"Not only did I gain a broad theoretical and methodological approach, I also enjoy the inspiring, interdisciplinary context offered in the CDSS program." Mascha Rauschenbach, CDSS

Political Science

Political Science describes and analyzes political reality and deals with the regulation of social life in communities, the distribution of power and responsibilities, as well as social issues, institutions and norms.

Studies and Research

The CDSS administers the PhD Program in Political Science in close collaboration with the Department of Political Science at the University of Mannheim, which is highly ranked both nationally and internationally for its quality of teaching and research. With its emphasis on the use of quantitative and analytical methods, the department is in an excellent position to conduct research on a wide range of political phenomena. The department's focus areas in research and teaching are comparative politics and international politics, with a particular focus on political behavior, political economy, international conflict, and German and European politics. The research activities of the Department of Political Science are complemented by the Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES) and the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 884 "Political Economy of Reforms".

The CDSS PhD Program in Political Science offers courses in three areas: comparative politics, international politics and advanced methods of research.

Comparative Politics: Courses focus on the comparative analysis of traditional areas of political participation and decision-making, including parliaments, governments, and constitutional courts, individual actors, such as voters, and collective political actors, including political parties, civil society, and social movements. Other institutional arrangements of political systems that are covered in seminars include the origins and effects of electoral systems. The main empirical focus lies in the comparative analysis of democracies in Europe.

International Politics: The main themes include the causes and consequences of globalization, the analysis of conflicts, terrorism and its mediation, the transformation of statehood, and the development and reform of international organizations and institutions.

Advanced Methods: Courses provide students with the tools for rigorous and thorough theoretical and empirical analysis. Theories of rational and social choice, game theory, Bayesian learning models are as much part of this module as are advanced quantitative methods, including multivariate analysis (OLS) and maximum likelihood estimation. Furthermore, PhD students are free to pursue their particular interests by attending additional CDSS courses offered on a great variety of methods of empirical research.