Institute of Political Science

Description of Master's Programme "Peace and Conflict Studies and Intenational Relations"

The Institute of Political Science at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen has offered a Master’s Program in “Peace and Conflict Research and International Politics” since the winter term 2004/05. Those students who are especially interested in questions of peace and conflict studies and international politics and who wish to work in that sphere later on therefore have the opportunity to focus on these issues within their studies.

The courses give a profound insight into several fields of international politics (e.g. security, environment, human rights, economics). In addition, the students deal with problems such as war and peace in different world regions, world order problems and international governance as a challenge for cooperation and peaceful change in the international system. Moreover, the role of international organizations (e.g. EU, UNO, Arab League, NATO), the significance of regional integration processes as a method of creation of zones of stable peace and the possibilities of governmental and non-governmental actors (NGOs, multinational companies) to follow cooperative strategies in handling transnational problems are part of the program. The analysis of conflict, international conflict management and peacebuilding as well as theories of international relations and peace and methodological problems are equally important elements of the program. Another field of attention are ethical aspects of international politics.

In addition to lecture courses and seminars, the Institute's instructors provide unique opportunities to learn through experience. For instance, students may participate in a simulation of the work of the United Nations in New York City. The institute also organizes visits to international organizations in Vienna, Geneva, Strasbourg, and Brussels. Every two years the students have the opportunity to participate in an excursion lasting several days on the “Peace Boat” which heads for harbors in former or current conflict regions and which offers a peace educational dialogue and educational program in the headed towns and on board. Besides these opportunities, the institute offers a seminar on negotiation and mediation which includes a multi-day simulation of a negotiation process.

The Institute of Political Science offers a theory-founded, interdisciplinary and practice-oriented learning environment, a necessary foundation for the training of highly qualified graduates.

Study objectives

With the increasing complexity of politics owing to additional cross-border and global conflicts and challenges because of globalization and fragmentation in the course of the denationalization of politics, there is a growing demand for social science competencies, especially in the fields of conflict prevention, conflict management, peace-building and global governance. The Master’s Program aims to contribute to imparting the necessary competencies to be able to handle the new challenges for peace.

In the center of attention of the Master’s Program lies the dual focus of learning about peace research issues and allowing the students to research these issues for themselves. Students analyse the dynamics, processes and structures of violence-ridden conflicts and deepen this analysis through practice-oriented experiences, for example. The students also become familiar with opportunities for and possibilities of cooperation for overcoming violent international and civil conflicts. Using methodologically well-founded and theory-based research, the students create, advance and critically rethink concepts, institutions and strategies of conflict prevention and peaceful conflict management. Moreover, the students get an insight into ethical questions of international politics and how to see peace as the normative value of acadamic and professional work.

Key Data

Duration4 terms
StartEvery winter term
Application Deadline
15th of June
Application Requirements
BA or equivalent degree in political science or a comparable social science course of studies with a good final grade (in German grading system at least 2.5)
Application documents

For all applicants: Data Entry Form (Erhebungsbogen) (German)

Start of the first semester10 days before the formal semester start