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Max Weber Events by Max Weber Fellows Abstracts 2015-2016

Running Online Surveys with Nonprobability Samples

DSCN2135A workshop with Thomas Leeper (LSE)
10 December 2015, 10:00-18:00








The workshop provides an introduction to online surveys and experiments, including discussion of:

  • how to build questionnaires on three platforms;
  • methods of recruiting participants,
  • issues of reproducibility and transparency, and
  • future opportunities and challenges in web surveys. 

A fuller description of the workshop content is available at http://thomasleeper.com/websurveycourse/ .

Organizers: Paul Bauer (SPS), Maria Ines Berniell (ECO), Jonathan Chapman (ECO), Stefanie Reher (SPS)


Alan Steele Milward: Historian, Economist and Political Theorist



In collaboration with the Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre

16 December 2015, 17:00-19:00
MW Common Room





This workshop is addressed to the whole EUI community and intends to improve our understanding of key social science issues and methods through better knowledge of the work of Alan S. Milward (1935-2010).

Considering that we can hardly learn from our predecessors, because the issues we research and the methods we use are changing fast, is widespread, butmisleading. The most important issues and methods at the centre of the social science remainthe same and observing how scholars were able to combine perspectives and methods across disciplines still remains helpful in developing our own ability to do the same.

Alan S. Milward spanned several social science disciplines throughout his career, acting successively as Associate Professor of Economics at Stanford University, Professor of European Integration History at the European University Institute (1983-86 and 1996-2002), and Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In his research Alan Milward dealt with a variety of problems at the core of the social science: What is the role of economic forces in wars? Do conquests pay? What are the drivers of economic development? What are the drivers of regional integration? The work of Alan Milward can thus help us to tackle issues of interest across disciplinary boundaries. He was able to tackle such problems by studying the modern history of Europe
from World War II, but also the Industrial Revolution in nineteenth-century Europe. Using mainly the methods of historians, his studies were based on archival material. He achieved accurate descriptions of economic realities in spite of the less developed means available in his time. Furthermore, he designed his historical research in a dialogue with political theories, eager to use existing theories, but also to develop theories of his own, drawn from
his understanding of history.


Luc-André Brunet (HEC), Emmanuel Comte (RSCAS), Ricardo Estrada (ECO)

Programme available here

Interrogating the Idea of Europe: Views From North Africa. Workshop 1:

Circulation, Contact and Conflict from 16th-19th Century


21 January 2016, 13:00-16:30
Badia, Emeroteca






From the sixteenth century, when Algiers was used by the Ottoman Empire to conduct warfare in the Western Mediterranean, North Africa has been at the heart of various attempts to define European identity. This workshop will explore how North African interactions with European powers can shed light on understandings of empire as well as nationality. Rather than taking for granted that North Africa served as an “Other” of Europe, these papers reconstitute the relationships and structures that fashioned a multi-layered conception of Mediterranean space. Some of the themes that will be discussed include: What strategies did North African actors use in asserting their influence among European powers? How did they understand religious difference as well as the construction of nationalities and empires in which they were to be (unevenly) included?

Organizer: Muriam Haleh Davis (HEC)

Download Programme (PDF)

Experiments on Ethical Decision-Making

experimental decision making


28 January 2016, 10:00-13:00
Badia, MW Common Room





David Hugh-Jones: Honesty and Beliefs about Honesty in 15 Countries

The honesty of resident nationals of 15 countries was measured in two experiments: reporting a coin flip with a reward for “heads”, and an online quiz with the possibility of cheating. There are large differences in honesty across countries. Average honesty is positively correlated with per capita GDP: this is driven mostly by GDP differences arising before 1950, rather than by GDP growth since 1950, suggesting that the growth- honesty relationship was more important in earlier periods than today. A country’s average honesty correlates with the proportion of its population that is Protestant. The experiment also elicited participants’ expectations about different countries’ levels of honesty. Expectations were not correlated with reality. Instead they appear to be driven by cognitive biases, including self-projection.

