Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

GESS Science in Perspective Information
Only the courses listed below will be recognized as "GESS Science in Perspective" courses.

Further below you will find courses under the category "Type B courses Reflections about subject specific methods and content" as well as the language courses.

During the Bachelor’s degree Students should acquire at least 6 ECTS and during the Master’s degree 2 ECTS.

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
Type A: Enhancement of Reflection Competence
Suitable for all students.

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
Political Science
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
853-0058-01LSwiss Foreign and Security Politics Since 1945 (without Tutorial)W3 credits2VA. Wenger
AbstractThis course provides students with an overview of the main features of Swiss foreign and security policy since 1945. The focus is on the emergence and development of security policy strategies and instruments in a historical context.
ObjectiveThe participants have a solid overview of the evolution of Swiss foreign and security policy since 1945.
ContentThe first part of the lecture clarifies the term "security" and analyzes the change of its meaning in politics and academia over time. The focus of the second part is on the development of Swiss security policy since 1945. We will look at the different concepts of security policy, which range from "total defense" to cooperative security. We then will analyze the gap between planning and execution, focusing on the two key developments of security policy, that is foreign policy and armed forces.
LiteratureMandatory reading: Spillman, Kurt R., Andreas Wenger, Christoph Breitenmoser and Marcel Gerber. Schweizer Sicherheitspolitik seit 1945: Zwischen Autonomie und Kooperation. Zürich: Verlag neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2001.

The book is out of print, students can access the text in the virtual class room (Moodle).
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture is supported by a virtual class room (Moodle).
If you have questions concerning the lecture, please contact Oliver Roos, oliver.roos@sipo.gess.ethz.ch.
853-0010-01LConflict Research II: Civil Wars (without Exercises)W3 credits2VS. Rüegger, L.‑E. Cederman
AbstractIntroduction to research on civil wars. This course covers the causes, processes and solutions to civil conflicts and wars.
Objective- Knowledge on different causes of civil wars.
- Knowledge on processes during civil wars.
- Knowledge on different solutions and strategies to end civil wars.
- Application of theory to current examples of civil wars.
ContentThis course focuses on civil war, which is the most common type of political violence. The course is divided into three blocks: The first part analyses the causes of civil wars. The second part focuses on processes during ongoing civil wars, such as mobilization and conflict diffusion. The third part investigates in the factors that contribute to effective peace building.

Research questions: What are the causes of civil wars? What happens during civil wars? How do civil wars end?
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipation in the preceding course, Conflict Research I: Political Violence, is recommended.
853-0048-01LInternational Politics: Theory and MethodsW3 credits3GJ. Lipps
AbstractThe course covers the main theories (realism, institutionalism, liberalism, transnationalism and constructivism) as well as core problems of international politics such as war, peace, international cooperation and integration.
ObjectiveFirst, the course seeks to generate a better understanding of the central and specific problems of politics in the international realm, which result from the absence of centralized rule enforcement ("anarchy") . In addition, participants become familiar with the main theories of International Relations and the mechanisms and conditions these identify for solving international problems of security and cooperation. Case studies on areas and issues of international politics provide an overview of current international developments and an exemplary application of IR theory.
Content1. The subject-matter and problems of international politics

Theories
2. Power and Balance: Realism
3. Problem structures and negotiations in international politics
4. Interdependence and Institutions: Institutionalism and Transnationalism
5. Democracy and Society: Liberalism
6. Identity and Community: Constructivism

