European Studies


The European Union represents a challenge to Political Science: On the one hand, the Union is capable of making and implementing binding decisions, as a state does, but on the other hand, it reminds of a conventional International Organization. That is why questions, like what the European Union “actually” is, how to explain its development and whether there is a most suitable method for analyzing its policies, are still controversial among Political Scientists.

Whereas research concerning the EU was traditionally to be found within the field of International Relations, the “Political System of the European Union” is over the past years analyzed from the perspective of Comparative Politics.

The field of “European Studies” at the Department of Political Science is responsible for the teaching about the European Union within the Bachelor and Master programs of study. This involves the analysis of the political system´s basic structures and the European Union´s policy areas. Another focus lies on the Union´s complex connections to its member states and to the international system. In addition, the scope of teaching addresses current European problems and political controversies in order to discuss perspectives for future integration.

Research mainly focuses on the following topics:

  • Legitimacy of EU policies
  • Comparison of the European Union´s political system with other forms of political order
  • Internal and External Security in the European Union
  • Schleswig-Holstein and Europe