Political Theory


The sub-discipline of Political Theory and History of Ideas aims at providing insight into the central questions and problems of political thinking based on the works of eminent authors of the History of Ideas.

A systematic and problem-oriented approach to Political Theory is a priority of our teaching. Since a sound theoretical and conceptual understanding forms the basis for independent judgment, our teaching staff is committed to promoting students' interest in the works of the classics of political thought, enabling them to take part in conceptualized thinking and systematic problem-solving. In support of this, we think it highly important to constantly refer to current issues of politics and moreover, to leave space for authors of Political Theory beyond the realm of conventional titles.

Main research, conducted by different projects, concentrates on the socio-cultural conditions, and necessary requirements of constitutional democracy. Several projects focus on the kind of political thought that is needed to keep a democracy vital, such as contemporary political thought in Germany. Considering contributions to political thought since 1990 under the well-established distinction between Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and green political thought, we try to make a statement about the future of the traditional political ideologies.

Another area of research represented by an interdisciplinary research project focuses on ´Perception and Reception of Finitude`. A project on ecological political theory further elaborates on this issue with regard to the limits to growth. Special emphasis is also placed on the relationship between politics and religion.

Further areas of research focus on the concept of Deliberative Democracy in the face of new challenges for government action. Other projects deal with the History of Ideas of the early Federal Republic of Germany and alternative conceptions of Socialism in the German Democratic Republic (DDR).