Debating Democracy in Europe / Focus Group Seminars

This is a teaching research seminar where students learn how to do qualitative empirical research. The goal of the seminar is to organise and analyse focus group discussions that will be carried out in the framework of a teaching research project, i.e. in cooperation with students. The focus group discussions will be used in two ways, a) as a way to debate Europe with the citizens and b) as a tool to gather knowledge about the gap between the European Union and its citizens. The focus group discussions will allow for developing a broad understanding on the European Union’s perception and the reasons of citizen support or citizen distrust in and of the EU. All in all, understanding the background reasons of average citizen´s opinions on the EU will allow for a more nuanced assessment of the alleged gap between the EU´s elites and its citizens, and the ways to remedy it. Research will use an exploratory approach in order to grasp the citizen´s feelings about the EU. On the basis of a synthesis of the state of the art of attitude research into EU support and democratic legitimacy (i.e. Eurobarometer data and current research findings) and methods literature on focus groups, a set of questions will be developed. They will structure the focus group discussions. The aims are to discuss with the participating citizens, a) their personal reasons for being critical or supportive of the EU, b) how they see the future perspectives of politics and democracy in the EU and in general and c ) what makes more and more people not only vote for right wing populists or extremists but also be critical of democratic institutions. The focus group discussions will be recorded and then the records will be transcribed and analysed in the seminar in cooperation with the students.

Winter Term 2022-2023

Debating Democracy in / and Europe

Teaching research Seminar, Master „Intercultural Communication and European Studies“, Fulda University of Applied Science


Winter Term 2021-2022

Debating Democracy in / and Europe Part 2

Teaching research Seminar, Master „Intercultural Communication and European Studies“, Fulda University of Applied Science


Winter Term 2019-2020

Bridging the Gap between the EU and its Citizens

Teaching research Seminar, Master „Intercultural Communication and European Studies“, Fulda University of Applied Science


Online course on the EU

The online course will offer in-depth knowledge about the EU from a citizen perspective. The starting point will be the on-line module "Get involved! Explore your opportunities as an EU citizen!", which is offered to more than 150 Erasmus students of all disciplines each year in the framework of the obligatory accompanying on-line course "Hands-on Learning prepare yourself for an intercultural workplace" of the regional contact point for EU-traineeships and university-enterprise cooperation, which is run jointly by Fulda University and institute inter.research e.V. The course will be developed and provided in English language and it will be open to all students participating in the research teaching seminars and the Ph.D. training course “Researching Europe”. It will also be open to all the citizens which participate in the focus group discussions

PhD Courses

In the framework of the project three PhD Courses will take place. Two of which have already been conducted. The courses are international workshops that assemble doctoral candidates researching on Europe and the EU from six different EU countries and seven different European Universities. The doctoral students are invited to present their research projects and discuss methods, theory and topics among peers and teachers in an open and cooperative debate. For more information click here