Teaching: Autocracies in International Relations (winter semester 2018-19, bachelor Political Science)

Projekt: Lehre und Studium



The discipline of International Relations has devoted more attention to democracies although autocracies actively shape every international policy field. The course strives to account for such a lack and explores autocracies’ international behavior. Autocracies are understood as non-democracies that cumulate power instead of introducing political competition in their domestic settings. The course analyzes autocracies’ international behavior through the constructivist and liberal theoretical approaches. The classes survey 3 policy fields: War & Peace, Economy, and Human Rights & Democracy. Students cope with research papers that reflect the following sets of questions: 1. Why do autocracies fight more wars than democracies do and which authoritarian regime type fights more frequently 2. How autocracies support each other financially, why some autocracies trade more than other and how autocracies engage with global liberal financial institutions 3. What norms autocracies use to legitimize domestic repression, how autocracies localize liberal human rights norms, and how liberal human rights institutions help decrease repression levels in autocracies. Along such questions, students will be incentivized to develop analytical skills required for writing a scientific text.