Open courses

Winter term 2023/2024

Date/Time
Block seminar

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Maximilian Mayer (Bonn) & Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber (Basel)

Description

The theme of a newly co-designed seminar in the Katekisama Program was "Global China." During this course, MA students from the University of Ghana, University of Basel, and University of Bonn delved into the political, cultural, and technological aspects of China's expanding global presence. They explored how these factors are reshaping diplomatic, geopolitical, and geoeconomic relations around the world. The seminar also involved researchers from Germany, Ghana, and China, who examined various actors such as the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese companies. Additionally, they analyzed processes of knowledge production and the transnational operations of the party state. The hybrid course took place in both Basel and Bonn.

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Date/Time
Monday 16 - 18h

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Bonn)

Lecture

Development Sociology emerged and was actively developed by scholars in many countries in the 1960s and 1970s and sharpened as a result of emerging tensions between modernisation and dependency theories. It was the disciplinary child of the project of international development, and as such also the child of colonialism, growing up and being shaped by imperial and colonial pasts, Cold War legacies, , together with increasing wealth inequalities both across and between the North and South.

The module ‘Development Sociology’ introduces the students to (1) the different theories of development, (2) the implementation of development theory inspired policies in development practice, as well as (3) the epistemological and methodological tools of development research.

While the lecture takes place in the Winter Semester, it is followed up with a seminar in the Summer Semester. Here it is important to note that the seminar builds on the lecture in the winter semester, but it is not a compulsory precondition for participation.

The seminar ‘Development Sociology: The Empirics of Development Research in Practice’ will deepen and extend reflection of selected key themes engaged with in the lecture by exploring empirical examples. Additionally it introduces the students to the following methodological considerations and tools for empirical development research:

  • Relative and Multi-dimensional Poverty analyses, Growth and Well-being Indices and Knowledge Society Indices – capitalist/market-led influences on data collection, sharing and dissemination
  • Community-based participatory tools: mixed methods household surveying, group-based interviewing and focus groups, and Participatory Learning & Action (PLA) approaches
  • Long term field research: Emic and etic worldviews, embeddedness, participant observation, researcher reflectivity, positionality, ethics and role of local language skills
  • Development policy analyses (drawing from Critical Policy Studies)
  • Mobile ethnographies and ethnographies of mobility: Follow the Innovation, the Migrant, the Epistemology, non-human natures & multi-sited Research Methodologies

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Date/Time
Wednesday 14 - 16h

Instructor
Dr. Rogelio Madrueño (Bonn)

Seminar

This seminar focuses on the political economy of the continuously rising multipolar world. The seminar explores the emergence and significance of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and other emerging powers as sources of multipolarity in the global arena. It specifically analyzes the political, economic, and strategic dimensions of the BRICS nations, examining their influence on international ) relations and their potential to shape a new world order. By studying key literature, case studies, and debates, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the BRICS bloc and the broader concept of multipolarity. This includes exploring the role of interdependencies and the delicate balance between rivalry and cooperation, within the current debate on the increasing appeal of "nearshoring" and "de-risking" in the 21st-century international system.

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Date/Time
Friday, 10 - 12h

Instructor
Dr. Rogelio Madrueño (Bonn)

Lecture

This seminar provides an interdisciplinary exploration of the political economy of sustainability and development. It examines the complex relationship between economic growth, social well-being, and environmental sustainability, and investigates the role of politics, institutions, and policies in shaping sustainable development outcomes. Drawing on theoretical frameworks and empirical research, the course analyzes the challenges and opportunities for achieving sustainable development goals at the local, national, and global levels. Students will engage with key literature, case studies, and debates to develop a critical understanding of the political and economic dimensions of sustainability and development.

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Date/Time
Friday, 17 November 2023

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber (Basel)

Lecture
The seminar offers doctoral students the opportunity to present and discuss in detail partial results, questions and difficulties at different stages of their dissertation project. The event is aimed at doctoral students who are working on a topic with an interdisciplinary and/or global focus and are dealing with the resulting challenges.

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Date/Time
Irregular

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Christa Tobler (Basel)

Colloquium

This course focuses on equal treatment or non-discrimination and on the meaning and application of these concepts in EU law.

The course will begin with two introductory sessions and an exercise session. In this part, the meaning of legal equality and non-discrimination in general will be discussed, and an introduction into their application in the context of EU social law (which includes notably employment law) will be provided. The introductory part will be followed by a number of sessions in which the students present topics of their personal choice and interest. Depending on the interests of the students, this may cover a wider field, ranging from e.g. employment law to transport law, asylum law, tax law and environmental law – in fact, almost every existing field of EU law. Students might also wish to choose topics from EU association regimes such as the law of the European Economic Area (EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) or the so-called bilateral law EU-Switzerland. The professor will be happy to assist students in defining a topic.


