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B-Track Online Subject Courses

Instructor: Dr. Ulrich Brückner
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Online subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course in term III amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
Time:
8 am - 12:30 pm CEST
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 800 (incl. online discount)
Can be combined with all A-Track online courses

Course Description

The course will introduce the basics of the European Union and describe and explain the processes of widening and deepening of this unique political entity. This will cover an overview of European Union history, its evolution in economic and political terms as well as of its institutional structure up to today.

Internal politics and policies, for example the decision-making process, the balance of power, identity and democratic questions in this new system of governance will be discussed. Likewise in the realm of external affairs, the Common Foreign and Security Policy, relations with neighbors and with developing countries will be our concern. Particularly important aspects include the discussion on relations with the UK after Brexit, the future of transatlantic relations and how the EU is dealing with China’s and Russia’s alternative models of governance. We will discuss migration as well as the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. If students express specific interests in other topics or case studies sessions can be adjusted.

The morning sessions consist of lectures, literature based discussions and oral presentations from working groups. After lunch the course will visit various institutions in Germany`s political center or invite distinguished guests to class. Students will have the chance to discuss the topics from the morning sessions with international experts from political institutions, embassies and think tanks.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Wolfram Bergande
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Online subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course in term III amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
Time:
8 am -12:30 pm CEST
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 800 (incl. online discount)
Can be combined with all A-Track online courses

Course Description

Modern capitalist market economy is an extremely powerful instrument to create wealth and to satisfy human demands – and to exploit, alienate and destroy the very societies it is supposed to serve. How can it be made moral?

Actually, there are quite a number of ways: for example through deliberate lawmaking, responsible research & development (e.g. technology assessment), through enlightened consumer choices and sustainable use of human and natural capital assets. But they often come at a high cost and involve more fundamental questions:

-        How can politicians and lawmakers regulate the market for the common good without suffocating it?

-        How can big corporations and tech companies continue to deliver innovative services without monopolizing the market and dominating their customers?

-        What does a fair distribution of income look like?

-        How do we assign value to natural and social goods (like clean air or low crime rates) and how do we measure sustainable welfare beyond traditional economic growth?

-        How can consumers harness their own power to make informed choices and act in accordance with their values?

-        Are digital business models based on artificial intelligence and machine learning threatening the autonomy of consumer choice?

-        What does corporate social responsibility look like in times of crisis?

These and other questions are not only of interest to economists and business people but are relevant to all economic agents (individuals, companies, state institutions, etc.).

To answer these questions, the course equips participants with key ethical approaches to economic behavior (virtue ethics, religious teachings, deontology, utilitarianism, master morality, neo-liberalism), approaches which have been or still are dominating ethical discourses on economic behavior.

These ethical approaches and ideas range from Ancient Greek philosophy to modern economic theory (Friedman, Ostrom, and Game Theory). Since religions, philosophies and social theories are major sources of ethical conduct, the course covers a wide array of these, including teachings of the Catholic Church fathers, ideas from European modern period philosophy (Kant, Mill, Nietzsche) and from modern critical sociology (Veblen, Weber, Adorno, Marcuse).

As a major learning outcome, participants develop ethical frames of reference which allow them to identify and tackle ethical dilemmas posed by today’s economy. Particularly, they will learn do adopt strategies that avoid moral hazards and self-harming or self-defeating behavior. Thus, they will be able to act ethically conscious in real life situations, be it…

-        as decision-makers in firms and investment companies allocating capital, workforce and bonuses,

-        as scientific researchers launching technologies that impact human life and the environment,

-        as customers rewarding sustainable or punishing unsustainable business models, production methods or supply chains or

-        as lawmakers or leaders of NGOs setting legal and ethical standards and fighting collusion, corruption, fraud, exploitation, overproduction & -consumption, wastefulness, obsolescence, extinction, free-riding or other forms of cost externalizing.

Participants’ learning outcomes will be put to test in a hands-on way:

- when we do case studies on contemporary topics in business ethics,

- when we conduct online expert interviews on corporate compliance, digital business models and the ethics of artificial intelligence and

- when we play (and have fun with) a CSR (corporate social responsibility) online simulation game.

