Methods of Political Theory

Summer term 2014 Syllabus BA Political Science Tuesday, 10-12h GW2 B1580

What does Political Theory do – and how? The question shows the difficulty in talking of “methods” in Political Theory, for it already seems hard to name the objects it studies. Because the objects and the methods used to analyze them are internally related, the seminar will have to take up both questions: what methods Political Theory uses and what Political Theory is.

While the first part of the seminar pursues these questions via reading theoretical texts, the second part specifically targets a theme recurrent in all the answers: language. On the one hand, this also means studying theoretical reflections on language within Political Theory. On the other hand, the seminar will try to take up this theme in a practical manner. How to read and write (in) Political Theory?

Preparatory Reading

Buchstein, Hubertus und Gerhard Göhler (Hrsg.) (2007): Politische Theorie und Politikwissenschaft. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Leopold, David und Marc Stears (Hrsg.) (2008): Political Theory. Methods and Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zapf, Holger (2013): Methoden der politischen Theorie. Eine Einführung. Opladen: Budrich.