The chair of "Public Administration, local and regional politics" focuses on the analysis of changes in local and regional politics and administrative structures (and processes). The change is a result of globalisation, internationalisation or Europeanization of politics, the overload of welfare-state distribution policies, borders of sovereign-hierarchical governance, as well as endogenous developments such as demographic changes. The research and teaching profiles are defined through a close combination of theory and practice, through a strict empirical orientation as well as through interdisciplinary links to other fields of the social sciences. The following belong in particular to the subject spectrum:
- The area of local political research is mainly concerned with the analysis of current modernisation trends (New Public Management, Implementation of Direct Democratic Elements, Extension of Cooperative Forms of Democracy, Privatisation- and Liberalisation efforts) and their influence on political governing abilities and the democratic legitimacy of local decision-making processes in regional and international comparison.
- A second focus point of local and regional political research is the interest in the effects of industrial and demographic changes in congested urban areas, in particular the Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr area). This concerns the political science analysis of the political challenges and consequences of such situations of extreme change. How does global change affect local and regional politics and which political governing possibilities exist (e.g. where migration, city development policies, poverty reduction and civilian participation are concerned)?
- Empirical research of modernisation processes in local, regional and federal administration is coupled with questions about organisation theory (especially by including the behavioural theory of decision making and through micro political approaches) and focuses on the question of the capability, structure and impact of reform.
- The international comparison of sub national politics and administrative structures particularly between Germany, France and Great Britain deals with current change processes (e.g. Decentralisation in France, Agencification in Great Britain) and their effects on various political and administrative systems. In light of extensive convergent modernisation trends between various states, do these also lead to convergent developments or do divergent developments tend to dominate more?