TEACHING

MASTER COURSES

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS IN A POLARIZED AGE

Winter 2020 (Heidelberg University)

Polarization has become a prevalent phenomenon in contemporary American politics. Partisan division, both among the public and political elites, has consumed American democracy, transforming a political system dependent on compromise into one suffused by political hostility, gridlock, and dysfunctional democratic governance. These trends have only become more pronounced with the rise of populism and personal attacks on opposition party members under the Trump presidency.
This course examines the trend lines and consequences of domestic polarization for U.S. foreign policy and global power. Students will explore institutions and individuals responsible for foreign policy decision making while considering factors such as the decline of the ideological center and the distribution of foreign policy preferences; the role of affective polarization and the transformation of the political parties as carriers of foreign policy ideas; as well as changes to the institutions involved in U.S. foreign policymaking, namely Congress and the president. The goal is to obtain a fundamental understanding about the more general forces shaping U.S. foreign policy and apply this knowledge to the contemporary era of polarization.
The course will use readings from both the foreign policy analysis and polarization literature in order to acquire theoretical and analytical knowledge about how to define, assess, measure, and observe the forces of polarization in U.S. foreign policy execution. Students will engage with a broad variety of polarization data, methods of Foreign Policy Analysis, and empirical cases to identify how U.S. foreign policy has been shaped by polarization.
The course is designed as an intensive workshop that will take place over the course of two full days (December 18 & 19, 2020). There will be one introductory session taking place prior on November 27, 2020. All meetings will take place virtually via HeiConf. During the workshop, students will give presentations and engage with each other through different discussion forms to illuminate general patterns and processes, but also specific choices and trade-offs of U.S. foreign policy in a polarized age. The introductory session serves the purpose to provide an intellectual foundation for the subject as well as assign students (groups) to topics that they will then research independently with the supervision of the teacher. Students also have the opportunity to write a term paper (Hausarbeit).

Syllabus

U.S. GLOBAL HEGEMONY

Summer 2020 (Heidelberg University)

This course examines the rise and potential decline of the United States as a global hegemon. Students will engage with a wide variety of theoretical approaches to the concept of hegemony in world politics with a particular focus on the academic debate surrounding the current state of US global affairs. The goal is to provide students with advanced theoretical knowledge that allow them to think critically about the stability, transition, and construction of hegemony in the discipline and practice of international relations.


Students will engage with a broad variety of empirical cases. These include, but are not limited to, US military interventions, the U.S. role in global governance regimes, international sanctions practice, as well as the domestic politics of US global hegemony. In addition, cases will explore some of the challenges to U.S. hegemony posed by rising powers and non-state actors. The cases will illuminate general patterns and processes, but also specific strategies and trade-offs of US global hegemony, covering a range of policy areas.


Students are required to regularly present critical summaries of the course’s reading material in class as well as write a longer term paper either during the semester or afterwards (all in English). The course is designed for MA students with basic or advanced knowledge of IR.

BACHELOR COURSES

(selection)

INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY

Consecutively since 2014 (Heidelberg University)

Das Seminar bietet einen Überblick über die wichtigsten Theorien, Debatten und Themengebiete der Internationalen Beziehungen. Es werden verschiedene zentrale Denkschulen vorgestellt, die in ausgewählten Politikfeldern und Handlungskontexten angewendet werden. Ziel des Seminars ist es, analytische Grundkenntnisse der Teildisziplin Internationale Beziehungen zu vermitteln, die auf eine kritische Auseinandersetzung sowohl mit theoretischen Fragestellungen als auch mit empirischen Problemen vorbereiten.
Im ersten Teil des Seminars werden die wichtigsten Großtheorien der Internationalen Beziehungen eingeübt und der Umgang mit Kernbegriffen geschärft. Im zweiten Teil widmet sich das Seminar einer Reihe von Politikfeldern der internationalen Beziehungen, u.a. aus den Bereichen „Sicherheit, Krieg und Frieden“, „Internationale Organisationen, Menschenrechte und Völkerrecht“ sowie „Wirtschaft, Handel und Rüstungskontrolle“. Dabei sollen die empirischen Fälle anhand der zuvor behandelten Theorien analysiert und diskutiert werden.
Neben einem grundlegenden theoretischen Verständnis will das Seminar einen Überblick über Wandel und Kontinuität der internationalen Beziehungen seit dem zweiten Weltkrieg vermitteln. Die Beispiele reichen daher von den Abrüstungsverhandlungen während des Kalten Kriegs bis hin zu neueren Entwicklungen im Völkerrecht und aktuellen internationalen Konflikten.

