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Wir bieten regelmäßig Lehrveranstaltungen mit Schwerpunkt Soziale Bewegungen und Konflikte im Master of Arts Sociology - European Societies an. Studierende des Masterstudiengang, die eine Abschlussarbeit zum Thema schreiben möchten, finden weitere Informationen auf der Webseite von Swen Hutter.



 

Grundkurs: Introduction to European Integration [30201]

Dienstag 10:00 - 12:00 Uhr | Swen Hutter

European integration has had major consequences for European societies, politics, and policy-making. The lecture gives a thorough overview of the history of the integration process and the current state of the European Union (EU). Specifically, the students will get to know the basic institutional features of the EU and the major theoretical approaches used to explain the level and scope of integration. Also, the lecture puts a spotlight on debates over the politicization of Europe, the decline of citizens’ support, and the multiple crises faced by the EU in recent years. The students will advance their understanding of the political and social implications of European integration as an important background for their further studies of contemporary European societies.

Literaturhinweise

  • Cini, Michelle and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (eds.) (2019). European Union Politics. Seventh Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Coman, Ramona, Amandine Crespy and Vivien A. Schmidt (2020). Governance and Politics in the Post-Crisis European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lelieveldt, Herman and Sebastiaan Princen (2015). The Politics of the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hauptseminar: The politicization of civil society in Europe [30204]

Montag 16:00 - 18:00 Uhr | Swen Hutter

Contemporary societies in Europe and beyond have seen the emergence of new cleavages, often driven by populist radical right challengers and cross-cutting traditional political divides. Importantly, these new cleavages have not only put traditional political parties under pressure but have also resulted in a profound politicization of civil society. The politicization of civil society refers to at least four dynamics: First, we have seen an increasing number of civil society organizations with socio-political objectives compared to leisure activities. Second, traditional civil society organizations (from unions, church-related associations, to sports clubs) have been forced to take sides in controversial political debates. Simultaneously, they have been challenged also within their own ranks by the rise of new political parties and movements. Third, new social movements from the right have successfully mobilized citizens on the streets by articulating nativist and anti-immigration positions. Finally, we have also seen increasing counter-mobilization against the rise of radical right populist forces. The seminar focuses on these four dynamics in civil society in Europe and beyond. The students will engage with theoretical accounts form civil society and social movement studies. Furthermore, they will get to know an ongoing research project on organized civil society and far-right interventions in Germany. The project serves as a starting point to collect cases from different countries depending on the expertise of the students.

Literaturhinweise

Berman, Sheri (1997). Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic, World Politics 49(3): 401–429, DOI: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25054008

Grande, Edgar (2023). Civil Society, Cleavage Structures, and Democracy in Germany, German Politics 32(3): 420-439, DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2022.2120610


Hauptseminar: Social and political conflict in Europe [30238]

Dienstag 14:00 - 16:00 Uhr | Mirjam Dageförde

In the last decades Europe went through significant shifts – socially and politically. In this seminar, we address how social conflict translates into political conflict. We capture societal foundations of conflict in Europe, refer to differences and similarities of European societies and engage with literature that shows how societal conflict is linked to political conflict. In this seminar, both sides – the societal and the political – are analyzed. In doing so, we refer, for instance, to political parties. The seminar offers a broad and in-depth insight into Europe’s most pressing problems. We identify the most profound changes that Europe has faced by problematizing new lines of conflict, politicization and polarization. Finally, we analyze whether or in what regard the current crises might catalyze political changes and how this can impact on the future of Europe. In doing so, we address different scenarios.


Hauptseminar: Cleavage Politics and Group Appels [30210]

Montag 14:00 - 16:00 Uhr | Endre Borbáth

Under pressure from increasing political instability and societal challenges, there is a renewed interest in the social basis of contemporary politics. The declining electoral support of mainstream political parties, like the Social -, and Christian Democrats, and the rise of new parties, such as the greens and the radical right, indicate a fundamental shift in the makeup of the post-war electoral coalitions. Class-based mobilization and conflict over welfare state policies are less influential in driving political behavior. Preferences over immigration, Europe, or climate change form new, group-based alliances that crosscut economic considerations and realign the social basis of politics. Others disagree and consider the contemporary dynamics a result of individualization that, although it leads to the crumbling and de-alignment of traditional political identities, does not give rise to a new, cohesive social force to re-structure political behavior.
The seminar focuses on cleavage politics: conflict stemming from deep and lasting divides between social groups. Among others, we examine cleavage formation, the social forces driving electoral support, historical legacies, the role of crisis and critical junctures, the dimensional alignment of political issues, the sociological basis of traditional and new cleavages, mobilization in party and protest politics, the role of agency in cleavage formation, and the use of group appeals by political entrepreneurs. Next to theories on cleavage politics and group appeals, the seminar emphasizes the methodological approaches applied in empirical studies, highlighting their potential to be used by students during their research for their MA thesis. We rely on literature primarily focused on Western Europe, but we also review studies on the political dynamics in Eastern Europe, North America, and South America.


