Political science addresses a specific aspect of society, i.e. that of political decisions. This means all the decisions that are binding for all members of society. A failure to observe the commands and rules that are connected with these decisions is therefore usually punished by the community. The central concepts of political science are therefore power and governance. The central aspects when dealing with these topics again include issues of legitimacy as well as those of the practical implementation and assurance.
These perspectives cover three areas of political science. The first area relates to political institutions ("polity"), the second to the process of the development of informed opinions and decision-making ("politics"), and the third to the factual material aspect, i.e. to the concrete implementation of politics in certain areas ("policy").
The special profile of the chair consists of a decidedly theoretical perspective towards these areas, in the sense of classical political theoreticians who were often much less philosophically oriented and more interested in the often pragmatic solution of specific problems. These problems have not changed fundamentally over the last 2,000 years. They still mainly deal with the institutional guarantee of a "just" governance, the protection of individual freedom under governance, and the solving and avoidance of conflicts within a community and between different communities.
This problem-related perspective is complemented by a more methodically motivated player and process perspective, as it is reflected for example in modern governance research. Governance means all forms of interaction and coordination between players in the state, between state and society, and between the different levels of government activity. This governing is characterized by different modes of exchange, of negotiation, of implementation or of the binding regulation of interests.
But just as empirical research does not make sense without a well-developed theory, theory remains without effect when it refuses any relationship to empirical reality. The second major guideline of the profile of the chair is thus linking theory with empirical findings, i.e. the constant reference of the theory to the empirical facts of that "which is the case", as well as placing the planning of the empirical procedures of one´s own research at the chair on a carefully constructed theory.
This special focus of the chair can also be seen in the methodical tools it applies. Thus, in teaching and research the chair applies methods of action and decision theory, as well as game theory, and also a wide range of empirical data collection and evaluation methods, especially statistical procedures.