Institute of Political Science

Projects and Services

Our work is rooted in sound conceptual and theoretical foundations. On this basis, we carry out empirical and evidence-based research, both academic and practice-oriented. Our services are thus available to the academic as well as to the broader policy communities. In the following, we would like to share some recent and ongoing examples of that work with you.



Islamist and Jihadist actors in the partner countries of German development cooperation (in German)

This documentation was published as a result of a joint project of the Institute of Political Science at the University of Tübingen and the Programme Office for Intercultural Relations with Muslim Countries at the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ). The documentation primarily sheds light on suitable (or non-suitable) partners among those Islamist actors in the MENA region that seem to have gained significant influence for German development aid in the last years. Thus the documentation contains an overview of their different roles and stances within their respective political and societal contexts to provide the audience with a deeper understanding of these actors’ programs and political positions. A very diverse range of actors was portrayed whose influence on international cooperation ranges from enhancing potential chances of effective and lasting cooperation to yielding important veto-power.

Schlumberger, Oliver ; Gatter, Peer ; Panissié, Danaë: Islamistische und jihadistische Akteure in den Partnerländern der deutschen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (in German) / [Ed.] Programmbüro Interkulturelle Beziehungen mit islamisch geprägten Ländern ; Institut für Politikwissenschaft <Tübingen>. - Eschborn : Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), 2013. - 126 S. : Ill. 978-3-00-041118-2

Please find the full digital version of the book here PDF


External funding of two new projects at the Institut of Political Science

Research on Arab youth movements and establishment of a joint master's program with the American University in Cairo

Professor Schlumberger and his team from the researchgroup on Middle East and Comparative Politics have successfully won external grants for two new projects. The "Arab Youth: From Engagement to Inclusion?" deals with current developments in the mobilization and participation of young people after the "Arab Spring", their relationship to the state and their possible assistance of external actors such as the European Union. Project partners are the Université Mohammed V - Souissi (Morocco) and the American University in Cairo (Egypt). The total funding for the project is 222 700 Euro (2012-2014).

In addition, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) funds from the Federal Foreign Office, the establishment of a joint master's program with the American University in Cairo (AUC) with a volume of 780,044 euros. Moreover promised scholarship funds come from the DAAD for German and Arab students in the amount of 320,500 euros. This, among other things, an integrated course in the semester abroad at AUC are funded. The project starts with a one-year planning and preparatory phase on 1 October 2012. The new four-semester master's program "Comparative & Middle East Politics and Societies" (CMEPS) then starts on 1 In October 2013, combining political science content in particular in the field of comparative politics with a regional scientific specialization that includes both language training and knowledge of society, history and culture of the Arab world. In addition to the ability to analyze current events from the fields regime change and legitimacy, state-society relations, development cooperation and international relations of the region gives the program intercultural skills and applied knowledge that the graduates in providing outstanding career opportunities in public and private employers.


Volkswagen Foundation funds new research project at the chair for Middle East and Comparative Politics: “Arab Youth: From engagement to inclusion?”


The research project “Arab Youth: From Engagement to Inclusion?” deals with the emergence of youth initiatives and youth organizations in the course of the “Arab spring”, their relation to the state and their possible support by external actors. Through field researches the project aims to document and analyze current developments in political mobilization and participation of the younger population in Egypt and Morocco. The Arab youth and young adults were the main constituents and organizers of the mass protests last year. In addition, the project will focus on the role and influence of external actors in both countries as well as their perception among the target groups in Egypt and Morocco. By focusing on these actors, the project addresses a key question concerning the societal and political future of the Arab world.

The project is funded by Volkswagen Foundation and conducted under the joint supervision of Prof. Dr. Oliver Schlumberger, University of Tübingen, Prof. Dr. Saloua Zerhouni, Université Mohammed V in Rabat and Dr. Nadine Sika, American University in Cairo. Prof. Dr. Mustapha K. Sayyid, probably Egypt’s most renowned political scientist and lead author of UNDP’s Arab Human Development Report 2009, will assist the team as a backstopping instance. The Institute of Political Science will employ Kressen Thyen, M.A. as a research associate who will prepare a PhD-dissertation within the framework of the project. The University of Tübingen takes the administrative responsibility for the project. Overall funding amounts to approximately 200 000 € for a duration of two years. First results will be presented in public panel discussions in Tübingen and Berlin in spring 2014.


German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO) commissions Tübingen research unit

The German Middle East Studies Association DAVO, with its roughly 1100 members, is Europe’s largest national Middle East studies association. DAVO has commissioned the establishment of an up-to-date overview on the state of social science (and political science in particular) research on the Middle East and North Africa in the German-speaking region of Europe. Apart from the personnel available at the various academic and policy-related institutions, this overview mainly comprises the respective focal areas in teaching and research of individual institutions. Geographically, this overview covers all of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.


EMHRN publishes Report on Freedom of Association in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

On the occasion of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network’s Freedom of Association Working Group meeting, held in Beirut, Lebanon last October, the EMHRN launched its 4th Annual Report, entitled Freedom of Association in the Euro-Mediterranean Region: A Threatened Civil Society which assesses the situation of NGOs in the 11 countries of the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean region.
Since the publication of the first EMHRN Report in 2007, some countries have amended their laws on NGOs (Jordan) or have announced changes (Egypt, Syria), while others have recast their legislation in ways that have a direct impact on NGO activities (Israel, Tunisia). A close examination of recent developments in the Euro-Mediterranean region reveals that freedom of association has experienced setbacks in the past few years and there has been very little positive development worth mentioning.
Our Research Unit for Comparative and Middle East Politics at the Institute of Political Science at Tübingen University was commissioned as a contributor of one out of three thematic chapters to the current report.
For detailed information, see here. The complete report is accessible free of charge here.

Rescuing Historical Political Documents in Egypt (2010)

In a successful cooperation with the School for Theatre and Music in Hannover and with the financial support of the German Foreign Office we helped in rescuing threatened documents in Egypt. In particular, several dozens of radio and TV speeches by former Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat that were tape-recorded in the 1960s and 1970s had been threatened by decay due to climate conditions at the Sadat family's premises in the Nile Delta. Therefore, a research assistant from our team traveled together with colleagues from Hannover to Egypt and digitized the documents in order to ensure their preservation for posterity.

Click here to read the final report of the project (in German).

Cooperation with Munzinger Publishers (2010)

In late 2009, we renewed our cooperation with Munzinger Archiv, a German publisher that offers a series called "International Handbook". It consists of 20-30 page issues of up-to-date information on individual countries, mainly geared towards journalists, business people, and the interested public. Our team lends its expertise on a range of Middle Eastern Countries in the regular updates and revisions of the country handbooks. More specifically, we recently agreed to take on the tasks of updating and revising the issues on Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Lebanon. Nadine Kreitmeyr, Torsten Matzke and Maria Josua are the persons involved in this cooperation up to now.