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Multidisciplinary Workshop Abstracts 2017-2018


 Brexit 1-2March Picking up after Brexit:

Explaining and assessing the British exit from the European Union

Badia, Emeroteca
1 March 2018, 14:30-16:30
2 March 2018, 9:30-11:30


Organizers: Aydin Yildirim (RSC), Robin Markwica (RSC), Marina Henke (SPS)


In this workshop, we aim to explain the rationale behind Brexit from different perspectives and explain how the European Union’s (EU’s) relationship with the United Kingdom (UK) as well as the rest of the world is likely to be affected. We will focus on the two most sensitive areas in which the exclusion of the UK might have serious implications on EU power projection capabilities: international trade and security. Questions we intent to examine are as follows: After Brexit, how will the EU security and defense policy proceed? Will the EU focus more or less on civilian (instead of military) conflict resolution techniques? How will EU defense industrial cooperation advance? Will Brexit affect the EU’s normative power? Can we explain the result of the Brexit referendum with insights from the political economy? How will the EU shape its future trade policy vis-à-vis the UK? Under which conditions can both partners continue to have a preferential trade relationship? 

Download the workshop programme (pdf)

cultural transfer‘Moving (between) Cultures: Theories and Practices of Transfer’ 
6 April 2018, 10:00-19:00
Badia, Emeroteca

Organizers: Matthew Canfield (LAW), Naoko Hosokawa(RSC), Mishka Sinha (HEC), Blake Smith (HEC)


 photo credit: I. Sailko



This workshop  explores the issue of cultural transfer from a variety of theoretical, metholodological, and disciplinary perspectives.

In our globalizing world, ideas, commodities, and individuals are constantly moving from one cultural context to another. Yet, when scrutinising specific cases, scholars of sociology, history, political science and many other disciplines, find that the kinds of cultural transfer happening all around us are anything but straightforward. The normalcy and ubiquity of these movements conceal fraught questions of interpretation and identity.

Download the programme (pdf)

governance colloquiaMultidisciplinary Research Colloquia on Regulatory Governance 

First session: Unilateral Trade Regulation in pursuance of Global Environmental Protection: Legal Perspectives
16 April 2018, 14:00-16:00
Villa Paola, Seminar Room

 Presenters: Professor Cedric Ryngaert (Utrecht University); Ioanna Hadjiyianni (MWF-LAW)

Second session: Taking stock of regulatory governance, hierarchical and heterarchical approaches

8 May 2018, 14.00-16.00, Seminar Room (Villa Paola)

 PresentersProfessor Colin Scott, (University College Dublin), Bernardo Rangoni (MWF-LAW)

Third session: ‘Legal perspectives on expertise, politics and the quest for accountability’

22 May 2018, 14:00-16:00 
Villa Paola, Seminar Room

Presenters:  Alessandra Arcuri (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Marta Morvillo, Max Weber Fellow, Department of Law

 Fourth session: 'Socio-Legal Approaches to Regulatory Governance: Shadows of Power'

31 May 2018, 14.00-16.00
Villa Paola, Seminar Room


Presenters: Amy Cohen (The Ohio State University); Matthew Canfield (Max Weber Fellow, Department of Law)


Fifth session: "The governance of social, investment. Theoretical considerations and empirical findings"
6 June 2018, 14:00-16:00
Villa Paola, Seminar Room


Presenters: Anton Hemerijck (SPS Professor); Gemma Scalise (MWF-SPS)

Papers to be presented will be circulated to the registered participants. 


Regulatory governance is a field of scholarship that has attracted considerable attention over the past decade. Not only does it bring together scholars of different disciplines working on regulation and governance to address important social, economic and political problems, it is also open to different theoretical perspectives and to a variety of methodological approaches. The five Max Weber Fellows organizing and participating in the Regulatory Governance Colloquia draw on a range of sub-disciplinary perspectives to examine a variety of substantive policy domains ‒ such as utilities, environment, food, and labour market  regulation ‒ across different polities ‒  such as national and European, European Union, global, local.

The Colloquia offer participants the opportunity to be introduced to and learn from different analytical approaches to the study of European and transnational regulation. Each session will include two speakers, an invited scholar and a Max Weber Fellow, who share complementary approaches to the field of inquiry; each will present a twenty minute paper, followed by discussion.

Participants are expected to have read the papers in advance. Papers and background material will be posted in an online Dropbox, to which participants will receive a separate invitation.

