Economics and Politics - Theory

Maximilian Benner
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2024S, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S05124


Topic: Meaning-making in urban and regional development

The course familiarizes students with the fundamentals of regional development under the frameworks of the European Union’s cohesion policy (European Regional Development Fund, Just Transition Fund), agricultural policy (LEADER), or enlargement policy (Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance). Within these frameworks, the course focuses on the transformation towards more inclusive and sustainable regional economies and particularly the role of meaning-making in these transformation processes (e.g., framing of transitions, industrial culture, narratives). Students will explore how meaning-making can be supported by European regional development policies, including through synergies with EU-level culture policies (Creative Europe). On a practical level, students will be introduced (on a basic level) to project proposal development.

Spatially, the focus will be on those regions that face particular challenges in transforming their regional economies, for example by replacing unsustainable industries (e.g., coal mining), including for example regions in Germany, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, or Poland.

The course will be held as a workshop where students explore EU policy frameworks, discuss relevant literature on meaning-making in regional development, and develop their own group case studies on a region of their choice with a focus on opportunities to strengthen or redefine regional cultural identity through meaning-making and promoted by context-sensitive policies supported by EU policy frameworks. These group case studies will lead up to hypothetical project proposals for promoting meaning-making in the case study regions.

The lecturer will advise students and provide scholarly input through lecture elements, where suitable, and recommend essential literature.

Examination Modalities

The following assignments will be graded:

1. Presentation of key literature (30%)

2. Presentation of group case study (group work) (30%)

3. Concept note for group case study project proposal (group work) (30%)

4. Participation in class (10%)


Students from other departments or universities will be given a place on the course subject to room capacities.

Key Words

Regionalentwicklung, Nachhaltigkeitstransformation, Projektentwicklung, Europa, cultural politics


08 March 2024, 10:00–16:00 CDS Seminar Room , "attention: will be held online!"
22 March 2024, 10:00–16:00 CDS Seminar Room
17 May 2024, 10:00–16:00 CDS Seminar Room
31 May 2024, 10:00–14:30 CDS Seminar Room

Course Enrolment

From 05 February 2024, 00:00 to 05 March 2024, 23:59
Via online registration

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Study Areas 1-3: Study Area 3: Economics and Politics 569/020.03

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Bachelor): Economy and Politics: Deepening / Application 700/004.20

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible