A (Statistical) Evaluation of the Max Weber Programme
By Igor Guardiancich, Post-doctoral Fellow,
Collegio Carlo Alberto (former ACO research assistant)
The academic year 2011-12 marked the 6th anniversary of the Max Weber Post-doctoral Programme (MWP) of the European University Institute (EUI), the largest post-doctoral programme in the social sciences in Europe. Due to its size and increasing popularity – circa 40 Fellows are being admitted each year, out of more than 1,000 applicants – Ramon Marimon (MWP Director), Alexey Bessudnov (2010-11 MW Fellow) and I (Research Assistant at the Academic Careers Observatory in 2009-11) decided that it was high time we evaluated the effectiveness of the MWP to provide Fellows with the tools to successfully enter the labour market.
The passage between obtaining a PhD and being firmly anchored to a (often academic) post is widely recognized as a complex endeavor. Recent PhD graduates face a high degree of uncertainty during the first couple of years and are frequently employed in post-doctoral and other temporary positions (increasingly in the social sciences and also in the humanities). Moreover, anecdotal evidence shows that the global financial crisis has only exacerbated the problems associated with an overproduction of PhDs and, sometimes, with the mismatch between the skills of graduates and what the market requires.
As the MWP is a structured programme aimed at improving the academic and research skills of its participants, it is particularly fitting to check whether it does, in fact, facilitate this transition. Read More
Does the Investment Response to a Low Birth Weight Outcome Vary Across Families?
By Brandon Restrepo, MWF in ECO 2012-2013
Children who, at birth, weigh in at below 2500 grams – the medical definition of a low birth weight outcome – have been shown to do less well than normal birth weight children in a variety of domains. For example, low birth weight children do less well in school, have less schooling, earn lower wages, and are less likely to be employed than their counterparts who were born with a normal birth weight. Recent evidence also indicates that low birth weight children born to low-income and low-educated parents fare worse in the long run, relative to their normal birth weight siblings, than do their counterparts born to high-income and high-educated parents. Could these differential effects of low birth weight on child outcomes across socioeconomic groups be driven by differences across families in how parents allocate resources across their low and normal birth weight children?
To shed light on this question, in a recent study I examined whether there are differences by parental education and income in human capital investment responses to a low birth weight outcome. Read More
Dreaming a dream: the EU in Frau Angela's eyes and the federal twist of Europe
By Giuseppe Martinico, Postdoctoral Fellow,
Centro de Estudios Politicos y Constitucionales, Madrid Spain (Max Weber Fellow in Law 2010-2011)
On 17 October 2012 Angela Merkel advocated the introduction of a sort of EU veto over national budgets, and her statements produced a haughty reaction from many European leaders, in primis, François Hollande, while Prime Minister David Cameron did not miss the chance to stress that a deeper integration in the Eurozone implies a new “place” for the UK in the EU.
It is just the latest link in a long chain of episodes, where the German Chancellor (often referred to as “Frau Angela”), wrongly or rightly, presented her “menu” of options to get out of the crisis and gathered the comments, the ironic response (see Stuttmann, “Angela ‘Frau Fritz’ Merkel and the EU summit”), and sometimes the insults (recently condemned even by Mario Monti), in other words, the “attention” of many. Read More
Establishing a Research Centre
By Mariano Barbato, Lecturer at the University of Passau, Germany (Max Weber Fellow in the SPS Department, 2007-2008)
Coming to the Babes Bolyai University (BBU) in Cluj-Napoca/Romania as a lecturer for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), I was invited to establish a new interdisciplinary research centre aimed particularly at the university's German-speaking community, and with an ambition to establish a centre of excellence in the region.
The ZEWI (Zentrum für Europawissenschaften und Internationale Beziehungen) promotes German as a language in higher education and academic research. As one of its main aims the centre seeks to foster the academic excellence of PhD students and Post-docs with research interests in European Integration and world politics. It brings together senior and junior Fellows and also invites visiting Fellows. Currently, ZEWI has twelve Fellows. The centre also encourages promising students and pupils in their choice of studying in German, and to participate early on in activities of the centre. The objective is to enhance and support German-speaking research in South East Europe and to foster the already strong reputation of the BBU in this respect. Read More
Judicial Defiance in the European Union
Legal Order: Another European Crisis?
