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210117 SE M6: Austrian Politics (2018W)

South Tyrol in the Italian state and its relations to Austria

9.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

A registration via u:space during the registration phase is required. Late registrations are NOT possible.
Students who miss the first lesson without prior notification will lose their seat in the course.

Follow the principles of good scientific practice.

The course instructor may invite students to an oral exam about the student’s written contributions in the course. Plagiarized contributions have the consequence that the course won’t be graded (instead the course will be marked with an ‘X’ in the transcript of records).


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 40 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 12.10. 13:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Friday 16.11. 09:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Saturday 17.11. 09:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Friday 14.12. 09:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Saturday 15.12. 09:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

South Tyrol more than apples and cows. This slogan from a travel book (JOSEF) reminds us to see the province south of the Alps not only as a picturesque tourism destination, but to scrutinize the complexity and multilayered interconnections between history, geography and geopolitical implications, minority protection and current challenges resulting from globalization.
This seminar takes a political-institutional approach and discusses first the legal framework, and in particular, the Autonomy Statute: This constitutional backbone of South Tyrol protects the German-speaking and Ladin minority, regulates the living together of the three language groups and defines the status of the autonomous province within the Italian state. Second, the seminar sheds light on the political system in place as well as the political parties both dominating the discourse as well as governing the province. Finally, we discuss the relations between South Tyrol and Austria.
This seminar enhances the understanding of issues currently discussed in South Tyrol, and between Austria and Italy, such as the Doppelpass (a proposal for granting the Austrian citizenship to South Tyroleans) or the ongoing migration and refugee crisis and its connections with the Brenner border.
This seminar is characterized by its comparative approach and its reflections based on a challenging and contested policy field, such as migration. South Tyrol is first used as point of departure from where we explore in a comparative way similarities and differences between South Tyrol as an autonomous province and ordinary regions in Italy and Bundesländer in Austria. Secondly, we depart from South Tyrol and discuss challenges faced by many territories in Europe, such as claims for secession and nation-state formation, migration and demographic changes, but also a changing party systems with its implications for party politics.

Assessment and permitted materials

Attend the seminar regularly
Read the obligatory readings
Be actively present during the sessions (questions/discussion)
Give one presentation of max 10 minutes + prepare one guided discussion:
Student presentations will be followed by guided discussions, whereas the discussion will be moderated by a student other than the one presenting (i.e. one student presents, the other one prepares 3-5 critical questions on the topic of the presentation)
(4000-5000 words, including references, Times New Roman, 11 pt, space 1.5 lines) in English (eventually in German)
Literature on how to write a paper will be provided and you can contact me for personal consultation
Prepare one written texts:
Written text (own research) on one selected aspect of the Seminar, discussing a currently relevant topic (hence, excluding papers on the history of South Tyrol, or a general paper on the Autonomy Statute) => approval from the instructor required, an exposé needs to be send before the last block of the seminar and it will be discussed in the last session.
Deadline for the essay: 28.02.2019

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Active oral engagement: 15%
Presentation: 25%
Moderated discussion: 15%
Written Essay: 45%

Examination topics

Reading list

A detailed bibliography will be send to students before the seminar.

Georg Grote (2009), I bin a Südtiroler. Kollektive Identität zwischen Nation und Region im 20. Jahrhundert. Athesia, Bozen.

Günther Pallaver (2018), Südtirols Parteien. Analysen, Trends und Perspektiven. Edition Raetia, Bozen.

Hans Karl Peterlini (2016), 100 Jahre Südtirol. Geschichte eines jungen Landes. Haymon Verlag, Innsbruck, 2te Auflage.

Verena Wisthaler (2016), South Tyrol: the importance of boundaries for immigrant integration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42/8, p. 1271-1289.

Jens Woelk, Joseph Marko and Francesco Palermo (eds.) (2007), Tolerance Through Law: Self Governance and Group Rights in South Tyrol, Brill, Nijhoff.

An English language bibliography on all aspects related to South Tyrol can be found here:

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:38