M.A. Empirical Democracy Studies: Content

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

Research Methods in Political Science (Module 1)
Here you will deepen your knowledge of the philosophy of science as well as the analytical, qualitative and quantitative methods of political science. Our goal is to enable you to critically evaluate empirical work of others and to prepare your own studies in a theory-guided and methodologically sound manner. And upon successful completion of this module, you will receive (upon application) the Mainz Methods Certificate.

Political Institutions and Processes (Module 2)
Here you will learn more about the emergence and development, functioning and performance of democracies, party and electoral systems. You will learn to systematically describe, analyze and compare political institutions and processes at the national, European and international level.

Normative and Positive Political Theory (Module 3)
Here you will deal with special empirical, but also normative theories of democracy and acquire the basics to be able to conduct theory-based empirical democracy research.

Political Culture and Attitudes (Module 4)
This is the home of research on political attitudes: It is about political attitudes in general and political culture in particular, about social values and value orientations, about political socialization and attitudes toward democracy, about political extremism, populism and especially Euroscepticism, and about political and social trust.

Elections and Political Participation (Module 5)
Theories and empirical findings on political behavior in Germany and in international comparison form the focus of this module. Specifically, it deals with political participation, elections and voter behavior, election campaigns and political communication as well as direct democracy.

Project Module: The proof of the pudding is in the eating! (Module 6)
Here you will develop your own study from the formulation of the research question and the theoretical assumptions to the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, documents and materials to the presentation of the results. For this purpose, every semester, and usually on the first Friday of the lecture period, there is a "Project Day", a small scientific meeting to which all students and teachers of the Institute of Political Science are invited to discuss your project with you. You can find the exact date of the "Project Day" on the web pages of the Institute under "Studies" and "Dates and Deadlines". Read more

Practice Module (Module 7):
You have the choice: You can do a nine-week internship in a field related to politics OR

  • take courses from the BA Political Science on subject-specific applications of methods (advanced module I) and/or on professional field qualifications (practical module) OR also
  • attend courses offered at the JGU outside of Political Science (such as the Master's program of the Studium Generale or language or computer courses)
  • or combine these options in such a way that you obtain a total of 12 credit points.

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Final Module (Module 8):
You will attend at least one colloquium to discuss ideas for your master's thesis as well as methodological and content-related problems that arise during writing with fellow students and supervisors. You have four months to write the thesis. Finally, you will briefly present your central findings in a 45-minute oral examination (15 minutes) and then, after consultation with your examiners, answer questions on two additional topics from two different modules of the M.A. Empirical Democracy Studies (30 minutes). Here you can find an overview of the examiners.

And then you are a Master of Empirical Democracy Research!