The Department of Political Science consists of three Chairs. Their denomination mirrors their respective research and teaching focus.
Political Science with a Focus on Sustainable Development
The chair for Political Sciences with a Focus on Sustainable Development was established in 2016. Focal point of the chair’s work is the empirical-analytical policy analysis relating to contemporary and future topics of sustainable governance. Research includes the exploration of political processes behind policies concerning bioeconomy, climate, environment and sustainable regional development, all while drawing on current concepts of sustainability research. Another area of particular attention lies on the question how the transfer of knowledge and political consulting are to be designed in order to promote political change towards sustainable development. Existing concepts of sustainability research, such as inter- and transdisciplinarity or the idea of „transformative sciences“, as well as their promises are critically reflected from a political science standpoint. The intermediate and long term aim of the chair’s research is to development an approach to sustainable development that is specific to the field of political sciences.
Political Science / European Multi-Level Governance
Eva Heidbreder is professor for "multilevel governance in Europe“ at the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg. Previous positions include a junior professorship at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, where she also completed her Habilitation. She held visiting professorships at the University of Konstanz, the Humboldt University as well as the Free University Berlin. After completing her PhD at the European University Institute in Florence, she held post-doc positions at the Free University and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. She completed a MA in Modern European Studies at the University of North London, a Magister in European Studies at the University of Osnabrück, as well as a post-graduate diploma in the same field at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna.
Her research foci comprise topics such as effective and legitimate governance in the EU, horizontal implementation networks in EU policy-making, civil society involvement, including such concrete research questions as the negotiating process of the British EU exit. She is co-speaker of various sections or working groups in national and international professional organisations, including the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) and the German Association for Political Science (DVPW).
Eva Heidbreder teaches key courses in the BA und MA European Studies at the OVGU. As part of the curricula, students are offered opportunities for an international encounters an an exchange with practitioners in field trips or special lectures. She gives regular lectures in Germany and abroad in to promote the wider field of political education and dialogue.
Political Science with a focus on International Relations
Since October 1st 2017 Prof. Dr. Alexander Spencer is holding the chair for International Relations. The research of the chair focuses on constructivist approaches, international politics in general and peace and security subjects in particular. Of particular interest is research on (violent) non-state and regional actors, international organizations, foreign policy, critical security research, discourse analysis, peacebuilding, international negotiations and mediation.