Institute of Political Science

News and Archive of the Research Cluster

From July 8th to 10th 2019 a mediation-simulation took place in the in Bad Urach under the direction of Dr. Gabi Schlag. In order to save the Iran nuclear agreement, 15 participants took over the roles of, among others, Frederica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mike R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, and Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They were supported by three mediators. At the end of the eventful negotiations, all parties agreed on a common additional declaration: Joint Agreement of Action!

On July 3rd 2019, Prof. Thomas Diez gave a lecture on "Power and Inclusion in the International Society" at the Departmental Seminar. In his lecture, he presented some basic conceptual thoughts on these concepts and their relation, and applied them to the example of the EU as a normative power.

On July 2nd 2019, Lee Jarvis, Professor of International Politics at the University of East Anglia, gave a guest lecture as part of the lecture "Discourses of Security". In his presentation, Jarvis dealt with parliamentary debates on the proscription of terrorist organisations in the United Kingdom. He analysed how in these debates the liberal British identity is produced and reproduced by juxtaposing it with the illiberal and irrational identity of terrorist organisations. The regularity of this process lends a ritualistic character to the always successful proscription procedures. Jarvis then discussed with the students limits and further possible applications of his concept.

On July 2nd 2019, Prof. Münevver Cebeci of the Marmara University Istanbul, gave a guest lecture entitled "Deconstructing Ideal Power Europe: The EU and the Arab Change". Cebeci analyzed how the EU constructs its self-understanding as a normative power and how this construction is reproduced in scientific literature, using the example of European reactions to the changes in the Arab world in 2010 and 2011. Cebeci stressed that she did not intend her work to evaluate EU policy from a normative perspective. However, her poststructuralist research offered a critical reading that made it possible to deconstruct the processes of identity construction in the political and academic discourse on EU foreign policy.

On June 25th 2019, Niklas Schörnig, Deputy Chairman of the Research Council of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, gave a presentation as part of the lecture "Discourses of Security". Schörnig defended a neorealistic "narrow" concept of security. Referring to recent world political events and developments in the arms industry, he argued that the probability of interstate wars was increasing. According to Schörnig, preventing these wars was the central challenge, which is why widening the concept of security was problematic. Schörnig then engaged in an intensive exchange with the students, who critically discussed his arguments.

On June 18th 2019, Cynthia Petrigh, founder and director of "Beyond Peace", gave a presentation as part of the lecture "Discourses of Security". Through her company, Petrigh provides training and advisory services to armed forces, peacekeepers, and non-state armed groups on international humanitarian law, compliance with international norms, prevention of sexual violence, and investigation of human rights violations. She assists societies in transformation processes by supporting mediation efforts, dialogue initiatives, and promoting the participation of women in peace processes.

Petrigh provided detailed information on her work in various conflict areas, including Cameroon, Mali, the Philippines and the Central African Republic. She spoke in detail about the opportunities and challenges of integrating gender perspectives and awareness for human rights and humanitarian law into armed conflicts. In this regard Petrigh offered surprising insights into the practical cooperation with non-state armed groups.

On June 17th 2019, Prof. Thomas Diez gave as part of the Studium Generale lecture "The Return of the Sultan? On the Political Economy of Authoritarianism in Turkey", a presentation on the topic of "The European Union and Turkey". He analysed the development of relations between the EU and Turkey from the 1960s to the present. Diez described the current deadlock in the accession talks as the result of a dilemma: both sides were neither interested in serious negotiations nor in breaking off the talks, an imminent solution to this problem was not to be expected. Against this background, Diez pointed out the importance of civil society exchanges for a potential mutual rapprochement.

On May 21st 2019, Ben Tonra from University College Dublin gave a lecture on "Brexit and European Security" as part of the lecture "Germany and the EU in International Politics". Tonra dealt with the implications of Brexit for the European security architecture and the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU. Tonra also gave a particularly vivid analysis of the consequences of the Brexit for the security of Ireland, warning against a renewed escalation of ethnic and religious conflicts on the island.

