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Democracy and Democratization in Post-Communist Europe (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Sarah Engler

wöchentlich | Donnerstag | 12:15 - 13:45 | 16.10.2023 - 02.02.2024 | C 14.001 Seminarraum

Inhalt: We take a look at the current state of democracy in post-communist Europe and the path that led to it. We learn which factors helped or hindered democratic progress and how these factors relate to theories of democratization in other regions. What role did external actors, such as the EU, have in democratic consolidation? How can we explain the large differences between the quality of democracy in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic? In the second part, we discuss existing concepts of democracy such as Dahl's polyarchy or liberal democracy, and engage with different approaches of measuring democracy. Finally, we look at how populism and political distrust paved the way for democratic backsliding in countries like Poland or Hungary, discuss whether Orbán's 'illiberal democracy' can be democratic at all, and explore possible scenarios for the future of democracy in Europe.

Föderale Strukturen im Vergleich der deutschen Bundesländer (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Holger Meyer

14-täglich | Donnerstag | 16:15 - 19:45 | 23.10.2023 - 02.02.2024 | C 14.204 Seminarraum

Inhalt: The course stresses the relevance of the linkage between theories and methods in Comparative Politics in the domain of contentious politics and conflict studies. The seminar provides insights into conducting comparative analyses on political mobilization and conflict processes. In class, we focus on the underlying logic of theoretical arguments and how researchers evaluate them. We then examine the relationship between theory and evidence, measurement, and research designs. We scrutinize the implications entailed by different theories and arguments on contentious politics and think of ways to evaluate the consistencies with empirical patterns. Students should actively engage with the readings and are expected to work throughout the seminar.