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Multidisciplinary Workshop Abstracts 2018-2019

29 April 2019, 9:00-17:00
30 April 2019, 9:30-12:00

Rethinking methodological approaches to Islamic movements
Badia, Emeroteca

Organizers: Margot Dazey (SPS), Mathilde Zederman (RSC) 


The Arab revolutions of 2011 have strikingly reconfigured Islamic movements’ mobilisations. Their electoral successes in some countries, their renewed participation in institutional politics, their deployment as social movements in other contexts, and finally the resurgent state repression in Egypt and elsewhere, have all reshaped the organisational and ideological identities of these movements. Islamism has undergone both (out-ward) pluralisation and (in-ward) fragmentation, with new lines of division arising between competing factions. Internal debates have grown in intensity, over issues of political programs, social outreach and self-labelling strategies (“Muslim democrat”, “Islamist”, “Salafi”, etc). Tactical choices have been vividly discussed both at the grassroots and leadership levels of the movements, and new, unexpected behaviours have been adopted in the face of disrupted states. Considering these transformations, this workshop aims at updating the paradigms, method designs and data collection procedures used for investigating Islamic movements and capturing their evolving role in the politics of North Africa and the Middle East. Such endeavour will be carried out in the course of three panels, each of them tackling a core methodological challenge.

Programme (pdf)

3 May, 9:30-18:00
Non-Majoritarian Institutions under Political Pressure
Badia, Sala del Capitolo
Organizers: Bernardo Rangoni (LAW), Anna Tzanaki (LAW)


Since the 1980s, within and beyond Europe we have witnessed widespread delegation of powers from governments directly elected by citizens to Non-Majoritarian Institutions (NMIs) that are neither directly elected nor directly managed by elected politicians (Thatcher and Stone Sweet 2002: 2).

The institutional forms taken by NMIs include independent regulatory agencies tasked to oversee and facilitate competition (Thatcher 2002a; Coen and Thatcher 2005), central banks charged to conduct monetary policy (McNamara 2002), specialized constitutional courts (Stone Sweet 1989, 1992, 2000, 2002), and supranational bodies such as the European Commission (Wilks and Bartle 2002; Pollack 1997, 2003) and other international organizations (Nielson and Tierney 2003).

Functional rationales for explaining delegation centered on the outcomes that these unelected bodies were expected to deliver better than elected politicians, and which included providing long-term commitments credible to investors, enhancing the efficiency of policymaking, and better dealing with highly technical areas (Levy and Spiller 1994; Majone 1996, 1997; Thatcher and Stone Sweet 2002). However, rather than technical, Pareto-efficient decisions (where some benefit and no one is made worse off), NMIs have increasingly taken political decisions with clearly distributive implications and both winners and losers.

Furthermore, today, NMIs are commonly accused of having failed to deliver on their promises, having frequently led to rather unpopular outcomes (e.g., price rises, fiscal costs due to supervisory failures).

Programme (pdf)

6 May 2019, 9:15-18:00
State-building in Non-democratic Societies
Badia, Theatre

Organizers: Per Andersson (SPS), Rémi Dewière (HEC), Benoît Maréchaux (HEC), Corina Mavrodin (HEC), Andrea Papadia (RSC), Christopher Roberts (LAW)


Successful state-building and the development of state capacity are key challenges for today’s developing countries. However, we still only partially understand how modern states arise and obtain their administrative capabilities, including the ability to tax and provide high-quality social services. In particular, the political, social, institutional, and economic factors that influence these processes are still widely debated.
While there is a wealth of research on democracy and state-building, we know much less about state building in non-democratic settings. This workshop will bring together scholars from different disciplines – using a range of scientific methods and empirical case studies with a wide geographical and temporal scope – to discuss recent work related to past and present state building in non-democratic states. The purpose of the workshop is to start a cross-disciplinary conversation (including history, political science, law and economics) about the academic challenges in the literature on state-building, and some of the problems facing today’s developing countries. The workshop will be of interest to anyone concerned with state-building and institutions in a broad sense.

Programme (pdf)

9 May 2019, 13:00-17:30, 10 May, 10:15-17:00
Effectiveness in early childhood education around the globe
Badia, Emeroteca
Organizers:Tatyana Zhuravleva (ECO)


This interdisciplinary conference targets the effectiveness of children's education around the globe.

The aim of this conference is to reach a better understanding of the contribution of schools, parents, society to the development of children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills, the role of policies (such as maternal and paternal leave, childcare availability etc.) in child development and how (and why) results differ around the globe. In particular, the conference pays special attention to the effectiveness of maternal care versus other forms of childcare arrangements in terms of cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.

Programme (pdf)


17 May 2019, 10:00-17:00
Badia, Emeroteca

European Transnationalism Between Successes and Shortcomings:
Threats, Strategies and Actors under the Microscope

Organizers: Silvia D’Amato (RSC), Athina Sachoulidou (LAW)


This workshop will focus on threats that do not originate in and are not confined to a single country.

