Thematic Research Groups 2019-2020

The core of the Programme’s multidisciplinary activities are the Thematic Research Groups (TRG). 

TRG are organized on a multidisciplinary basis and bring together Fellows from different disciplines working on a similar range of issues. The groups meet regularly with the faculty members acting as Thematic Leads throughout the course of the academic year. The meetings of the groups will consist of presentations of work in progress and the discussion of more general research issues, such as the reading of key or recent works related to the group’s theme. All Max Weber Fellows must produce a Research Proposal and Working Paper, which they can present to their group.

Many of the Max Weber Lecturers are chosen with one of the Thematic Groups in mind, and as well as giving a lecture they are available to discuss the research of Fellows on an informal basis.

One or more Fellows from the group often do a videoed interview with the Lecturer and the Lecturers also conduct a Masterclass built around their work with the whole group.

The Thematic Research Groups for the academic year 2019-2020 are:

Citizenship and Migration

This theme has a double focus on citizenship and migration.

It looks at issues of political and legal constructions of community, boundaries and membership at local, national and supranational levels and to newest developments (empirical and theoretical) in this field. It also discusses novel trends in the field of migration  and  mobility.  Finally,  and  most  importantly,  the  theme  draws  the  link between evolving conceptions of citizenship and community with social and economic phenomena of transnationalism and of cultural diversity management in an increasingly mobile and interconnected world.

LeadsAndrew Geddes (RSC), Martin Ruhs (RSC)


Cretu Anca (HEC) 
Fargues Emilien (RSCAS)
McNamee Lachlan Andrew (SPS) 
Müller Viola Franziska (HEC)
Procter Caitlin (RSCAS)
Reijers Wessel (RSCAS)
Sigilló Ester (RSCAS)


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: Dorothee Bohle (SPS/MWP) and Gabor Halmai (LAW)


Larsen Rehling Signe (LAW) 
Murphy Karl (LAW)
Mushövel Fabian (SPS)
Onoda Takuya (SPS) 
Paniagua Maria Victoria (SPS)
Popic Tamara (SPS)
Tassinari Arianna (SPS)
Thomas Anja (RSCAS)
Trouillard Pauline (LAW)
Vasel Johann Justus (LAW)
Vranceanu Alina (SPS)
Woodhouse Eleanor Florence (ECO)
Ziolkowski Michal (LAW)

Experimental Methods in Social Sciences

This thematic group brings together social scientists from different disciplines interested in experimental methods, both in the laboratory and in the field. The idea is to explore a diversity of social issues and topics that can be studied experimentally, including for example trust and social norms, risk and time preferences, political processes, gender differences in decision-making, or inter-temporal decision making. Fellows have the opportunity to present their experimental design and results. 

Leads: Klarita Gërxhani and Michele Belot


Avril Lola (LAW) 
Battu Balaraju (SPS)
Bucca Mauricio (SPS)
Ray Ari (SPS) 
Wang Xiaoren (LAW)
Wittels Annabelle (SPS)
Zschirnt Eva (SPS)


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

This thematic area brings together cutting edge research in the areas 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, and law, as well as from related fields, and is both inter- and transdisciplinary. 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 program on Europe in the World within the Global Governance Program at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

Leads: Ulrich Krotz (RSCAS/SPS) and Corinna Unger (HEC)


Banks Elizabeth (HEC) 
D'Amato Silvia (RSCAS)
Greiner Andreas (HEC)
Hathaway Ian (HEC) 
Lott Gaia (HEC)
Wilhelm Lola (HEC)
Zeitz Alexandra Olivia (SPS)

Ideas, Concepts and Theory

This group brings together researchers with an interest in legal, political and social theory, both past and present, and those working in intellectual history and the history of ideas more generally.

The group will provide a forum for interdisciplinary exchange and dialogue between fellows concerned with various contemporary theories and their application to the assessment of public policies and practices, and those working on different aspects of past thought.

It will provide opportunities to confront different approaches and methodologies and to think about the relevance of historical study to theoretical and contemporary issues, including the nature of law, normative and metaethical theory, the relationship of law and politics to morality, or social and political philosophy.

Leads: Andrea Sangiovanni (SPS) and Ann Thomson (HEC)


Alvarez-Nakagawa Alexis Javier (LAW) 
Deschepper Julie (HEC)
Díaz Ceballos Jorge (HEC)
Kniess Johannes Eduardo (SPS) 
Gold Meira (HEC)
Grochowski Mateusz (LAW)
Jakovac Gasper (HEC)
Martysheva Lana (HEC)
Soyemi Eniola (SPS)
Tagiuri Giacomo (LAW)

Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa: Assessing the Fiscal and Monetary Framework of the EU

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: Jean Pisani-Ferry (RSCAS) and George Papaconstantinou (STG)


Diessner Sebastian (RSCAS) 
Grevenbrock Nils (ECO)

Tsiaras Stylianos (RSCAS)

Page last updated on 15 September 2020

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