Equal treatment and non-discrimination are all-pervasive concepts in EU law, be it in the economic or in other contexts. The subject is both internesting demanding because of the multi-layered nature of the field, where general principles of equality/equal treatment or non-discrimination and rights under the Union Charter of Fundamental Rights play together with the numerous specific prohibitions of non-discrimination as stated in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in secondary law and in Treaties concluded by the EU with non-member States.

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Date/Time
Thursday, 12:15 - 14h 

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber (Basel)

Seminar

In this seminar, we will study the literature on transnational repression, that is how governments reach across borders to silence dissent among diasporas and exiles. We concentrate on the efforts either putatively or demonstrably undertaken by actors related to the People's Republic of China and the Communist Party of China. The focus is on the Tibetan and Uyghur diasporas across the globe and particularly in Europe.

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Date/Time
Tuesday, 16:15 - 18h

Instructors
Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber, Shrey Kapoor (Basel)

Lecture
This lecture series explores how governments project repressive force across borders to surveil, pressure, silence and harm their own diasporas and exiles as well as other perceived critics and enemies overseas. The range of means pursued by governments includes cyberattacks, digital threats and phishing attempts, coercion by proxy (most often via family members), Interpol abuse, refugee espionage, but also physical violence, even illegal deportations, forced repatriation and assassinations. Leading voices from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds and focusing on countries such as China, India or Turkey present their research and engage in discussion with the participants. Throughout the lecture series, we aim at understanding the phenomena in their diversity and reflect on the crucial question of how liberal democracies can and should react to these challenges.

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Date/Time
Thursday, 10:15 - 12h 

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Corey Ross (Basel)

Lecture

This course offers an introduction to global environmental history and the history of European imperialism through the lens of water. It focuses on how the waters of the colonial world shaped the history of empire, and how their management and exploitation were part of an increasingly global system of water knowledge. Focusing particularly on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, we will explore how water control was related to evolving power structures, cultural values, social hierarchies, and ideas about the environment.

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Date/Time
27/28 October, 09-16h

Instructors
Dr. des. Christian Futter, Dr. des. Lea Kasper (Basel)

Practical course
This practical course explores the possibilities of digital methods in the historical research of global trade networks. The aim is to build repositories for digitalized historical documents and prepare and work with this data to trace and gain insight into the emerging global maritime trading networks of the 18. and 19. Century. The lecture includes a historical introduction to the subject and an introduction to the digital tools necessary for working with large-scale historical data. In the second part, students will create digital repositories and apply these digital instruments for historical research.

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Course information at this link.


Summer term 2023

Dates
Tuesday, 06.15-07.45 pm

11 April, 18 April, 25 April, 02 May, 09 May, 16 May, 23 May, 06 June, 13 June, 20 June, 27 June, 04 July, 11 July

Venue
University of Bonn, Lecture Hall IV (main building)

Event
Lecture Series (with live video) with Keynote Speaker and Moderator/Discussant

Conveners
Prof. Dr. Carla Jaimes Betancourt, Prof. Dr. Sophie Elpers, Prof. Dr. Lewis Doney, Prof. Dr. Maximilian Mayer, Frederik Schmitz (M.A.)

Lecture

How has digitalization changed the way we remember personally and collectively? Through their omnipresence, digital applications and infrastructures seem to be reshaping memory culture and practices around the globe. Mobile devices and cloud services enable individuals to access images, texts, and video recordings from the past anywhere and anytime. Collections are being digitalized and made more accessible. During the Corona Pandemic, museums offered virtual tours. Governments are also using digital tools increasingly to shape authoritative cultural heritage and public discourses on identity and history.

Digitalization does not only facilitate a greater diversity of memories and voices. Digitalization also challenges conventions and can enables manipulation and selection of content. The consequences with which the intersection between technologies and cultures has been set in motion can be best discussed by comparing memory & heritage practices in different societies and world regions. How is the personal ability to remember changing and which materials are becoming new and differently accessible for remembering? What kind of influence do platforms and social media have on forms of memory in rural Africa or hyper-urban China? How does digital creativity differ in remembering in Europe, Latin America and Africa? How do digital tools enable us to perceive everyday culture on the one hand and global interconnections such as colonialism, climate change, and geopolitics on the other hand? Does the relationship between cultures of memory and digital technologies differ significantly or are they similar in African, American, European, and Asian countries?

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Date/Time
Monday 12 - 14 p.m.

