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Master of Arts Democracy and Governance

Information about the Master of Arts Democracy and Governance

Democracy and democratic governance are the leitmotiv of Political Science. Yet how can democratic principles be pursued in practice in the light of growing global problems and new, much less formal governance structures? This is the central question addressed in this course, which is currently the only Masters program in Germany to focus on the relationship between democracy and governance. The starting point for study is an ambiguous situation. At the beginning of the 21st century, an unprecedented number of states embraced the principle of democratic legitimacy. Both the “Arab Spring” and the process of transformation in eastern European states are examples of cross-border waves of democratization. Yet at the same time, we are also seeing processes of erosion in established democracies in Europe and North America, and the failure of attempts at sustainable democratization in new democracies. The term “post-democratic era” has already been coined.

New protest movements, demonstrations during G8/G7 summits and the effects of globalization, not all of which are positive, are a clear indication that new problems have emerged at the interface of (national or transnational) democracy and (national and global) cooperation between political, social and economic players. Addressing these problems on a democratic basis requires the involvement of different types of players: only then can the principle of democracy, the principle of justice and the need for effective problem-solving be pursued and fulfilled as the central components of a modern political order.

New forms of formal and informal cooperation, within and beyond the state, have been developed over recent years in efforts to enable a more effective approach to the ever more global problems in this era of globalisation. Often not only states but also transnational NGOs and companies are involved in this process. International Political Science has its focus on these different, non-hierarchical forms of governance as well as on the scope and the basis of their legitimacy under the paradigm of governance.

Subject Area

Our Master of Arts Democracy and Governance is an innovative program that combines perspectives of different subdisciplines of Political Science. The degree course aims at Bachelor graduates of Political Studies, Sociology, Philosophy, Historical Sciences as well as related fields of study who are interested in interdisciplinary research.

Within the curricula of the Master of Arts Democrcay and Governance program, we focus on an intense analysis of the theory and empirical evidence of modern democracies, on the chances and challenges that are connected to political participation, on international cooperation and on the processes of global governance on the state, economic and societal level. Further, the program imparts knowledge about empirical social research that qualifies the students for a future profession. A special focus lies on research results in the discussion of current research debates and results in class. Further, we emphasize student’s development of their own research projects.

Course Structure

The Master program, "Democracy and Governance" comprises four semesters and 120 credit points. Core elements of the first semester are basic modules in the areas of Democracy (M1), Democratization processes (M2) and Methodology (M3). The main part of the course is comprised of the special studies in political science in semesters two and three (M4-M9/M11). Students usually write the MA thesis and take the MA examination in the fourth semester. Two replacement modules offer the opportunity to take classes in related disciplines such as Economics, History, and Philosophy. The modules are also intended as mobility windows especially in the framework of the ERASMUS program. There are many exchange agreements available with other European universities for a period of studying abroad. 

Career Options

Our Master of Arts Democracy and Governance purposefully prepares the students for professions within the interface of politics, economics and society (parties, foundations and unions, national and international no-governmental organizations, labor unions and enterprises), within the administrative system of the Federal Republic of Germany (government agencies and administrations on the federal, state and local level), within the field of marketing, media and business consulting focusing on the field of education (e.g. adult education or advanced vocational training) and within the framework of international organizations (e.g. the EU or the UN). Further, the degree enables graduates to work on their own dissertation projects. Considering the increasing demand for social-scientific educated personnel in national institutions and the shortage of skilled German workers within international organizations (EU/NATO/UN), the Master of Arts Democracy and Governance offers an education in Political Science with a practical orientation that provides for a broad spectrum of possible professions.

Further consulting events and services concerning the entry into professional life are offered by the JLU Career Centre and the university-team of the employment office Giessen. Further services can also be found here »