Nastassia Leszczynski (with Lena Epp): Fairness concerns and corrupt decisions: 
an experimental approach

When analyzing economic behaviour, other-regarding preferences in general, and fairness in particular, are crucial elements of an individual's choice. Corruption is often associated with unfairness and implies negative externalities for society as a whole. We investigate the impact of fairness concerns on corrupt behaviour. To this end, we conduct a context-free one-shot game based on a modification of the real effort slider task by Gill and Prowse (2011), and competition for access to the real effort task. 
There are two types of players participating to the experiment: A and B. 
A-type players are randomly assigned to a poor/rich initial situation and have to carry out a real-effort task after acquiring sliders. B-type players have to distribute a limited amount of sliders to A-players. A-type players may bribe B-type players to get more sliders, and hence have the opportunity to increase their earnings with the real-effort task.

The research question focuses on the behaviour of B-type players in their attitude towards bribery attempts and voucher allocation to A-type players, i.e., do fairness concerns affect corrupt decision-making.

Organizer:  Nan Zhang (SPS)

Feminist Thought and Socialism in Eastern Europe between 1945-1989: a Global Perspective

feminism and socialism Eastern Europe


In cooperation with  HEC and the CEU Pasts, Inc. Centre for Historical Studies

Badia, MW Common Room,

11-13 February 2016



Picture courtesy of 
ZYNDOK Centar Belgrad


The main focus of the workshop is how feminist thought under state socialism in East Central Europe can be assessed from an intellectual, historical perspective. This workshop prepares a potential collaborative research project with the aim of  showing through a collection of texts and their analysis how feminism as political thought or ideology is shaped and organised in the region in different historical eras, including that of state socialism. These texts can vary from political treatise, philosophy to literary works, even films and the visual arts, with the unavoidable and inherently necessary incorporation of the personal and the private. Women’s political rights, the right to education, women’s role in nation-building, women and war ‒ and especially women and peace ‒ are just as valid themes as the gendered division of labour, violence against women, the body and reproduction.

Organizers: Zsófia Lóránd (HEC), Molly Pucci (HEC), Julija Sardelić (SPS)

Challenging Injustice: The Ethics and Modalities of Political Engagement

challenging injustice


15 February 2016, 9:30-17:00
Max Weber Common Room





Political agents are subject to, participate in, and witness, severe injustice within their states and across borders. This workshop will explore the ethics and modalities of political engagement directed against injustice. The aim is to look beyond voting, elections and the formal avenues of redress to address oppositional forms of political engagement undertaken by citizens and non-citizen residents. In bringing together the tools and methods of political science, political theory and history, this workshop will explore how different approaches can inform and support one another in their analysis of the same questions and controversies.

Simon Murray Stevens
Christine Louise HobdenCynthia SalloumGuy Aitchison Cornish.

Download the Programme (pdf)

Interrogating the Idea of Europe: Views from North  Africa. Decolonization, Development, and European Integration

Interrogating idea of Europe 2

Co-organized with the De Gasperi Centre
24 february 2016, 13:30-17:00
Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia




This workshop will explore how economic development influenced the twin trajectories of European integration and decolonization in the postwar period.  It focuses on North Africa as a prism for understanding the relationship between strategies to create a supranational structure in Europe, on the one hand, and attempts to socially and economically develop North Africa, on the other. Rather than studying colonial development and European reconstruction as separate phenomena, this workshop analyzes how modernization projects fashioned tools of expertise that were applied on both sides of the Mediterranean. At the same time, it interrogates the ways in which European integration informed the policies adopted by the newly independent nation-states in North Africa. By studying Europe and the Maghreb in a single analytical frame, the panel will shed light on the processes of decolonization and European integration as well as their role in shaping the subsequent Euro-Mediterranean partnership. 

Download the full programme (pdf)

Organizer:  Muriam Haleh Davis (HEC)

Global Leadership in Hard Times: Evidence from The Great Depression and the Great Resession

leadership in time of crisis


3 March 2016, 9:00-18:00
Badia, Emeroteca








It is often remarked that the Great Recession is the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. It is also conventional wisdom that leaders' responses were very different this time around, precisely because policymakers knew the history of the 1930s. Yet, at the same time, the widespread opinion is that global leaders are floundering. How can these conclusions coexist? Have more sustainable solutions to global financial instability been found this time? What really conditioned the responses of central bankers and finance officials then and now? How can we best understand the position and power of leaders facing crises? This conference brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore the important and contested contours and concepts of global leadership in periods of financial meltdown.

The conference will include two keynote talks: one by Professor Patricia Clavin, titled "Central Bankers' Subjectivities in the Inter-war Period" and one by Dr. David Wright titled "Are the Institutional Structures of the Global Financial Regulatory Bodies Fit For Purpose? What to Do?", complemented by presentations and discussions by researchers at the EUI. 

Professor Clavin is Fellow and Tutor in History and Professor of International History at Jesus College Oxford. She is author of Securing the World Economy. The Reinvention of the League of Nations, 1920-1946 (OUP, 2013). She was awarded a British Academy Medal for the book in 2015. David Wright has been working at the coalface of global financial regulation for most of his professional life. Most recently, he has been located in Madrid as the Secretary General of the International Organization of Securities Commissions. Prior to that appointment, he was the Deputy Director-General for Securities and Financial Markets at the European Commission, where he was responsible for European financial markets regulation. 

Whether you are a philosopher, lawyer, political scientist, sociologist or economist, we invite you to this workshop, which brings together scholars from a range of disciplines and practitioners to explore these crucial questions.

Organizers: Martina Bozzola (RSCAS). Anastasia Poulou (LAW), Jack Seddon (SPS)

Download program  (PDF)

Visualizing Data and Statistical Models


visualizing data


Richard Traunmüller (University of Frankfurt) 

17 March 2016, 10:00-18:00
Badia, Emeroteca






Data visualization is one of the most powerful tools for detecting, understanding, and communicating patterns in quantitative data. In addition to the compelling presentation of statistical results, graphs can be used as analytic tools for various purposes and at various stages of the data analysis process.

Visual methods can act as informal precursors to more complex models in the initial model-building process. But they are also useful for evaluating model fit and checking model assumptions, for selecting the best possible model, or as a substitute or complement to statistical models. At the same time, good data visualization is surprisingly difficult and demands three quite different skills: substantive knowledge, statistical skills, and artistic sense.

The workshop is intended to introduce participants to the most important principles, useful methods, and new developments of data visualization in the social sciences.  

Organizers: Paul Bauer (SPS), Maria Ines Berniell (ECO), Jonathan Chapman (ECO), Stefanie Reher (SPS)

Download the program of the workshop (pdf)

The Changing Role of Sanctions: History and Current Practice

changing role of sanctions


14 April, 9:15-12:30

Badia, MWP Common Room






National governments and international organisations have come to rely increasingly heavily on economic sanctions as a tool of statecraft during the past three decades.

Indeed, many current international issues, including Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, the war in Syria, and the Iranian nuclear programme, have been addressed in part through the use of economic sanctions, directed at states, non-governmental bodies, and individuals.

This workshop aims to bring together scholars and practitioners working in different fields – from law, political science, economics, and history – to address the role that sanctions have played as states and international organisations develop new strategies to combat current threats and respond to political crises. 

Organizers: Sylvanus Afesorgbor (RSCAS), Jed Odermatt (LAW), Simon Stevens (HEC)

Programme (PDF)


Beyond Freedom and Democracy. Ideals of Europe Seen from the Contentious Mediterranean (1980s-2010s)

rethinking europe 3

3rd workshop in the series: "Interrogating the Idea of Europe"
Co-organized with the De Gasperi Centre
27 April 2016, 15:00-18:00
Badia, Emeroteca






This workshop is the third part of the series “Interrogating the Idea of Europe: Views from North Africa.” It will explore the construction of political narratives regarding Europe on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean. By decentering the dominant perspective, the panel will provide a critical understanding of Europe as a space of cultural diversity and material opportunity. At the same time, it will also interrogate the role of the European Union after the Arab uprisings of 2010-2011, and try to understand the contradictions that characterize its action in favor of democracy and peace-making. Finally, this workshop will shed light on the transnational dynamics and strategies that shape the Euro-Mediterranean relationship, and show how the EU's normative claims have been produced, transferred, contested or reinterpreted with the active participation of the Southern neighborhood.

