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Home » About Us » Modules » Study Focus Area Studies


Study Focus Area Studies 24-32 ECTS

Overview: Studying Areas 8 ECTS

This module focuses on the academic field of area studies. You will immerse in the various academic debates and political functions that have guided the development of the field in recent years. You will critically discuss concepts such as 'orientalization' or 'idolization' in the context of area studies. Furthermore, you will learn about the methodological challenges of the field – what are the intricacies of field work? What are the parameters you can study in the field and where are the limits? This module provides you with a broad basis from which to proceed into researching distinct regions of the world – and you will understand the methodological and conceptual differences with the field of global politics.

Lost in Transformation: Comparative Area Studies 8 ECTS

This module will acquaint you to the various eras of transformation that we have seen in the past decades. The decolonization movement and the non-aligned movement in the Cold War, the wave of democratization in Latin America in the 1960s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the beginning of the 1990s, the recent colour revolutions in Eastern Europe, as well as the Arab Spring revolutions will be looked at from a comparative perspective. What has guided these transformations, how was social change induced in each of these regions? Were the transformations driven from above or below? Where external or internal factors crucial for bringing about social change? What were the major challenges and impediments? Looking at these transformations from a comparative perspective enables you to make general statements about the process of social and political change in different eras and regions of the world.

Russia: Eternal Enigmas 8 ECTS

The post Soviet space and Russia in particular has long been one of the most preferred topics of area studies. At its core is the assumption that Soviet and post-Soviet Russia is a unique country that cannot be understood and explained in comparison with other countries or even regions. This assumption can still be found in area studies today – independent from a seemingly 'normalization' of relations with post-Soviet Russia. Winston Churchill once said: "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." To what extent is this still true today? How does this understanding still mould our understanding of Russian politics today?

Eastern Europe: A Dissolving Concept? 8 ECTS

Eastern European countries have taken different pathways after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. While some have succeeded to establish consolidated democracies, others remain unstable or have drifted back into autocratic structures. While some have succeeded in building innovative market economies, others are still struggling. How can these different pathways be explained? What are lessons learnt for institutional design after major social and political turn-over? How can we gain a better understanding for the post-revolution processes we see in different region like the Arab Spring countries.

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