Master of Arts in Politics with Focus on Modern Political Theory 

Overview

The specialization on political theory focuses on current topics and debates in the field. A special emphasis is put on recent methodological developments spurred by, for instance analytical philosophy. These involve a variety of different tools and methods including formal and game theoretical models and economic theories.

Additionally, this specialization adopts a more reflective perspective towards normative issues. A special emphasis is put on scrutinizing the methodological foundations of normative theorizing. In normative argument, systematic and comprehensible styles of analysis are increasingly established as scientific standard - for example, through the use of thought experiments.

Zusätzlich findet eine systematische Auseinandersetzung mit den Grundlagen normativer Theoriebildung statt: Im Rahmen der Analytischen Politischen Philosophie wird verstärkt Wert gelegt auf eine systematische, nachvollziehbare Argumentation und die Reflektion der methodologischen Grundlagen. Auch hier kommen abstrakte Argumente, etwa in Form von Gedankenexperimenten, zum Einsatz.

Research and teaching profile

Students specializing in political theory are instructed on a variety of analytic tools and methods. The coursework takes a hands-on approach, teaching analytic skills through engaging in current issues and debates within political theory. All courses aim to enable students to engage in the respective debates independently. Courses covering the following subjects are offered on a regular basis.

  • Theories of New Political Economy
  • Analytical political philosophy and ethics
  • Formal methods, including game theory and computer simulations
  • Philosophy of science
  • Classics of political theory (with relevance for contemporary issues)

Our approach  is to employ the above methods and theories for analyzing important political issues in contemporary societies from an empirical or normative point of view. Students are being familiarized with modern analytical methods through engaging with selected substantial questions.

The political theory group in Bamberg …

In recent years, political theory has generated many new and exciting subfields. Accordingly, the discipline has been revolutionized through the adaption of new methods such as game theory or computer simulations. At the same time, also an increased focus on more analytic styles of argument has advanced the discipline through putting methods and foundations of normative thinking  on the agenda.

A selection of relevant publications:

  • Klein, D and Marx, J, The Dynamics of Trust. Emergence and Destruction, accepted for publication in Proceedings of International workshop on Trust in Agent Societies (2015).
  • Klein, D and Pacuit E, Changing Types: Information Dynamics for qualitative Type Spaces, Studia Logica  102(2) 297-319
  • Sirsch, J, Die Relevanz idealer Theorie bei der Beurteilung praktischer Probleme, ZPTH JG. 3, Heft 1/2012, 25-41.

Through the formulation of theories and models, political theory contributes to empirical political science – as is illustrated by the following contributions:

A selection of relevant publications:

We do not recognize our roles as political theorists in the conservation of political theories as an end in itself. Rather, we believe that political theory should contribute to the explanation of social phenomena and help with the analysis of relevant normative problems.

A selection of relevant publications:

  • Schmidt, J.: Rawls’ Alternative zum Wohlfahrtsstaat“, in: Michael Becker (Hg.), Politischer Liberalismus und wohlgeordnete Gesellschaften – John Rawls und der Verfassungsstaat, Baden-Baden 2013, S. 71-99.
  • Marx, J (2012): Geistiges Eigentum als Problem internationaler Gerechtigkeit. In: Kreide, Regina et al. (Hrsg.): Demokratie und Gerechtigkeit in Verteilungskonflikten. Schriftenreihe der Sektion Politische Theorien und Ideengeschichte in der DVPW. Baden-Baden. S. 281-311.
  • Sirsch, J (2013): Die Regulierung von Hassrede in liberalen Demokratien.” In: Meibauer, Jörg (Ed.): Hassrede/Hate Speech. Interdisziplinäre Beiträge zu einer aktuellen Diskussion. Linguistische Untersuchungen. Gießener Elektronische Bibliothek. S. 165-194.