Studying “Politics, Philosophy and Economics” – the professors’ point of view

Our university started a new exciting study program BA called Politics, Philosophy and Economics which totally fits in our portfolio as an university that focus on “Rethinking Management”. But what is it all about and why should you study this study program at Karlshochschule International University in Germany? I asked two of our professors, André Reichel and Wendelin Küpers, who co-created the whole program and who will lecture some modules of it in autumn 2015.


Would you be so kind to describe the Politics, Philosophy and Economics study program in three simple hashtags?

Wendelin Küpers:

André Reichel:

And now please the much more longer version. What is Politics, Philosophy and Economics all about?

Wendelin Küpers:
Our present economic and societal situation and its crisis show more and more that theoretical and empirical approaches or fragmented perspectives that merely focus on specialised discipline are not adequate for a comprehensive and integral understanding of pressing social and cultural challenges and the development of appropriate ways to deal with them.
The complex realities and functional diversification of our globalized age and networked world with its multilayered life-worlds call for an extended way of studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics as well as their interrelationships.

This study program offers timely interdisciplinary approaches to approach and handle contemporary and future-related questions, problems, and issues.

In the highly complex society of the 21st century, the most convincing and lasting impetus comes from individuals who think in wider terms and know how to integrate economic, political and philosophical perspectives.

André Reichel:
Politics, Philosophy and Economics enables you to critically analyze, understand and reflect on the great societal questions of our time: democracy in the 21st century, climate change and energy impoverishment, failing states and the need for new global institutions, a fairer and ecologically sustainable global economy, and many more. The combined perspectives of political science, philosophy and economics are needed to truly see through these “wicked problems” that cannot be addressed from a single discipline alone. Studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics is not only about acquiring a diverse set of knowledge but much more about the ability to change perspectives. It is a true generalist’s study program for a world of interconnected challenges.

How will Karlshochschule design and fullfill the program? What is so special about studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Karlshochschule?

Wendelin Küpers:
Covering various thematic key areas the program conveys a systematic and cross-disciplinary knowledge and understanding of organizations and institutions and how politics, philosophy and economics are inter-connected and embedded in socio-cultural contexts.

The English-language study programme in Politics, Philosophy and Economics has an international orientation. It covers thematical fields related to Contemporary Society, Global Economy, Cultural Studies, Introduction into Philosophy and in Political Science as well as into Scientific Research Methods Furthermore Anthropology Area Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis Conflict Resolution International Collaboration as well as specific Introductory and advanced Project work. Moreover, Economic Institutionalism , Ethics and Globalization, Ethics and Sustainability, Ethics in Practice, Justice, Human and Constitutional Rights Change and Innovation, Introduction to the Language(s) of the Host Country. Finally it also entails an Internship and a Bachelor Thesis including its defence. All of these are opportunities for a diverse and profound learning.

André Reichel:
Studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Karls is the perfect match. Our culturalist perspective here at Karlshochschule is providing the necessary critical thinking and reflection when dealing with the wicked problems I mentioned above. Without being critical of the interdependencies and conflicts between politics, philosophy and economics in the real world, you cannot honestly call yourself a Politics, Philosophy and Economics student. And what is especially important at Karls: we are a university of applied sciences, not one of descriptive sciences. With Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Karls you do not stop at analysis and description of current societal issues; you are in for a change, for becoming a change agent yourself. Doing Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Karls puts the action back in politics.

What is he most interesting module in your point of view?

Wendelin Küpers:
Rather than emphasizing one module, for me the most interesting essence of this study program is its broad scope while offering a systematic interconnection between modules. There is a learning about enacting practical wisdom involved in studying the modules together (which also connects to my own research).

André Reichel:
Obviously the modules I teach, Global Economy and Sustainable Development, as they will lay the ground for critical understanding of how the world became the way it is today. But it would be wrong to just focus in this or that module. The problems we face are interconnected and can only be solved by people able to change and connect perspectives. This is what the Politics, Philosophy and Economics program structure is all about.

How about the job opportunities after the graduation?

Wendelin Küpers:
Graduates of this study program are educated to reliably and critically identify and analyze political, philosophical and economic dimensions that influence or impact processes of socio-cultural transformation in organizational and institutional contexts. This prepares them to develop and enact decisions-making, policies and solutions to local and global challenges on national and international levels. They will acquire a sound understanding and competencies of a politically, philosophically and economically informed expertise and a comprehension of inter- and transdisciplinary interconnections.

Overall, the study program qualifies the students to become personalities who take on responsible leadership roles responsible positions in diverse fields of institutions economics or society.

The specific career avenues for graduates are positions in political and social or cultural organisations and institutions. For example NGOs, educational institutions or human resources and organization development. Furthermore, there will be a need for graduates in the area of consultancy related to politics and economics, and other responsible positions in and for organizations that require a high level of analytical skills and critical reasoning at the interface between politics and business.

Additionally, the program constitutes also an excellent foundation for advanced study on a master-level and research in cross-disciplinary fields of political and economic sciences, or political and economic philosophy and other areas of humanities.

André Reichel:
Studying at the intersection of such a broad array of issues and disciplinary backgrounds opens up a variety of job opportunities. In the field of business and economics, you are aptly trained as a Swiss army knife for large-scale multinational corporations and their strategy staffs as well as for the big consultancy firms that are looking especially for cross-thinking generalists. With politics and public administration you can start a career at national or state ministries and agencies or go beyond national borders working for European institutions or the UN. We will help you to choose your internships and your studies abroad carefully in order to support tailoring your program to your interests. And there is also the broad field of civil society organizations, big NGOs both nationally as well as globally that are increasingly looking for broadly educated managers with a political and economic emphasis. And of course you are free to chart your own course, maybe together with a fellow student from our management programs and set up a social business and become your own change maker.

Who should apply for the program? What kind of background do applicants need?

Wendelin Küpers:
All those, who have a curiosity, open-mindedness and an engaged interest in our world and its further development. This program invites students, who have a love of learning and ingenuity, an interest in developing a discerning judgment while being keen to educate a critical thinking. At the same time it welcomes young adults who would like to want to be emotionally, socially and practically intelligent while being able to take perspectives and contribute to the well-being of other and futures to come.

Having a good basic knowledge and experiences in different organisations and projects is helpful.

André Reichel:
An open mind and an open heart are sine qua non conditions, otherwise you cannot be truly successful with Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Our program is for people who like to challenge the status quo in politics and the economy but would also liked to have their mindsets challenged as well. Becoming a change agent for the better in society is also requiring the ability to change yourself. We will do what we can to provide you with the ability to become the person that is already inside you as a potential. Of course you should have some good and varied basic knowledge already and a built-in curiosity about the world. The rest will unfold over the next three years in your Politics, Philosophy and Economics bachelor program at Karls.

Thank you very much!

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