Universität Wien FIND
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210156 SE M7: State Activity, Policy and Governance Analyses (2018W)

Doing politics and making policy (engl.)

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. 50 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 19.10. 15:00 - 19:00 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Saturday 20.10. 13:30 - 17:00 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Friday 07.12. 15:00 - 19:00 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Friday 14.12. 13:30 - 18:00 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Saturday 15.12. 13:00 - 17:00 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Friday 11.01. 15:00 - 19:00 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Saturday 12.01. 13:30 - 17:00 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

What do people do when they are doing politics or making policy? What do policy and politics consist of? What is political work and how is it done? What's it like being an activist, a bureaucrat or an elected representative? What happens in meetings, and why do documents matter so much? This course seeks to explore the microsociology of the political process, drawing on a range of perspectives from different disciplines.

The course is taught in 4 blocks, each of 2 x 3-hour seminars (8 seminars in all). Seminar discussion is based on the close reading of ethnographic case studies, and part of each class will be devoted to supporting students to develop and carry out case study research of their own.

Assessment and permitted materials

Assessment is by (i) presentation of draft cases in class and (ii) research papers of 3 000 words.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The final assessment will be based on the following components:

- Oral presentation of draft cases in class (20% of final grade)
- Active participation in class, reading of set papers (usually 3) in advance of each class and feedback on other students’ presentations
- a written research paper of max. 3 000 words (not including footnotes, endnotes, or references). Students are free to develop case study projects according to their interests and experience: case studies submitted for assessment must include an element of empirical research, theorised appropriately in terms of the framework set by the course (80% of final grade)

Attendance is required in all course units. In cases where students are unable to attend for serious reasons (bereavement, illness) evidence for this will be required and students may be required to do extra work to compensate for the materials they missed.

Examination topics

Reading list

Reading list

Indicative readings include:

Biegelbauer, P and Grießler, E (2009) 'Politische Praktiken von MinisterialbeamtInnen im österreichischen Gesetzgebungsprozess', Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 1 6177
Neumann, I B (2005) 'To be a diplomat', International Studies Perspectives 6 7293
Reckwitz, A (2002) 'Toward a theory of social practices. A development in culturalist theorizing', European Journal of Social Theory 5 243263
Wodak, R (2009) The Discourse of Politics in Action: politics as usual, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan; ch 4: 'One day in the life of an MEP'

The essential literature will be made accessible via moodle

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:38