.

We will take a look at a variety of institutions: intergovernmental ones like the World Trade Organization; supranational ones like the International Criminal Court; regional ones like the European Union; global ones like the United Nations; those seeking to support development like the International Monetary Fund; and those seeking to attack global order like terrorist networks. Our goal is to understand and critique the major approaches to studying international institutions in general, and learn how and why particular institutions function well, while others are in need of reform.

The syllabus and reading list is available here.

  • Textual Analysis and Coding as a Social Science Method [MA course taught in German].

Die Politikwissenschaft steht oft vor der Schwierigkeit, dass die zur Untersuchung von Forschungsfragen nötigen Daten nicht zur Verfügung stehen. Ein Großteil der Arbeit in politikwissenschaftlichen Projekten besteht daher darin, empirische Daten zu vereinheitlichen und Datensätze zu generieren. Das Seminar soll Studierenden als Einführung in diese Form der Datenerhebung in der quantitativen Sozialforschung dienen.

Der Schwerpunkt liegt hierbei auf der Analyse und Kodierung von Texten, wobei die Politikwissenschaft besonders an Dokumenten wie Verfassungen, Verträgen, Reden oder Gesetzen interessiert ist. Zumeist dienen die so systematisierten Ergebnisse als Basis für weitere statistische Analysen. Als praktische Übung bekommen Studierende die Möglichkeit, für ein in Göttingen durchgeführtes Forschungsprojekt Gründungs- und Änderungsverträge von Regionalorganisationen wie ASEAN oder der Afrikanischen Union zu untersuchen und Erfahrung in der angewandten Kodierung zu sammeln. Die Seminarstruktur wird bewusst flexibel und workshop-artig gehalten, um Lerneffekte zu maximieren.

The syllabus and reading list is available here.

  • Model United Nations [BA / MA course taught in English].

For a course description and syllabus see below.

  • Research Design for Final Theses in International Relations [BA / MA course taught in German].

Das Seminar ist als praktisch ausgerichtetes Einführungsseminar angelegt. Es soll Sie mit Kernfragen des Forschungsdesigns in den Sozialwissenschaften vertraut machen. Ein Forschungsdesign zu entwickeln heißt, Entscheidungen zu treffen: Darüber, wie Sie etwas erforschen werden, welche Daten Sie dazu benötigen, wie Sie diese Daten am besten sammeln und analysieren und wie Sie daraus Inferenzen ziehen, damit das Ziel ihrer For-schungsarbeit erreicht wird. Als Forscher/in müssen Sie zeigen, dass die Schlüsse, die Sie aus ihrer Forschung ziehen, robust und fundiert sind und zwar in epistemologischer und theoretischer Hinsicht. Der Kurs gibt keine Anleitung für bestimmte Forschungsmethoden, oder eine erschöpfende Liste von Punkten, die Sie berücksichtigen müssen, wenn Sie eine Forschungsarbeit beginnen. Das Seminar diskutiert die Stärken und Schwächen von ver-schiedenen Forschungsdesigns in Bezug auf die Ziele, Gegenstände und theoretischen Ver-ständnisse, die jeder Forschungsarbeit zugrunde liegen.

The syllabus and reading list is available here.

Winter term 2013/2014:

  • Introduction to International Relations [BA course taught in English].

This course is an introduction to the study of international relations (IR). Why do states wage war? How is cross-border trade regulated? What difference - if any - do international organizations like the United Nations make? The course will look at these and other questions through the lenses of several well-established theories of international relations, such as realism, institutionalism, and liberal approaches. It will also consider a range of historical and contemporary topics of international politics, and the foreign policies of particular countries.

The texts and seminars will allow us to discuss international phenomena and how IR theories understand them. This is a positivist course in IR, with a focus on explaining the way that actors behave in anarchy, rather than taking a normative approach and discussing the morality or ethics of state behavior. In other words, we will be thinking about how we explain the world as it is, not how the world should be. This creates a certain tension in some of the readings. Many of the authors in the course readings will mix their discussion of how states do behave with their views on how states should behave. For the purposes of this course, however, we are interested – even if the author is not – above all in how these readings contribute to our general understanding of state behaviour.

At the end of the course students will be familiar with a number of portable and generalizable explanations of international relations, and know how to apply them to situations of conflict and cooperation.

The syllabus and reading list is available here.

  • Model United Nations [BA / MA course taught in English].

For over 40 years, simulations of the United Nations have increased awareness and knowledge of UN institutions and processes, and brought together students from all continents. The Model UN course is designed to acquaint students with the operations of, and issues affecting, the United Nations through the study of political positions of member states.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to articulate different countries' foreign policy, know the structures and procedures of the United Nations, analyze issues currently before the UN from a Member State perspective, and understand and competently use the rules of procedure, diplomatic protocol, and negotiating techniques common to UN delegates.

The syllabus is available here. Göttingen's ModelUN Society is here.


Study Resources

All links point to their authors' websites, and you should get the documents there first. However, to prevent broken links, I have also made the files available in the attachments below.


General Teaching Interests

  • International relations
  • International organizations
  • Regional organizations
  • Non-state actors in global governance
  • Global public health
  • International development cooperation
  • Telecommunications and internet governance
  • Politics and governance of outer space
  • Research design and methods
  • Quantitative methods