Organisers: Matthew Canfield (LAW), Ioanna Hadjiyianni (LAW), Marta Morvillo (LAW),
Bernardo Rangoni (LAW), Gemma Scalise (SPS)

Download the poster of all colloquia (pdf)

trust mattersTrust matters 

20th April 2018, 9:45-17:45
Badia, Emeroteca  

Organisers: Raquel Barradas de Freitas (MW Fellow, LAW), Sergio Lo Iacono (MW Fellow, SPS), Marta Morvillo (MW Fellow, LAW), Carolin Schmitz (MW Fellow, HEC)


Trust matters in the lives of individuals and political communities. It matters whether or not individuals trust one another. It matters that citizens justifiably trust their democratic representatives, if they do trust them. It matters also, both morally and politically, whether an exercise of authority is based on a genuine claim to trustworthiness. 

As we witness a revival of an interest in trust in public life, politics, and the media, this is a particularly good moment for a group of scholars from different academic traditions and research fields to discuss the various dimensions of trust. On the one hand, political theorists and legal philosophers can benefit from drawing on the rich literature on trust in the social, cognitive, and economic sciences. On the other, new dimensions can be added to ongoing work of sociologists, historians, and economists by considering philosophical writings on the attitude of trust. There is much we can learn from each other. The workshop aims to contribute to a better understanding of trust and why it matters in personal relationships, social interactions, and political communities. 

Download the programme (pdf)


European security in an age of American restraint

                          2 May 2018, 9:30-16:30
                               Badia, Emeroteca

                 Organizers: Marina Henke (MWF-SPS),
                          Paul van Hooft (MWF-SPS)




This workshop addresses the question of what will become of European security in an age of American restraint?

What are the EU’s options if American policy indeed shifts toward retrenchment? Will Europeans try to insist to be kept under the US security umbrella? Or rather, will they strive to take care of their own security?

Are any intermediate policy options possible? What political, societal, economic and military factors will determine this choice? Will the EU be united or divided in this policy decision-making process? Moreover, what military-technological deficiencies does the EU need to address when it tries to decide between possible policy options? 

Download the programme (pdf)

 trolls and green menFears of Trolls and Little Green Men:
Does Hybrid Warfare Work, for Whom, and When?

4 May 2018, 10:00-17:30
Badia, Emeroteca

Keynote Speech:
'Eastern Threats, Western Resilience, and the Cyber Domain'
Brandon Valeriano
(Donald Bren Chair of Armed Politics, Marine Corps University)

Organisers: Paul van Hooft (MWP-SPS), Stefano Marcuzzi (MWP- RSC), Akisato Suzuki (MWP-SPS)


Hybrid warfare has become a buzzword for scholars, policymakers, and journalists to describe Russian intervention in Ukraine.

The use of online misinformation, cyberattacks on infrastructure, the covert insertion of forces, and so on, seemed highly successful tactics to accomplish Russian goals of destabilization. Given that new prominence, scholars and policy analysts have hotly debated how we can define hybrid warfare to establish the analytical leverage of the concept, or whether hybrid warfare is new after all (Giles 2016; Renz and Smith 2016).

However, little has been discussed so far regarding whether hybrid warfare, understood as the blend of multiple conventional and unconventional methods to fight, is in fact an effective strategy and, if so, for whom and at which level.

Can states accomplish more than short-term gains, such as undermining the legitimacy and cohesion of adversaries, or conversely strengthening domestic support (Chiozza and Goemans 2011)? Or is possible to achieve long-term strategic goals?

In short, how much should we fear online trolls and little green men?

Understanding what goals hybrid warfare can effectively achieve is therefore crucial.This workshop brings expertise in warfare and security studies with multidisciplinary perspectives, including strategic studies, military history, and political science, thereby shedding new light on the hotly topic of hybrid warfare with analytical and empirical rigor.

