Social Sciences

Module Leader:
Attila Mráz
2014-2015 Autumn
Social Sciences

The aim of this seminar is two-fold: on one hand it serves as an introduction to both history and political science and at the same time it serves as possibility to understand war and its underlying reasons in the form of a case study on World War I. The idea is to introduce the student to different perspectives of understanding and analysing WW1: the interpretation of this war (as any event in history) depends to a great extent from the point of view. These points of view include power politics, national perspectives, social class, gender and many more. In order to better understand the built-up of a war, the very basics of game-theory will be introduced. At the end of the seminar the student is expected to have a grasp of power politics and realism and be able to do comparative analysis about war, all in English. The peer-review process of assignment serves a peep into the academic world as well as encourages students to give and receive feedback. The core message of the lecture series is that history and political science together form social science and the two disciplines go hand in hand in analyzing past and current conflicts.

The course will serve as an introduction to scientific thinking and argumentation, that is, in its social form. While historical phenomena and political aspects may be hard to measure exactly like in social sciences, there are better and worse ways to prove a point. During this course the students will understand how we can discuss scientifically even such a highly subjective phenomenon as war. The main idea of this course is to enhance the students’ argumentative and analytical skills as well as introducing them to the strategic of power policy and diplomacy. It is also crucial to understand the interrelatedness of various events, viewpoints and even subject areas. Social science consists of aiming and understanding complex events that are hard to fathom by using single perspectives and only one school of thought. Therefore this course will focus on an interdisciplinary approach to power politics.