Terrorism, organised crime, severe human rights violations such as human trafficking are representative examples of the so called transnational threats and appear to be at the top of the European political and jurisprudential agenda since they affect entire regions and ultimately the European community as a whole.

Against this backdrop, the first part of the workshop will be dedicated to the strong linkages between transnational threats like the terrorist one, freedom, justice and security. The notion of national security and the collective responses to transnational challenges that cut across the political and economical dimensions of security will be found at the centre of this session.

In the second part of the workshop, the focus will shift onto the European regulatory efforts to address transnational threats. Recent European measures on combating terrorism and human rights violations as well as on the use of personal data in the field of law enforcement will offer a number of examples to understand and evaluate the changing landscape of European criminal law policies and sanction regimes as well as to explore whether those changes and policies are still in accordance with fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law.

To facilitate the understanding of the practical impact of the European strategy to counter transnational threats, the third part of the workshop will provide an insight in the European agencies’ perspective using the example of Europol and its efforts to enhance cross-border law enforcement authorities’ cooperation.

Programme (pdf)

28 May 2019, 14:00-17:00
Villa Schifanoia, Sala Triaria 

Institutional Complexity in Global Governance

Organizers: Oliver Westerwinter (RSC), Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni (Jean Monnet Fellow)


Global governance structures are increasingly described as highly complex, fragmented, andpolycentric. In many issue areas, the creation, design, evolution, and effectiveness of individualgovernance institutions are fundamentally shaped by how these institutions relate to and interact withother institutions operating in their domain.

A large swathe of recent work in international relationsand international law acknowledges the importance of institutional complexity for understandingglobal governance. However, much existing work focuses on developing typologies to better grasp thephenomenon and, empirically, are often based on the study of single cases, or limited to particularissue-areas.

Thus, despite a fast proliferating literature on institutional complexity, major conceptual,theoretical, and empirical questions remain.

The papers presented at this workshop address thisresearch gap. Using new data and innovative methods, they map institutional complexity in a broadrange of issue areas of world politics and develop new theoretical arguments to explain theemergence, development, and consequences of institutional complexity. Together, they makeimportant theoretical and empirical contributions to the study of global governance and open upavenues for future research.

Programme (pdf) 

31 May 2019, 9:30-17:30
Badia, Seminar Room 4

Fixing the moves? Maps, State and Mobility in Social Sciences

Organizers: Rémi Dewière (HEC), Igor Rogelja (SPS), Pascale Siegrist (HEC)


The workshop reflects on the use of maps by social sciences in studying relations between power, space and societies.

This leads us to critically review what we as researchers do when we map and fix non-state people in writing, and to think about a usage of maps in the study of societies that would not erase marginals, nomads, migrants or subalterns.

We want to look at how maps were themselves an expression of mobility, and how ‘static’ techniques could be appropriated for subversive purposes. Broadly speaking, these follow the cycle of maps as tools of the state, their criticism, subversion, and relapse, all the while interrogating their particular mobile-immobile ontology.

Programme (pdf)

The workshop were preceeded by two preparatory master classes in coordination with the Department of History and Civilisation at EUI.

 7 June 2019, 9:30-17:30
Badia, Emeroteca

Roots of human altruism and of others forms of pro-social behavior

Organizers: Pascale Siegrist (HEC), Tatyana Zhuravleva (ECO)


Classical economic theory assumes that all economic agents are rationally selfish and maximize their life-time utility. However, in recent decades a lot of studies have appeared showing that, first, economic agents are not rational and, second, that they demonstrate other-regarding preferences in both in-group and out-group conditions.

Understanding the roots of human altruism is important in designing institutions and their associated incentives. Other-regarding preferences are fundamental to achieving and maintaining cooperation in large groups of genetic strangers and, thus, creating a state where the rights of all citizens are respected. 

The aim of this conference is to bring together the recent research on the topic and to search for answers to the following questions:

  1.  Are other-regarding preferences mainly driven by egoistic forces (reciprocity, signaling, reputation, fairness, social status) or does an intrinsic motivation towards human altruism exist?
  2. Is altruism a human trait established in the genes of any individual at his/her conception or are other-regarding preferences formed during the life of an individual? In the latter case, what conditions foster the development of human altruism? What is the role of the family?
  3. A well established fact in the psychological and economic literature (see Frey and Jegen for survey) that extrinsic incentives (both rewards and punishment) decrease the pro-social behavior of humans. On the other hand, there is evidence that pro-social behavior changes during the life of an individual. The question is, - how is it possible to foster individuals’ pro-social behavior if extrinsic incentives do not work.
  4. How did political economists, theorists and sociologists historically pose the problem of self-interest versus cooperation and how can historical perspectives inform behavioural economics and vice versa?

Programme (pdf) 

Page last updated on 11 June 2019

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