Download the programme (pdf)

Organizer: Muriam Haleh Davis (HEC)

Field and Lab Experiments in Climate Policy


Max Weber Programme Multidisciplinary Workshop
in Collaboration with FSR Climate (RSCAS)
Tuesday, 10 May 2016, 14:00 -18:45
Badia Fiesolana, Emeroteca






Climate change presents unique challenges to the social sciences. Reaching beyond the bounds of the natural sciences, climate change has profound implications for whole societies that necessitate interdisciplinary inquiry.

This workshop deals with the analysis of various behavioural issues in climate change policy.

In Autumn 2015, two leading figures in the field of climate change economics and policy, Prof. Martin Weitzman and Lord Nicholas Stern delivered public lectures at the EUI. Both stressed the uniqueness and the unprecedented scale of the challenge posed by climate change to humanity. A challenge that calls for enhanced investment in innovative methods for social analysis. The tools and techniques of economics need to be complemented by methods adopted in political science, sociology and psychology to better understand human behaviour and decision-making processes.

Experimental methods have recently attracted a great deal of interest. Expectations for the evidence they may be able to uncover suggest that they may help inform more effective climate policy.

Last December, leaders from around the globe met in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. COP21 is a long waited step towards tackling climate change.  However, many voices raised the idea that such an agreement will pass into history as mere play to the gallery, because it is full of (nationally determined) good intentions and empty of real binding commitments. What are the prospects for effectively implementing such an agreement?

Organizers: Martina Bozzola (RSCAS), Maria Ines Berniell (ECO), Jordi Teixido (RSCAS), Jack Seddon (SPS).

Download the program (pdf)

Data Privacy Advocacy: From Safe Harbour to the Privacy Shield

Data Privacy Advocacy:A Round Table

co-organized by the Max Weber Programme, the EUI Centre for Judicial Cooperation and the FIZ Karlsruhe-Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure 

13 May 2016, 14:00-18:00



Privacy advocates – the people and organisations that challenge the development of increasingly intrusive ways in which personal information is collected, processed and disseminated – have been behind many of the recent developments in the field of privacy and data protection regulation in the European Union and beyond.

After almost five years and nearly 4000 amendments, the new General Data Protection Regulation has been approved by the European Parliament. The judgments of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Digital Rights Ireland, Google Spain and Schrems have placed the EU rights to privacy and data protection centre stage. Additionally, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has recently taken a strong stance against unlimited government surveillance, for example in Zakharov v Russia and Szabó and Vissy v Hungary, while several surveillance complaints against the UK are currently pending before that court.

The case law of these two European Courts also has transatlantic implications as the invalidation of the Safe Harbour decision of the European Commission showed. However, in the wake of recent negotiations on new bilateral agreements with the US (the Privacy Shield and the Umbrella Agreement), many are asking whether the fundamental rights claims in Europe remain merely rhetorical. Ultimately, how do all these cases, laws and bilateral agreements relate to one another?

Organizers: Guy Aitchison (SPS), Anna Beckers (LAW), Jed Odermatt (LAW), Bilyana Petkova (LAW)

Download the program (pdf)

The Power of Narratives: Demarcating Belonging with New Approaches

power of narratives

co-sponsored with the Global Governance Programme (RSCAS)

16-17 May 2016

Villa La Fonte, Conference Room





"Stories are wondrous things. They can also be dangerous" said Cherokee-Greek-American writer Thomas King in his renowned Massey Lectures 'The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative'. 