On May 15th 2019, Dr. Gabi Schlag gave a lecture at the IfP's Departmental Seminar entitled "Ignore or Delete? Governing graphic visual content on social media". She dealt with the EU's approach to the regulation of graphic-visual content uploaded, distributed and viewed on social media platforms. Gabi Schlag thus tried to answer the question of who has the authority and legitimacy to govern the Internet and what a legitimate regulation of graphic content should look like.

Also this year, a delegation from Tübingen took part in the National Model United Nations Conference, in New York, the largest worldwide. From 14th-19th April 2019, the interdisciplinary group represented the Republic of Namibia. In addition to the intensive work in the committees, a visit to the Namibian UN representation was also on the agenda. The delegation was awarded numerous "Position Paper Awards" for its substantive preparation for the work in the individual committees. On the last day, some members of the delegation had the opportunity to address their committees in the plenary hall of the UN General Assembly. At the closing ceremony, the delegation from Tübingen was also honoured as a "Distinguished Delegation".


Bettina Ahrens discussed with pupils and citizens on April 4th about topics of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament in May. Together with different political parties’ representatives, the audience debated about uploadfilter as well as migration and Ahrens voiced her support for the current pupils’ engagement for climate.

From 11th to 16th March, Thomas Diez and Bettina Ahrens organized the workshop “Identity and Conflict: Revisioning Relations in the EU-Neighbourhood” in Tbilisi, Georgia. Students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Germany worked on theories of nationalism and identity construction in the countries of the South Caucasus, reflected on the role of the European Union as well as Russia and worked on their intercultural communication skills. Together the students developed scenarios for the respective development of the countries including possible transformation of existing conflicts. The workshop was organized in cooperation with SSC Europe and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

On January 22nd 2019 Thomas Diez gave, as part of the Studium Generale lecture “Autonomy-Demands and Secession-Movements in Europe and the World”, a presentation on the case of Cyprus. He described the causes of the conflict and traced its course along various failed rapprochements of the conflict-parties. Finally, Thomas Diez sketched a possible concept to solve the conflict, which then was object of intense discussions.

Natalie Pawlowski, Alexander Kobusch und Thomas Nielebock shared their insights from three seminars modelled as a cooperation project between different universities in the weekly departmental seminar. Throughout the seminars, they used videos, podcasts as well as expert interviews. The innovative teaching concept established a cooperation between seven universities, which offer peace and conflict studies. Throughout the sessions, the different universities were connected via a live conference. E-Learning Tools helped local as well as mixed groups to work together. For this innovative approach, they were honoured with the University of Tübingen Teaching Award 2018.

Başak Alpan (Middle East Technical University, Ankara) held a guest lecture about Turkish Foreign Policy and Discourses on “Europe” as part of the seminar „Turkey in International Politics: Conflict and Power“ on 11th December 2018. She distinguished between four different phases and dismissed the argument of a fully-fledged de-Europeanisation. Thereby underlined the enduring existence of “Europe” as a reference point in Turkey.

On 28th November 2018, Bettina Ahrens held a lecture on “Is European Foreign Policy (still) value-driven?”. The lecture was part of a Citizen’s Dialogue Event on European Parliament Election in 2019 organized by JEF Reutlingen (JEF Baden-Württemberg e.V).

Bettina Ahrens discussed "Germany's responsibility in the world" together with Wolfgang Bauer (Die Zeit), Martin Rosemann (MP) and Thomas Hitschler (MP). Military missions as an one-sided interpretation of "responsibility" were discussed controversly. In contrast, Bettina Ahrens underlined the importance of cooperation within the European Union.


Natalie Pawlowski, Alexander Kobusch and Thomas Nielebock were honoured with the Teaching Award 2018. The award honours the classes
-    “ Understanding, classifying and evaluating ISIS/Daesh” (summer term 2016), held by Thomas Nielebock
-     “Peace in Europe under threat?” held by Alexander Kobusch and Thomas Nielebock (summer term 2017)
-    “Security-Migration-Nexus: Helping them in order to protect us?” organized by Natalie Pawlowski and Alexander Kobusch (summer term 2018)
The innovative teaching concept established a cooperation between seven universities, which offer peace and conflict studies. Throughout the sessions, the different universities were connected via a live conference. E-Learning Tools helped local as well as mixed groups to work together.