By Arthur Dyevre, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany (Max Weber Fellow in Law, 2007-2008)
The European Union is already in the grip of the most severe economic and financial crisis of the continent's post-war history. But as if the Euro-crisis were not enough, it would appear that national courts are set to ignite another institutional fire, threatening the very foundations of the European legal order. To be sure, although the European Union is in large part the product of judicial cooperation between the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and national courts, legal integration has by no means been free of friction. Some domestic judges, particularly those sitting on supreme and constitutional courts, have emphasised the limits of the integration process and what they regard as their constitutional red lines. The French Conseil d'Etat, the Italian and Polish constitutional courts, and, of course, the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC) have been among the most vocal exponents of the judicial resistance to integration at domestic level. In its landmark ruling on the Maastricht Treaty, the GFCC had warned that if EU institutions overstepped their mandate as spelled out in the Treaties it would declare their decisions inapplicable in Germany. Read More
Max Weber Fellowship Applications 2013-2014
As in every year, 25 October was the deadline to apply for Max Weber Fellowships for the coming academic year 2013-2014. The MWP is hence currently in the process of reviewing and selecting the eighth cohort of Fellows from of a pool of 1,120 candidates.
This year, the number of applications is very close to the record year 2011-2012 (1,139), and the applications are divided as follows by discipline, with last year's figures in parenthesis: ECO 177 (228), HEC 276 (263), LAW 156 (125) and SPS 511 (406). While between 2005 and 2010 there was a steady increase in the total number of applications from year to year, we've seen that over the last three years the numbers have been fairly stable, but with quite a bit of variation within the disciplines. Read More
The MWF Society
The MWP has recently in collaboration with former fellow Matthew Hoelle (ECO 2010-2011) and MWP collaborator Jens Hoffmeister, launched the Max Weber Fellows Society Website. The website, which has both a public and reserved part, has been created to further strengthen one of the most valued elements of a Max Weber Fellowship, namely the possibility of communication and networking across cohorts and disciplines.
The website offers a forum for all current and former Max Weber Fellows: to create their own profile, exchange ideas, share job vacancies, and maybe find a co-author. It also includes a space for the announcement of conferences, publications and other news, professional as well as personal. The idea behind it is to create a special space for interaction within the growing MWP community.
Interested Fellows should follow a few simple steps to register, after which they will have access to both the private and the public part of the website. Visit: www.mwf-society.eu
Max Weber Lecture by Lawrence Lessig
19 December 2012 at 17.00, Villa La Fonte, Conference Room
Abstract: The Nature of the Corruption that is the Government of the United States: "Corruption" evolves. Old styles become new. In this talk, Professor Lessig maps the precise architecture of the corruption that affects the United States government, and how it has debilitated America's ability to address its most pressing issues.
The speaker will be introduced by Giovanni Sartor, LAW Department, EUI and the session chaired by Migle Laukyte, MWP.
About the Speaker: Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Lessig serves on the Board of Creative Commons, MAPLight, Brave New Film Foundation, The American Academy in Berlin, AXA Research Fund and iCommons.org, and is on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award as well as being named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries
View the full list of Max Weber Lectures 2012-2013
June Conference 2013
12-14 June 2013, Villa La Fonte
The Max Weber Fellows June Conference 2013 is the 7th MWF June Conference and is intended to be a reunion conference which will look back at the first 7 years of the Programme. At the same time, it is also a sort of goodbye to Villa La Fonte, the beautiful home of the MWP, as the Programme will be moving to the EUI main building the Badia Fiesolana, at the end of the current academic year. Therefore, it will be our pleasure not only to provide a perspective of the current Max Weber Fellows' contributions to the Social Sciences and Humanities, but also to invite back to Villa La Fonte a number of former Fellows as speakers and discussants. The conference will conclude with a keynote lecture by its Director Ramon Marimon. More information to follow in the coming months — make sure to follow us on the MWP webpages, blog and FB.
For more information about other upcoming events see the Activities page on the MWP website
Academic Careers in the Social Sciences:
Entry, Competition and Advancement
7th MWP-ACO Conference
28 November 2012, Villa La Fonte, Conference room
The Academic Careers Observatory of the Max Weber Programme held its 7th annual conference, on issues confronting young researchers in the Social Sciences, on 28th November 2012. The theme of this year's conference was, 'Academic Careers in the Social Sciences: Entry, Competition and Advancement.'
The Academic Careers Observatory functions in a dual capacity, both to reflect on issues and challenges facing early-career scholars in the social sciences, and to research the evolving academic environment. The Observatory, in addition, functions as a resource for scholars on the job market, with links to job platforms and funding resources. In order to enhance its accessibility and relevance, the Observatory encourages interaction, and fosters links with the academic community on a broad basis through its research, conferences and events. Read More
Max Weber Lecture with Jo Shaw
21 November 2012
On 21 November, Professor Jo Shaw, University of Edinburgh gave the second Max Weber Lecture of the current academic year. The Lecture was titled: "Citizenship as a Space of Law"
Abstract: 'Citizenship' has been claimed by many disciplines. It can be seen, from a legal perspective, as the formal bond between an individual and a state or indeed a non-state entity such as a supranational association of states or a subnational entity within a state. From a political theory perspective, citizenship is paradigmatically about the claims of individuals and groups to political membership of a given polity. In Arendtian terms, it is about the right to have rights and to be part of the constituent power, although liberals, communitarians and critical theorists might disagree about how broadly this power should be defined and what specific rights should attach to being part of it. Sociologically speaking, citizenship is a membership space within a given society or community, filled out and given content through the interplay of multiple social and economic relations, especially those involving social and economic power. Yet despite the extent and variety of the attention given to it, or perhaps because of this, citizenship still remains in large measure a black box. Frequently invoked, but less frequently unpacked. Read More
"Exiting the Eurozone Crisis"
Multidisciplinary Research Workshop
By Thomas Beukers, MWF
On 17 October 2012 the Max Weber Programme, together with the Pierre Werner Chair of the Robert Schuman Centre, organised the second Multidisciplinary Research Workshop of this academic year on "Exiting the Eurozone Crisis". Professor Tom Cooley (NYU) gave the keynote speech on the question, "The European Crisis: Is there a way out?", and made an interesting comparison between US states and EMU countries in the two different monetary unions. Prof. Cooley did not mean to advocate that the Eurozone should take the same route as the US. Instead he drew an important lesson from the US experience, "Once you're in, you're in." In his comments on the keynote speech Professor Youssef Cassis (HEC) raised the question of what historical comparisons we should make. Should we look at design faults of EMU (short-term)? Should we look at long-term historical experience? Or can we learn from the 1930s (medium-term)? Read More
MRW "Frontiers in Intellectual Property Law"
By Sofia Moratti Baggio, Luana Joppert Swensson,
Andrea Wechsler (MWFs)
The Max Weber Multidisciplinary Research Workshop "Frontiers in Intellectual Property Law", held on 10 October 2012, was a unique opportunity to discuss the ethical, legal and economic boundaries of IP protection and to expose conflicting views on the granting of property rights for inventions and innovation.
The first session of the workshop, chaired by Michalis Rousakis, revolved around patentability, with a focus on the well-known Brüstle case as decided in October 2011 by the Court of Justice of the European Union (Case C-34/10 Oliver Brüstle v Greenpeace e.V.). In adopting a broad view on the notion of 'human embryo', the CJEU negated the patentability of a particular type of cell, developed in vitro from human embryonic stem cells and used for scientific research. Read More
European Internal Security Conference 2012
By Christian Kaunert, Adrienne Heritier, Sarah Leonard,
Helena Carrapico, Marat Markert, and Tina Freyburg
From 23 to 25 April this year, the Max Weber Programme (in collaboration with RSCAS) organized and hosted the European Internal Security Conference. This three day event, co-sponsored by the European Commission's Life Long Learning programme, brought together more than 100 participants from Europe and the US, and was the largest academic conference on this issue over the last three years. The conference was a follow-up to last year's initiative by the RSCAS and the SPS Department, expanding the thematic and organizational scope. During three days of presentations and roundtables, junior and senior academics, practitioners (DG Home, European Parliament, Council and Europol), as well as representatives of civil society (Statewatch) in the field of internal security, had the opportunity to debate past and current evolutions of EU policies in the area of criminal law and police cooperation, migration, border policies, and EU agencies in this field.
As an official term, "European Internal Security" is a newcomer at the EU level. Yet, in substance this policy field comprises a variety of existing policies and cooperation among Member States, notably Criminal Justice and Police Cooperation, Border Policies, Immigration, as well as newly emerging issues such as Cyber-security and the "External Dimension of Justice and Home Affairs". Read More
Max Weber Babies
The Max Weber Family keeps growing and we are happy to announce the birth of yet another six Max Weber Babies:
Andor was born on 7 July 2012 (son of Zsofia Barta, Fellow 2011-2012, and Robert Shum)
Jack was born on 5 August 2012 (son of Alex Street, Fellow 2011-2012, and Eleanor Jane Blitzer)
Lea was born on 16 September 2012 (daughter of Inés Valdez & Philip Rehm, Fellows 2011-2012)
Sofie Fiore was born on 26 September 2012 (daughter of Thomas Beukers, Fellow 2012-2013, and Dafna Fiano)
Paul was born on 28 September 2012 (son of Emilie Calderai, Fellow 2012-2013, and Antoine Cazals)
Mirna was born on 23 October 2012 (daughter of Ognjen Aleksic & Sarah Benelli)