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Contemporary German Politics (Module)

Module description

Please note that module information is indicative and may change year to year.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the political order of the Federal Republic has continued to evolve as major social and economic shifts have transformed the lives of Germans in both East and West. After 1990, long term social trends such as the impact of mass immigration, the growing strength of the environmental movement and the reconfiguration of the economy and the welfare state became intertwined with the sudden impact of German reunification and the wider transformation of the international state system which had helped to bring it about.

Split into five sections, each consisting of two classes, this fifteen-credit level six module will explore this dynamic interaction between deep structural shifts in German society and the day-to-day debate and deal-making which defines the politics of the Berlin Republic twenty-one years after reunification. Each section will explore a major economic, social or cultural theme at the centre of modern German politics by examining how long-term structural trends have affected current political developments. The classes will focus on a recent incident in German politics relevant to a section’s wider theme which may or may not have gained significant public attention. Through the use of a wide range of archival, press and audio-visual sources, students will have the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the underlying socio-economic factors shaping current events in German politics.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to demonstrate practical and intellectual skills appropriate to a level 6 module and in particular they will be able to demonstrate the following;

  • a detailed awareness of the main theoretical debates that have shaped the study of contemporary German politics;
  • key critical skills necessary to apply theory to the analysis of a range of political movements and current events;
  • the ability to draw critically on their own personal experience of German political debate during their year abroad;
  • a command of the interdisciplinary as well as disciplinary methods of analysis appropriate to the study of key social, political and economic developments in contemporary Germany;
  • an ability to evaluate the impact of current debates over German identity and social change;
  • an ability to refine their judgement by close reading of diverse primary sources and by the reading of a wide range of secondary literature;
  • an ability to present their views in discussion and in written form in response to current issues in German politics.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

2 hours per week

Module assessment - more information

One 2000 word essay (40%) and a 2-hour exam (60%)

Key information

Module code 6AAOB314

Credit level 6

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module Yes