New Article: "Laughing at Failure or Failing to Laugh: Humour as a Strategy for Dealing With Foreign Policy Failure?"

22.02.2024 -


New Article - Feb 24 - Spencer

Our Prof. Dr. Alexander Spencer has just published his latest research article in Sage Journal: Alternatives: Global, Local, Political.


Prof. Dr. Alexander Spencer in this article investigates how research in customer service management and crisis communication points to the use of humour as an additional strategy for dealing with foreign policy failure.





Abstract of the Paper

The paper considers the role of humour in dealing with failure in foreign policy and brings insights together from the studies of policy failure, humour studies, customer service management and crisis communication. It investigates how research in customer service management and crisis communication points to the use of humour as an additional strategy for dealing with foreign policy failure. This research has provided valuable insights into the benefits of humour for dealing with minor service failure, reducing the level of damage done to the standing of the actor responsible for the failure. The paper transfers these insights into IR and investigates the benefits and drawbacks of self-deprecating humour by policy makers responsible for failure. To illustrate this, we consider the humour employed by US President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2004 when making fun of his administration’s inability to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. We argue that humour can be a tool to address policy failure only in front of a sympathetic audience when humour can be a means of addressing the cognitive tension between support for a policy and its empirical failure.


Get access to the paper from here

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Important information on Semester Ticket Voting

20.02.2024 -

The student council is in the process of deciding whether to introduce a discounted Deutschlandticket (a transportation ticket to travel accros Germany) which would raise the semester fee starting in the winter semester 24/25. This ticket allows unlimited use of all local and regional buses and trains throughout Germany. The alternative is to keep the current MVB ticket for Magdeburg, which is included in the current semester fee.


Get to know the Semester Ticket by visiting one of the events below:

·      February 21, 16:00: Lecture Hall 1, building 26 (German)

·      February 21, 17:30: Lecture Hall 1, building 26 (English)

·      February 28, 16:00: Room 238, Building 40 (German)

·      February 28, 17:30: Room 238, Building 40 (English)


The purpose of these events is to inform you about the semester ticket vote that will take place in March and to answer any questions you may have. A video recording of the first event will be available for those unable to attend.


Your voice counts: The student council represents the students interests and want to include as many voices as possible in the decision-making process. The vote on the Semesterticket is binding for all students, therefore active participation in the vote is very important.


You can have access to FAQ and the events' posters (in English and in German) to know better about the new proposed adjustment on the semester ticket


You can also contact the student council for via:



X (formerly Twitter):

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Internship opportunity at The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Brussels

23.01.2024 -

Dear all, 

In the office of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Brussels, an internship opportunity will be available from March or April 2024 (duration: 12 weeks). Ideal for gaining practical and exciting work experience in the context of the EU and NATO!

Application deadline: February 4, 2024

For more information on the announcement and application requirements, please visit:

Please note:
Very good German and English skills are required, good knowledge of French is desired.

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Survey on student participation in the OVGU's university policy

23.01.2024 -

As part of a master's thesis OVGU's students are invited to participate in an online survey to assess the level of participation in the OVGU's university policy.


Availabe in both English and German



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Last Modification: 26.03.2024 - Contact Person: Webmaster