The winter semester 2021/22 continued to be strongly influenced by the Covid pandemic and demanded a high degree of flexibility and mutual consideration from all lecturers and students. For the first time since the winter semester 2019/20, however, it was again possible to conduct teaching in attendance while observing the appropriate safety precautions. With a successful hybrid concept that provided for four courses in presence, three digitally, and another in alternating mode, our chair successfully contributed to getting face-to-face encounters and exchanges between lecturers and students going again in the seminar room, while at the same time taking into account the sensitivities and needs of all involved.
Despite the adverse circumstances, our students look back on their return to campus with satisfaction. For example, our student assistant Laura Linz, who is happy to be able to complete the last stages of her master's studies in presence: "I really enjoyed being able to study and work in presence at the university again. Although some courses were moved back to online mode during the semester and the hallways became emptier again, I still come here several times a week because I don't want to miss the personal exchange in the team and with my fellow students."
Lex Metzeld, student assistant at the chair, who was able to enjoy studying at the Westend Campus for the first time in his third Bachelor semester, also draws an extremely satisfied conclusion: "The past semester has exceeded my expectations in a positive sense. I had a lot of fun during the weeks of face-to-face teaching until Christmas. The interesting and pleasant discussions and the fact that I already knew the course participants also qualitatively enhanced the last few weeks of online teaching. All the more I can say for myself after this semester: There is no real substitute for direct interaction, which is why I am very much looking forward to the summer semester as a (hopefully) purely face-to-face semester. And apart from that, there is still the weekly exchange with my colleagues at the professorship, which is always a highlight of my week."
While our entire chair is happy about the successful resumption of campus life, we ask for your understanding should we not be as present and reliably reachable as usual during the semester break. This is especially true for Professor Claudius Wagemann, for whom the end of the lecture period means the beginning of a research semester.
As envisioned in the project, the Work Package 5 (WP5), coordinated by Claudius Wagemann at the Goethe University Frankfurt, starts in the second year of ProDem. It deals with the institutional arena, exploring whether movement parties politically represent the concerns of the mass protests' participants.
Taking a policy analysis perspective, WP5 will investigate the transition of social movements' political demands into the political system and provide a triple comparison between the agendas of social movements, movement parties, and governments. The next few months the WP5 team in Frankfurt will be analyzing the policy issues which are most important to the selected social movements in the six European countries studied by ProDem and the political agendas of the movement parties connected to these social movements, assessing the degree to which the latter reflect the political demands of the social movements. We will arrive at the political profiles of several most prominent policy issues for each social movement and movement party. In drawing up these profiles we will rely on the results and data from other ProDem Work Packages and complement that with the document analysis of relevant sources in each country case.
This step will then bring us closer to the next goal of evaluating the degree to which movement parties and parliamentary and government actors adopt social movements' policy demands for the set of identified central policy issues, later to be examined through Qualitative Comparative Analysis.
Dear Daria, we are more than happy to have you here and wish you a good start and a wonderful time with us in Frankfurt!
After almost three years as a research assistant at our professorship, Bastiaan Bruinsma is leaving us at the end of the year for Sweden, where he will take up a position at the University of Gothenburg. We would like to thank Bastiaan for his very successful teaching in our Bachelor's and Master's programs, his great expertise, especially on quantitative text analysis, but especially for the always productive collaboration and the extremely nice togetherness! We wish you, dear Bastiaan, a good start and continued success in Sweden! Since Frankfurt is centrally located on the Gothenburg - Frankfurt - Florence axis, we look forward to seeing you again soon: tot kijk, tot ziens!
We are very pleased to announce that the research project Variations of Governance in Hybrid Regimes: Business, State and Civil Society in Contemporary Russia has been extended until September 30, 2022.
The project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), is a collaborative project with Prof. Dr. Sabine Kropp and Prof. Dr. Katharina Bloom from the Institute for East European Studies at FU Berlin. We ask what role different patterns of formalized governance structures play in authoritarian systems of rule. Two questions are at the forefront: first, why and to what extent have formalized governance structures formed at the regional level, and second, why is it important to understand these formalized relationships of state and non-state acutators in authoritarian systems. Existing literature focuses almost exclusively on NGOs or other civil society actors when addressing these questions, but in the GovRus project we focus on resource-rich actors such as companies and business associations.
Dr. Benedikt Bender and Prof. Dr. Claudius Wagemann use a qualitative-comparative analysis (QCA) to analyze which specific conditions lead to strong formalized state-business relations in 83 Russian regions and how these can be explained on the basis of political and economic factors. Preliminary results show that the majority of Russian regions have medium to strong governance structures and that these can be explained by a combination of regional, economic strength, and the position of the governor, among other factors. We will complete the analyses in the next eight to ten weeks and prepare the results for publication in relevant journals.
More information on the research project can be found on the DFG project page.