Master of Arts in Politics with Focus on International and European Politics


For those particularly interested in International and European Politics, this specialisation is a useful option. At the end of your studies, you will receive a master’s degree in political science with a focus on International and European Politics. The degree programme concentrates on three sets of problems:

  • International Institutions and Global Governance, including the functions and effectiveness of international institutions, governmental and non-governmental actors within these institutions as well as the challenges of governance beyond the nation state;
  • European Integration Issues, dealing in particular with the policy-making processes at the supranational level; we concentrate on the organs and institutions of the European Union as well as the formulation and consequences of European policies;
  • Foreign and Security Policies, looking in particular at the management of crises.

This area of specialisation is characterised by its emphasis on the use of theory and research methods to answer key questions of international politics and European integration. We aim to provide our students with the necessary skills to link theory and empirics and that is why we use them actively both in seminars and assessments. For instance, a typical term paper or thesis would require students to develop a theoretical framework and use it to formulate an argument and structure the empirical analysis.

Das Forschungs- und Lehrprofil

Courses in the field of international and European politics are taught mostly in English. In recent semesters, we have offered courses with topics like:

  • The Role of International Organizations in World Politics; Theories of International Institutions;
  • External Relations of the European Union; Policy-making in the European Union; The European Parliament in the EU Policy System
  • International Politics of the Middle East; International Crisis, State Preferences and UN Security Council Politics.

Our research profile focuses on the development of middle-range theories to tackle current issues in international and European politics, with an emphasis on qualitative research methods. The international and European politics section at the University of Bamberg  comprises the Chair for International Relations (Prof. Dr. Thomas Gehring), as well as the Junior Professorships for International and European Politics (Prof. Dr. Monika Heupel) and for European Integration (Prof. Dr. Ariadna Ripoll Servent).


International institutions form the building blocks of governance beyond the nation state. Here we examine key international institutions’ legitimacy and modes of operation and situate them in a comparative perspective. The UN Security Council and international environmental and human rights institutions form a core area of interest.

A selection of relevant publications:

  • Thomas Gehring 2015: Institutionelle Opportunitätsstrukturen im Weltsicherheitsrat. Wie Doktrinen und andere Vorentscheidungen das Handeln der Mitgliedstaaten und die kollektiven Entscheidungen über den Eingriff in innerstaatliche Konflikte beeinflussen; in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift 56:4; forthcoming (with Christian Dorsch).
  • Monika Heupel 2015: The Legitimacy of the UN Security Council: Evidence from Recent General Assembly Debates, in: International Studies Quarterly, 59:2, 238-250 (with Martin Binder).
  • Monika Heupel 2014: Internationale Organisationen und der Schutz der Menschenrechte; in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Special Issue 49: Internationale Organisationen: Autonomie, Politisierung, interorganisationale Beziehungen und Wandel (eds. Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, Martin Koch and Andrea Liese), 423-451 (with Gisela Hirschmann and Michael Zürn).
  • Monika Heupel 2013: With Power Comes Responsibility: Human Rights Protection in United Nations Sanctions Policy, in: European Journal of International Relations 19:4, 771-795.
  • Thomas Gehring und Thomas Dörfler 2013: Division of Labor and Rule-based Decisionmaking Within the UN Security Council: The Al-Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Regime, in: Global Governance; 19:4, 567-587.

Many problems of international governance are dealt with by several international institutions simultaneously. Therefore, international governance institutions do not exist in isolation but have reciprocal effects on one another. We examine the presence of institutional complexes whose development and consequences for the governance of the international system have only just begun being explored and understood.

A selection of relevant publications:

To some extent, the European Union can be compared to other international organisations, even if many of its working methods resemble those of domestic political systems. Our current research concentrates on the operational mode of the European Union and places an emphasis on the role of the European Parliament in the EU's decision-making process. We also examine the activities of the EU in specific policy fields - particularly internal security policies and the external relations of the Union.

A selection of relevant publications:

  • Ariadna Ripoll Servent 2014: Do Supranational EU Institutions Make a Difference? EU Asylum Law before and after ‘Communitarization’; in: Journal of European Public Policy 21:8, 1142-1162 (with Florian Trauner).
  • Ariadna Ripoll Servent 2013: Holding the European Parliament Responsible. Policy Shift in the Data Retention Directive from Consultation to Codecision; in: Journal of European Public Policy 20:7, 972-987.
  • Thomas Gehring 2013: European Union Actorness in International Institutions. Why the EU is Recognized as an Actor in Some International Institutions, but Not in Others. In: Journal of Common Market Studies 51:5, 849–865 (with Sebastian Oberthür und Marc Mühleck).