Modern Germany: Politics, History and Culture

Course Title:
POL 40995 and History 49295

Professor Contact Information:
Dr. Mark K. Cassell        Office: 302 Bowman Hall
mcassell@kent.edu     330-672-8945

Application Deadline:
February 15th, 2013

Program Dates:
May 16th - June 3rd, 2013
Course Description:
Few countries are as important and controversial as the Federal Republic of Germany.  It is a country that gave birth to the first system of social security and national health care.  Between the First and Second World War, Germany’s Weimar Republic was arguably the most democratic regime in the history of Europe.   Yet, after the fall of the short-lived Weimar Republic, Germany developed one of the most brutal and undemocratic regimes in the history of the world.  After the Second World War,  West Germany became a model of a capitalist democracy while its eastern counterpart suffered under communist rule for nearly fifty years.    Following unification in 1989, Germany became an economic success story and a leader among countries promoting greater European unification.  At the same time Germany has come under attack for the country’s heavy-handedness and arrogance in handling the current economic and currency crisis.  So is Germany an exemplar of democratic stability or a country on the cusp of another crisis?  How could a country that gave the world Weimar and Goethe also give us Auschwitz?  Where is Germany today and where will it be in the future?  These are the questions taken up in this course. 

Students will have an opportunity to examine these questions up close and personal by traveling to Germany and visiting the three locations that are the center of Germany’s past, present and future: Frankfurt (headquarters of the European Central Bank); Erfurt/Weimar (birthplace of German democracy); and Berlin (capital of the united Germany).  We will use history and political science to examine the volatile political transformations in Germany from the founding of the first united Germany in 1871 to the Second World War to the Cold War to the present, and the contests between democracy, fascism, and communism.

Itinerary:
May 16th Depart Cleveland for Frankfurt
May 17th-19th Frankfurt
May 20th Wiesbaden
May 21st Frankfurt
May 22nd- 24th Erfurt, Weimar and Buchemwald
May 25th- 30th Berlin
May 31st- June 2nd Dresden
June 3rd Depart Frankfurt for Cleveland

For a detailed itinerary broken down by day, please download the course syllabus HERE.
Program Costs:
Insurance $42.25
Transportation $330.00
Student Accommodations  (estimate)
$870.00
Airfare (estimate)
$1,100.00
Visits/Cultural Activities
$50.00
Group Meals
$160.00
Admin Fee (includes OGE application Fee)
$30.00
Other Costs (depends on program)
$17.75
Faculty Costs
$350.00
Total $2,950.00

Program Brochure:
Click HERE to download a PDF of the course brochure

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