Hauptseminar: Citizens and Politcs - A disconnected link? [30218]

Montag 14:00 - 16:00 Uhr | Mirjam Dageförde

The concept of political representation is among the most important topics in the analysis of the idea and practice of modern democracy and a constitutive pattern of modern large-scale democracy. In recent years the legitimacy of representative logic has been called into question due to several factors: the erroneous notions of democracy often offered by the media and opinion polls, the idea of power being confiscated by a caste of politicians, further enhanced by processes of European integration, globalization and a rise of populism. Meanwhile, Western democracies face a presumed “crisis of representation”, a loss of confidence in politicians, political parties and institutions which leads to growing gaps between society and the political sphere. Hence, the analysis of the process of representation, approaches to judge about its quality and the identification of defects become more and more relevant for political scientist as well as for practitioners.

Recurring to Pitkin’s famous description of representation as the making present something that is literally absent which occurs if politicians act in the interest of the represented, the schedule of this seminar is as follows: First, we discuss the presumed crisis of representation through investigating indicators for it. Second, we examine the concept of representation and classify the main actors and institutions in this process. Third, the approaches for (a) analysing actor’s behaviour and (b) judging about the quality of representation are discussed. This will lead to an examination of factors that influence actor’s behaviour and elements that might affect the quality of representation. We address furthermore current developments and challenges to representative democracy by analysing the rise of populism, challenger parties and the radical right. Finally, we critically reflect our findings and discuss the future of representative democracy.

The readings are a mix of classics and current literature on the given topic.

The seminar addresses the following questions:

  • What is political representation and how can we address the relation between citizens and the political sphere?
  • Which aspects concern political representation?
  • What are the most important actors and institutions in the process of representation?
  • How can we judge about the quality of representation?
  • What influences the quality of representation?
  • How does populism and the rise of radical parties influence representation and its functioning?
  • What is the meaning of these findings for the (prospective) functioning of representative democracy?

Literaturhinweise

  • Dalton, Russell J., David M. Farrell & Ian McAllister 2011: Political Parties and Democratic Linkage. How Parties Organize Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kriesi, Hanspeter, Edgar Grande & Martin Dolezal 2012: Political Conflict in Western Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Norris, Pippa 2011: Democratic Deficit: Critical Citizens Revisited. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pitkin, Hanna 1967: The concept of representation. Berkley: University of California.
  • Rohrschneider, Robert & Stephen Whitefield 2012: The Strain of Representation: How Parties Represent diverse Voters in Western and Eastern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hauptseminar: Advanced Research Desing and Methods [30234]

Dienstag 14:00 - 16:00 Uhr | Mirjam Dageförde

This course serves as a preparation or training for crucial aspects of students’ master thesis or internships at research institutes. If there is one thing you should have learned in the master's program, it should be how to identify and conduct excellent academic research. You should be able to assess the state of the existing literature, identify research questions of interest, formulate strategies to answer them, know the methodological tools with which to conduct the research, and write up the results so that they can contribute to existing knowledge.

The target group of this class are MA Students who are about to register for their master thesis or who are in the process of writing them. The aims of the course are to strengthen students’ research design, to sharpen research question and hypotheses and to improve methodological approaches for diverging research questions. The class will use examples from social sciences and discuss current research of students, the course will familiarize you with current standards of research in social sciences. Although the course is not in itself a lecture on statistical methods, it also refers to quantitative methods.

Course Objectives

  • Knowledge of the elements and relevance of a research design
  • Produce a rigorous and precise research design
  • Formulate research questions & hypotheses
  • Individual and collective components

Academic Integrity
This course is based on the principles of academic integrity established by Freie Universität Berlin. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. All documents submitted must be your own work and sources must be properly cited

Literaturhinweise

  • Paul Kellstedt and Guy Whitten (2018): The Fundamentals of Political Science Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dimiter Toshkov (2016): Research Design. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lecture: Introduction to European Integration [30201]

Tue 10 a.m.-12 noon | Swen Hutter

Course Description

European integration has had major consequences for European societies, politics, and policy-making. The lecture gives a thorough overview of the history of the integration process and the current state of the European Union (EU). Specifically, the students will get to know the basic institutional features of the EU and the major theoretical approaches used to explain the level and scope of integration. Also, the lecture puts a spotlight on debates over the politicization of Europe, the decline of citizens’ support, and the multiple crises faced by the EU in recent years. The students will advance their understanding of the political and social implications of European integration as an important background for their further studies of contemporary European societies.