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Maximilian Mayer & Prof. Dr. Patricio Langa (Bonn)

Lecture
This course explores the post-interdisciplinary and anti /‘post-decolonial’ thought whilst recognizing the synergetic strength moving beyond the reductionist discussions of disciplinarity vs. interdisciplinarity, coloniality vs. decoloniality in Science, Technology, Innovation and Policy Studies (STIPS). The discussions aim at scoping the Manichean ‘global-south-north’ geopolitics of STIPS, while acknowledging the globality of structural inequalities of power, while also recognizing convergences of cultures and politics in addressing the cognitive and political consequences of global dependencies on STIP. We explore the inherent theoretical and practical issues at the intersection of higher education institutions; public science, technology, and engineering institutions; and science, technology, innovation, and policymaking in the globality space. The seminar will problematize and interrogate several key concepts including: Science, technology and innovation, development, inequality, power, public(s), ”South” and ”North,” national/regional, Science (single or multiple), and indigenous and subjugated knowledges, as well as some conventional dichotomies with respect to knowledge production such as: local/global knowledge, research/teaching-intensive universities, basic/applied research, practitioners’/academic epistemologies, scale-neutral/context-specific science research.

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Date/Time
Monday 16 - 18 p. m.

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Anna Katharina Hornidge (Bonn)

Lecture

Development Sociology emerged and was actively developed by scholars in many countries in the 1960s and 1970s and sharpened as a result of emerging tensions between modernisation and dependency theories. It was the disciplinary child of the project of international development, and as such also the child of colonialism, growing up and being shaped by imperial and colonial pasts, Cold War legacies, , together with increasing wealth inequalities both across and between the North and South.

The module ‘Development Sociology’ introduces the students to (1) the different theories of development, (2) the implementation of development theory inspired policies in development practice, as well as (3) the epistemological and methodological tools of development research.

While the lecture takes place in the Winter Semester, it is followed up with a seminar in the Summer Semester. Here it is important to note that the seminar builds on the lecture in the winter semester, but it is not a compulsory precondition for participation.

The seminar ‘Development Sociology: The Empirics of Development Research in Practice’ will deepen and extend reflection of selected key themes engaged with in the lecture by exploring empirical examples. Additionally it introduces the students to the following methodological considerations and tools for empirical development research:

  • Relative and Multi-dimensional Poverty analyses, Growth and Well-being Indices and Knowledge Society Indices – capitalist/market-led influences on data collection, sharing and dissemination
  • Community-based participatory tools: mixed methods household surveying, group-based interviewing and focus groups, and Participatory Learning & Action (PLA) approaches
  • Long term field research: Emic and etic worldviews, embeddedness, participant observation, researcher reflectivity, positionality, ethics and role of local language skills
  • Development policy analyses (drawing from Critical Policy Studies)
  • Mobile ethnographies and ethnographies of mobility: Follow the Innovation, the Migrant, the Epistemology, non-human natures & multi-sited Research Methodologies

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Date/Time
Wednesday 14 - 16 p.m.

Instructor
Dr. Rogelio Madrueno (Bonn)

Lecture

This course focuses on the political economy of geo-economics in a changing world. The seminar introduces students to the study of geoeconomics by examining economic interdependences from an interdisciplinary perspective, and stressing the following fields: economy, geography, security, finance, demography, technology history, institutional and political factors. It will examine the transition of geoeconomics in the 21st century and how geostrategic rivalry between global and emergent powers is reshaping the global economy and the international world order. The student will obtain an aggregate overview of the most recent specialised literature on the topic and will develop the ability to apply geoeconomic analysis in different case study situations, as well as building plausible geoeconomic scenarios. The seminar will complement its targets with the use of two main approaches: international political economy and development studies.

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Date/Time
Thursday, 10 - 12 a.m.

Instructor
Dr. Lerato Posholi (Basel)

Lecture

This course focuses on understanding and examining critiques of Eurocentrism from decolonialism, postcolonialism, and ‘epistemologies of the South’. The course explores two broad questions. The first broad question is: what is Eurocentrism and what are its problems? The second broad question is: what are the implications of the critiques of Eurocentrism for how we think about global knowledge production?

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Date/Time
Friday, 28 April 2023

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Madeleine Herren-Oesch & Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber (Basel)

Lecture
Die Veranstaltung bietet Doktorierenden die Gelegenheit, in unterschiedlichen Phasen ihres Dissertationsprojektes Teilergebnisse, Fragen und Schwierigkeiten vorzustellen und ausführlich zu diskutieren. Die Veranstaltung richtet sich an Doktorierende, die ein Thema mit interdisziplinärem und/oder globalem Fokus bearbeiten und sich mit den daraus resultierenden Herausforderungen auseinandersetzen.

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Date/Time
Tuesday, 12 - 14 p.m.

