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For engaged Political Science in a Democratic Society - The Department of Political Science at JLU Gießen takes a stand

We - the members of the Department for Political Science at Justus Liebig University Giessen - see it as our task to oppose racist, anti-Semitic, anti-feminist and other ideologies of human inequality as a democratically constituted and committed science. We do this regardless of where they are formulated or who represents them.

We observe with concern how authoritarian and extreme right-wing actors are given space in parliaments and in public debates about social values - in Germany and internationally. German universities have a role to play in this, as they have long been an important site of agitation and action for the authoritarian and extreme right as a central part of student corporate culture. Today, Völkische Burschenschafter still occupy an exposed position when it comes to the dissemination and organisation of extreme right-wing positions. We are aware that the education and academic titles acquired at universities thus also strengthen actors who ultimately aim to restrict plural science and democratic society.

As students and teachers of political science, we know about the long continuities of racist, anti-Semitic and anti-feminist thinking in all parts of society. We also know about the special role of science in the invention and manifestation of structures and ideologies of human inequality.

Political scientists have always shared responsibility for social conditions, because their work can normalise or de-normalise, legitimise or delegitimise, problematise or de-problematise social conditions. If the demand for scientific objectivity is understood as a call for (political) neutrality, political scientists today withdraw from their responsibility for social conditions.The Department for Political Science at Justus Liebig University of Giessen sees itself as a place of democratic and cosmopolitan science, education and culture. The task of this place is the education of socio-politically engaged people and their ability to take a differentiated and holistic view of social problems and solutions.

Our Department should be a place where people can develop freely through education and thereby participate in social and cultural life and in shaping the future of society. The prerequisite for this is the freedom of science, research and teaching, which is enshrined in the Basic Law. As members of the Institute, we grant the diversity of opinions and methods. At the same time, we offer no room in constructive scientific debate for racist, anti-Semitic, anti-feminist and other inhuman positions.

We support all those who position themselves against ideologies of inequality and exclusions based on them. We stand by the side of those affected, regardless of whether the devaluations are directed against women*, Muslims, Jews or the diversity of sexual lifestyles. A safe, good learning and positive working environment should prevail at our institute. To this end, we cultivate respectful, appreciative and attentive interaction with each other, implement transparency, justice and fairness as principles of action and strive for joint solutions in conflicts. In teaching, research and (self-)administration alike, we encourage self-reflection in order to contribute to sustainable social, scientific and cultural progress.

In order to realise this self-commitment, the Department for Political Science sets itself a concrete catalogue of measures, which is regularly reflected upon in the Deprtament's board meetings and revised if necessary.