The course will introduce the historical origins and political evolution of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, the process and consequences of unification, and the development within united Germany as well as its political institutions. That includes an analysis of its economic management and welfare policies, Germany's role in the European Union and its foreign policy. For each session, students will prepare themselves by carefully reading one chapter of a textbook (see Literature) for discussing its important aspects within class. The course is mainly aimed at interested students with rather little previous knowledge of German politics. Erasmus students are very welcome. While the language of all texts as well as the teaching language will be English, term papers will be accepted in German as well.
For credit points, students are required to participate actively in discussions and to give a short oral presentation of 5 – 10 minutes about a question related to one of the topics. The final grades will be given for a research paper of 12-15 pages in either German or English (if not by native speakers, only of 10-12 pages).