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber (Basel)

Lecture
In this lecture on Chinese politics, we will adopt a focus that puts the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) front and centre and explain the State and other institutions from this vantage point. We will read key documents like the CCP Constitution and the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and many more less prominent texts, some of which translated for the first time, in order to learn about the Marxist-Leninist fundament on which politics unfolds in the PRC and which co-defines the capitalist aspects of today's second largest economy, its take on foreign policy and much more. As an additional task, we will follow the lianghui, the two meetings, referring to the annual plenary sessions of the National People's Congress and the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which takes place in spring.

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Date/Time
Tuesday, 12 - 14 p.m.

Instructor
Prof. Dr. Julia Hegewald (Bonn)

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Date/Time
Tuesday, 14 - 16 p.m.

Instructor
Lucie Chamlian (Basel)

Lecture
This lecture introduces students to the contemporary history of European integration from a global perspective. Drawing on historical and political science accounts, the first part of the course lays out the conventional history of European construction, resumed as „deeper, wider and compromised“. The second part engages the closer history of the European Union, focusing on how the EU relates to the world after multiple internal and external crises.

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Winter term  2022/2023

Date/Time
Wednesday, 2 p.m. – 4 a.m.

Instructor
Dr. Rogelio Madrueño (Bonn)

Lecture
This course explores the emergence of turning points in the 21st Century and the socio-economic, technological, and political transitions, including those related to power shifts, that provide new challenges for sustainability. This raises the following questions: what are the different understandings of turning points? What are the most significant turning points that affect global development and international security? How their emergence has been happening in recent years? Can we identify regional patterns between geographical regions? Does these turning points provide new relations of dependence between countries? Is it possible to identify turning points and extrapolate future scenarios of dependence and risk in the world economy? What actions has been implemented at the multilateral level to reduce the impact of new challenges resulted from turning points? Are we moving towards a new green economy or a conventional deterrence landscape? These questions involve not only facing and managing uncertainties to mitigate emergent challenges, but also understanding the complexities of the international system. This seminar provides a critical perspective of a hot topic of discussion in the field of international relations.

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Date/Time
Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Instructor
Prof. Maximilian Mayer (Bonn)

Lecture
China has become a global actor and a global power with impact in all world regions. The presence of Chinese diplomats, companies, investors, tourists, scholars and emigrants is felt in many countries around the world. What kind of impact does global China have in specific countries? How to theorize and conceptually understand its multifaceted influence? This seminar will focus on the geopolitical, technical and cultural dynamics that link China with selected countries in Africa, Europe, Latin Amerika and Southeast Asia. In the second part of the seminar, we will talk directly with various local experts to share insights and raise questions in addition to preparing mini-country studies. (This seminar is hybrid and part of the Katekisama Program. Students from University of Basel and University of Ghana will participate).

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Date/Time
Wednesday, 2 p.m. – 4 a.m.

Instructor
Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Bonn)

Lecture
This course explores the emergence of turning points in the 21st Century and the socio-economic, technological, and political transitions, including those related to power shifts, that provide new challenges for sustainability. This raises the following questions: what are the different understandings of turning points? What are the most significant turning points that affect global development and international security? How their emergence has been happening in recent years? Can we identify regional patterns between geographical regions? Does these turning points provide new relations of dependence between countries? Is it possible to identify turning points and extrapolate future scenarios of dependence and risk in the world economy? What actions has been implemented at the multilateral level to reduce the impact of new challenges resulted from turning points? Are we moving towards a new green economy or a conventional deterrence landscape? These questions involve not only facing and managing uncertainties to mitigate emergent challenges, but also understanding the complexities of the international system. This seminar provides a critical perspective of a hot topic of discussion in the field of international relations.

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Date/Time
Friday, November 11th, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Instructors
Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch & Prof. Ralph Weber (Basel)

Lecture
The event offers doctoral students the opportunity to present and discuss in detail partial results, questions and difficulties at different stages of their dissertation project. The event is aimed at doctoral students who are working on a topic with an interdisciplinary and/or global focus and are grappling with the resulting challenges.

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Date/Time
Thursday, 12.15 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Instructor
Prof. Ralph Weber (Basel)

Lecture
Authoritarian influencing has become more noted and reported in recent years. But how does an authoritarian regime like that of the People's Republic of China exert such influence on the ground? What is the theory behind this and what practices are pursued? Which actors (private, corporate and public) are involved? And what alliances forged? In this seminar, students acquire deep knowledge about the different channels and networks through which the Chinese Party-State seeks to wield power in Europe. The focus will be on the united front system, its history, current status and how it fits within the larger Party-State.
The topics for the papers to be written in this seminar will be discussed on an individual basis and students will be encouraged to draw on their specific skills (languages, digital, etc.) to select an appropriate case study.
The seminar will involve inputs from specialists and require interactive participation (peer reviewing, group work).