Download the programme (pdf)


"Modern Readings of Epicureanism:
Political Receptions and the Politics of Reception"

4 May 2018, 9:30-16:30

Badia, Theatre 


Organisers:  Federico Testa (AEUIFAI Postgraduate Fellow - EUI; PhD candidate at The University of Warwick & Monash University); Jared Holley (MWF - EUI)  

With the support/collaboration of the Intellectual History Working Group (HEC/EUI).
Liaison: Juha Haavisto (HEC - EUI)


This one-day workshop is dedicated to modern receptions and readings of the Epicurean tradition (and its relations to Classic and Hellenistic philosophies). From the materialists and mortalists in theological debates in England (17th century), to the French libertines and free-spirits, passing through Hobbes, Spinoza and Rousseau and, finally Marx, Guyau and Nietzsche (in the 19th century), the workshop investigates the continuity of Epicurean themes in Western thought, emphasising its social and political implications. Traditionally considered as a form of withdrawal from political arena, Epicureanism has been characterised as the apolitical doctrine par excellence.

However, the hegemony of this view has become target of careful historical and philosophical criticism, one that shows the political aspects of Epicurus’ philosophy. If, on the one hand, the Stoics developed a reflection on politics beyond the limits of the polis (extending it to the cosmos), playing a central role in the modern discussion on social duties and natural law; on the other, Epicureans dedicated their attention to smaller, subtler forms of association, such as friendship, below the level of the city laws and walls.

The Epicurean tradition played a central role in the modern discussion on the conventionality of law and justice, the notion of social contract, and on the idea of social progress. Notions such as friendship, conventional justice, social contract, utility, and the passions mark the modern engagement with the work of Epicurus, Lucretius and the Epicurean school.

The workshop will be interdisciplinary, situating itself in the intersection between philosophy, intellectual history, history of political thought and political theory, bringing together researchers concerned with modern Epicureanism, especially its repercussion in politics, social theory, ethics and moral philosophy.

Download the programme (pdf) 



'What is corruption?'

Badia, Seminar Room 4
24 May 2018, 9:30-18:30

Organizers: Chiara Destri (MWF-SPS), Tatyana Zhuravleva (MWF-ECO)



The aim of this workshop is twofold. On one hand, we plan to address the overarching definitional question of what corruption is and how we identify it.

To this end, the first session hosts a book symposium of a recent comprehensive work on corruption, Making Sense of Corruption, by Bo Rothstein and Aiysha Varraich (Cambridge University Press 2017), and a hands-on presentation on corruption and clientelism in the Lebanese context.

On the other hand, we intend to focus on the origins of corruptive human behaviour. Why do people behave corruptly in general? Why are some people ready to cooperate in order to increase their wealth at the expense of a third party? Why are some others willing to make efforts in order to punish corrupt behaviour?

The second session of the workshop is dedicated to the understanding of corruption as a social norm and it aims to explore the issue from the perspective of experimentalist economics.

Download the programme (pdf) 

fiscal policyTaxation and Fiscal Policy

28 May 2018 09.30 - 17.30
Badia, Emeroteca

Organisers: Per Andersson (MW Fellow, SPS), Alexandra Fotiou (MW Fellow, ECO), Hanna Kleider (MW Fellow, SPS), Andrea Papadia (MW Fellow, RSC), Zbigniew Truchlewski (MW Fellow, SPS),
Tomasz Zawisza (MW Fellow, ECO)


The recent crisis has put taxation and fiscal policy at the centre-stage of academic and policy debates. The limits of monetary policy acting on its own, the debt troubles of European countries and the difficulties in implementing effective and coordinated policies to fight the crisis have raised numerous questions on how to conduct fiscal policy at both the national and international level. Independentist movements in a number of European countries have also brought attention back to the issue of the relationship between local and central governments in the fiscal, as well as other, realms.

Much remains to be learned regarding the effectiveness and optimal design of fiscal policy and, more broadly, the way states tax, borrow and spend public funds. Politics, economics, history and myriad other factors intertwine to determine the policy options available to states, the obstacles they face, and the practical implementation of policies. While an interdisciplinary approach to these questions is desirable, it is also clearly underutilized. Today scholars are scattered between social science disciplines. Because of this organizational fragmentation there is need to create opportunities for scholars working on taxation and public finance to meet and exchange ideas. We believe that this workshop can be a first step towards this direction.

