MA “Political Economy and International Relations”: Core Areas of Study and Curriculum

MA "Political Economy and International Relations" at a glance:

  • 4 semesters
  • 8 modules
  • 120 (ECTS) credit points

MA "Political Economy and International Relations" in detail:

Module 1: Research Methods of Political Science
Welcome to the multitude of methods which you will learn to employ for the analysis, explanation and evaluation of the interrelations between political and economic actors and institutions at home and abroad! Furthermore you are introduced in this module to the methodological common ground of these methods, and you will learn what requirements your research design must meet in order to be adequate for your research project.

Module 2: Political Institutions and Procedures
Here you study theories and empirical findings concerning the emergence and development, functioning and performance of (liberal) democracies and autocratic system in- and outside of Europe and by international comparison. You will focus especially on the emergence and development of institutions ordering the relations between politics and the market.

Module 3: Normative and Positive Political Theory
In this module, you study and critically reflect the theoretical basis of Political Science in general and Political Economy and International Relations in particular. You will analyze the foundations of Political Science in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences and you will acquire a solid understanding not only of decision and action theories, public choice theories and the logic of collective action, but also of theories discussing problems of (international) distributive justice.

Module 4: Political Economy and the Principles of the Welfare State
What options are there available to politics to manage economic and social developments? Where are the limits to political intervention? How do laws come about in central areas of political decision-making such as economic, social, health or financial policies? And, more concretely: How did welfarism develop and change in the course of time and by international comparison? These are some of the topics that will guide your studies in this module.

Module 5: International Politics and European Integration
International Relations in general and the relations between the members of the European Union seem, currently, to undergo fundamental change. As prerequisite of the analysis and explanation of this development, you will, in this module, study thoroughly the central research approaches, theories and findings in the fields of International Relations and European Integration.

Module 6: Deepening and Widening of Perspectives
In order to acquire a more profound understanding of the complex interrelations between politics and the economy this side and beyond national borders, it is imperative to adopt an interdisciplinary approach. In this module, you deepen your understanding of a subject - which you acquired in one of our seminars - by widening your perspective through participating in a "matching" lecture taught in one of our neighboring disciplines such as Economics, (Public International) Law, Sociology, Communications, History, American tudies, Philosophy or Social Psychology.

Module 7: Practice Module
The choice is yours: In this module, you acquire 12 credits, and how you go about achieving them is very much up to you. You can either

  • do a nine-week internship in an organization or enterprise related to politics or political science OR
  • attend seminars offered in our BA program "Political Science" (which you have not participated in before) on the application of  specific methods or on the acquisition of specific professional skills (such as news writing) OR
  • attend courses offered at JGU, but not by the Department of Political Science such as IT or language courses or the Master Lectures and Tutorials offered by Studium Generale OR
  • you can combine all these options so that they amount to a total of 12 cr.

Module 7: Finish!
You attend a colloquium in order to acquire and discuss ideas for your final thesis. As, in the course of writing, frequently structural or methodical problems arise, it may be helpful to attend a second colloquium. You have four months to prepare your master thesis, and 45 minutes to defend it and answer questions concerning two of the modules 1-5 as outlined above. And then you will have proved yourself a Master of Political Economy and International Relations!