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Date/Time
Wednesday, 6:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.

Instructors
Prof. Ralph Weber & Noureddine Wenger (Basel)

Lecture
The lecture series offered is dedicated to the Indo-Pacific. For some years now, this region, which is mainly connected by oceans, has become the focus of geopolitical strategies. After Australia, Germany, France and the European Union have also developed their own strategies with a focus on the Indo-Pacific. In terms of security policy, the AUCUS alliance and the Quatrilateral Security Dialogue, but also the recent advances of the People's Republic of China in the Pacific islands, have attracted attention. Meanwhile, some of the most important global transit corridors run through the Indo-Pacific. Littoral states such as Indonesia, India and Malaysia are home to the world's largest Muslim community. In addition to the world's most populous countries, there are also many micro-states in this region. The Indo-Pacific is particularly suitable for exploring the analytical potential of an interdisciplinary approach in a global perspective.

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Date/Time
Thursday, 2 p.m. – 4 a.m.

Instructor
Prof. Julia Hegewald (Bonn)

Lecture
(Further information coming)
 
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Date/Time
Thursday, 4 p.m. – 6 a.m.

Instructor
Prof. Julia Hegewald (Bonn)

Lecture
(Further information coming)
 
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Summer term 2022

Date/Time

Tuesday, 10 – 12 a.m.

Instructor

Lerato Posholi (Basel)

Lecture

This course focuses on understanding and critically examining critiques of Eurocentrism from decolonialism, postcolonialism, and ‘epistemologies of the South’. The course explores two broad questions. The first question is: what is Eurocentrism and what are its problems? The second question is: what are the implications of the critiques of Eurocentrism for how we think about global knowledge production?

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Date/Time

Wednesday, 10 – 12 a.m.

Instructor

Teresa Pullano (Basel)

Lecture

This lecture discusses contemporary theories and practices of citizenship from the perspective of its three dilemmas: the dilemma of "freedom", the dilemma of "equality" and the one of "participation". More precisely, our present time is often depicted as the one of the crisis of (liberal) democracy as we have known it in the Western world since the end of World War II. From populist movements within Western democracies, to authoritarian regimes expanding their power in the world, the thesis of the "end of history" and of the final victory of liberal democracies at the global level has been definitely contested. The question of citizenship is strictly linked to the one of democracy: the citizen is the actor of a political regime based on the freedom and equality of all, as well as on self-rule and social emancipation.

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Date/Time

Friday, 6 May 2022, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (block event)

Instructor 

Madeleine Herren-Oesch

Ralph Weber (Basel)

Doctoral course

Die Veranstaltung bietet Doktorierenden die Gelegenheit, in unterschiedlichen Phasen ihres Dissertationsprojektes Teilergebnisse, Fragen und Schwierigkeiten vorzustellen und ausführlich zu diskutieren. Die Veranstaltung richtet sich an Doktorierende, die ein Thema mit interdisziplinärem und/oder globalem Fokus bearbeiten und sich mit den daraus resultierenden Herausforderungen auseinandersetzen.

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Date/Time

Tuesday, 12 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Instructor 

Ralph Weber (Basel)

Lecture

In this lecture on Chinese politics, we will adopt a focus that puts the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) front and centre and explain the State and other institutions from this vantage point. We will read key documents like the CCP Constitution and the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and many more less prominent texts, some of which translated for the first time, in order to learn about the Marxist-Leninist fundament on which politics unfolds in the PRC and which co-defines the capitalist aspects of today's second largest economy, its take on foreign policy and much more.
As an additional task, we will follow the lianghui, the two meetings, referring to the annual plenary sessions of the National People's Congress and the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which takes place in spring.

More information

Date/Time

Thursday, 2 – 4 p.m.

Instructor 

Lucie Chamlian (Basel) 

Lecture

This lecture introduces students to the contemporary history of European integration from a global perspective. Drawing on historical and political science accounts, the first part of the course lays out the conventional history of European construction, resumed as „deeper, wider and compromised“. The second part engages the closer history of the European Union, focusing on how the EU relates to the world after multiple internal and external crises.

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Date/Time 

Tuesday, 4 – 6 p.m.

