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Behavioral Public Economics (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Mario Mechtel

wöchentlich | Dienstag | 10:15 - 11:45 | 14.04.2020 - 12.05.2020 | C 14.102a | Digital class via Zoom

Inhalt: Based on numerous empirical and experimental insights, the field of behavioral economics emerged within the last decades and became an important part of mainstream economic research. Behavioral economists have contributed to the debates about many topics in public economics. This seminar will cover fundamental topics from this field. We will approach behavioral public economics from a pragmatic, policy-oriented perspective. Without talking too much about the fundamental question of whether the assumptions made in neoclassical theory are “valid”, we will raise different policy relevant questions and incorporate behavioral insights to test whether they improve policy outcomes. The lecture part of the seminar will briefly cover basics from behavioral economics (non-standard preferences, bounded self-control, imperfect optimization), while part II will focus on specific aspects of behavioral public economics research.

State, Market and Civil Society: Introduction to Political Sociology (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Stefan Kruse

14-täglich | Montag | 12:15 - 15:45 | 06.04.2020 - 10.07.2020 | C 14.006 | Digital Class via Zoom

Inhalt: Political sociology continues to be an essential subfield in sociology, covering a broad array of relevant themes to everyday life. We begin with a discussion of the central concept in political sociology: power, and explore the core concepts in the study of power. The course discusses the main theoretical frameworks in political sociology that organize the work of political sociologists, each of which presenting very different arguments about how to understand the connections between power, politics, and society. We thereby examine how various sociological perspectives conceptualize the state. Given sociology's emphasis on understanding the role of culture in daily life, the seminar addresses the links between culture and politics. Thereby, the course emphasizes (traditional) features of political culture, such as political values and ideology, and the study of how these values are acquired and link it to more recent theorizing, which combines institutions and culture to understand the nature of politics. The course also examines the nature of political participation and how individuals, political groups, the state, and others exercise power to shape political and social outcomes. We also discuss the role of social movements that use both institutionalized and noninstitutionalized activities to achieve their goals and identify the key concepts in social movement studies. Another important topic of political sociology covered in this course is political violence and its various causes as well as state responses.