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Law and Politics

Module POL24308

This Module is offered by TUM School of Governance.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2020 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2020WS 2019/20

Basic Information

POL24308 is a semester module in English language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of soft-skill courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
180 h 30 h 6 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


In this seminar, we will discuss a range of issues pertinent to the field of international law that fall into two conceptual clusters: 1) global governance and 2) human rights law.

Within the first conceptual cluster, we will start by exploring the topic of international law and its reach – what are the actors, institutions, activities it can and does regulate and what remains beyond its grip. These latter areas [yet] untainted by international law will then be charted out and we will try to answer the question ‘how – if at all – can they be regulated with or beyond the tools of classical international law’? In this context, we will talk about the legal toolkit of international law – treaty and customary law [what we call ‘hard law’], and other, ‘softer’ tools of legal regulation.

Within the second conceptual cluster, we will center the discussion on the regime of human rights protection as it has evolved under international and EU law. In particular, we will explore how those two legal regimes operate and interact with each other with respect to human rights. The two core legal instruments we will look at – the CFR (Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union) and the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) – will be examined in a comparative perspective, while also taking stock of the highly influential and important case law in the area.

The concluding seminars will be devoted to examination in debate form of case studies that showcase the interactions of human rights with other fields of EU and international regulation, and the interactions between different human rights inter sé. Those interactions are not always smooth and often times lead to conflicts that then have to be solved by balancing different norms under the law – a role traditionally played by courts. For example, think of the right to privacy/the right to be forgotten and how it relates to the economic interest of accumulation of big data by companies such as Google. Should Google’s private economic interest prevail over someone’s right to his [personal] data not being on the web? Also, how does the right of freedom of speech/expression fare if comes in conflict with someone’s right to data protection/privacy? In this seminar, we are going to reflect on these and other similar matters through the lens of the law.

Learning Outcome

After having successfully completed this module, students are able to:
1) identify and explain main concepts of and theories about the evolution of the areas of global governance and human rights law;
2) use relevant scholarly literature in international law to prepare a structured talk on a pre-determined topic; 3) analyze and critically engage with available literature in order to build a cogent and coherent argument on a specific topic/problem in the domains of global governance and human rights law


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Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

SE 2 (POL24308) Law and Politics: (Topics in International Law - Seminar 1) Georgieva, Z.
Responsible/Coordination: Büthe, T.
Tue, 13:15–14:45, H.004

Learning and Teaching Methods

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Hendriksen, International Law (OUP, 2017) ISBN 9780198753018
J. Crawford and M. Koskenniemi (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2012) ISBN 9780521143080
J. Klabbers, International Law (CUP, 2017) ISBN 9780521144063

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

This module is interactive in its approach to learning – it consists of 1) an examination after the end of taught classes (100% of the final grade), 2) an end-of-semester debate (contributes up to 0,3 extra points to the final grade) and 3) an individual presentation during the semester (does not affect grade, but serves as a training tool for the debates). The debate is going to be organized in the last seminars of the module. Additionally, at each seminar, one or two students will be asked to give an individual presentation that they can select from a list of pre-determined questions and sub-questions. The non-presenting students, divided in discussion groups, will be asked to give their thoughts on the substance and overall quality of each individual presentation. To enable critical feedback, students of each discussion group will be asked to prepare in advance on the pre-determined sub-questions that the individual presenter will be addressing.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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