Max Weber Programme Thematic Research Groups

researchthemesIn 2014 the Max Weber Programme introduced a number of Thematic Research Groups to provide an interdisciplinary forum for Fellows to present their on-going research, including the compulsory working paper and draft research funding application that they must complete over the year, and participate in and help organise multidisciplinary research workshops and conferences. Many of the Max Weber Lecturers have been chosen with one of the thematic groups in mind, and as well as giving a lecture they will be available to discuss the research of Fellows on an informal basis and will take part in a workshop built around their work in the context of one of the thematic research groups.

These thematic groups were arrived at inductively, on the basis of the research proposals of the candidates selected according to three criteria:          

       1. their Academic accomplishments and potential;

       2.  their research proposal; 

       3.  the availability of the EUI faculty to provide mentorship.


The six Thematic Groups selected for the 2014-2015 academic year are:

Governance, Constitutionalism and Democracy

This theme addresses national, transnational and supranational political systems in both democratizing and established democratic systems. It looks at issues of political equality, the shift from government to governance, and the relations between law and politics. It combines empirical and normative analysis, and perspectives from history, political science and law.

Leads: Ruth Rubio Marin (Law) and Richard Bellamy (MWP)

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Citizenship and Migration

This theme explores the changing boundaries of citizenship brought about by migration. It examines the issues raised by this development from legal, political, sociological, historical and economic perspectives, and the various relations between these different dimensions. It also studies such novel transnational statuses as European citizenship, and the impact of regional economic areas more generally. It looks at how far increasing demands for multiple citizenships and the rise of multiculturalism are impacting the way citizenship is defined legally and politically, the historical precedents for such changes, and their economic causes and consequences.

Leads: Rainer Bauboeck (SPS) and Laura Downs (HEC)

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Legal, Social and Political Theory and the History of Thought

This theme brings together researchers with an interest in normative theories of law, politics and society. It looks at both contemporary and past theorists and theories within different Western and Eastern traditions. The theme offers a unique occasion for exploring and comparing a range of different methodologies and traditions, and investigating the complex relations between social, legal and political theory and their different histories.

Leads: Dennis Patterson (Law), Richard Bellamy (MWP),  Ann Thomson (HEC)

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Inequality and Efficiency in Education and Labour Markets

The theme brings together economists, sociologists, political economists, economic historians and lawyers with an interest in the empirical study of the trade off between inequality and efficiency, both at the micro and societal level. It explores this issue in the areas of education and the labour market, based on age, gender, socio-economic background, ethnicity with specific reference to the relation between various dimensions of inequality, efficiency and different institutional arrangements across countries and over time. It compares the key questions that are put forward in the different disciplinary fields and looks at the different research designs employed to address them.

Leads: Fabrizio Bernardi (SPS) , Andrea Ichino (ECO)

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Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa: The Design and Governance of Monetary and Fiscal Policies and Financial Regulation in the European Union

This theme is inspired by the work of Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa (1940-2010), a central banker and Minister of the Economy and Finance in Italy (2006-08). He is often credited as the father of the European single currency. The theme brings together economists working on monetary policies, international macroeconomics and finance, economic historians, political economists, and lawyers interested in financial regulation and constitutionalism, to explore issues in these broad areas in which Padoa-Schioppa worked and wrote.

Leads: Pepper Culpepper (SPS), Richard Portes  (Padoa-Schioppa Chair, RSCAS)

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Europe in the World: Foreign Relations, International Security, World Politics

This thematic area brings together cutting edge research in the fields of international relations, international security, and world politics, all broadly defined. It seeks to integrate theoretical and conceptual insights with empirical research and political or historical relevance. It involves projects  from the disciplines of international relations, political science, history, law, and related fields, as well as inter- and transdisciplinary undertakings. While the cluster focuses on the EU and or one or more European states, it also embraces innovative projects investigating other geographical regions or states or otherwise engaging with world politics, as well as comparative research. The sorts of topics likely to be explored include: Europe’s role and place in the emergent world of 21st century global politics; Europe’s foreign relations broadly, including the EU’s or European states’ evolving relations with the major and emerging powers (including the U.S., China, Russia, India, Brazil), as well as regional and global international organizations;  foreign, security, and defense policy; the impact of the grand shifts and continuities in international affairs on Europe itself.

The foreign affairs—international security—world politics thematic area is hosted by the programme on Europe in the World within the Global Governance Program at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

Lead: Ulrich Krotz (SPS/RSCAS) 

Page last updated on 04 September 2019

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