School of Human and Social Sciences

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Department of Political Science

Welcome to the Department of Political Science!

We are delighted that you have found your way to our website. Here you will find all information on research and studies at the Department of Political Science at the University of Wuppertal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Dr. Maria Behrens, head of the department. The other members of the department are of course also at your disposal. We hope you enjoy browsing our website!


In the nationwide online lecture series: Zeitenwenden: Freedom and democracy in transition? Organized by the Gesellschaft für Weiterbildung und Fernstudium E.V., Prof. Dr. Sack gave a lecture.

The topic was: "Social participation and artificial intelligence" You can now find the lecture on Youtube: https: // The poster can be found here: 2024_ORV_Plakat Further information, as well as the access data for Zoom, can be found on the website

On 04.02.2024 the article: "Many people do not know how important the European elections are" appeared in the Westdeutsche Zeitung. It is an interview with Prof. Dr. Sack. For those who have a WZ account, the article can be found here:

On 18.01.2024, Prof. Dr. Karoline Augenstein and Prof. Dr. Sack were guests for interviews in the Lokalzeit Bergisches Land. The two excerpts as well as further information can be found on the right side under the heading "News".

You can find the complete video here in the Ard Mediathek:

In the context of digitalized democracy, artificial intelligence raises new and old questions for participation research. Detlef Sack, Anselm Renn and Maike Behrendt spoke about this at civic coding:

Dear fellow students,

I would like to draw your attention to the "Blended Intensive Program (BIP)" entitled "The Future of EUrope in the Danube Region: 20 Years after the Eastern Enlargement - Challenges and Perspectives", which will be conducted by the Department of Political Science of the University of Wuppertal in cooperation with other partner universities and will take place from 25.08. to 01.09.2024 at Andrássy University in Budapest. The PDF with all information can be found here: Budapest_Flyer All information from the flyer, as well as the information where you can apply, can also be found here: Save the Date

The application phase runs until June 05, 2024.

The BIP took place in the summer semester 2023, all further information can be found here: Summer School The evaluation is now available, you can find the PDF here: Evaluation

The following is a summary of the project by Fanni Elek: Blended Intensive Program - "The Future of EUropa in the Danube Region"

In summer 2023, the Centre for Democracy Research at the AUB organized a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) funded by Erasmus+ at the AUB for the second time. The BIP, offered jointly with five partner universities - University of Wuppertal, University of Passau, University of Applied Sciences Burgenland, University of West Bohemia Pilsen and Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca - on the topic of "The Future of EUrope in the Danube Region: Internal and External Challenges for Democracy and the Rule of Law" consisted of a combination of online and face-to-face phases. The BIP was aimed at German-speaking participants who wanted to analyze the aforementioned challenges in the EU and the Danube region and develop strategies to overcome them.

After an online preparation phase in June, the face-to-face part of the BIP took place from August 27 to September 2, 2023 at the AUB in Budapest. 31 students from Germany, Austria, Romania and the Czech Republic, who were supervised by ten lecturers from the participating universities, worked together on the internal erosion processes of democracy and the rule of law as well as the current geopolitical challenges for the EU and the Danube region and developed strategies to overcome them. The focus was on the following thematic blocks: (1) European values and the rule of law, (2) the EU as an international player, (3) geostrategic challenges and (4) the erosion of democracy and the rule of law. These topics were also fleshed out using case studies on Hungary and Romania. The days each began with a substantive input from the lecturers and were further deepened during the morning in the form of group work, discussions and workshops. The participants had the opportunity to deepen the ideas that emerged during the discussions and workshops in a structured way over several days. The interactive and discursive structure of the program enabled a lively exchange between the participants, who also contributed a wide range of perspectives and experiences. This depth and diversity enriched the discussions and fostered a complex and nuanced understanding of the topics covered from a political science perspective.

As a result of a week of intensive work and discussion, a draft "White Paper on the Future of Europe" was presented at the end of the week, containing recommendations on how the EU could strengthen its geostrategic position based on a solid foundation of values. The participants worked in groups to identify the most important challenges in the individual subject areas and developed and evaluated scenarios with possible solutions. The draft White Paper was finally finalized at an online closing event in September.

The work program in the mornings was supplemented by a varied supporting program in the afternoons. City tours and excursions, including to Memento Park and the Hungarian Parliament, served to deepen the theoretical content and place it in the context of Hungarian history and culture. The visits to Kossuth tér and the castle district also offered impressive insights into the local culture of remembrance. The participants also had the opportunity to get to know Austrian cultural diplomacy in Hungary during a visit to the Austrian Cultural Forum. The intensive week in Budapest ended with a joint boat trip to Szentendre.

The response to the BIP was extremely positive. The participants appreciated the balanced mix of theoretical input, practical excursions and discursive elements. It was very enlightening to provide a platform for exchange and reflection on the future of Europe in the Danube region, and it is already clear that the partners involved will organize a BIP together again next year.

Fanni Elek

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