Basic Readings

Cini, Michelle and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (eds.) (2019). European Union Politics. Seventh Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coman, Ramona, Amandine Crespy and Vivien A. Schmidt (2020). Governance and Politics in the Post-Crisis European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lelieveldt, Herman and Sebastiaan Princen (2015). The Politics of the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Research seminar: Dynamics of Protest Politics [30231]

Tue 2 to 6 p.m. | Swen Hutter

Course Description

Protests and social movements are a crucial part of contemporary political processes, as illustrated by examples such as the movements of 68, the Monday demonstrations before the fall of the Berlin Wall, or, more recently, Fridays for Future or the anti-containment protests. These cases show the diversity of the action repertoires, the participants, and the goals of social movements that have attracted media attention and shaped politics in recent decades. The research seminar aims to give an overview of the study of protest politics in Western democracies and tackles the following questions: First, from an individual and organizational perspective, what motivates citizens to participate in protests? How can social movements overcome challenges like the collective action problem? How can we measure the strength of protests and social movements? When do actors resort to more radical forms of protest, and with what consequences? Second, referring to the relationship between protest and political dynamics, to what extent and under what conditions do political parties interact with social movements and react to protest? How do particular political or discursive contexts influence social movements and their chances of success? Based on this theoretical input, students will further learn established methods in protest research (such as protest event analysis) and new methodological advances such as using text-as-data, machine learning, and experimental approaches. Alongside the theoretical and methodological introductions, the students will develop and conduct their own research projects on the dynamics of protest politics in contemporary societies, either relying on secondary data analysis or original data collections.

Please note that participants need a good intermediary background in statistical modeling and know either Stata or R. These skills will be tested in the first session of the class.

Basic reading

Della Porta, Donatella and Mario Diani (2020). Social Movements: An Introduction. 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.


Graduate Seminar: Electoral and protest dynamics in Western and Eastern Europe [30203]

Monday 2 to  4 p.m. | Endre Borbáth

Course Description

The seminar focuses on electoral and protest politics from a comparative European perspective. Although the study of elections and protests covers mobilization by the main collective actors of political parties and social movements in the two arenas of direct citizen involvement, research in this field has been characterized by disciplinary silos. Political science focuses on political parties and representation, while the political sociology tradition examines social movements, protest politics and political participation. Few studies examine the manifold interaction between electoral and protest politics, leaving a research gap highlighted by recent developments in party competition in Western and Eastern Europe. Parties such as La République En Marche! in France, Fidesz in Hungary, and Die Linke in Germany invest considerable effort into developing an organic link with protest movements and civil society organizations. The seminar bridges political science and sociological approaches to provide a holistic assessment of electoral and protest mobilization.

The seminar is divided into four parts. The first three parts are distinguished based on the level of analysis, with separate sessions devoted to micro-, macro-, and meso-level approaches. In the first part, we ask, who participates and in what form? In the second part, we ask, what are the main cross-national differences across Europe, and how can we explain them? In the third part, we ask, which are the actors that mobilize in elections/ protests, and on what issues? In the fourth part of the seminar, we focus on the role of crises in altering long-term trends and compare electoral and protest mobilization/ participation in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the so-called Migration, and Corona crises. Next to reviewing theoretical approaches, the seminar introduces students to a set of diverse, mainly quantitative empirical strategies in the study of elections and protests. A background in statistical modelling provides an advantage, but it is not required for attending the seminar.


Graduate Seminar Introduction to Data Analysis using STATA [30223]

Thu 2 to 4 p.m. | Mirjam Dageförde

This seminar’s objective is to provide an introduction into data analysis using the software Stata. Stata is a powerful and yet easy-to-use statistical package. During the seminar you will be introduced into working with Stata as well as discussing a variety of different analytical techniques. The seminar consists of five sessions. During the sessions we will discuss different analytical techniques and how to perform them in the Stata environment. Topics of these sessions are e.g. data management, working with Do-Files, data manipulation, linear regression analysis and how to include and interpret different kinds of explanatory variables to the models. Depending on the previous knowledge of the participants, we might be able to cover additional topics. As a preparation, it is highly recommended to work through the Chapter 1 to Chapter 3 of the book “Data Analysis Using Stata” by Ulrich Kohler and Frauke Kreuter.