This workshop explores how narratives are constructed, contested, shaped, and reshaped; how some narratives become hegemonic while others are abandoned and eventually forgotten. Narratives can be especially decisive when they contribute to demarcating who belongs to a certain community and who is excluded from it. This workshop looks at case studies in Europe, North America and the Middle East and focuses on how new narratives of belonging transform and define the boundaries between those included and excluded. It explores to which extent new narratives are being used to reinforce old exclusions and whether new narratives are creating cleavages in societies that hitherto did not experience them.

New discourses appealing to gender equality and the rights of sexual minorities, as well as to the overall discourse on human rights, are increasingly being used, or rather misused, to label and stigmatize certain marginalized minorities and migrants, such as those belonging to Muslim and Roma minorities. Concepts such as nativism and autochthony are increasingly being used to explain transformations in the contours of belonging in Europe and beyond.

The workshop starts with a critical analysis of how new xenophobic discourses addressing particularly Muslims, but also other migrants whether from within or outside the European Union. It continues with a focus on narratives mobilised to make sense of the refugee crisis in the former Yugoslav countries and in the Middle East. It concludes with a focus on the counter-hegemonic narratives of minority actors themselves and how they try to construct different narratives to make sense of the migration phenomenon.

The workshop includes papers on changing narratives of 'belonging' and how they re-define outsiders and recreate the community of 'We'.

Organizers: Aitana Guia (RSCAS) and Julija Sardelic (SPS)

Download program (pdf)

Still Exceptional? Nordic Countries Constitutional Tradition in the 21st Century

nordic constitutions


16-17 May 2016
Badia, MW Common Room






An established wisdom in the field of comparative constitutional law is that Nordic constitutionalism has always been exceptional. According to this truism, this family of countries – consisting by most accounts of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – has traditionally exhibited different properties than the other Western traditions of constitutional law. 

In a nutshell, constitutional law and courts have been less central to the public life in these countries and the constitutional "language" was understood as more akin to a professional language than as part of the political discourse. Yet, recent developments both in the legal realm (such as the rise of influence of the CJEU and the ECtHR) and outside of it (the growing number of immigrants and refugees) are presenting new challenges to Nordic countries' place as an exceptional constitutional law tradition.

The conference aims to examine whether in reacting to these developments, Nordic constitutionalism has lost its exceptional character. If Nordic countries still maintain a unique tradition of constitutional law, the conference will aim to examine whether other countries facing similar challenges can learn from the Nordic exceptional 


Or Bassok (LAW), Ida Ilmatar Koivisto (LAW)

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The Rise of International Courts: Normative and Sociological Approaches

 rise of international courts
17 May 2016, 8:45-18:00
Badia, Theatre








This multidisciplinary workshop examines the rise of international courts and tribunals (ICs) and the underlying international legal system from a normative and sociological standpoint. The workshop centers around the question of what makes, if anything, the ICs and the international legal system legitimate. Normative and sociological theory scholars offer different responses to this question, but hardly discuss it together. However, a number of normative theorists interested in the legitimacy of ICs tend to assume that not all ICs can be assessed with the same overarching normative theory. The assumption alone, in the vein of the "turn to practice" in political theory , depends on both legal and sociological considerations. Therefore, normative theorists cannot roll over contextualization and may in fact benefit from sociological approaches for their own prescriptive endeavors. 

Conversely, sociological approaches to international law shed light on the specific and embedded rationalities at play in the work and around the ICs. As such, they are reluctant to idealizing their analysis of the ICs in the vein of political theory. However, pointing to internalized norms and various forms of conflict, power and domination in and around ICs itself presupposes a normative framework in virtue of which those patterns can be identified. Yet sociologists often resist making their normative framework explicit, whereas normative theorists make it their top priority. The workshop therefore aims at exploring how both disciplinary perspectives can mutually inform each other in assessing the same and rapidly evolving object of study. It welcomes both abstract and more applied papers on the role of ICs and the nature and structure of the international legal system.


