Prof. Dr. Carolin Zeller

Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs

Quadriga University of Applied Sciences

Dr Carolin Zeller serves as Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs at Quadriga University of Applied Sciences Berlin. Carolin Zeller studied political science, economics and public law at the University of Bonn and the London School of Economics and Political Science. She holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Essex and a doctorate in corporate social responsibility in the apparel industry from the University of Potsdam. Carolin Zeller held Cusanuswerk scholarships throughout her degree and doctoral studies. As a lecturer she taught international politics and international political economy at the Universities of Erfurt and Potsdam, and has been at Quadriga since 2010. She has also worked as a freelance strategic planner at the Institute for Strategy and Communication.

Professorship

Carolin Zeller has grappled with the relationship between state, private and civil actors for over 15 years. Political decisions change in the conflict areas at play between the different logics of actors and their requirements. Carolin Zeller’s teaching and research interests are focused on understanding, tracing and helping to shape these developments. She is not out to find a quick or simple answer, but an in-depth and theoretically sound understanding of how and why advocacy in Germany and the EU is changing.

Research

Public affairs has arrived in Berlin. More and more companies, associations and NGOs are professionalising their efforts to lobby for their interests. This process has major implications – not only for public affairs models, but also for the design and development of our democratic political system. The public interest and the scandals of the past several years are leading us to constantly recalibrate our formal and informal rules and standards. Charting these changing rules and standards and incorporating them into modern lobbying remains a major, but exciting, challenge for the future.

  • What impact do these developments have on advocacy methods?
  • How can organisations ensure they are still heard in a Berlin that is increasingly growing ‘louder’?
  • And how do the powerful – but older – lobbying organisations deal with all this?
  • How do associations in particular need to change and adapt to remain relevant?

The public interest and the scandals of the past several years are leading us to constantly recalibrate our formal and informal rules and standards. Charting these changing rules and standards and incorporating them into modern lobbying remains a major, but exciting, challenge for the future.

Publications

Zeller, Carolin: Self-regulation and Labour Standards: An exemplary Study Investigating the emergence and Strengthening of Self-Regulation Regimes in the Apparel industry, Peter Lang Berlin 2012.

Berschauer, Carolin und Kai Ahlborn: Die Zukunft der Vereinten Nationen – ein Ausblick in: Dietmar Herz, Christian Jetzlsperger und Marc Schattenmann (Hrsg.) Die Vereinten Nationen – Entwicklung, Aktivitäten, Perspektiven, S. Fischer, Frankfurt a.M. 2002.

Carolin Zeller, Christian Thorun und Elisa Lopper „Das Berufsfeld Public Affairs in Zahlen“ in Politik und Kommunikation IV/2017.

Teaching

At the heart of all good political decision-making lies considered, sound theoretical analysis. It is impossible to understand complex relationships and developments by looking at them superficially. And we cannot hope to impact them with obvious and standardised methodology.

Herein lies the core task of teaching. The goal is to empower students to not only understand and trace political and societal process, be they at the German or European level, but also to develop a comprehensive, practical framework for analysing these constantly changing processes. This then allows for prompt, sound analysis of new developments, which can then be used to draw conclusions as to their strategic implications.

Teaching in the Department of Politics and Public Affairs combines theoretical specialist and process-related knowledge with current and reflected practical applications. Theoretical and practical knowledge and experience are not polar opposites here. Instead, they are closely and deliberately linked. This is achieved through the involvement of experience practitioners from the various fields of politics and public affairs combined with guided, project-based learning in study groups. Our experienced students work with professors and lecturers to form a working environment in which everyone is treated equally and can learn from one another.

The modules on the political systems of the Federal Republic of Germany and the EU offer teaching that, while not exhaustive in nature, is highly specific and rooted in practical experience, making the knowledge gained directly applicable to political logic and processes. The aim is to empower course participants to act and reflect on different positions in the political process.

 

The public affairs module is primarily focused on sound analysis and the practical use of various tools and methods. These elements enable students to learn how to develop strategies in the political process and develop and execute campaigns. It also teaches key practical skills, including drafting position papers and negotiating. The entire module aims to help students reflect on the practical as well as the ethical and moral standards in public affairs. In addition to lessons taught by professors, these modules also benefit from teaching by a range of experienced, innovative lecturers, experienced guests and participants