Instructor

Carolina Guzmán Valenzuela (Bonn)

Seminar

Being considered to be ‘world class university’ and being visible in international academic rankings have become a desirable goal for universities around the world. Prestige and reputation are valued assets and become a source of power and influence, which in turn attract income in a global market. These matters can be understood as instances of the globalisation of higher education. A key dimension in these movements - indeed, a response to globalisation in higher education - is the increasing internationalisation of universities, which have been developing policies and strategies to that end. Among these developments, attracting students from other countries, increasing publications in prestigious academic outlets and international collaboration - especially in research processes - have gained traction. This is especially problematic for what has been called the Global South which includes regions and countries with the most fragile economies and political instability, and which lack the reputational capital of many universities in the Global North. Moreover, large geo-political dimensions are playing out here. In this course, knowledge production and research collaboration as features of internationalisation of universities will be examined, together with the geopolitical factors at work and connected epistemic and collaboration asymmetries.

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Date/Time

Block Event, please check link.

Instructor 

James D. Bindenagel (Bonn)

Seminar

Foresight into future political developments is just as necessary as dealing with policies for current issues. The class will discuss the latest methodological approaches of strategic foresight scenario planning, will develop scenarios within the strategic planning framework and will discuss those scenarios that impact the security of Germany (and Europe).

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Time/Date

Thursday, 2 – 4 p.m. 

Instructor 

Xuewu Gu (Bonn)

Seminar

The rise of China is changing the landscape of current world politics. The old international system dominated by Western countries is increasingly forced to adapt to the growing power of China, paving the way for shaping a new global order for world politics and world economy. This class will examine the character of China as an emerging superpower and inquire into the possibilities and challenges for a successful reconstruction of world politics in the 21st century.

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Time/Date

Wednesday, 2 – 4 p.m.

Instructor 

Rogelio Madrueño (Bonn)

Seminar

This course explores the issue of global megatrends facing humanity, which includes a broad constellation of challenges and threats, such as climate change, demographic change, urbanization, inequalities, and emerging technologies. This raises questions such as what is the contemporary understanding of these megatrends? How their emergence has been happening in recent years? What are the most significant challenges to global development and global security? Can we identify regional patterns (at the Global North and Global South) derived from these global megatrends? What actions have been implemented at the multilateral and local level to address them? What other actions are needed to minimize these problems? These questions involve not only facing and managing uncertainties to mitigate risks and threats, but also the process of identifying and categorizing them. It also includes the role of institutions and how they and the new forms of social and political interaction take action to operate and adapt to the new challenges facing humanity. The goal is to provide a critical perspective from an interdisciplinary perspective.

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Date/Time

Monday, 8.30 – 10. a.m.

Instructor 

Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Bonn)

Seminar

Development Sociology emerged and was actively developed by scholars in many countries in the 1960s and 1970s and sharpened as a result of emerging tensions between modernisation and dependency theories. It was the disciplinary child of the project of international development, and as such also the child of colonialism, growing up and being shaped by imperial and colonial pasts, Cold War legacies, , together with increasing wealth inequalities both across and between the North and South. 

The module ‘Development Sociology’ introduces the students to (1) the different theories of development, (2) the implementation of development theory inspired policies in development practice, as well as (3) the epistemological and methodological tools of development research. 

While the lecture takes place in the Winter Semester, it is followed up with a seminar in the Summer Semester. Here it is important to note that the seminar builds on the lecture in the winter semester, but it is not a compulsory precondition for participation.

The seminar ‘Development Sociology: The Empirics of Development Research in Practice’ will deepen and extend reflection of selected key themes engaged with in the lecture by exploring empirical examples. Additionally it introduces the students to the following methodological considerations and tools for empirical development research: 

  • Relative and Multi-dimensional Poverty analyses, Growth and Well-being Indices and Knowledge Society Indices – capitalist/market-led influences on data collection, sharing and dissemination 
  • Community-based participatory tools: mixed methods household surveying, group-based interviewing and focus groups, and Participatory Learning & Action (PLA) approaches 
  • Long term field research: Emic and etic worldviews, embeddedness, participant observation, researcher reflectivity, positionality, ethics and role of local language skills
  • Development policy analyses (drawing from Critical Policy Studies)  
  • Mobile ethnographies and ethnographies of mobility: Follow the Innovation, the Migrant, the Epistemology, non-human natures & multi-sited Research Methodologies

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Winter term 2021/2022

Instructor

Charlotte Blattner; Janine Dumont (Basel)

Seminar

Thanks to new achievements of science and health care, modern societies have greatly improved average working conditions. The promise of a healthy and long life, together with an increasing prosperity of people was a consequence of this achievement and led to fewer births among privileged people. Correlation between age, reliable health care and declining population growth is not solely a Western phenomenon but a development that is now observed on a global scale. The relationship between different generations has been at the centre of public attention, not least because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, laws restricting public life were put in place in response to a call for solidarity with the elderly. On the other hand, older generations were greatly affected by restrictions and thereby made dependent on others. How are these interests translated into law and mediated by it? Do states have a duty to protect the elderly? When do differentiations amount to forms of discrimination? This seminar examines these and other pressing legal questions that arise when societies age or lack an opportunity to age. Students may choose among numerous topics covering the legal dimensions of e.g., intergenerational equity, age as a form of disability, age and nutrition, age and autonomy, discrimination of older workers or tenants, reverse discrimination of young people in politics, age and illnesses of old age, age and assisted suicide, or global ageing and the challenges of technology. Students are invited to approach this topic from a Swiss, European, or international law perspective and are encouraged to use comparative analyses where appropriate.

