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Teaching WS 2020

Current Teaching

Jürgen Pirker

  • SE Austria before the European Courts (Fundamental and Human Rights Protection in Austria and Europe), with Toggenburg G 
    In 1956 the republic of Austria joined the Council of Europe, in 1995 followed the accession to the European Union. This long standing European entrenchment into the European structures has very concrete implications for the citizens of Austria but also for its judges. Both international organisations concerned - the Council of Europe as well as the EU - dispose over strong judicial mechanisms. And both European Courts - the Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECtHR) as well as the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg (CJEU) - developed an impressive case law that codesigned national legal systems. On the basis of this case law the essence of European Union law and the character of European human rights law can be accessed and understood. Looking at these two areas of law through the cases of the Strasbourg and Luxembourg Courts allows for an interesting insight into how the European and the national layer of governance interact. The seminar will start off with a description and analysis of the judicial systems of both the Council of Europe and the EU. What will folllow is a presentation and discussion of the most interesting cases that originated in Austria but were (co-)decided in Strasbourg/Luxembourg. In this way the seminar will show how immediate the legal and political effects of European integration are, how interesting law can be and, last but not least, how important eventually cases originating from Austria are for the overall development of the European legal order.
  • SE Introduction to scientific work
  • SE Theories and Methods in Law, with Harzl B, Lantschner E
    The class will explore key methods and theories of law for doctoral students.


Benedikt Harzl

  • KS Introduction to public international law on the basis of selected questions and problems
    The course provides a general introduction to basic questions of public international law as well as an overview of its most important special fields. A discussion about the historical development of international law and its peculiarities by addressing both its legal subjects and legal sources will be complemented by a thorough illustration of the different forms, through which states as subjects of international law can lawfully act and interact. Particular attention will be dedicated in this respect to bi- and multilateral treaties. Additionally, the question of international dispute resolution and the law of armed conflicts will also be investigated and will be rounded off with a discussion about individual and collective rights in international law.
  • SE The Ukraine crisis: Legal and political perspectives
    he annexation of the Crimea Peninsula as well as Russia’s ongoing and consistent support for the rebels in Eastern Ukraine constitute violations of international law. Yet, Crimea’s secession, which is frequently compared to the Kosovo case, also raises a number of fundamental - and as yet unresolved – questions. The lines of conflict in Ukraine are marked by contentious issues of international and European Union law, in particular against the background of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. The US and EU sanctions imposed on Russian (and Ukrainian) individuals and entities also highlight pivotal legal issues, which are often neglected in political debates. The seminar is dedicated to discussing these and related issues. The brutal conflict in Ukraine will be examined by considering the perspectives and research methodology of law and political science.
  • SE Theories and Methods in Law, with mit Lantschner E, Pirker J


Maximilian Lakitsch

  • SE Peace and Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa
    The Arab world has been in turmoil since the Arab Spring unleashed social dynamics that had been suppressed for decades. On the background of the region’s history, the course will elaborate on the cultural, social, political and economic dynamics in their relevance for various conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. In particular, the political development in Syria, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Egypt, Libya and Algeria will be discussed in a broader context. Finally, the course will introduce and debate possibilities and strategies of resolving and transforming conflicts.
  • VU Inter- and Transdisciplinary Methods, with Höflehner T  
    The class discusses the most important aspects and methods of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in three steps. The first section will explore the concepts and approaches more generally. Second, some important research approaches and methods, from historical research to case studies and ethnographic work will be presented and discussed. Finally, the class will explore academic skills in regard to research and writing.
  • SE Theories and Methods in Political Science, with mit Paic H      
    he class will explore key methods and theories of political science for doctoral students. It will focus on how to chose and incorporate theories and methods in doctoral dissertations and provide an overview of key debates in recent political science, focusing on comparative politics.


Aiste Mickonyte

  • VO Sources of EU law, fundamental freedoms, harmonization
    The lecture is conceived as an introduction to selected areas of institutional and substantive EU law. Basis knowledge of these areas will be provided and a practical understanding of the particularities of this supranational and multilingual legal order will be aroused. The lecture will encompass first the sources of EU law, the making of this law and down the line its relations with the law of the Member States. With special reference to the fundamental freedoms and some selected acts of harmonization the legal implications for the law of the Member States will illustrated. In this context, the implications of EU law for the law on technical professional qualifications will be given special consideration, i.a. by referral to selected readings.
  • VO Foundations of Institutional EU Law
    The class offers an introduction to the law of the European Union. The focus lies on the institutional foundations of EU law. The thematic scope of the class includes the institutions and the organization of the EU, the key terminology as well as other basic questions of the EU legal order. The discussion in class draws among other things on the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).
  • VO Foundations of EU Business Law
    The class offers an introduction to the foundations of EU business law. The focus lies on the key terms and the functioning of EU competition law. The thematic scope of the class includes the prohibition of cartels; the prohibition of the abuse of a dominant position; merger control; State aid. The discussion in class draws among other things on the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).


Jan Pospisil

  • SE Comparing Peace Processes
    The seminar undertakes a case-study comparison of peace processes in the Global South. The comparison elaborates characteristics and common practices of peace processes in contemporary armed conflict and investigates especially power-sharing mechanisms. Based on data from the PA-X peace agreements database, the peace processes in DRC, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, the Philippines, Colombia, Myanmar and Nepal will be investigated.

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