The Game of Using Theories: Which Theorie for What Matter of International Relations

Understanding the Concepts of Social Sciences

Daniel Kuchler
Daniel Kuchler
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Daniel Kuchler is a PhD candidate at Rockefeller College at the State University of New York at Albany. He holds a Magister Artium degree in Political Science, History and Linguistics from the University of Munster and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany with a concentration in Political Theory and International Relations. His research interests include history of political thought, theory of International Relations and modern political philosophy. His dissertation thesis explores the dialectic of politicization and de-politicization in the republican theories of Jürgen Habermas and Hannah Arendt. 

Module Summary:

This Module aims at providing you with the theoretical tools lending explanations to your field of research. You will get to know both traditional theories of international relations as well as innovative strands of thought from related fields of social inquiry. This Module thereby incorporates available insights from the fields of sociology, neurosciences, (behavioral) economics as well as network-analysis, and joins them with political science. Furthermore, the connection between theoretical lenses and their application to genuine policy questions will be established.

Educational Goals: 

  • You will get the opportunity to discuss and assess the comparative strengths and weaknesses of theoretical approaches in explaining social processes.
  • You will be able not only to deal with theoretical considerations but also to work on practical tasks such as making policy recommendations in regard to different theoretical understandings of a conflict situation.
  • You will be provided with practical skills concerning linking theories with practice, active participation in controversial discussions, presenting and supporting your own arguments and elaborating a well-structured research paper.


  • Submitting two reaction papers as blog entries addressing the material covered in the corresponding part.
  • Taking an active part in the subsequent discussion and commenting on the reaction papers of your peers.
  • Researching and evaluating the work of either an intergovernmental or a non-governmental organization in the form of a final paper.

Key Facts:

  • 10 ECTS
  • 12 weeks
  • 1.195 Euro
  • Optional On-site Workshop in February each year

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