EUI MWP Newsletter 10
Winter 2016

Welcome to the Winter 2016 issue of the
Max Weber Programme Newsletter

Feature Articles

Martina Bozzola and Jordi Teixidó-FiguerasParis wrote a new page in the progress of human society, on this occasion by dealing with the widest climate change agreement ever produced. Last December, leaders from around the globe met in Paris for the 21st Convention of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. 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 a new show for the gallery; it is full of (nationally determined) good intentions and empty of real binding commitments. An African proverb says that until the lion has her own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story. Probably, the same applies to the Paris climate agreement, depending on who tells the story the agreement is either pronounced a triumph or a announced missed opportunity. Perhaps both are right.

The Hunter: Paris has been a success for many reasons. Among them, history will record COP21 as the world's greatest diplomatic success on climate change so far. The Agreement includes a wider spectrum of countries than its predecessor in Kyoto. If only 38 countries agreed then, the so called Annex I countries, Paris got 195 countries involved, representing more than 90% of total carbon emissions. Among them, China, with 27% of global emissions and the US with 17%. The agreement will also be remembered for the growing engagement of the private sector and other non-state actors, and the recognition that the contribution of the private sector is essential to the success of the goals set by the COP21.

This wide support in Paris is certainly a good piece of hunting; a necessary step forward in the climate action that we need. The sink capacity of the atmosphere is one of the few things in life that is equally distributed among countries, all countries have the same access to it. When some countries have agreed on some carbon reduction, while others have not, it is easy to find that some carbon emission reductions may be explained by increases in other countries. This is not necessarily explained by polluting firms moving to other countries with lower environmental standards; rich countries have experienced structural shifts in their economies in recent decades, moving from an industrial basis to a more service based production system, yet importing many carbon embodied goods. These are the issues that in fact explain part of the result in the Kyoto agreement: despite the fact that the 38 countries achieved a -12% reduction, far beyond the -5% targeted, the world as whole increased its emissions by almost 50% (from 1990 to 2011). In this regard, having the whole world involved in the climate action is undoubtedly a basic condition to keep world emissions low, not only the emissions of some countries.

Paris agreed to keep the earth’s temperature “well below 2º C” by 2100. This is also a big game hunt as it makes climate policy consistent with what climate change actually is: a stock problem as opposed to a flow problem. This means that the reduction of annual emissions is a necessary condition but not a sufficient one. The Paris agreement acknowledges the balance needed between carbon emissions by sources and removals by carbon sinks of greenhouse gases. Indeed, climate change is about accumulated emissions in the atmosphere. Aiming the climate agreement towards the stabilization of the earth’s temperature makes the policy more consistent with the real problem.  

Another valuable piece in the agreement is the recognition of equity issues. Probably influenced by having so many countries involved, Paris “resolves to enhance an urgent and adequate finance, technology and capacity building support by developed countries” to enhance climate action by developing countries. Furthermore, the financial resources provided have a concrete sum; from a floor of US$100 billion per year aimed at the needs and priorities of developing countries, including adaptation and mitigation. This is for many the most important piece of the agreement. One of the main barriers that climate policy usually needs to overcome is the high level of world economic inequality. Global climate change action has historically collided with the so-called right to development; leveling the playing field in this regard is certainly in the spirit of the Paris agreement.

The lion. Despite its intrinsic uncertainties and unknowns, it is recognized that climate change will have a stronger impact on some countries than others, and within countries it will harm poorer households. Climate change can be seen, in fact, as a game with losers and winners: it is unequal in its impact and in its origin. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, despite their small contribution in historical emissions, will see their food security (even more) threatened as the earth’s temperature rises and the strength and frequency of extreme weather events increase. From this perspective, the agreement’s main flaw is in its flexibility and its trust in voluntary contributions.

The COP21 agreement is based on the so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), an outline of climate actions that countries intend to take under the new agreement; its submission was almost the only binding commitment undertaken in Paris. All countries agreed to submit a plan of emissions reductions, but no mechanism was agreed to enforce their implementation; it is all left to the hope of an – already long awaited – virtuous cycle. In other words, Paris reached an agreement the effectiveness of which can be hindered by the avoidance of binding commitments, putting countries' good will in its place. Yet relying on the good will of countries, which is quite an assumption, the INDC are not enough to fulfill the 2ºC target, as the very agreement recognizes. If all parties did what they say they voluntarily will, the global temperature would rise up to 2.7ºC- 3ºC, a level beyond a safe and livable climate.