Graduate Seminar Introduction to Data Analysis using STATA [30224]

Thu 4 to 6 p.m. | Mirjam Dageförde

This seminar’s objective is to provide an introduction into data analysis using the software Stata. Stata is a powerful and yet easy-to-use statistical package. During the seminar you will be introduced into working with Stata as well as discussing a variety of different analytical techniques. The seminar consists of five sessions. During the sessions we will discuss different analytical techniques and how to perform them in the Stata environment. Topics of these sessions are e.g. data management, working with Do-Files, data manipulation, linear regression analysis and how to include and interpret different kinds of explanatory variables to the models. Depending on the previous knowledge of the participants, we might be able to cover additional topics. As a preparation, it is highly recommended to work through the Chapter 1 to Chapter 3 of the book “Data Analysis Using Stata” by Ulrich Kohler and Frauke Kreuter.



30214 The Rise of the Populist Radical Right

Tue 4 to 6 p.m.
Swen Hutter

Many countries in Europe and beyond have seen the emergence and establishment of strong populist radical right movements and parties. Examples range from the French Rassemblement national, the Hungarian Fidesz party, to Trump’s rise to power through the Republican Party. In the seminar, we will engage with three major scholarly explanations for the increasing popularity of these actors and their political implications. The first explanation puts economic factors and social inequalities center stage. The second one interprets the rise of these actors as a backlash against cultural liberalism and diversity. In contrast, the third explanation puts a stronger emphasis on political dynamics within and beyond nation-states. We will engage with these three explanations by reading three monographs over the semester. Thus, the students have to be prepared for a relatively heavy reading load and a mix of self-studying and in-class group discussions.

Suggested reading:

Norris, Pippa and Ronald Ingelhart (2019): Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

15342a The Politics of Social Inequalities

Tue 10 a.m. to 12 noon
Swen Hutter, Christoph Nguyen

The seminar focuses on the link between social inequalities and political mobilization in advanced democracies. Specifically, the students will get to know scholarly work on trends in social inequalities, perceptions of inequalities, and their structuring effects on political participation. To what extent and why are social inequalities perceived as unfair? To what extent and why are they ‘translated’ into unequal rates of participation and what modes of participation (ranging from electoral participation via protest to political consumerism) are related to what kind of inequalities (e.g., social class, education, gender, race)? Apart from getting to know the scholarly literature on these topics, the students will also get to know the analytical tools needed to study these questions. Using available datasets, students will develop basic skills in quantitative research and use them to explore course-relevant questions. No prior experience with statistical methodology is expected or required. The seminar involves self-studying, short written inputs, interactive sessions for common discussions, and online lab exercises to learn the basics of R (the programming and free statistical software used for the class).

Suggested reading:

Dalton, Russel J. (2017). The Participation Gap. Social Status and Political Inequality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

30229 Citizens and politics − a disconnected link

Tue 10 a.m. to 12 noon
Mirjam Dageförde

Political representation is among the most important aspects in the analysis of the idea and practice of modern democracy and a constitutive pattern of modern large-scale democracy.  Accordingly, there are quite diversified doctrines and practices of representative government that persist until today.

In recent years the legitimacy of representative logic has been called into question due to several factors: the erroneous notions of democracy often offered by the media and opinion polls, the idea of power being confiscated by a caste of politicians, further enhanced by processes of European integration and globalization. Meanwhile, we face a presumed “crisis of representation”, a loss of confidence in politicians, political parties and institutions which leads to growing gaps between society and the political sphere. Hence, the analysis of the process of representation, approaches to judge about its quality and the identification of defects become more and more relevant for political scientist as well as for practitioners.

Recurring to Pitkin’s famous description of representation as the making present something that is literally absent which occurs if politicians act in the interest of the represented, the schedule of this seminar is as follows: First, we discuss the presumed crisis of representation through investigating indicators for it. Second, we examine the concept of representation and classify the main actors and institutions in this process. Third, the approaches for (a) analyzing actor’s behavior and (b) judging about the quality of representation are discussed. This will lead to an examination of factors that influence actor’s behavior and elements that might affect the quality of representation. Finally, we critically reflect our findings and discuss possibilities to weaken the ties between citizens and politics. The readings are a mix of classics and current literature on the given topic.

