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About the institute

The Institute for Political Science and European Affairs is a research-focused institute at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne.

Academic enquiry into politics at the University of Cologne has a history of over one hundred years. In 1920, the very first professorship in politics at any German university was established at Cologne. In 1951, Heinrich Brüning, former chancellor of the Weimar Republic, became the first politics professor at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. In 1960, today’s institute was formed from a UNESCO institute.

Six professors and two emeritus professors as well as about 60 members of staff and doctoral students make up the institute today. Several renowned research institutions are closely connected with the institute. Many of its PhD students are based at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies. Within the institute, several professors have pooled their resources to form the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics.

Research at the institute focuses on comparative political science, political economy, empirical democratic theory, International Relations, European and multi-level politics as well as political science research methods. In terms of research reputation, the institute is among the most renowned institutes in Germany. In the 2021 Shanghai Ranking, the institute takes the top spot among politics institutes in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state. A current research project, for example, explores the impact of minority governments on political representation. The project is funded by the European Research Council with two million euros.

In addition to the study programmes in social sciences, teaching includes a number of joint programmes of several faculties, for example in regional studies. Especially noteworthy is the research-focused, English-language Master’s programme in Political Science, which reflects the institute’s international outlook and offers students an empirical and analytical focus with a strong methods training.

The institute has its own library with a collection of more than 32,000 items, many of which are also available digitally. The team of librarians are there to support students with their literature research.