Research at the Institute of Political Science is dedicated to the overarching topic of “Democracy – Education – Europe”. It is oriented towards the systematic observation and explanation of political institutions (polity), political interactions and processes (politics) as well as policy fields, whereby each of the various subject areas at the institute set their own focus areas. We apply a range of social scientific methods, with an emphasis on qualitative methodology.
Research at the institute also links in to university and non-university cooperative relationships in a number of different ways. Examples of work carried out as part of parent research projects and cooperations include involvement in:
- the profile-building research area Contested Order (acting spokesperson: Professor Rebecca Pates, Member of the Board Dr Daniel Schmidt),
- the profile-building research area Global Connections and Comparisons (Professor Heidrun Zinecker),
- the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Eastern Europe – Global Area” (Professor Astrid Lorenz),
- the Collaborative Research Centre “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” (Professor Heidrun Zinecker),
- the structured doctoral studies at the Research Academy Leipzig,
- the Competence Centre for Research into Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy (Professor Rebecca Pates, Dr Daniel Schmidt),
- the Network of Excellence on Regional and Local Politics,
- the Competence Centre for Public Economy Infrastructure and Public Services (Professor Astrid Lorenz).
Examples of ongoing and completed research projects include:
- the German Research Foundation (DFG) project Subnational Constitutional Politics: Patterns and Variables (Professor Astrid Lorenz),
- the DFG/ANR research project Institutionalizing Human Trafficking. A French/German Comparison (Professor Rebecca Pates, in cooperation with Dr Mathilde Darley, Centre Marc Bloch, HU Berlin/CNRS),
- the Saxon State Ministry for Science and the Arts research project New Regionalisms in a Transforming World Order – the Mapping of Latin America and Africa (Professor Heidrun Zinecker and Professor Ulf Engel, Institute for African Studies).
The professorships are interconnected on a national and international level, which is apparent, among other things, in leadership positions at specialist organisations and journals, expert opinions and activities, involvement in joint research projects and publications besides the organisation of symposia.