Guy Aitchison (MWF, SPS) Sabine Mair (Researcher, Law) Bilyana Petkova (MWF, Law) Alain Zysset (MWF, Law)

Download the program (pdf)

Transformation of Europe, 25 years after - A Conversation between Prof. M. Wind, University of Copenhagen and President Joseph Weiler



18 May 2016, 11:00-13:00
Badia, Theatre





In 1991, Joseph Weiler, then a Professor at Michigan Law School, published an article in Yale Law Journal titled "The Transformation of Europe." This Article became one of the cornerstones for discussions on the EU.

In 2011, twenty years after the article was published, several prominent scholars have gathered to assess the article's insights in view of the changes that have occurred since its publication. Their contributions are forthcoming in a book edited by Marlene Wind and Miguel Maduro.

Twenty five years after the publication of the Article, the conversation between Wind and Weiler will focus on two main themes. First, we will discuss the Article's main contributions to current debates as well as examine which insights that it offered stood the test of time and which did not.

Second, political scientists offered a somewhat different perspective on the transformation of Europe and through examining Wind's extensive work on the EU we will attempt to shed a different light on current debates.

Both speakers will also offer their insights as to what makes a scholarly contribution stand the test of time. The conversation will be moderated by Bruno de Witte and will be followed by a Q & A from the audience.

Oganizer: Or Bassok  (LAW)

Download program (pdf)


The Forgotten Legal Realists: Alf Ross and Scandinavian Legal Realism


alf rossCo-organized with the Legal Theory Forum (LAW)

18 May 2016, 14:00-16:00

Villa Schifanoia, Sala Triaria






Contrary to their American "cousins," Scandinavian legal realism has been relatively forgotten. Alf Ross's work – one of the leaders of this movement – is almost completely ignored.

In a typical class on jurisprudence, Ross's work is rarely discussed while American legal realism is usually very much at the center of discussion. Yet, in recent years, a renewed interst in his work has risen. In view of this interest, a new translation of Ross's most famous book On Law and Justice is forthcoming as part of Oxford University Press Series of legal classics.

Professor Jakob v. H. Holtermann, who wrote the analytical introduction to this new translation, will offer a workshop on Ross and Scandinavian legal realism and its relationship to American legal realism. Holtermann will also discuss his forthcoming article Getting Real or Staying Positive: Legal Realism(s), Legal Positivism and the Prospects of Naturalism in Jurisprudence.


Or Bassok (MWF Law), Marcin Baranski (LAW Researcher) 

Introduction to Text Analysis

text analysis


Workshop organized by the Quantittive Methods Working Group
19 May 2016, 10:00-18:00
Badia, Seminar Room 4





The popularity of text as data is increasing rapidly within the social sciences. "Scholars have long recognized this, but the massive costs of analyzing even moderately sized collections of texts have hindered their use in political science research" (Grimmer and Stewart 2013) and elsewhere in the social sciences. This situation has changed with increasing computing power and more capable computing tools. In the coming years, the relevance of text data will further increase as more and more human communication is recorded online.

This workshop provides an introduction to text analysis using R. We will cover methods to conduct quantitative analysis of textual and web data, with an emphasis on social media data, applied to the study of social science questions. The workshop is made up of three "modules", each consisting of an introduction to a topic followed by examples and applications using R. The first module will cover how to format and input source texts, how to prepare the data for analysis, and how to extract descriptive statistics. The second module will discuss automated classification of text sources into categories using dictionary methods and supervised learning. Finally, the third module will discuss unsupervised classification of text into categories using topic modeling.

This workshop will be led by Pablo Barberá. He is currently a Moore-Sloan Fellow at New York University and will join the University of Southern California as Assistant Professor in July. His primary research interests include social media and politics, quantitative political methodology, electoral behavior, and political representation. Pablo Barberá is the author of several R packages to collect and analyze social media data using R, regularly analyzes text for his research, and has taught a number of courses in this area.