Some of the climate actions documented in the INDC are conditional on receiving economic compensation. This also depends on the parties’ good will; such lack of detail in economic compensation may involve redirecting existing funds rather than bringing in new money. Indeed, the echo of those voluntary US$100 billion dollars in economic compensation for the poor diminishes when compared to the US$5.3 trillion global subsidy (direct and indirect) to the fossil fuel industry, an estimate by the International Monetary Fund for 2015 alone.

Altogether, from the lion’s perspective, the agreement does not deal with the urgency needed given the gravity of the issue. Climate migrations and wars for the control of even scarcer natural resources may make world governance even more complicated if climate change is not addressed. However, avoiding climate change may require a radical shift from the current social production mode, and COP21 agreement required actually all the contrary.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions but we’ll never find a rainbow if we are looking down.


Ioannis GalariotisOne of the fundamental aims of political scientists is to develop robust methodological frameworks in order to explain, understand and critically assess political phenomena. The discipline of establishing causality among dependent and control variables has been deemed for years the key theme of dispute, but also of theoretical/methodological elaboration, in the political science literature. Recent developments in the field of computational social science (CSS) come to substantially enlarge the existing methodological techniques for the establishment of causality and, consequently, for the better understanding of political phenomena.

Despite the wider critique that approaches in computer science receive from the social scientists’ camp, regarding their applicability to explain social phenomena, it is fair to make clear that CSS approaches do not comprise competitive or alternative methodologies to those in existence and usually used in political science. Instead they have to be perceived as complementary, in the sense that they aid researchers in the social science fields to improve and reinforce their methodological arsenal. However, problems of communication and understanding between the researchers in the two disciplines – political science and computer science – have left them unable to realize that they have common knowledge to share for the formation of robust methodological frameworks and the improvement in building theory.

My first research article as a Max Weber Fellow (2015-2016) at the Department of Political and Social Sciences deals with the issue of how the citizens of the EU member states conceive the EU as a global security actor and what their perceptions and sentiments are about the EU security and defence policy. Do the citizens of the EU member states feel convinced (and/or angry) about how the EU behaves in world affairs? And, to what extent can the EU be conceived as a global security actor by its own citizens?

Eurobarometer surveys comprise one of the most reliable sources we have in our hands to estimate the perceptions of EU citizens with regard to the issue of EU security and defence policy. Whatever the estimated methods being used by the Commission to track public opinion, there are powerful computational sentiment techniques that have been tested in various disciplines (such as within the marketing and business fields) in order to trace and estimate the sentiments and perceptions of public opinion with regard to a particular issue. These sentiment analysis methods are part of a wider methodological bundle of natural language processing techniques and CSS approaches.

To estimate and examine the perceptions and sentiments of the citizens of EU member states, this paper will use data from Twitter regarding the role of the EU in the recent Ukraine crisis. Millions of tweets in the English language will be explored and analyzed, from the period February to April 2014, when Russian troops invaded the Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea, leading to the annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March 2014. Although data stemming from Twitter may be characterized as biased, given that Twitter is most commonly used by specific fragments of society, such as the younger population of European societies and/or politicians, experts and journalists, such data allow us to explore a large number of observations, which is usually impossible via more traditional methodological approaches due to cost and time limitations. In addition, Twitter data permits us to estimate often neglected parts of society that do not participate in traditional surveys or do not have the option to become part of a social science survey. In this sense, I argue that data stemming from Twitter are more representative of the EU population and, at the same time, give us a broader picture of EU member state societies that participate actively in the construction of the European political discourse.

My future research agenda focuses on the examination of the evolution of the EU as a global security actor through a large-scale, multi-source study based on the use of advanced CSS approaches. Drawing on a vast amount of textual data from a rich variety of sources and exploiting a wealth of research instruments stemming from CSS methods (more specifically, automatic content analysis, topic modeling, named-entity recognition and sentiment techniques), I will try to identify the dominant discourse and the major events that have played a significant role in the formulation and determination of EU security and defence policy. In addition, I will attempt to recognize the dominant beliefs and the correlated discourse the citizens in foreign countries (like the USA, Russia and China) have constructed with regard to the EU as a global security actor. To do so, I will create a large event database, capturing events that occurred in the timespan of the last twenty years and which are related to the phenomenon under study. All entities (people, organizations and locations) involved in these events, as well as the sentiments and emotions expressed, will be captured and coded in a knowledge network facilitating the exploration of perceptions concerning the EU as a global security actor.


Christophe GermannThis is a summary of the theory outlined in the paper “Menschliche Vielfalt im Lichte der Friedensförderung - Cosmopolis unter einem Schleier des Unwissens um Gruppenzugehörigkeit”, Archive for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy 2/2015; see also

Birth of human groups and death of human diversity

When individuals come together for the first time to create a new religious, political, national or any other type of human group there is typically a lot of diversity of human expressions that these individuals bring into such initial assembly. The members of such a gathering will progressively settle divergence and even conflicts among themselves by internally reducing this diversity. Their constitution or normative foundation will, for example, define in more or less arbitrary ways the human expressions that are compatible with what is being construed as the substance and procedures of the human group in formation. For example, a religious group will determine its rituals, symbols and other forms and content by selecting certain human expressions and excluding others, such as cross versus star, Old versus New Testament, church towers versus minarets, the status of women and men, circumcision, the veil, monogamy, prohibition of eating pork or beef etc. The same applies to a political, ethnic, national or any other human group. Legal, social and collective moral norms are human expressions whose primary purpose is to manage ‘vicinity’ between individuals and groups within a given space and time.

The usual pattern followed by the members of a new human group consists in constitutionalizing their association by elaborating principles or basic rules that shall govern its functioning. Two or more groups will tend to manage their respective diversity of human expressions via rules of behaviour based on customary practice or contracts, e.g. for states by way of international law or, in the case of the integration of various groups (fusion) or disintegration, new constitutional law. 

There are two forms of peace: negative peace that is achieved at the expense of human diversity, that is the absence of conflict caused by the uniformity of human expressions, and positive peace that is founded on the diversity of human expression. This latter peace is arguably more sustainable than the former, which remains constantly threatened by those individuals and groups whose human expression is muzzled by dominant groups. Repression of the diversity of human expressions is a main cause for the tension and conflict challenging peace between and within human groups.


Consistency under VIGA and the rebirth of human diversity

A pattern that applies to all types of human groups regarding the way they manage the diversity of human expression in combination with peace can be outlined as follows:

D: Level of diversity of human expression (‘diversity’ as opposed to ‘uniformity’)
P: Level of peace (‘peace’ as opposed to ‘conflict’)
IP: ‘Imagined Position’ under the veil of ignorance regarding human group affiliation (VIGA)
RP: ‘Real Position’ with unrestricted information on human group affiliation and on relative strength of such human groups
CP: Coherence point where IP = RP
CG: Coherence Gap

In a first stage that I call the ‘Imagined Position’, the individual defines her position on peace related human diversity under a veil of ignorance of her own group affiliations. More precisely, the veil of ignorance in the Imagined Position limits the individual's information on the relative strengths of the human groups to which she belongs, that is the strengths of these groups in comparison to the strengths of groups of which she is not a member. The relative strengths refer to all situations in which these groups are in interaction with each other (cooperation or competition) in terms of human activities.

In a second stage labelled as the ‘Real Position’, this same individual defines her position with knowledge of her own group affiliations.

In a third stage, this same individual will assess the coherence between her Imagined Position and her Real Position by taking inspiration from the good faith principle preventing inconsistent behaviour, which international and some national positive law articulates in the concepts of ‘estoppel’ or ‘non concedit venire contra factum proprium’.


Sustainable peace beyond the sectapolitan order

When a new human group such as a political, religious, national or ethnic group is created, there is typically a high degree of diversity of human expression and, actually or potentially, little domestic peace. The group will tend to reduce conflicts by increasing uniformity (RP from higher D to lower D and from lower P to higher P). In contrast, under the Imagined Position (IP) under the veil of ignorance regarding group affiliation, the group will seek to increase equally both diversity and peace (IP from lower D to higher D and from lower P to higher P). IP and RP meet at the Coherence Point (CP). From that point on, the coherence gap between RP and IP increases more or less sharply.

For nation-states, prior to CP, we find the territory of a normative system that I coin the “sectapolitan order”, which is conditioned by constitutional law for domestic affairs and international law for foreign relations and which provides the prevailing framework to balance and manage diversity and peace both internally and externally. Beyond CP, we enter the field of the cosmopolitan system under a veil of ignorance on group affiliation (VIGA). This new order goes beyond a mere arbitrage between diversity and peace by increasing both elements without significant trade off. RP shows the “sectapolitan” tendency, whereas IP demonstrates the new cosmopolitan approach. Now, if there is a Coherence Gap (CG), the individual can try to move HP up to CP2 via the elaboration of new norms aimed at protecting and promoting a higher degree of human diversity and more peace. In this case, she contributes to making the new cosmopolitan order. In contrast, under the existing sectapolitan order, she will contribute to elaborating further social and legal norms (constitutional law on the domestic level and international law in relations between states) aimed at trading human diversity against peace in order to find a new Coherence Point at CP1 that may result in more peace, but less diversity.

Any assembly of individuals can achieve coherence between IP and RP by adopting a common normative language, for example under a “contrat social”, in order to move CP to CP1 under a sectapolitan order or to CP2 under a new cosmopolitan system.

The purpose of VIGA is to provide an instrument to allow for the development of principles of peace related human diversity. The HP line/curb starts with high diversity (little uniformity) and little peace (high rate of conflict) whereas the OP line/curb starts with little diversity and peace (high degree of uniformity and conflict) and ends up with a high degree of diversity and peace. Human groups can regroup among themselves, which will lead to a similar pattern as observed when individuals assemble in a new group: harmonization of human expression causes a decrease in the diversity of this expression and, in the most extreme cases, this tendency leads to complete uniformity. On the other hand, when a group disintegrates, the diversity of human expression will tend to increase.

States assert autonomy in their domestic affairs and independence in their external relations based on the claim of the monopoly of violence that ultimately determines their very existence. The sectapolitan order consecrates for the state a monopoly or exclusive right both to impose peace and to negate it vis-à-vis any type of human group, including other states. The way by which sectapolitan law deals with human diversity, which remains essentially arbitrary, conditions the four main types of political regimes a state can adopt and that range from anarchy via liberal and authoritarian systems to totalitarian rule. This self-defining monopoly or exclusive right constitutes both the driving force of the sectopolitan order and its ultimate confinement. A new cosmopolitan order under VIGA, in contrast, is not bound by these limitations. Its driving force relies on the individual or collective coherence test that can challenge any kind of monopoly of violence if it is not protecting and promoting peace related human diversity.


Pork CutsToo many political leaders are banking on politicizing migration today. Culture has become a fertile battlefield. Food represents familiarity and safety. Eating is a daily activity that connects parents to their children, to their schools, and to their extended families. Social life in Southern Europe revolves around food and food rituals.

Donna Gabbacia, a historian of the American immigrant experience, explains that the “choices people make about eating are rarely trivial or accidental. Food is a central concern of human beings in all times and in all places.”

Marine Le Pen’s Front National (FN) knows it.

Unsavoury School Meals

In 2015, the FN mayors of the south-western town of Arveyres and the Burgundy town of Chalon-sur-Saône ruled to eliminate the so-called “substitute meals” for students with religious dietary restrictions. In practice, that meant eliminating the no-pork options from the menu. “Pork or nothing,” a Muslim French nurse and mother was told by her City Hall just outside of Paris.

While these measures are justified as a strict defence of secularism, a way to fight “le communatarisme,” or as a cost-cutting measure, the French Socialist government has condemned these moves for “taking Muslim children hostage.”