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Instructor

Toshiki Mogami (Basel)

Seminar

This course intends to confront the most fundamental, yet long neglected question of international law: Is international law effective in constructing world order? It is a matter of course that international law is necessary for the construction and maintenance of world order, but we tend to take it unduly for granted that international law is working (i.e., effective) in its own way. But this optimism or overestimation may simply be tempting us to lose sight of the structural defects and weakness of international law. Many fundamental questions are before us: Is international legal order a solid order? Does it solve many of the world order problems? Does international ever exist?
The instructor will give brief lectures for the topic that he will present to you at the beginning of the course, which will be followed by your presentation on the basis of the various readings given you before the start of the semester. Then a discussion will follow each time.

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Ralph Weber (Basel)

Seminar 

In this seminar, we will learn about the Chinese Party-State and the propaganda work carried out around the globe, focussing on relevant actors, channels and the messages these actors try to propagate through these channels. We willl then focus on Europe. Students will have to choose a case of purported propaganda efforts in Europe and write a short paper about it. The seminar will combine independent study, group work and plenary sessions. Experts from around the world will be invited to speak to our class and provide training.

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Madeleine Herren-Oesch

Ralph Weber (Basel)

Doctoral course

Die Veranstaltung bietet Doktorierenden die Gelegenheit, in unterschiedlichen Phasen ihres Dissertationsprojektes Teilergebnisse, Fragen und Schwierigkeiten vorzustellen und ausführlich zu diskutieren. Die Veranstaltung richtet sich an Doktorierende, die ein Thema mit interdisziplinärem und/oder globalem Fokus bearbeiten und sich mit den daraus resultierenden Herausforderungen auseinandersetzen.

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Barbara von Rütte (Basel) 

Seminar

International law is often characterized as a universal and progressive project. Critical and post-colonial perspectives have challenged this dominant narrative and criticized international law’s Eurocentrism. Against that background the seminar will reflect on the history, the key concepts and underlying assumptions and the structures of international law on the basis of different contemporary theoretical approaches to international law (TWAIL, critical legal studies, feminist approaches to international law and others). The seminar will focus on selected topics such as sovereignty and colonialism, human rights and universalism, borders and migration, citizenship and statelessness, equality and discrimination, the role of international organizations or climate change. On the basis of these topics the students will critically engage with contemporary theories of international law on the basis of selected readings, judgments and current examples.

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Instructor

Barbara von Rütte (Basel) 

Ralph Weber (Basel)

Lecture

Anders als manche noch vor wenigen Jahren angenommen haben, hat das 21. Jahrhundert bisher weder dazu geführt, dass sich nationalstaatliche Grenzen aufgelöst hätten, noch dass internationale Menschenrechte die Staatsangehörigkeit ersetzen könnten. Statt dessen scheint «Citizenship» – die Zugehörigkeit und Teilhabe in einem Staat – in verschiedenster Hinsicht so wichtig wie seit Langem nicht mehr: so hat die Schweiz im Frühjahr 2020 im Rahmen der Bekämpfung der COVID-Pandemie ihre Grenzen für ausländische Staatsangehörige geschlossen, nützen grosse Staaten wie China ihre Staatsangehörigkeit als strategisches Instrument der Innen- und Aussenpolitik, wird über die Einführung digitaler Pässe diskutiert oder gründen die Spannungen zwischen der Schweiz und Europäischen Union über das Rahmenabkommen wesentlich auch auf der Frage der Beteiligung der Schweiz an der Unionsbürgerrichtlinie, welche die supranationale Zugehörigkeit gegenüber der nationalen Staatsangehörigkeit stärkt. Vor diesem Hintergrund setzt sich die interdisziplinäre Vortragsreihe aus verschiedenen disziplinären aber auch aus unterschiedlichen nationalen, regionalen und globalen Perspektiven mit der Frage auseinander, welche Rolle Citizenship, Staatsbürgerschaft und Zugehörigkeit im 21. Jahrhundert spielen und wie sich dies auf die Stellung der Nationalstaaten und ihrer Grenzen auswirkt.

