Department of Political Science and International Relations

How do political orders evolve over time? How do state and non-state actors generate policies? What explains individual decision-making? The Department of Political Science and International Relations teaches and researches these questions by focusing on international, transnational and regional processes.

Our resident and non-resident faculty covers a broad spectrum of issue areas, ranging from international security to global health, digital affairs to geopolitics, and media politics to nationalism. In sync with Vienna's tradition as something akin to "diplomatic capital of the world", we put strong emphasis on how international actors, including diplomats, international civil servants, civil society advocates and business diplomacy, shape international politics. How do they figure out what to do? What kinds of difference can they make? How does their toolbox for doing so look like? Examples for actors we put under scrutiny include states, their diplomacy and foreign policy making, the United Nations, the European Union and other regional organisations, as well as transnational corporations, expert networks and non-for-profit organisations.

Inquiring into these questions and actors increasingly requires taking the hybridity of international affairs – analogue and digital – into account. This is something that is part of the "DNA" of our department. We do study past interaction patterns but, at the same time, we also teach and research how technological and social transformations change these patterns.

Last, but certainly not least, we offer courses on every world region, including Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. There is a considerable regional variation of international politics across these regions and also within. Our Department’s teaching and research reflects these contingencies.