Political science is a theory

Political science with a focus
Modern political theory

This major is characterized by an orientation towards current problems of modern political theory. He carries with it recent developments and fundamental changes in the methodological orientation Bill that Political Theory has learned over the past few decades.

These changes in discipline are, on the one hand, content-related. Political theory opened up to currents in analytical philosophy and philosophy of science. On the other hand, they are also methodological in nature. These changes are characterized by increasing recourse formal models and theories how they are used, for example, in the use of game theory models or economic theories of politics.

In addition, there is a systematic examination of the Basics of normative theory building Instead: In the context of the Analytical Political Philosophy, greater emphasis is placed on systematic, comprehensible argumentation and the reflection of the methodological principles. Here, too, abstract arguments, for example in the form of thought experiments, are used.

The research and teaching profile

The major in Modern Political Theory introduces current research debates and conveys the methodological theoretical tools for formulating independent contributions to these debates. The courses offered in the major include modules on the following topics:

  • economic theories of politics
  • analytical political philosophy and analytical ethics
  • formal instruments such as game theory or computer simulations
  • Philosophy of science
  • political-philosophical classics, insofar as they are relevant to modern political theory

The fundamental perspective of this course is therefore to prepare and use these theories for a contemporary analysis of society. On the one hand, the students learn the methodological tools of an empirically-analytically oriented political science and, on the other hand, are introduced to selected content-related discussions of modern political theory.

The research and teaching focus of modern political theory in Bamberg is ...

Political theory has opened up new subject areas in the last few decades. Political theory includes areas such as analytical political philosophy and economic modeling of political processes, but also special areas such as game theory and computer simulations and the philosophy of science in the social sciences.

Exemplary publications:

  • Klein, D and Marx, J, The Dynamics of Trust - Emergence and Destruction.
    in: CEUR-WS.org (2016),
    Vol. 1720, 68-77
    Workshop Proceedings of the 17th International workshop on Trust in Agent Societies (2014).
  • Klein, D and Pacuit E, Changing Types: Information Dynamics for qualitative Type Spaces,
    Studia Logica 102 (2) 297-319
  • Sirsch, J, The Relevance of Ideal Theory in Assessing Practical Problems,
    ZPTH JG. 3, issue 1/2012, 25-41.

... integrated into the entire political science

By providing application-related theory models for the more empirically oriented sub-areas, Political Theory provides important theoretical input for their analysis of political issues. At the same time, it accompanies the social science research process in an epistemological manner.

Exemplary publications

  • Marx, J and Tiefensee, C (2015): On the couch! Relationship Problems Between Rational Choice and Political Psychology. In: PVS, (accepted for publication).
  • Marx, J (2015): Rational Choice in Comparative Politics. In: Handbuch Comparative Political Science (http://link.springer.com/referencework/10.1007%2F978-3-658-02993-7)
  • Marx, J (2010): Is there a hard core of IR? A scholarly consideration of the theories of international relations. In: Journal for International Relations (ZIB). Vol. 17, No. 1. pp. 39-73. [http://www.vur.nomos.de/fileadmin/zib/doc/Aufsatz2_ZIB_10_01.pdf]

At the core of modern political theory is not the preservation and maintenance of political science theories. Instead, 'modern' political theory understands the history of political science and normative political theories as valuable resources for a contemporary analysis of society with the help of modern instruments.

Exemplary publications:

  • Schmidt, J .: Rawls ’Alternative to the Welfare State“, in: Michael Becker (ed.), Political Liberalism and Well-Ordered Societies - John Rawls and the Constitutional State, Baden-Baden 2013, pp. 71-99.
  • Marx, J (2012): Intellectual property as a problem of international justice. In: Kreide, Regina et al. (Ed.): Democracy and Justice in Distribution Conflicts. Series of publications by the Political Theories and History of Ideas section in the DVPW. Baden-Baden. Pp. 281-311.
  • Sirsch, J (2013): The Regulation of Hate Speech in Liberal Democracies. ” In: Meibauer, Jörg (Ed.): Hate Speech. Interdisciplinary contributions to a current discussion. Linguistic research. Giessen electronic library. Pp. 165-194.

The course at a glance

Module groupsModulesECTS points
Political science methods

Two of the four main seminars on the following topics:

  • Basics of the philosophy of science
  • Qualitative Methods of Social Inquiry
  • Basics of data analysis
  • Advanced methods of data analysis
Political science focus

Lecture (MA): Political Theory I (Normative Political Theory)

And three of the four main seminars on the subject

  • Topics of Normative Political Theory
  • Topics of Positive Political Theory
  • Classic of Positive Political Theory
  • Simulations and agent-based modeling
Expansion area

Free combination of modules of the student's choice from the following areas:

  • Modules from the political science sub-areas in accordance with Appendix 2 of the examination and study regulations, unless included in the module group political science focus;
  • Modules from non-political science subjects amounting to a maximum of 16 ECTS or modules from the controlled study abroad amounting to a maximum of 30 ECTS points.
Min. 44
master thesisThesis on a topic from the sub-area political theory30

An internship can enrich your studies, but there is no compulsory internship in the political science master’s course. Accordingly, we cannot issue you with a confirmation (as requested by some internship positions).

You can read detailed descriptions of the individual courses in the module handbook.