Although political science is a comparatively young discipline, in its short history a number of studies have very quickly turned into widely read and much-cited classics. Those influential studies that still exercise a decisive impact on the discourse within the discipline and continue to serve as points of reference can also be found in the sub-discipline of political systems analysis. In this course, on the one hand, we want to deal intensively with those classics, derive central research questions, reconstruct methodological approaches and discuss their central results and on the other hand - if this is not already the case - apply them to the political system of Germany. The objective of this intensive engagement is therefore also that first-year students (and all other interested undergraduate students of political science) not only hear about or read about a classic study in secondary literature, but also take it into their own hands and deal with them critically. With regard to content, the texts will deal in particular with the conception of political systems, their classification, central institutions (e.g. parliaments or veto players), parties and party systems, multi-level dynamics and political culture. A selection of the texts that will be read can be found in the literature section below. A central precondition for this course - as for the study of political science in general - is the willingness to read lengthy texts attentively and thoroughly as well as to work through them intensively.
Among the studies that will be read in this course are the classics listed below (selection):
- Almond, Gabriel A./ Verba, Sidney (1963): The Civic Culture. Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Dahl, Robert A. (1998): On Democracy, Yale: Yale University Press.
- Easton, David (1965): A System Analysis of Political Life, New York: Wiley.
- Katz, Richard S./ Mair, Peter (1993): The Evolution of Party Organizations in Europe: Three Faces of Party Organization, in: American Review of Politics 14 (4), 593-617.
- Lijphart, Arend (1999): Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms & Performance in Thirty-six Countries, New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Lipset , Seymour M./ Rokkan, Stein (1967): Clevage Structures, Party Systems, and Voter Alignments, in: Dies. (Hrsg.), Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National Perspectives, New York: The Free Press, 1-64.
- Sartori, Giovanni (1976): Parties and Party Systems: A Framework for Analysis, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Scharpf, Fritz W. (1988): The Joint-Decision Trap: Lessons from German Federalism and European Integration, in: Public Administration 66 (3), 239-278.
- Tsebelis, George (2002): Veto Players. How Political Institutions Work, Princeton: Princeton University Press.