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The Transatlantic Relationship in the Age of Trump: Politics, Law and Culture

Have you ever wondered how a change in leadership affects the interrelations between nations? In this course, we will explore the historical relationship between Germany and the United States, and see how the contemporary relationship stands. Come join us as we use factors such as globalism, populism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism to understand the future of this relationship.

Course periodJuly 20, 2020 - Aug. 14, 2020 Session II
Category Social Sciences, Politics & History
Course levelsBachelor
Class size

max. 18 course participants

Credits and certificate

Participants will receive a final grade certificate and 5 ECTS credit points only in the event of regular attendance (must be present 80% of the time), as well as active participation. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-Universität.

Application deadline June 1, 2020, or when participant quota is reached
Course fee680.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)

Defined by both the post-World War II Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and global conflict since 9/11, the transatlantic relationship now stands under new and unique strains.  This course aims to explore the contemporary relationship between the US and its European partners—in and outside the EU and NATO.  This relationship has frayed in the almost 20 years of the new century and seems especially challenged under new US leadership and foreign policy goals of the Trump Administration.  European domestic policy also contributes to the complexity of the relationship, and especially policies of America’s vital ally Germany.

This course aims to clarify continuities and changes in the transatlantic relationship.  First, what is the history of US involvement in Europe?  What theories and practical necessities background the relationship?  How are these concerns increasingly challenged by factors such as globalism, populism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism?  Perhaps most importantly, how do political and cultural changes in the US and Europe contribute to our understanding of the relationship going forward.


Course Program

Course structure

Academic lessons

  • You will receive a total of 45 contact hours (one contact hour equals 45 minutes; 11 contact hours per week).
  • The lessons are held three times a week.
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions.


Schedule (Track B)

Monday: 9 am – 10.30 am & 11 am – 12.30 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 10.30 am & 11 am – 12.30 pm
Thursday: 1.30 pm – 3 pm & 3.30 pm – 4.15 pm


Cultural extra-curricular activities:

HUWISU offers a fine selection of interesting extra-curricular activities and aims to give all participants an unforgettable stay in Berlin. Your program includes excursions, sport activities and social gatherings providing you the opportunity to get to know the city, the university and your classmates better and to meet students from all parts of the world. The costs for these offers are included in the course fees.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Boat trip, Beach Volleyball, Exhibitions, Farewell Party…

Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Undergraduate students of all relevant subjects with a strong interest in the course topic.

In order to follow the course, a very good command of English is required. The minimum age requirement is 18 years.

Mr. Philip Michelbach, PhD

Philip A. Michelbach is Associate Professor of Political Science at West Virginia University in the US.  He also has experience teaching in Europe — 2013-2014 he was Fulbright Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Potsdam, and he also led the Fulbright American Studies Summer Sessions at the Humboldt University from 2015-2017.

CoordinatorPierre Steuer/ Carmen Opolski/ Sanja Müssig
Contact detailsInternational Department
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin


This course can be combined with: