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MWP Newsletter 3 - Spring 2012
Max Weber Programme for
Postdoctoral Studies

The newsletter is published 2-3 times a year and aims to enhance the communication between the
programme and its growing community of Fellows, former Fellows and contributors to the programme.

In this issue: Fellows 2012-2013 | News from ACO | Twitter for Scholarly Purposes | French Nuclear Energy
Healthy School Lunches | History of Books| Fellows in Barcelona | Recent Events | Upcoming events
Publications | Announcements

The Max Weber Programme is Europe's largest post-doctoral programme in the social sciences and humanities. It is funded by the European Commission (DG Education and Culture) and hosted by the European University Institute in Florence where the research community of professors, researchers and Fellows provides an excellent environment for the Programme.
The Programme, open to all nationalities, is designed for junior post-docs who have received a doctorate in Economics, Law, History, Social and Political Sciences, or a related field, within the last 5 years and who want to advance in their research and academic training, in an active multidisciplinary environment, before entering the international job market, or who are in the early stages of their academic careers.

Max Weber Fellows 2012-2013

European University InstituteWe would like to welcome the Max Weber Fellows 2012-2013. The list is almost set for the coming academic year; a total of 46 Fellows have been appointed, 19 women and 27 men. The total gender balance over the 7 cohorts of Fellows looks like this: 144 female and 163 male Fellows.
The Fellows for 2012-2013 come from no fewer than 22 different countries. 26 % come from outside Europe, mainly from Canada and the USA, but also South America and India. The remaining 74 % come from Europe, and here France and Italy are the most represented in the coming academic year.
Of the 46 Fellows, 6 are entering their 2nd year, which reflects the MWP's intention to open up more 2-year Fellowships in some of the EUI departments.
The 2012-2013 Fellows were selected from a pool of candidates of 1,022, divided by discipline in the following way: ECO 228, HEC 263, LAW 125 and SPS 406.
Find out more about our incoming Fellows by reading their online biosketches. Read More

News from the Academic Careers ObservatorY
Job Market Survey reflects positive results for EUI members

By Alanna O'Malley, MWP

Alanna O'MalleyIn 2010-11, the MWP-ACO, in collaboration with the European Economic Association, the European Sociological Association and the European Consortium for Political Research, carried out separate surveys of economists, sociologists and political scientists. The survey is in two parts.
Part I analyses the sociology of each profession, assessing the respondent’s current working position. Part II focuses on the research funding experience of the respondents and on their subjective perceptions of the funding application processes. Read More

Using Twitter for Scholarly Purposes

by Serge Noiret, Information Specialist, EUI

Serge NoiretReflections following the Atelier Multimédia in Digital History held by @sergenoiret, (EUI History Information Specialist) on Wednesday 28th of March 2012 for the Max Weber Programme in Villa La Fonte. (The PowerPoint presentation of the course and the PDF of the accompanying slides are available here).
So, you use Facebook and publish your family pictures, or you write about how you feel today, what you saw at the cinema or whether your cat is pretty cool, but Twitter is not for you? 50 million tweets were sent per day in 2010 and as of Twitter's fifth anniversary in early 2011, about 140 million tweets are created per day. Experience shows that the micro-blogging software - 140 characters only available for a post - is not used like Facebook but often for very different purposes. Twitter is also something else and this "something else" is important for communicating today within professional and scientific communities. Read More

French Nuclear Energy and the 2012 Presidential Campaign

by Isabelle Guinaudeau, MWF 2011-2012

Isabelle GuinaudeauOne year after the accident in Fukushima, support for nuclear energy is growing among the French public. As shown by the election surveys TNS-Sofres TriÉlec, the proportion of those claiming to be favourable to "the production of energy through nuclear power plants" has increased by 12 points between October 2011 and February 2012. This seems paradoxical after a year marked by the novel intrusion of the nuclear issue on the French political and media agenda, which has placed the consequences of Fukushima, the reflections on the safety of the French plants and the phasing-out decided by four of France's direct neighbours at the centre of attention. In a research note, published on the website of the TriÉlec programme, Sylvain Brouard, Florent Gougou, Simon Persico and I have explored the mechanisms and reasons for this dynamic.
With over 75% of its electricity produced by nuclear plants, France is the country which is by far the most dependent on this technology. Since the creation of the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique in 1945 and the decision to produce nuclear electricity, investments in this industry have reached 188 billion Euros, following a recent evaluation by the French audit office. Since 1973, the growth in the nuclear sector has been spectacular: the increase in French electricity production (+314%) has almost resulted exclusively from nuclear electricity production, which has reached about 400 TWh since the late 1990s. Read More

Can incentives change children's lunch
choices and develop healthy habits?

by Jonathan James, MWF 2011-2012

Jonathan JamesAs a result of the rising level of childhood obesity, children's diet has become a major concern for policymakers in most developed countries. According to the World Health Organization (2002) nutrition plays a significant role in four of the ten leading risks behind disease burdens.
Still, poor diet habits are widespread and form very early on in life. How to get children to choose healthy options, and eat fruit and vegetables, is therefore an important policy concern not just for the short term health benefits that eating these items bring, but also because of the early formation of habits.
Therefore I, along with two colleagues, Michele Belot (Oxford) and Patrick Nolen (Essex), conducted a randomised field experiment which used incentives to encourage children to make healthy choices at lunch.
We ran this experiment in 46 primary schools in eleven different local authorities all over England, from Cumbria in the north west of England (which borders with Scotland) down to Brighton (on the South Coast). In most schools we ran the experiment in two classes, one from year 2, (with children aged around 6), and one from year 5 (aged around 9).
We provided temporary incentives, in the form of stickers, stationery and small toys (e.g. yoyos), to see if they could trigger long lasting changes in children's nutritional choices at lunch, specifically for boys and children from lower socio-economic status. Read More

Law Books: the Formation and
Transmission of Western Legal Culture

By Naoko Seriu, MWF 2008-2009

Naoko SeriuThe history of books appears to be one of the most innovative areas in contemporary historiography. Historians of books have challenged the views of historians of ideas, which centred on the thoughts of authors, and have paid close attention to books as material objects. An understanding of this is indispensable to be able to approach the question of how books are received. In doing so they have shed light on the various and sometimes surprising ways in which books have been read or appropriated by collective and individual "readers".
A new project at the University of Lille 2 (S. Dauchy) in collaboration with the University of Gent (G. Martyns), the University of Exeter (A. Musson) and the University of Helsinki (H. Pihlajamäki) aims to promote awareness of law books from the early modern period to the 20th century. Read More

Max Weber Fellows in Barcelona
Tailor-made teaching experiences at UPF Barcelona

by Daniel Hershenzon and Stefan Malthaner
MWFs 2011-2012

Max Weber Fellows in BarcelonaSince 2010 the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) has been part of the Max Weber Programme's teaching exchange. This year seven Fellows had the opportunity to spend a week in Barcelona, participating in teaching activities, lecturing, meeting faculty, and spending a few days at a university which is not only among the top ranked in Europe, but also conveniently located in equidistance between the marvels of Barcelona's historic centre and the Mediterranean Sea.
What characterizes the exchange with UPF is that teaching activities as well as other academic activities are "tailor-made" to fit each Fellow's disciplinary profile and research interests. For their stay in Barcelona, individual Fellows were assigned a mentor from the faculty of UPF who organized their participation in lectures and teaching seminars, as well as opportunities to meet with faculty and take part in research workshops. Read More


Recent Events

Multidisciplinary Research Workshop
Unveiling Colonialism in the Republic

organizers: Dan Lee and Inés Valdez, MWFs
14 March 2012

Unveiling Colonialism in the RepublicThe workshop "Unveiling Colonialism in the Republic" was a day-long discussion on the present controversies around Islam in France. Invited speakers Mayanthi Fernando and Carole Reynaud-Paligot offered perspectives on processes of both historical and contemporary racialization. Reynaud-Paligot reflected on the way in which the intellectual development of ideals of Republicanism developed vis-à-vis race thinking. Fernando offered a critical analysis of the French state's efforts to incorporate Muslims today, noting the way in which this process of inclusion is at the same time a process of regulation and/or construction of a particular French/Republican kind of Islam. Read More

Max Weber Lecture

by Nicola Lacey, 15 February 2012

Nicola LaceyNicola Lacey, Oxford University gave a Max Weber Lecture titled: "Revisiting the Comparative Political Economy of Punishment" in which she addressed recent attempts to understand the relevance of political forces and institutions in shaping the practice and the social meaning of punishment.
See the full abstract of the lecture here.
See part of her lecture on the MWP YouTube channel.
Professor Nicola Lacey holds a Senior Research Fellowship at All Souls College and is Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory at Oxford University. Her research interests are in criminal law, criminal justice, legal, social and political theory, biography, law, history and literature. Among other books, she is the author of A life of H.L.A. Hart: the nightmare and the noble dream.

Max Weber Lecture

by Stephan Leibfried, 21 March 2012

Stephan LeibfriedStephan Leibfried's Max Weber Lecture "Ships of State: Germany, Europe, and Beyond … Images of Political Unity for Troubled Times" dealt with the ship-of-state images that have helped foster unity and a national self-image during the formation and preservation of two successful (quasi) federal systems: Germany (1890-2010) and the European Union (1577-2012). See the full abstract of the lecture here.
See part of his lecture on the MWP YouTube channel
Stephan Leibfried is Professor of Comparative and European Welfare State Politics at the University of Bremen. His research centres on comparative studies of the development of the welfare state in Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. focusing on the changing interface between international and domestic politics, and the effects of European integration on national welfare states.

Multidisciplinary Research Workshops
"History on Trial: Bringing former Nazis to Court
in the Twenty-First Century"
7 May 2012

History on Trial: Bringing former Nazis to Court in the Twenty-First CenturyIn May 2011 a German court in Munich convicted the retired American autoworker John Demjanjuk, aged 91, of 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for serving as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during 1942-1943.
It was the first time prosecutors were able to convict someone in a Holocaust-related case without direct evidence that the accused participated in a specific killing. Read More

Upcoming Events

"Strategies of Economic Aid and Development in the Arab World, from the Cold War to the Present"
14 May 2012

During the second half of the 20th century, economic aid and cooperation in development have been crucial in shaping international politics in the Arab countries of the Mediterranean.
The Cold War was particularly important in promoting economic aid as a political and strategic tool to define relations between donor and recipient countries. It was not only used by the two superpowers and by European nations to define their position in the Arab world, but became a tool for North African and Middle-Eastern countries to pursue their own economic and political interests. Read More

"Changing Industrial Relations: Societal Responses
to Market Expansion at Multiple Levels?"
16 May 2012

Over recent decades, labour markets and their regulatory institutions in Europe have undergone profound changes.
This multidisciplinary workshop addresses the broad question of the relationship between the economy and society by looking at collective regulation of labour markets. Read More

"The Evolution of Fairness Norms"
23 May 2012

Guest speaker: Ken Binmore, ESRC Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution, University College London
Our lives are shaped by the choices we make, whether that choice is which job to take, who to vote for, or who to marry. The social sciences study why humans make the choices they do. Human choice, however, is often shaped by social interactions. And when one person's choice depends on the choices of others, the analysis quickly becomes very complex. A specific technique has been developed to study choice in this situation: Game Theory. Read More

"Roll Call Votes and Legislative
Behaviour in Democracies"
30 May 2012

Guest speaker: Gerard Roland, University of California, Berkely, Visiting Professor, EUI
Statistical analysis of roll call votes has been increasingly used to analyze voting behavior in democratic legislatures.
Given that in most legislatures, only a minority of votes are done by roll call, a concern is raised that roll call votes may give a distorted picture of legislative behaviour because of a selection bias.
We examine the extent of possible selection biases in the European Parliament by exploiting a natural experiment: since 2009, all final legislative votes have to be taken by roll call. Read More

Max Weber Lecture

with Seyla Benhabib, 16 May 2012

Seyla Benhabib, Yale University, will give a Max Weber Lecture entitled "The Future of Democratic Sovereignty and Transnational Law: Democratic Iterations, Transjudicial Conversations and Epistemic Communities"
During her visit to the MWP she will also meet with fellows for an informal workshop.
Find out more about Prof. Benhabib andread the abstract of her Lecture here.

Max Weber Lecture

with Richard Revesz, 20 June 2012

Richard Revesz, NYU Law School will give the last Max Weber Lecture of the year.
Prof. Revesz is a leading voice in the fields of environmental and regulatory law and policy, and his lecture is titled: "Three Stages in the Evolution of Cost-Benefit Analysis as a Tool to Evaluate Regulation"
Read the abstract of his lecture and find out more about Prof. Revesz by clicking this link.

6th Max Weber Fellows June Conference

13-14 June 2012

The MW Fellows' June Conference this year will take place 13-14 June 2012.
The current Fellows will present aspects of their work in various discipline bound or interdisciplinary panels; around 10 former Fellows are invited back to participate as discussants and commentators.
Detailed programme to be found soon on the MWP web pages

For more information about other upcoming events see the Activities page on the MWP website