Traditionally, Germany’s long, gloomy, depressing and generally horrible winter semester ends mid-February. It is followed by a break that slips past us in the blink of an eye and then a long, sweaty, generally drawn-out but gloriously sunny summer term that ends mid-July. And this is where we are now (the beginning, not the end).
For a couple of years I have been teaching mostly MA students. While I sometimes miss the fresh-faced innocence of first-year BAs who will happily ask for permission to write their first ever 12-page essay, to be finished next week or so, about “German’s political system” (all of it), this has many perks. One of them are reading courses: seminars in which we collectively tackle a number of short and usually fairly recent papers in one specific area of Political Science that I would like to read anyway.
This semester, I offer not one but two of these courses. This first is built around the idea that institutions and other (macro-)contextual factors shape political attitudes and political behaviour. The other course is (mostly) concerned with the political outcomes of radical right mobilisation – a topic that deserves more love, especially in comparison to all the attention given to the sources and preconditions of said mobilisation. Feel free to peruse the outlines/references as you see fit.
Once more, my personal aim is to blog every week about our reading progress. Let’s see how it goes.