Organizers: Paul Bauer (SPS), Maria Ines Berniell (ECO), Jonathan Chapman (ECO), Stefanie Reher (SPS)


Download program (pdf)

The Political Economy of Regulation


20 May 2016, 9:00-18:00
Badia, MW Common Room






The global financial crisis has called into question the suitability of pre-crisis modes of financial regulation and raised broader concerns over the political considerations underlying government support for the financial system. The near collapse of a number of prominent international financial institutions, the economic downturn that followed, and the use of public funds to bail out bankrupt banks has prompted widespread demands for 'better' market regulation. New regimes of regulation for financial markets have been developed that seek to tackle systemic risk, to constrain financial excesses, and to ensure stability and ongoing profitability in global financial markets. 
Yet the regulation of markets and of the economy more broadly is much more diverse, much more subtle, and much more complex than popular debate over post-crisis reform might suggest. In this workshop, we will examine some ideas and practices of market regulation, both historical and contemporary, from a number of different disciplinary perspectives. Regulation is considered in the broadest possible sense, encompassing an array of different forms of government activity including economic and monetary policy, institutional structures, the use of self-regulation in banks and hedge funds, and the design of legal regimes, national, international and transnational. 

Organizers: Jonathan Chapman (SPS), Silvia Calo (RSCAS)

Download program (pdf)

Computational Social Sciences (CSS): New Frontiers of Collaboration?



25 May 2016, 15:00-18:00

MW Common Room




How can we develop innovative and robust methodological frameworks in order to understand complex social phenomena? Recent developments in the field of computational social science (CSS) approaches substantially enlarge the existing methodological techniques for the establishment of causality and, consequently, for the better understanding of our social world. CSS approaches can help vastly expand the span of our research inquiries. There is a growing need to analyse the increasing number of digitally available text collections.

This workshop's aim is to bring together CSS experts and social scientists to improve the dialog between the two communities. Social scientists have questioned the applicability of CSS methods to explain social phenomena. It is important to make clear that CSS approaches do not comprise alternative methodologies. Rather they are complementary with the ones currently used in social science research. They aid researchers in the social science fields to improve and reinforce their methodological arsenal. This workshop's ambition is to inform social scientists about the new opportunities offered by CSS techniques, and CSS experts of the needs and challenges of social scientists. This dialog can help the formation of robust methodological frameworks and the improvement of theoretical building.

Organizers: Guillemette Crouzet (HEC), Ioannis Galariotis (SPS), Olivia Nicol (SPS)

Download the program (pdf)

Designing Legitimacy in International Organisations

international organizations

7 June 2016, 9:00-18:00
Badia, MW Common Room







This workshop aims to bring into conversation political science and legal perspectives on the design of legitimacy in international organizations. 
Our point of departure is the observation that the literatures on the (rational) design of international institutions and on institutional legitimacy have much to offer each other but rarely interact directly. While the rational institutionalist research program has much to say about institutional design, it implicitly reduces legitimacy to institutional effectiveness and so forgoes interesting avenues of research opened up by the institutional legitimacy literature.
Scholarship on legitimacy, in contrast, questions the relative importance of output (institutional effectiveness) vs. input or procedural fairness as sources of legitimacy. However, the institutional legitimacy literature is ambivalent about how legitimacy can best be designed and whether, empirically, legitimacy is primarily a matter of input, throughput, or output factors. 
Against this background, the workshop aims to explore, from different disciplinary perspectives, how insights from (rational) institutional design and institutional legitimacy can be combined to enhance our understanding of international organizations.

Organizers: Gisela Hirschmann (SPS), Tobias lenz (RSCAS), Ida Koivisto (LAW), Lora Viola, Jean Monnet fellow, EUI

Download the programme (pdf)

Foreigners, Frontiers and Legal Frameworks



21 June, 9:00-17:30
Badia, MW Common Room






This multidisciplinary workshop project seeks to contribute to ongoing debates about frontiers, migration, and legal frameworks by bringing together expertise and research interests from across the Max Weber Programme and beyond. Given the current relevance of this theme, we aim to draw on historical, legal and social science approaches in order to stimulate a conversation across academic disciplines, which have often tended to consider these questions in isolation.

Organizers: Adele Carrai (LAW), Simon MacDonald (HEC), Cynthia Salloum (SPS), Peter Daniel Szygeti (LAW), Cecilia Tarruell (HEC)

Download the programme (pdf)

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