Issue Areas and Relationships
7. War: New Wars
8. Peace: The "long" and the "democratic" peace
9. Security cooperation: the new NATO
10. Economic cooperation: the world trade order
11. Human rights cooperation: global and regional human rights regimes
12. Legitimacy and Democracy in Global Governance
Lecture notesSchimmelfennig, Frank: Internationale Politik. Paderborn: Schöningh Verlag, 5. Auflage, 2017.
227-0664-00LTechnology and Policy of Electrical Energy StorageW3 credits2GV. Wood, T. Schmidt
AbstractWith the global emphasis on decreasing CO2 emissions, achieving fossil fuel independence and growing the use of renewables, developing & implementing energy storage solutions for electric mobility & grid stabilization represent a key technology & policy challenge. This course uses lithium ion batteries as a case study to understand the interplay between technology, economics, and policy.
ObjectiveThe students will learn of the complexity involved in battery research, design, production, as well as in investment, economics and policy making around batteries. Students from technical disciplines will gain insights into policy, while students from social science backgrounds will gain insights into technology.
ContentWith the global emphasis on decreasing CO2 emissions, achieving fossil fuel independence, and integrating renewables on the electric grid, developing and implementing energy storage solutions for electric mobility and grid stabilization represent a key technology and policy challenge. The class will focus on lithium ion batteries since they are poised to enter a variety of markets where policy decisions will affect their production, adoption, and usage scenarios. The course considers the interplay between technology, economics, and policy.

* intro to energy storage for electric mobility and grid-stabilization
* basics of battery operation, manufacturing, and integration
* intro to the role of policy for energy storage innovation & diffusion
* discussion of complexities involved in policy and politics of energy storage
Lecture notesMaterials will be made available on the website.
LiteratureMaterials will be made available on the website.
Prerequisites / NoticeStrong interest in energy and technology policy.
860-0001-00LPublic Institutions and Policy-Making Processes Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 25.

Priority for Science, Technology, and Policy MSc.
W3 credits2GE. K. Smith, S. Bechtold, F. Schimmelfennig
AbstractStudents acquire the contextual knowledge for analyzing public policies. They learn why and how public policies and laws are developed, designed, and implemented at national and international levels, and what challenges arise in this regard.
ObjectivePublic policies result from decision-making processes that take place within formal institutions of the state (parliament, government, public administration, courts). That is, policies are shaped by the characteristics of decision-making processes and the characteristics of public institutions and related actors (e.g. interest groups). In this course, students acquire the contextual knowledge for analyzing public policies. They learn why and how public policies and laws are developed, designed, and implemented at national and international levels, and what challenges arise in this regard. The course is organized in three modules. The first module (Stefan Bechtold) examines basic concepts and the role of law, law-making, and law enforcement in modern societies. The second module (Thomas Bernauer) deals with the functioning of legislatures, governments, and interest groups. The third module (Frank Schimmelfennig) focuses on the European Union and international organisations.
ContentPublic policies result from decision-making processes that take place within formal institutions of the state (parliament, government, public administration, courts). That is, policies are shaped by the characteristics of decision-making processes and the characteristics of public institutions and related actors (e.g. interest groups). In this course, students acquire the contextual knowledge for analyzing public policies. They learn why and how public policies and laws are developed, designed, and implemented at national and international levels, and what challenges arise in this regard. The course is organized in three modules. The first module (Stefan Bechtold) examines basic concepts and the role of law, law-making, and law enforcement in modern societies. The second module (Thomas Bernauer) deals with the functioning of legislatures, governments, and interest groups. The third module (Frank Schimmelfennig) focuses on the European Union and international organisations.
Lecture notesReading materials will be distributed electronically to the students when the semester starts.
LiteratureBaylis, John, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens (2014): The Globalization of World Politics. An Introduction to International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Caramani, Daniele (ed.) (2014): Comparative Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gilardi, Fabrizio (2012): Transnational Diffusion: Norms, Ideas, and Policies, in Carlsnaes, Walter, Thomas Risse and Beth Simmons, Handbook of International Relations, 2nd Edition, London: Sage, pp. 453-477.

Hage, Jaap and Bram Akkermans (eds.) (2nd edition 2017): Introduction to Law, Heidelberg: Springer.

Jolls, Christine (2013): Product Warnings, Debiasing, and Free Speech: The Case of Tobacco Regulation, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 169: 53-78.

Lelieveldt, Herman and Sebastiaan Princen (2011): The Politics of European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lessig, Lawrence (2006): Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0, New York: Basic Books. Available at http://codev2.cc/download+remix/Lessig-Codev2.pdf.

Schimmelfennig, Frank and Ulrich Sedelmeier (2004): Governance by Conditionality: EU Rule Transfer to the Candidate Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, in: Journal of European Public Policy 11(4): 669-687.