To sum up, the seminar addresses the following questions:

  • What is political representation and how can we address the relation between citizens and the political sphere?
  • Which aspects concern political representation?
  • What are the most important actors and institutions in the process of representation?
  • How can we judge about the quality of representation?
  • What influences the quality of representation?
  • How does populism and the rise of challenger parties influence representation and its functioning?
  • What is the meaning of these findings for the (prospective) functioning of representative democracy?

30231 Research Design

Tue 4-6 p.m.
Mirjam Dageförde

If there is one thing you should have learned in the master's program, it should be how to identify and conduct excellent academic research. You should be able to assess the state of the existing literature, identify research questions of interest, formulate strategies to answer them, know the methodological tools with which to conduct the research, and write up the results so that they can contribute to existing knowledge.

Using examples from social sciences, the course will familiarize you with current standards of research in social sciences. You will work in groups to formulate a research question, develop hypotheses, and create your own research design to answer your question. Although the course is not in itself a lecture on statistical methods, it also refers to quantitative methods.

Course Objectives

  • Knowledge of the elements and relevance of a research design
  • Produce a rigorous and precise research design
  • Formulate research questions & hypotheses
  • Individual and collective components

  Academic Integrity This course is based on the principles of academic integrity established by Freie Universität Berlin. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. All documents submitted must be your own work and sources must be properly cited.

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30201 Lecture: Introduction to European Integration

Tue 10 am-12 noon

Course Description

European integration has had major consequences for European societies, politics, and policy-making. The lecture gives a thorough overview of the history of the integration process and the current state of the European Union (EU). Specifically, the students will get to know the basic institutional features of the EU and the major theoretical approaches used to explain the level and scope of integration. Also, the lecture puts a spotlight on debates over the politicization of Europe, the decline of citizens’ support, and the multiple crises faced by the EU in recent years. The students will advance their understanding of the political and social implications of European integration as an important background for their further studies of contemporary European societies.

Basic Readings

Cini, Michelle and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (eds.) (2019). European Union Politics. Seventh Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coman, Ramona, Amandine Crespy and Vivien A. Schmidt (2020). Governance and Politics in the Post-Crisis European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lelieveldt, Herman and Sebastiaan Princen (2015). The Politics of the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

30231 Research Placement: The Politicization of Civil Society

Mon 12-4 p.m. 

Course Description

Contemporary societies in Europe and beyond have seen the emergence of new cleavages, often driven by populist radical right challengers and cross-cutting traditional political divides. Importantly, these new cleavages have not only put traditional political parties under pressure but have also resulted in a profound politicization of civil society. The politicization of civil society refers to at least four dynamics: First, we have seen an increasing number of civil society organizations with socio-political objectives compared to leisure activities. Second, traditional civil society organizations (from unions, church-related associations, to sports clubs) have been forced to take sides in controversial political debates. Simultaneously, they have been challenged also within their own ranks by the rise of new political parties and movements. Third, new social movements from the right have successfully mobilized citizens on the streets by articulating nativist and anti-immigration positions. Finally, we have also seen increasing counter-mobilization against the rise of radical right populist forces. In the research placement, we will analyze these dynamics in civil society in Europe and beyond. The students will engage with theoretical accounts form civil society and social movement studies. They will conduct their empirical research, either based on existing data (such as individual or organizational survey data) or their own original data collections. Note that participants should have a good intermediary background in statistical modeling, using as software either Stata or R.

Basic Readings

Berman, Sheri. (1997). Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic. World Politics Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 401-429
della Porta, Donatella (2020). Building Bridges: Social Movements and Civil Society in Times of Crisis. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary & Nonprofit Organizations Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 938-948.

30203 The Politics of Social Inequality (co-taught with Christoph Nguyen)

Tue 4-6 p.m.

The seminar focuses on the link between social inequalities and political mobilization in advanced democracies. Specifically, the students will get to know scholarly work on trends in social inequalities, perceptions of inequalities, and their structuring effects on political participation. To what extent and why are social inequalities perceived as unfair? To what extent and why are they ‘translated’ into unequal rates of participation and what modes of participation (ranging from electoral participation via protest to political consumerism) are related to what kind of inequalities (e.g., social class, education, gender, race)? Apart from getting to know the scholarly literature on these topics, the students will also get to know the analytical tools needed to study these questions. Using available datasets, students will develop basic skills in quantitative research and use them to explore course-relevant questions. No prior experience with statistical methodology is expected or required. The seminar involves self-studying, short written inputs, interactive sessions for common discussions, and online lab exercises to learn the basics of R (the programming and free statistical software used for the class).