Download the programme (pdf)

peace from localsPeace from locals

1 June 2018, 10:15-17:00
Badia, Emeroteca

Keynote speaker: Neophytos Loizides (University of Kent)

Organizers: Tine Gade (MW Fellow, RSC), Vivian Gerrand (MW Fellow, RSC), Akisato Suzuki (MW Fellow, SPS)



In the major conflict research, the causes of conflict and conditions for peace have usually been sought in institutions, socio-economic factors, and politically active actors. What has been largely missing so far is the role of local actors such as ordinary people in allowing or preventing conflict. This workshop aims to fill this gap, thereby contributing to developing peace and conflict research from a local perspective. The workshop will be concluded with a keynote speech, “Resurgent Nationalism? Local Peacebuilding and the Future of Ethnopolitics in the 21st century,” 

Download the programme  (pdf)

Challenges To EU Law And Governance In The Member States EU law and governance

 8 June 2018, 8:30-18:00
Badia, Emeroteca

Organizers: Anna Wallerman (MWF-LAW), Clara Rauchegger (MWF-LAW)


Eurosceptic and nationalist forces have been gaining ground in many Member States. The ideal of an ever closer union, built on fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, has been shaken by the UK’s decision to leave the EU and by illiberal democratic developments in Hungary and Poland. The free movement of citizens, economic migration and the influx of third-country refugees tend to be particularly controversial in the Member States.

Against this backdrop, the conference will examine to what extent the EU is being politicised and its law challenged in the Member States. The focus will not only be on Member States that are known to be highly critical of the EU; for a complete picture, the aim is rather to find out whether challenges to EU law and governance are frequent occurrences or merely highly visible exceptions.

The conference has two objectives. The first is to establish whether Euroscepticism takes the form of specific criticism of EU legislation and case law. Do governments and/or political parties criticise particular pieces of EU law and policy, and do they propose, or take, initiatives that are incompatible with those of the Union? Second, the conference will explore to what extent criticism of the EU is translated into actual changes in national law. Is Eurosceptic rhetoric made manifest in the domestic legislation or case law of the Member States?

The conference will be held on 8 June 2018 at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy under the auspices of the Max Weber Programme.

Keynote speaker

The keynote address will be delivered by Michal Bobek, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the EU and author of numerous works on the interaction of EU law and national legal systems. He was previously Professor of European Law at the College of Europe, Research Fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law of the University of Oxford as well as legal secretary to the Chief Justice and head of the Research and Documentation Department at the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic.

Download the programme (pdf)

National communictiesNational Political Communities and International Institutions

11June, 14:00-19:30, 12 June, 10:00-17:30
Badia, Emeroteca

Organizers: Angelo Caglioti (MWF-HEC), Leon Castellanos (MWF-LAW), Madeleine Dungy (MWF-HEC) 



Photo credit: Clyfford Still, PH-972, 1959. Copyright: City and County of Denver / ARS, NY


As Western democracies display an increasing ambivalence towards liberal internationalism, this workshop explores the dual nature of international institutions as both a source of political leverage and instability for modern nation-states. International institutions emerged in the context of the long transition from a world of empires to a world of autonomous nation-states.

During the course of the twentieth century national communities have frequently used international organizations to assert their influence over foreign relations and the world economy. At the same time, a variety of actors have disrupted the locus of national political legitimacy by harnessing international structures to advance moral and legal claims. International institutions have also generated conflict by reinforcing asymmetries within and between different national communities, often as a legacy of imperial rule.

The recent wave of ‘anti-globalist’ and anti-European sentiment has highlighted these ambiguities and elicited nationalist reinterpretations of international standards and norms. Considering these changing perceptions in the political mainstream, the workshop will assess whether the staying power that sustained international institutions during the twentieth century will continue in the twenty-first. We aim to facilitate a wide-ranging discussion of current nationalist and populist critiques of European and international institutions that will bridge the fields of political science, history, and law. 

The event will also constitute an opportunity to discuss, in an interdisciplinary context, recent literature addressing these tensions, such as Mark Mazower’s No Enchanted Palace, Glenda Sluga’s Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism, Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro’s The Internationalists, Jan-Werner Müller’s What is Populism?, Guy Fiti Sinclair’s To Reform the World, and Samuel Moyn’s Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World.

Download the programme  (pdf)

‘The Role of  Image-Making in the Prevention of Violence’
5 July 2018, time tbc
Badia, Emeroteca 
Organizers: Vivien Gerrard (RSC), Saeed Bagheri (SPS)



This workshop welcomes multidisciplinary perspectives in order to generate new insights into the potential role of image-making practices in the prevention of violence, broadly defined, and the specific question of violent extremism. The workshop therefore includes speakers from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, who have particular concern with image-making and representation, and the intersection of this with violence and violent extremism. 

Download the programme of the workshop (pdf)

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