Shipan, Charles V. and Craig Volden (2012): Policy Diffusion: Seven Lessons for Scholars and Practitioners. Public Administration Review 72(6): 788-796.

Sunstein, Cass R. (2014): The Limits of Quantification, California Law Review 102: 1369-1422.

Thaler, Richard H. and Cass R. Sunstein (2003): Libertarian Paternalism. American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings 93: 175-179.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis is a Master level course. The course is capped at 25 students, with ISTP Master students having priority.
857-0075-01LContemporary European PoliticsW3 credits2SM. Jacob, A. Baysan, S. Hegewald, J. Lipps, N. Olszewska, D. Schraff
AbstractHow have the powers of the European Union expanded until now and what are the problems facing the Union today? This class offers an introduction to theories of European integration. Furthermore, we discuss the challenges of supranational governance in the context of the EU, covering a wide array of policy fields.
ObjectiveSince its start in the fifties, the European Union has evolved into a complex multilevel system, different from the nation state and different from other International Organizations. The course “Contemporary European Politics” introduces students to the institutions of the European Union and the gradual expansion of their competences. Throughout the course, we engage with current debates in EU studies on supranational decision-making in times of crisis. Upon completion, the participants are familiar with the legislative process regulating scientific and every-day life in such diverse policy fields as financial markets, climate policy and data privacy. Based on this knowledge, participants are able to identify chances and challenges of regulation beyond the nation state.
ContentThe sessions cover the following topics:
- EU Institutions
- Decision-making
- Parliamentary Democracy
- Judicial Politics
- European Identity and Public Spheres
- Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy
- Democratic Backsliding
- Political Conflict in the EU
- Implementation of EU law
- Eurozone
- Inequality
- Euroscepticism and Brexit
- The Future of Integration
853-0057-02LStrategic Studies II (without Exercises)W3 credits2VM. Mantovani, M. Berni, M. Wyss
AbstractThe SiP-accredited lecture series treats high-impact strategic theory from antiquity to the present, emphasizing in particular its specific time-related context as well as the corresponding state of military technology.
ObjectiveThe participants know how the understanding of strategy has evolved over time.
They understand the interplay of strategy's basic components: ends, ways, means.
They know the most important classics of strategy and war theory and can place them in their specific time-related context, focusing in particular on the given state of military technology.
Based on the analysis of historical and contemporary examples, they are aware of the mismatch between declaration and implementation of any given strategy.
They are capable of analyzing original texts and modern scholarly works in the field of strategic studies.
ContentThe two-term lecture series treats classic texts of strategic studies from antiquity to the present. Term 1 covers the theories up until roughly 1900, term 2 treats the theories eversince.
Theories are considered classic if they were prominent in their respective times and if they enjoyed a strong reception thereafter, be it in literature, in academic debates or as guidelines for action. Each out of some 50 theories is discussed in three steps: time-related context, core elements and reception.
Lecture notesPrior to the lectures, the respective slides as well as primary sources and literature (as preparatory readings) are made available on Moodle.
The program is also available online (www.milak.ch).
LiteraturePeter Paret (ed.), Makers of Modern Strategy. From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, Princeton 1986