Suggested reading

Dalton, Russel J. (2017). The Participation Gap. Social Status and Political Inequality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

30212 The Rise of the Populist Radical Right

Tue 10 a.m.-12 noon

Many countries in Europe and beyond have seen the emergence and establishment of strong populist radical right movements and parties. Examples range from the French Rassemblement national, the Hungarian Fidesz party, to Trump’s rise to power through the Republican Party. In the seminar, we will engage with three major scholarly explanations for the increasing popularity of these actors and their political implications. The first explanation puts economic factors and social inequalities center stage. The second one interprets the rise of these actors as a backlash against cultural liberalism and diversity. In contrast, the third explanation puts a stronger emphasis on political dynamics within and beyond nation-states. We will engage with these three explanations by reading three monographs over the semester. Thus, the students have to be prepared for a relatively heavy reading load and a mix of self-studying and in-class group discussions.

Suggested reading:

Norris, Pippa and Ronald Ingelhart (2019): Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

30241 MA Colloquium

Mon 4-6 p.m.

We will discuss ongoing master’s thesis projects written in the research group on political sociology in the colloquium. The colloquium will focus on how-to-do issues related to designing and conducting an original research project. Students should benefit from each other’s feedback and from debating common challenges and potential solutions faced while doing their research.

 

30201 Lecture: Introduction to European Integration

Tue 10 am-12 noon

Online (via Webex) and in-class

Course Description

European integration has had major consequences for European societies, politics, and policy-making. The lecture gives a thorough overview of the history of the integration process and the current state of the European Union (EU). Specifically, the students will get to know the basic institutional features of the EU and the major theoretical approaches used to explain the level and scope of integration. Also, the lecture puts a spotlight on debates over the politicization of Europe, the decline of citizens’ support, and the multiple crises faced by the EU in recent years. The students will advance their understanding of the political and social implications of European integration as an important background for their further studies of contemporary European societies.

Basic Readings

Cini, Michelle and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (eds.) (2019). European Union Politics. Seventh Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coman, Ramona, Amandine Crespy and Vivien A. Schmidt (2020). Governance and Politics in the Post-Crisis European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lelieveldt, Herman and Sebastiaan Princen (2015). The Politics of the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

30222 Research Placement: Corona and Civil Society

Mon 12-4 p.m. Online (Webex)

Course Description

Disasters and crises are always challenging for civil society. They lead to unforeseen emergencies and creates or reinforces inequalities in society. In such situations, not only the state is asked to help, but needed is also solidarity practiced by citizens. Such solidarity cannot be ordered. By contrast, it is based on the social capital of a society, i.e., the networks in which people are integrated and the trust they place in their fellow citizens and in public institutions. As in previous crises, civil society plays an important role in the current Corona crisis: It strengthens behavior based on solidarity, supports those in need, connects citizens, but also articulates criticism and draws attention to unheard grievances. However, disasters and crises can also weaken civil society. This ambivalence seems particularly evident in the Corona crisis. The current crisis has not only activated citizens, it has also come with considerable restrictions of the opportunities for political and civic engagement. In the research placement, we will analyze this dilemma of civil society in Europe based on original survey data. Note that participants need to have a good intermediary background in statistical modeling and either Stata or R. These skills will be tested in the first session of the class.

Basic Readings

della Porta, Donatella (ed.) (2018). Solidarity Mobilizations in the Refugee Crisis. Palgrave, London.

Wang Lili and Nazife Emel Ganapati (2018). Disasters and Social Capital: Exploring the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Gulf Coast Counties. Social Science Quarterly 99: 296-312.

30202  The Politics of Social Inequalities

Mon 16-18

Course description

The seminar focuses on the link between social inequalities (most importantly, in terms of social class, education, and gender) and political mobilization in contemporary European societies. Specifically, the students will get to know scholarly work on long-term trends in social inequalities, perceptions of inequalities and their structuring effects on political participation. To what extent and why are social inequalities perceived as unfair? To what extent and why are they ‘translated’ into unequal rates of participation and what modes of participation (ranging from electoral participation via protest to political consumerism) are related to what kind of inequalities? Apart from discussing the relevant literature, the students will also get to know the analytical tools needed to study these questions. Using available datasets, students will be able to develop basic quantitative research skills and use them to explore course-relevant questions. No prior experience with statistical methodology is expected or required.

Readings

Armingeon K. & Schädel L. (2015). Social Inequality in Political Participation: The Dark Sides of Individualisation. West European Politics 38(1): 1–27.

