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Democracy Studies

Democracy cannot be forced upon a society, neither is it a gift that can be held forever. It has to be struggled hard for and defended everyday anew.

Heinz Galinski (was president and chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany from 1988 until his death in 1992)

What are Democracy Studies?

Democracy studies are a branch of political science which serves not only the purpose of empiric study of modern popular government, but also its active shaping. Democracy studies look back on the tradition of the history of political thought, but especially in the case of Germany, it was fundamental in establishing post World War II political science. At that time, it was of central meaning to establish a stable structure and to create a new political identity for the new German democracy in order to prevent the slipping back into the anti-democratic arbitrary rule. In the end, this job is timeless, because even as of today democracies have to address dangers such as extremism, state decay, or external threats. Democracy studies are in the best sense of the word a „political science“ because it contributes actively to the shaping the living arrangement and to the protection of democratic communities.

What do Democracy Studies addess?

The research on democratic regimes, its origins as well as arrangement forms have for the last few decades increasingly won in actuality and meaning. Based on the observation that transformation waves on various continents shape the relation between a state and its citizen, democratisation appears to be a global aspiration. Presently, even after the Arab Spring, people in many parts of the world demand democratic co-determination. Nevertheless, elsewhere opposite developments can be observed and a relapse threatens former democracies to assume autocratic structures. Consequently the concept "post-democracy" steadily wins attention. The M. A. course "Democracy Studies" of the University of Regensburg examines these developments analytically and works out causes and determinants of democratic nation building.

Why Democracy Studies at the University of Regensburg

With its unique profile, the master degree course "Democracy Studies" is the poster child of Regensburg's political science department. Its specific feature lies in the fact that democracy science makes up the sole focus of the course and therefore allows a radical comprehensive debate on the research object. A variety of theoretical and methodical approaches ensure a thorough analysis on the development, stability and breakdown of political regimes. Normative classics from the history of thought and methods of the empiric democracy research are connected with a practically oriented approach to education. A Germany-wide unique selling proposition is the comparative analysis between Western-European, Central European and Eastern European democracies. Additionally, the meaning of the transatlantic relations for democratic structures worldwide are another focus. The master compliments the bachelor courses with a political science focus. It combines the traditional branches of political science with a praxis oriented methods training.

  1. Faculty of Philosophy, Art History, History and Humanities
  2. Institute for Political Science

Institute of Political Science

Michaela Schmid

Room PT, Zi. 3.1.53
Phone 0941 943-3601

Office hours