CGS Bonn
Uni Bonn

Student Papers

Hinweis / Notification

Diese Studien wurden von Studierenden im Rahmen ihrer universitären Ausbildung geschrieben. Das CGS veröffentlicht Essays und Abschlussarbeiten, um das breite Spektrum politikwissenschaftlicher Forschung zu illustrieren und das Verständnis zur Anwendbarkeit von IB-Theorien zu erweitern.


These papers were written by students and assessed as part of a university degree. The CGS publishes student essays and theses in order to illustrate the vast spectrum of political science studies and to broaden the understanding of the applicability of IR-theories.

SP Nr. 05 – Die Entstehung des „schlechtesten Deals aller Zeiten“: Eine Analyse des Iran Atomabkommens anhand struktureller Kraft (March 2020)

This paper is analyzing the development and negotiations toward the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The analysis of the Iran Nuclear Deal is based on the approach of structural force by Dr. Andrej Pustovitovskij inspired by Susan Strange’s concept of structural power. Structural force affects conventional power resources’ leverage, so that it provides a framework for analysis to juxtapose the needs and goods of the USA as well as those of Iran. These components constitute a structure, that heavily influenced the development and the outcome of JCPOA negotiations. The hypothesis will be verified that the need for a peaceful solution of the conflict, especially articulated by the Obama administration, weakened the structural position of the USA. This weakened position opened a decisive window of opportunity for Iran to assert key preferences at the negotiation table. One particular interest was nuclear hedging, which was implicitly recognized by the USA during the negotiations.

Keywords: structural force, Iran, USA, Iran Nuclear Deal, power, JCPOA

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SP Nr. 04 – Die Macht in der Machtlosigkeit. Die Bedeutung von Opfernarrativen im Israelisch-Palästinensischen Konflikt (March 2020)

This paper deals with the aspect of power in Victim Narratives. It takes a look at the difficulties of the position of victimhood, not only one of powerlessness but also one that contains power potential. The paper examines the means by which this power is constituted and how it is im-plemented. For this purpose, socio-psychological insights and concepts will be used – like the concept of „Competitive Victimhood“ – as well as discourse analytical perspectives from polit-ical theory. These concepts will be applied to the case study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It analyses the narratives reproduced by the two involved groups and how this reproduction takes place. We found that not only narratives of the present conflict are important but also the narratives that are carried on from prior collective experiences. To assess the influence of victim narratives on the power potential of the actors, the positioning of American foreign policy will be examined. The analysis concludes that the American perception of the Israeli role within the conflict is influenced by the use of victim narrative and thus provides legitimacy. At the same time, we highlight the crosscurrents or counter movements that question these legitimizations.

Keywords: Narrative, Victimisation, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Power

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SP Nr. 03 – Klimapolitik getrieben von eigennützigen Interessen? Deutschland und China im Vergleich (December 2019)

Two strong economic nations are confronted with new challenges in climate politics. Who and what has an influence on the climate policy of Germany and China? Which driving forces and interests can be identified? This question will be analysed in the following discourse on the basis of Robert D. Putnam´s two-level game theory. For this purpose, Germany´s and China´s national players, government´s preferences and their position in international negotia-tions will be compared. The external policies of these countries should be explained through national influencing actors and structures. In two states with divergent political systems this topic is to a certain extent influenced by similar actors. Preferences of the domestic economy are regarded as highly important. On the international level the governments try to pursue their own interests and goals. The governments are strongly interested in their retention of power. The international representation of the own country differs from the government’s actual motivation to deepen the involvement in climate policy. In Germany, this is particularly related to the constellation of the ruling parties. The German government can be sanctioned by the voter, but China has also realized the need to take action in this domain, since the country already suffers from actual consequences. Both countries link the climate protection to a modification of the own economy and especially China recognized the topics´ soft power function.

Key Words: climate policy, Germany, China, two-level game theory, IR

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SP Nr. 02 – Mehr als neutrale Repräsentation? Karten und productive power im Nahostkonflikt zwischen Israel und Palästina (September 2019)

This paper examines the connection between the geopolitical conception of maps and the productive power category of Michael Barnett’s and Raymond Duvall’s power taxonomy. Using the Arab-Israeli conflict between Palestine and Israel as a case study, the application and visuality of maps is being examined regarding its implicit exercise of power. For this purpose, two international studies are being reviewed, which evaluated maps of Jerusalem and regional maps taken from schoolbooks. The main result of this study is that maps as instruments of power used by governmental and non-governmental actors shape the conflict on different discursive and structural levels. From the perspective of critical cartographies, the usage of maps as a form of productive power is undisputed. However, the productive power of maps overlaps with other concepts of power in international relations, which is why a sharp analysis of geopolitical maps remains challenging.

Key words: taxonomy of power, productive power, maps, critical cartography, Israeli–Palestinian conflict

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SP Nr. 01 – Transatlantic Security and Defense Links at Risk? NATO, the United States and the European Union at a Crossroads (March 2019)

This paper deals with the coexistence of NATO and the EU’s security and defense policy. It analyzes if transatlantic relations are threatened, e.g. by European security policy-related solo efforts like the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). The research questions are ‘What are the security interests of NATO Allies within the Alliance?’ and ‘In what way do the EU’s efforts to strengthen its own security and defense policy influence the transatlantic relationship?’. The analysis shows that American isolationism is not present currently and that strengthening European security and defense is an asset and not a threat to NATO. Hence, neither NATO nor the US should worry about European endeavors as they have advantages for NATO’s military strength, although its development proceeds slowly. Potential progress will show if the EU can implement its security and defense undertakings.

Key words: NATO, security and defense policy, EU, PESCO, transatlantic relations

Download the paper here.