Lijphart A. (1997). Unequal Participation: Democracy’s Unresolved Dilemma. American Political Science Review 91(1): 1–14.

Oesch D. (2008b). The Changing Shape of Class Voting. European Societies 10(3): 329–355



30208 
Politicizing European Integration: From Latent Potentials to Manifest Conflicts

Fri 10-12

Course description

Nowadays, public controversy – not a silent permissive consensus – seem to be constant features of European integration. As some scholars claim, we can only understand the future of Europe if we consider societal divisions and political conflict in our theoretical models. The seminar takes stock of these changes by focusing on the emerging dynamics and structure of conflicts over Europe. The students will get to know key concepts and theories used to explain the new conflict constellations in an integrated Europe. Following the tradition of political sociology, the seminar considers both structural and strategic theories of political conflict. That is, the seminar will familiarize students with research (a) on the emerging potentials and divisions in European societies, as well as (b) on how these potentials are mobilized and articulated by collective political actors in different arenas (ranging from national and European elections via protest politics to referendums on EU matters). We will search for answers to questions such as: Which social groups support or oppose European integration? How prominently do European issues figure in national election campaigns, and are they articulated in protest events? Do attitudes toward Europe make a difference when people cast a vote or decide to get politically active by other means? And who is mobilized by whom? Finally, we will also take a look at the impact of the current Corona crisis on conflicts over European integration.

Readings

de Vries, Catherine (2018). Euroscepticism and the future of European Integration. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Hooghe, Liesbet and Gary Marks (2009). ‘A postfunctionalist theory of European integration: From permissive consensus to constraining dissensus.’ British Journal of Political Science 39(1): 1-23.

Swen Hutter, Edgar Grande, and Hanspeter Kriesi (eds.). Politicising Europe: Integration and mass politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.





30225 Master’s colloquium

Fri 14-16

In this colloquium, we will critically discuss the ongoing master thesis projects which are written in the research group on political sociology. The discussions will focus on the how-to-do issues related to designing and conducting a research project. Students should benefit from each other’s feedback and the discussion of common challenges and potential solutions faced while doing their research.

Lecture: Introduction to European Integration

Course Description

European integration has had major consequences for European societies, politics, and policy-making. The lecture gives a thorough overview of the history of the integration process and the current state of the European Union (EU). Specifically, the students will get to know the basic institutional features of the EU and the major theoretical approaches used to explain the level and scope of integration. Also, the lecture puts a spotlight on debates over the politicization of Europe, the decline of citizens’ support, and the multiple crises faced by the EU in recent years. The students will advance their understanding of the political and social implications of European integration as an important background for their further studies of contemporary European societies.

Basic Readings

Cini, Michelle and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (eds.) (2019). European Union Politics. Seventh Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lelieveldt, Herman und Sebastiaan Princen (2015). The Politics of the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Research Placement: Conflicts in the public sphere: Approaches to quantitative content analysis of media texts

Course Description

The research placement focuses on different approaches to quantitative content analysis and their use in understanding the transformation of protest and electoral politics in Europe. The research placements makes a methodological and a substantive contribution. From a methodological perspective, the students will learn to read, understand and interpret the results of scientific research utilizing protest event, core sentence, and contentious episode analysis. The students will also learn to apply at least one of these approaches in their own research. From a substantive perspective, the course focuses on the transformation of political conflict in contemporary European societies. More concretely, the literature we will read examines changing cleavages in the electoral and protest arenas, cross-arena mobilization by political parties in protest and movements in electoral politics, as well as differences between old and new democracies. The students can choose their topics of interest related to these major transformations, but need to apply one of the three types of quantitative content analysis listed above. The participants need to have good knowledge of at least one statistical program (preferably Stata).

Basic Readings

Hutter, Swen. 2014.“Protest Event Analysis and its Offspring.” In: Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research, edited by Donatella della Porta, pp. 335–67. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hutter, Swen and Hanspeter Kriesi (eds.) (2019). European Party Politics in Times of Crisis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

30210 Politicizing European integration: from latent potentials to manifest conflicts

Mon 12-14

Course description

Nowadays, public contestation and controversy – not a silent permissive consensus – seem to be constant features of the European integration process. As some scholars claim, we can only understand the future direction of European integration if we consider societal divisions and political conflict in our theoretical models. The seminar takes stock of these changes by focusing on the emerging dynamics and structure of conflicts over Europe. The students will get to know key concepts and theories used to empirically grasp and explain the new conflict constellations in an integrated Europe. Following the tradition of political sociology, the seminar considers both structuralist and strategic theories of political conflict. That is, the seminar will familiarize students with research (a) on the emerging potentials and divisions in European societies, as well as (b) on how these potentials are mobilized and articulated by collective political actors in different arenas (ranging from national and European elections via protest politics to referendums on EU matters). We will search for answers to questions such as: Which social groups support or oppose European integration? How prominently do European issues figure in national election campaigns, and are they articulated in protest events? Do attitudes toward Europe make a difference when people cast a vote or decide to get politically active by other means? And who is mobilized by whom?