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Raquel Cardeira Varela (Basel)

Seminar

Work has a central place in society, politics, culture and the economy. It supports the production of goods and services, it has a pivotal social value and is preponderant in human socialization; it supports access to consumption; it is a source of social rights and political citizenship; qualifies and situates people in society; appears pertinent in
solving environmental and ecological problems. This centrality was shaped in a complex path of struggle for the dignity of the worker and against his alienation, in a balance between the individual and the collective, affirming work as a universal value. There is why alongside with the centrality of work we have to highlight another trend of theoretical and methodological significance in the global labour studies, that is, the social critical theory as a main perspective, over the traditional making of knowledge.

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Maximilian Mayer (Bonn)

Seminar

China has become a global actor and a global power with impact in all world regions. The presence of Chinese diplomats, companies, investors, tourists, scholars and emigrants is felt in many countries around the world. What kind of impact does global China have in specific countries? How to theorize and conceptually understand its multifaceted influence? This seminar will focus on the geopolitical, technical and cultural dynamics that link China with selected countries in Africa, Europe, Latin Amerika and Southeast Asia. We will talk directly with local experts to share insights and raise questions in addition to preparing mini-country studies.

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Patrício Langa (Bonn)

Seminar

This seminar aims to critically engage with the concept of development as a teleological and circular argument often articulated in development policy for the global south. Following years of policy advice and denial for Africa not to invest in higher education, but rather in primary and secondary education due to perceived higher rates of social return on investment, the international development intelligentsia, in a dramatic twist, decided that higher education is the de-facto critical missing factor in the development formula for Africa and the developing world. The seminar proposes a critical appraisal of the arguments linking higher education and development particularly in the context of the raising discourse of the so-called knowledge economies.

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Instructor 

Wolfram Laube (Bonn)

Proseminar

Basic development paradigms, largely coined by western economists and political scientists after World War II as an alternative to socialist ideas promoted by the Eastern Bloc focused the state-led promotion of modern industrial development, capitalist economies, and democratic political systems. Taking the historical development of western Europe and North America as an example these pathway of development was to become the blueprint for the development of so-called `underdeveloped ´ countries.

However, economic and political realities in many countries gaining independence after the demise of colonial empires, varied largely from the development trajectories foreseen. The apparent impasse of development sparked both left wing and neo-liberal critiques of the reigning development paradigm. Leftist critique focused on the exploitative character of the world economic system and the continuing dependency of the ‘periphery’, which western countries and international development agencies were believed to perpetuate with the dominant development paradigm. As alternative development agenda self-reliance policies and south-south collaboration were advocated for. But while these ideas were only partially implemented, the since the late 1980s a new development paradigm, inspired by neo-liberal economic reasoning became dominant. Modernization, capitalism and integration into global markets continued to be the recipes for development, but the role of the state in the promotion and regulation of the economy was discredited. Market-led development and privatization, controlled – if at all – by civil society, were meant to become the engines of development. While some macro-economic successes were achieved and ruinous patterns of state expenditure were curbed, the structural adjustment programs promoted during this era had harsh social and economic drawbacks, especially for the nascent middle classes and the poor in the developing world. Especially, women were often affected.

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Rogelio Madrueño (Bonn)

Seminar

The course explores from a critical perspective the heterogeneity and new challenges of the global South. It is designed to provide students with an overview of the changing global world and the political economy of the global South (GS) within the evolution and challenges of the international order. It attempts to address a wide range of topic, approaches and issues related to power and the heterogeneity of the global South and the field of International Political Economy. The aim is to provide students with a basic outline of key issues of topics such as the structure of the global order, heterogeneity of the GS (in terms of strategies and emergent countries), the effect of Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Corporations on the GS, the role of the State and its constraints, new regionalisms and the global value chains, sustainability, South–South and triangular cooperation, the COVID-19 crisis on developing countries.

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Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Bonn)

Seminar

Development Sociology emerged and was actively developed by scholars in many countries in the 1960s and 1970s and sharpened as a result of emerging tensions between modernisation and dependency theories. It was the disciplinary child of the project of international development, and as such also the child of colonialism, growing up and being shaped by imperial and colonial pasts, Cold War legacies, , together with increasing wealth inequalities both across and between the North and South.

The module ‘Development Sociology’ introduces the students to (1) the different theories of development and (2) the implementation of development theory inspired policies in development practice, as well as (3) the epistemological and methodological tools of development research.

While the lecture takes place in the Winter Semester, it is followed up with a seminar in the Summer Semester.

The lecture ‘Development Sociology: Theory and Policy in Practice’ will cover the following development theories and their influences on policy practice:

  • Modernisation and Growth
  • Dependency and Self-Reliance
  • Neoliberalism and Structural Adjustment
  • Participation and Sustainability
  • Women and Gender
  • Post-Development and Alternatives
  • Multiple Modernities, Risks and Acceleration

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