Explaining Global Politics: The Game of Using Theories (10 ECTS)

How do you understand and explain political and social phenomena? What are the tools that help you hypothesize and test interaction models between political actors? This module aims at providing you with the theoretical tools or 'lenses' lending...

Dr. Daniel Kuchler
Dr. Daniel Kuchler

Instructor: Dr. Daniel Kuchler

How do you understand and explain political and social phenomena? What are the tools that help you hypothesize and test interaction models between political actors? This module aims at providing you with the theoretical tools or 'lenses' lending explanations to your field of research. You will get to know both traditional theories of international relations, as well as innovative strands of thought from related fields of social inquiry.

This module thereby incorporates available insights from the fields of sociology, neurosciences, (behavioral) economics as well as network-analysis, and joins them with political science. You will discuss and assess the comparative strengths and weaknesses of theoretical approaches in explaining social processes. Furthermore, this module will establish the connection between theoretical lenses and their application to genuine policy questions. You will be able to assess political problems and make policy recommendations in regard to different theoretical understandings of a conflict situation.

Explaining Global Politics: The Game of Using Theories

Module Structure

Part I: Introduction to Global Politics

Unit 01: Theories of Global Politics and the End of Politics

 

Part II: Global Politics and the State

Unit 02: Realism

Unit 03: Neorealism

Unit 04: Balance of Power & Power Transition Theory

Unit 05: Neo-Liberal Institutionalism

 

Part III: Global Politics beyond the State

Unit 06: Liberalism

Unit 07: Wendt's Social Theory of International Politics

Unit 08: Constructivism

Unit 09: Marxism

 

Part IV: New Challenges in Global Politics

Unit 10: Policy Communities, Coalitions and Argument

Unit 11: Transgovernmental Networks

Unit 12: Non-Governmental Networks

Unit 13: Network Structures, Space of Flows, and Scapes of Identities

Unit 14: Messy Policy

Unit 15: Changing Information Environments: The Role of Media Framing

 

Part V: Optional Readings

Unit 16: The (Im-)Possibility of Making Informed Decisions

Unit 17: Time Compression, Time Horizons, and Acceleration in Politics