Readings

de Vries, Catherine (2018). Euroscepticism and the future of European Integration. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Hooghe, Liesbet and Gary Marks (2009). ‘A postfunctionalist theory of European integration: From permissive consensus to constraining dissensus.’ British Journal of Political Science 39(1): 1-23.

Swen Hutter, Edgar Grande, and Hanspeter Kriesi (eds.). Politicising Europe: Integration and mass politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 3-31.


30204 Social inequalities and political mobilization in Europe

Tue 10-12

Course description

The seminar focuses on the link between social inequalities (most importantly, related to social class, education, and gender) and political mobilization in contemporary European societies. Specifically, the students will get to know two important strands of the literature. First, we will focus on scholarly work related to the structuring effects of social inequalities on political participation. To what extent and why are social inequalities reflected in unequal rates of participation and what modes of participation (ranging from electoral participation via protest to political consumerism) lead to what kind of inequalities? Second, we will move to research in political sociology that focuses on social inequalities as the specific object of political mobilization. Again, we will ask questions about the extent and the conditions under which social issues become the object of mobilization in electoral campaigns and protest events. In both parts, the seminar will examine (a) the long-term trend in the relation between social inequalities and political mobilization in Europe as well as (b) the impact of the most recent financial and economic crisis on social inequalities and politics.

Readings

Armingeon K. & Schädel L. (2015). Social Inequality in Political Participation: The Dark Sides of Individualisation. West European Politics 38(1): 1–27.

Lijphart A. (1997). Unequal Participation: Democracy’s Unresolved Dilemma. American Political Science Review 91(1): 1–14.

Oesch D. (2008b). The Changing Shape of Class Voting. European Societies 10(3): 329–355


Master’s colloquium

Tue 16-18

In this colloquium, we will critically discuss the ongoing master thesis projects in the research group on political sociology. The discussions will focus on the how-to-do issues related to designing and conducting your own research project. Students should benefit from each other’s feedback and the common challenges and potential solutions faced while doing their research.

Lecture: Introduction to European Integration

Course Description

The process of European integration has had major consequences for European societies, politics, and policy-making. The lecture gives a thorough overview on the history of the integration process and the current state of the European Union (EU). Specifically, the students will get to know the basic institutional features of the EU and the major theoretical approaches used to explain the level and scope of integration. Also, the lecture puts a spotlight on debates over the politicization of Europe, the decline of citizens’ support, and the multiple crises faced by the EU. Overall, the students will advance their understanding of the political and social implications of the process of European integration which forms an important background for their further studies of contemporary European societies.

Basic Readings

Cini, Michelle and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (eds.) (2016). European Union Politics. Fifth Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lelieveldt, Herman und Sebastiaan Princen (2015). The Politics of the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Research practicum: Dynamics of protest and electoral politics in Europe

Course Description

The research practicum will focus on the dynamic and manifold relations between protest and electoral politics in Europe. Although social movements and political parties provide the two most important channels of democratic representation, research in political sociology still tends to neglect these relations. Most importantly, this is due to a strong division of labour between those scholars who study social movement and protest, on the one side, and those who study political parties and elections, on the other. In the first part of the seminar, students will read recently published studies that aim to bridge the two strands of the literature. In the second part, they will conduct their own empirical research on the topic. More specifically, the students an choose whether they will empirically approach the topic by means of a large protest event dataset based on the coding of international news wires or whether they approach it based on the analysis of individual-level surveys featuring questions about involvement in protest, elections, and/or party activities.

Basic Readings

Hutter, Swen. 2014. Protesting Culture and Economic in Western Europe: New Cleavages in Left and Right Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Kitschelt, Herbert. 2003. “Landscapes of Political Interest Intermediation. Social Movements, Interest Groups, and Parties in the Early Twenty-First Century.” In Social Movements and Democracy, edited by Pedro Ibarra, 81–103. Palgrave Macmillan.

McAdam, Doug and Sidney Tarrow (2010). Ballots and barricades: On the reciprocal relationship between elections and social movements. Perspectives on Politics 8: 529–542.