Elinor C. Sloan, Modern Military Strategy. An Introduction, Oxon/New York 2012

Lawrence Freedman, Strategy. A History, New York 2013

John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Colin S. Gray (eds.), Strategy in the Contemporary World. An Introduction to Strategic Studies, New York 2018
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture is held in German.
Passive knowledge of English and French are required.
851-0649-00LInternational Development EngineeringW1 credit2VI. Günther, A. Rom, K. Shea, E. Tilley
AbstractIn this seminar, students will learn from researchers around the globe about technological interventions designed to improve human and economic development within complex, low-resource setting. Students will also get familiar with frameworks from social sciences and engineering, helping them to understand, and evaluate the discussed technologies and to put them into a broader context.
Objective• Students will get familiar with frameworks from social sciences and engineering needed for innovation in a complex, low-resource setting.
• Students will learn about concrete examples of technological interventions designed to improve sustainable development and critically reflect on them.
• Students get a broad understanding of some of the most important issues and discussions related to global sustainable development.
ContentIn the introductory class, students will learn about challenges related to global sustainable developments and how they have developed over time. Students will then get exposed to frameworks from social sciences and engineering disciplines, which will help them analyze technologies designed for low-resource settings. In the remaining sessions thought leaders from the field of development engineering will present a wide range of innovations from sectors such as health, water and sanitation, education and governance that will then get discussed with students using the frameworks they learned.
851-0519-00LDeportation as a Mean of Migration and Population ControlW3 credits2VS. M. Scheuzger
AbstractIn the last decades, deportation has developed to a massively and routinely used instrument to control migration and population. The general perception notwithstanding, deportation is an eminently complex mechanism of statecraft. The course discusses the “normalization” of deportation in a global perspective focusing on the manifold involved techniques.
ObjectiveA) The students know central developments of deportation as a means of migration and population control in the last decades in their global dimension. B) They are familiar with the different techniques involved in the deportation of people and their role in these developments. C) They are able to assess the instrument of deportation as well as the deployed techniques in their social contexts.
ContentDeportations appear to be a legitimate and effective solution in dealing with people who cross national borders without authorization or who are no longer allowed to stay within these borders. However, the supposedly simple act of forcibly deporting foreign nationals from national territory is an extraordinarily complex mechanism of state action. The different techniques and technologies on which deportation practices are based contribute to this complexity. The event will focus on the latter. The lecture considers the technologies that have been used to establish deportability, to search and identify persons to be deported, to immobilize them and to deport them. A broad spectrum of technologies of surveillance, identification, communication, confinement, sanitary control or transport is discussed in their modes of operation, their interaction with each other and with other factors (especially with the concept of "assemblages"). A look is also taken at the techniques and technologies used in resistance to state control and deportation. The question will be explored how technologies and their transformation are linked to the legal, political, cultural, and social preconditions of deportation practices and what significance they have acquired in the process. In a contemporary historical dimension, it will be asked what role technologies have played in the development of deportation regimes, especially in the postulated "deportation turn" since the 1990s, i.e. the massive increase in deportations in many countries of the world. The lecture focuses on Europe, the Middle East and Africa on the one hand and North and Central America on the other.
851-0647-00LModel United Nations - International Policy-making Restricted registration - show details W2 credits1SL. Hensgen, F. M. Egli
AbstractThis course takes the UN as a starting point to acquaint students with key competences decisive for effective international policy-making to address the most pressing issues of humanity. These include intercultural negotiation, mediation and complex problem solving skills. Participants receive the opportunity to exchange with UN staff, diplomats and civil society members engaged with the UN.
ObjectiveIntercultural mediation, negotiation, complex problem solving, sustainable development goals and how those are addressed by the UN, team work
ContentTechnical progress led to unprecedented opportunities and challenges for human societies. While we were never as affluent, educated and healthy as today - climate change, biodiversity loss, epidemics and widening inequality, as well as new risks from emerging technologies - such as lethal autonomous weapons and designed pathogens – pose novel challenges. Responding to these challenges requires not only profound technical knowledge but also a profound understanding of societies and the capacity to put technological solutions into practice in a globalized, intercultural and political environment. Thus, increasingly there is a need for engineers with a strong understanding of complex problem solving to address the most pressing challenges of human kind. This course takes the UN as a starting point to address complexity at international policy-making processes and to make students aware of the need for more sustainable solutions in the future. The work on real UN case studies will challenge students to critically assess global problems from different perspectives, to discuss UN resolutions brought forward and to reflect upon their potential implications. Opportunities to exchange with experts, such as UN staff, diplomats and civil society advisors will complement theoretic inputs. In this course, ETH students can complement their technical skills with key competences decisive for effective international policy-making.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course consists of five sessions (March 9th/ March 23rd/ April 6th/ April 27th/ May 4th 5.15 PM- 7.00 PM) that include teaching and discussions about the UN system with external experts as well as the preparation and participation in a MUN in Zurich (May 1st- May 3th 2020). Upon request and at students’ own expense they can also attend a MUN in another location.
The course is co-organized with the ETH MUN. Similar courses are offered at UZH, HSG, University of Bern, University of Geneva.
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