Below the line, participants will learn to analyze, interpret and transform economic behavior – first and foremost their own!

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Robert Teigrob
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Online subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course in term III amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
Time:
4 pm - 8:30 pm CEST
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 800 (incl. online discount)
Can be combined with all A-Track online courses

Course Description

Over the course of the Cold War, the city of Berlin was frequently at the centre of global tensions and a potential front line should the superpower rivalry descend into actual war. This course utilizes the city of Berlin as a laboratory in which to examine the origins, nature, and conclusion of the Cold War that defined international relations between 1945 and 1991. We analyze the Allied occupation of the city following the Nazi defeat, the Berlin blockade and airlift that helped solidify the divisions between East and West. Next, we will examine the workers’ uprising of 1953 that provoked a Soviet military response. The following sessions will deal with the emigration crisis of the late 1950s that led the Soviets to first threaten a military takeover of the city and eventually to construct the Berlin Wall. Finally, we will look at the fall of the wall and the subsequent reunification of Berlin and Germany.

Field trips to important Cold War sites will permit students to gain a deeper appreciation of how the Cold War changed Berlin, and how events in Berlin influenced the wider international struggle. In order to place the interests and goals of the superpowers in context, we will also discuss the ways in which the Cold War rivalry affected Europe as a whole, as well as Asia and Latin America. Attention will be given to the role of international organizations such as the United Nations in world affairs, and the changes brought about by the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In this way, we will examine the roots of contemporary crises. Students will gain an understanding of the recent past, which will help equip them to evaluate the current and emerging international order.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Lauren van Vuuren
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Online subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course in term III amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
Time:
4 pm - 8:30 pm CEST
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 800 (incl. online discount)
Can be combined with all A-Track online courses

Course Description

This course is about Berlin, and the story of its tumultuous and epoch defining twentieth century. We examine this history through various lenses: the biographies of individuals, the words of writers who bore witness to the vertiginous social, political and physical changes the city underwent, and buildings and monuments whose physical construction, destruction and reconstruction reflected the ideological turmoil and conflict of twentieth century Berlin.

Famous Berliners we will meet include the murdered Communist leader Rosa Luxemburg, the artist Käthe Kollwitz, the actress Marlene Dietrich, the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, the adopted Berliner David Bowie and the famous East German dissident musician Wolf Biermann. The contextualized stories of these individuals will offer us unique perspectives politically, artistically and socially into the tumult and struggle that marked their times in the city. These figures occupy a range of different position(s) as Berliners, as radicals, as artists of resistance to or collaboration with Nazism, and Communism, as drifters and exiles whose stories reflect Berlin’s unique position in the twentieth century as ‘no man’s land, frontier, a city adrift in the sands of Central Europe.’

In a similar way, we will examine the words of writers who bore witness to the extremism and societal upheaval that marked twentieth century Berlin. From the witnessing of Roth and Isherwood to life in Weimar and Nazi Berlin, to the social and political commentary by Christa Wolf on the moral struggles of life lived on different sides of the Berlin Wall, we will assess their writings in their historical contexts. We will assess their words as evocations of Berlin, but also as potential or overt acts of resistance to the extremism they lived under, that attempted to maintain a solidarity with the idea of Berlin as a place of artistic and social freedom and permissiveness.

Finally, we will discover the story of places in Berlin whose physical building, destruction and rebuilding can be situated in the wider systems of ideology, power and social relations that so cataclysmically defined the physical landscape of Berlin after 1933. In this, we will focus on the story of Potsdamer Platz, the Palace of the People and as an opposite postscript to Berlin’s twentieth century, the Holocaust Memorial in Mitte.

This course does not seek to provide a ‘grand narrative’ of Berlin’s twentieth century history. Instead, it follows a thread that weaves through the history: the thread left behind by those who bore witness to their times. By tracing the stories of contemporary witnesses, left for us in books, films and songs, and in the physical construction of the city, we open up a human dimension that enriches and challenges our understanding of Berlin’s traumatic recent history.

