(Full) Professor

Michael Dreyer

klaus dot dicke at uni-jena dot de

Prof. Dr. Michael Dreyer

Prof.Dr. Klaus Dicke (currently furloughed)


Reserch Areas

Political thought of the 19th and 20th century

History of the Ideas and the Constitution of the Weimarer Republic

Political thought, system and culture of the United States

Science Policy in the United States (M. Enders)

Modern normative political theory in the 19th and 20th century (A. Braune)

Marion Wondrak: Carl-Zeiss-Str. 3
07743 Jena
Room 454
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 12am - 2pm    
Phone: +49 3641 9 45431    
Fax: +49 3641 9 45432    

Research Assistants

Dr. Andreas Braune

Matthias Enders, M.A.

Student Assistants

Tim Kappelt

Ariane Kovac

Gesa Lienhop

Research Profile

The Chair of Political Theory and History of Ideas focuses on the polity dimension of Political Science, while contextualizing it both in historical terms and in terms of the relevant politics and policies of the issues. We explore the concepts and debates behind major political ideas and our research looks at the theories shaping current (and past) political discourses. Working closely in a transdisciplinary setting with our neighboring disciplines, the chair provides a thorough introduction into the basics such as advanced issues of the theoretical, historical, and philosophical fundamentals/basics of Political Science. Additionally, we co-organize (together with History and American Studies) the MA program North American Studies.

We aim to provide high quality research in the field of political thought and theory, combining all aspects of the politics (polity, policy and politics);based on current developments in qualitative methodology. Specifically, research interests of the members of the political theory team include:

    • Michael Dreyer’s research is focused on German political thought of the 19th and 20th century, with special emphasis on the Weimar Republic such as American political thought and politics in general. He has worked on German and American ideas of federalism and constitutionalism, the politics of the U.S. Supreme Court and is currently involved in research projects on the Politics of Romanticism and the role of the Vice President in the American political system.

    • Andreas Braune is our resident Hegel expert and has just finished a doctoral dissertation on the theory of coercion.  He is also involved in the research project on Politics of Romanticism. His interests include issues of modern and postmodern political theory.

    • Matthias Enders is currently finishing his dissertation on the relationship between science and policy in the United States, with a focus on the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He has worked on the impact of early American political thought on current political campaigns in the United States. He also contributes to the research on the role of the Vice President in the American political System.

    • Current doctoral theses deal with a broad range of issues, among them the theory of compromise, the politics of romanticism in Denmark and Germany, Carl Schmitt as a foreign policy thinker, political education in the Weimar Republic, the Weimar “Reichsbanner” organization, the idea of human dignity in German state constitutions, the political philosophy of US Supreme Court justices, philanthropic endeavors of US Ex-Presidents, and the impact of Citizens United on election financing in the US.

Master’s and bachelor’s thesis under the supervision of our team have featured everything and anything from classical Chinese political thought to the political ideas of Mexican insurgents to the Arab Spring to Nkrumah’s Pan-Africanism; from the NRA and American politics to the occupy movement and to civil religion and the presidency; from the current significance of Rousseau’s volonté générale to the Portuguese enlightenment; from intellectuals at the end of the Weimar Republic to postmodern criticism of Popper – you name it, we probably do it, as long as it is related to political thought!

Teaching Profile

Our B.A. curriculum covers a variety of topics, providing a broad overview over multiple issues of political theory and history of ideas. We regularly offer seminars on:

    • Political thought from antiquity to today (and non-European political thought)
    • Current and historically important theories in political science
    • Methodology of our field, especially the Cambridge School of political thought
    • Political thought and the political system of the United States of America

Our M.A. curriculum builds on the knowledge acquired on the B.A. level. We regularly offer a diverse range of courses, e.g.

    • specific political theories and their impact on political science
    • in-depth reading courses, either on specific authors or thematically confined political discourses
    • the relationship between polity and policy
    • political thought, varying in scope from local to global
    • classes on feminism, queer theory and other post-modern approaches