Syllabus

U.S. HEGEMONY & INTERNATIONAL ORDER

Consecutively since 2014 (Heidelberg University)

This course examines themes and patterns of U.S. global power since the end of World War II by drawing on a variety of International Relations theories and concepts. The aim is to familiarize students with the central schools of thought in international politics and to apply and test their assumptions in selected policy areas of U.S. hegemony. How has U.S. hegemony interacted with international order over time and how can we explain change and continuity in U.S. foreign policy?
In the first part, students will learn about four grand theories of International Relations, including key terms, propositions, as well as assumptions about international order. In the second part, students will engage with a broad variety of empirical cases of U.S. hegemony and its effect on international order, including international regimes and organizations, military interventions and alliances, global trade, diplomacy and international crises, and human rights. In addition, the course covers U.S. policy towards pivotal areas such as Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Besides acquiring theoretical and empirical knowledge, students should also develop the skills to critically evaluate and understand the processes behind shifts of U.S. power under the current Trump administration.

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS

Summer 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 (Heidelberg University)

This course examines themes and patterns of U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Students will explore institutions and individuals responsible for foreign policy decision making while considering different levels of analysis, i.e. the international system, domestic politics, organizational and bureaucratic explanations of foreign policy analysis.
Besides acquiring theoretical and analytical knowledge, students will engage with a broad variety of empirical cases of U.S. foreign affairs including military interventions, national security, international crises, diplomacy, trade, as well as U.S. policy towards pivotal areas such as Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
The course will use readings, discussions, case studies, and practical examinations to illuminate general patterns and processes, but also specific choices and trade-offs of U.S. foreign policy.

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE TRUMP ERA

Summer 2018 (Heidelberg University)

This course examines traditional themes and patterns of U.S. foreign policy in the light of the current Trump administration. Students will explore institutions and individuals responsible for foreign policy decision making while considering different levels of analysis, i.e. the international system, domestic politics, as well as organizational and bureaucratic explanations. The goal is to obtain a fundamental understanding about the more general forces shaping U.S. foreign policy and apply this knowledge to the Trump presidency.

 Besides acquiring theoretical and analytical knowledge, students will engage with a broad variety of empirical cases on how U.S. foreign policy (and international order) has been shaped by the Trump presidency, across various policy areas. This includes, but is not limited to cases of policy towards pivotal areas such as Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

 The course will use readings, discussions, case studies, and practical examinations to illuminate general patterns and processes, but also specific choices and trade-offs of U.S. foreign policy in the Trump Era and beyond.

KONFLIKT & KOOPERATION IN ASIEN-PAZIFIK

Summer 2018 (Heidelberg University)

Ziel dieses Kurses ist es, den Studierenden einen theorieorientierten Überblick über zwischenstaatliche Konflikte und Kooperation im asiatisch-pazifischen Raum seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges zu geben. Die TeilnehmerInnen werden die an den Prozessen beteiligten Akteure und Institutionen kennenlernen und vor dem Hintergrund verschiedener Analyseebenen, wie etwa dem internationalen System, den innenpolitischer Strukturen sowie nichtstaatliche Akteure, unterschiedlichen Konflikt- und Kooperationsmustern in Asien-Pazifik nachgehen.

 Neben dem Erwerb theoretischen und analytischen Wissens werden sich die TeilnehmerInnen intensiv mit einer großen Spannbreite an empirischen Fallstudien im asiatisch-pazifischen Raum beschäftigen, wie etwa dem Aufstieg Chinas, dem Konflikt auf der koreanischen Halbinsel, der Taiwan-Frage, dem US-Pivot to Asia, den Spannungen im Südchinesischen Meer sowie regionalen Governance-Strukturen zur Regelung und Beilegung regionaler Konflikte. Dabei werden sowohl bilaterale Beziehungen als auch multilaterale Institutionen in den Blick genommen und anhand verschiedener Politikfelder behandelt.