Structured largely chronologically, the course will work with films and novels whilst building on a clear historiographical base provided in class seminars. The teaching will be augmented by physical excursions into Berlin to trace the stories we encounter and class discussions will form the basis for a seminar paper that students will be required to submit at the end of the course. This history course approaches the story of Berlin through the reflections and refractions of individual humans’ lives who struggled upon the immense stage of a city at the very symbolic and literal heart of the catastrophes of the twentieth century.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Stefano de Bosio
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Online subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course in term III amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
Time:
4 pm - 8:30 pm CEST
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 800 (incl. online discount)
Can be combined with all A-Track online courses

Course Description

This course explores European art from the 15th to the 20th century with a particular focus on the travels of artists between urban centers like Florence, Rome, Venice, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Berlin. The aim is to analyze how mobility contributed through the centuries to shape local identities as well as European visual cultural traditions and styles common to different countries.

The course will present iconic moments of the history of the arts in Europe by drawing a special attention to episodes of cultural exchanges and hybridization that arose from travelling artworks as well as from artists’ travels. From the impact of Flemish art in 15th century Italy, to the stays of artists like Raphael and Michelangelo in the early 16th-century papal Rome; from the rise of genre painting in the Flanders and the Dutch Republic during the Age of Explorations, to the ‘painters of modern life’ in 19th-century Paris, and the European network of the Avant-gardes in the 1910s-1920s, we will analyze the artworks and their authors in relation to the different historical contexts and the places of their creation. Recurrent will be the focus on the complex interplay between artists and patrons, between local traditions, individual creativity and the broader social, political and cultural contexts in which artworks and buildings were produced.

Students will gain understanding of the main art movements and relevant artists from the Renaissance to the postwar period and the special role played by travels in giving shape to a European cultural space. Virtual visits to the outstanding collections of European museums will allow the participants to study in depth specific artifacts and to learn how to look closely at works of art.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Imran G. Chowdhury
Language of instruction:
English
Course type:
Online subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course in term III amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
Time:
4 pm - 8:30 pm CEST
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 800 (incl. online discount)
Can be combined with all A-Track online courses

Course Description

Europe encompasses the world’s largest and most complicated market. Recent events, particularly those following the ongoing economic crisis on the continent, raise profound questions about the future of Europe. This course will focus on present and future business issues facing the entire continent. Under this focus, we will examine the following questions: Should a “European” management style be developed instead of the national practices that frequently characterize companies originating in different European nations? How and under what circumstances should the European Union expand to Turkey, Ukraine and other countries in the East? What has been the impact of the Treaty of Lisbon, in effect since 2009, on European economic, political and social issues? In order to provide essential background and context for these issues, we will also review key events in modern European History.

In class, we will utilize a variety of approaches, including small-group study, lectures, and case-study analysis, to develop a comprehensive understanding of European business.On virtual excursions to different districts of Berlin, we will study how European and German history have influenced the economic development of this magnificent international capital and we will investigate the impact Berlin has in turn had on European business management. The course will also feature guest speakers on different topics in business and society in the European context.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)

Instructor: Dr. Anja Richter
Language of instruction:
German
Course type:
Online subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course in term III amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
Time:
4 pm - 8:30 pm CEST
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 800 (incl. online discount)
Can be combined with all A-Track online courses

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the history of German literature from the 18th to the 21st century.

Starting from the knowledge that the psychological sensitivities of an age are reflected in literature, and supported by reading and discussing representative texts - e.g. from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Franz Kafka, Bertolt Brecht or Ferdinand von Schirach - the focus of the seminar is based on the following questions: What desires, demands and utopias can be found in the literature? How influential are the developments of the history of thought, social upheavals and technological innovations on literary expression? What interplay exists between art, music and literature? Can fiction also be seen as inspiration for social changes? And: how do the respective authors corporate literary legacies into their own works?

A valid and living impression of literary development from the classical period to the present will not only be provided through texts, but also through film clips and virtual excursions. For instance, we will obtain deeper insight into the art of the Romantic period with a virtual tour through the Alte Nationalgalerie and will also get a digital impression of the “Topography of Terror” exhibition (documentation and visitor center on the topic of National Socialism in German history).

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)