France is a European exception in trying to accommodate the religious dietary restrictions of Muslim children. Some cities in the United Kingdom offer halal menus to children and Spanish schools offer no-pork or vegetarian options. Neither of these measures is uncontroversial. In the United Kingdom and Denmark, some animal right supporters oppose Muslim and Jewish ritual slaughter practices as inhumane.

In Spain in late 2014, dozens of Muslim parents removed their school children from the school canteen in the Valencian town of Alzira. They demanded a halal menu for their children. No-pork and vegetarian menus, which they had been guaranteed for the previous 9 years and which is also offered to Muslims in prisons and hospitals throughout Spain, were no longer enough. The school, city, and regional administrations argued that nowhere in Spain are halal menus offered to Muslims in the care of state institutions and that no-pork or vegetarian menus already guarantee the rights Muslims where given in the State-Islamic Commission of Spain Agreement signed in 1992.

Mariachiara Giorda, professor of the history of religions at Milano Biccoca, and her project Benvenuti in Italia wanted to solve food controversies by designing a “universal menu” that could accommodate most dietary restrictions of religious minorities in Europe.

“Eating together has a long history of symbolizing peaceful acceptance among peoples of differing cultures,” Gabbaccia reminds us. Jean-Paul Beneytou, the mayor of Chilly-Mazarin – representing Nicolas Sarkozy’s right wing Les Républicains party – conveniently followed the lead of the FN and eliminated the no-pork menu from schools. Beneytou argued that “it is important that everyone be served ‘the same’ food.” Rather than thinking of a universal menu, Beneytou insisted that “living together” requires eating pork. Devout Muslim parents are unlikely to acquiesce. The FN is thus indirectly promoting the establishment of private Islamic schools in France, a measure which has all the ingredients to become a recipe for disaster.


Pork Supremacy

Using pork to attack Muslims has been a staple of European radical right parties. The Italian Northern League and the Flemish Vlaams Belang have eaten pork in public in contested places, for instance on the site of a planned mosque, to signal that Europeans must eat pork. Pig heads, pig urine, bacon slices, and live pigs have been used against mosques in Europe.

What’s this? “Gastronomic racism,” “Gastronationalism,” “Culinary xenophobia”?

Perhaps “pork supremacy” is more appropriate – and it’s nothing new in Europe.

The flavours of frying lard and pork stew were equated with Christianity in medieval times. European inquisitorial bodies used the eating of pork as a sign of true conversion to Christianity on the part of Jews and Muslims. For Christian conquerors in the Iberian Peninsula, the smell of frying with olive oil, encountered in the Southern province of Andalusia, indicated false conversion.

Cooking with pork and displaying salami or jamón (cured pork meat) was a safe strategy for new converts to demonstrate their true allegiance and avoid encounters with the Inquisition. Today, displaying jamón is still a national sport in Spain. Pork was an enticement to, and a sign of, true conversion. “Lard and jamón converted more Jews to Christianity than did the Inquisition” [Más judíos hizo cristianos el tocino y el jamón que la Santa Inquisición].

Today, the protagonists of Somali-Italian Igiaba Scego’s short story “Salsicce”, or the Catalan-Amazig Najat El Hachmi’s The Last Patriarch, feel the pressure to eat pork in order to prove their sense of belonging in Italy and Spain to their co-workers and neighbors.


Local Food First

In 2010, the Italian Northern League launched the campaign “Sì alla polenta, no al couscous” (We want Polenta, not Cous Cous) in order to “protect local specialities from the growing popularity of ethnic cuisine,” argued Luca Zaia, Lega Nord Minister of Agriculture from 2008 to 2010.  

According to Gabbaccia, food “provides arenas where particularly rapid cultural accommodations between natives and newcomers can occur.” The Lega Nord was thus trying to prevent natural fusion and mixing.

The Lega Nord promoted a series of local bans on foreign food. In the small town of Citadella, Treviso, it succeeded in banning Kebab stores from the walled city centre; in Trieste, curry chicken, kebab, or cous-cous has, by law, to be sold together with northern specialties like polenta or musetto. Compare these with the kebab frenzy that has taken place in Berlin, where “the city is over the döner. The variety of Mid-Eastern meat sandwich in the capital is now basically infinite.”

A growing appreciation of food among those who distrust Genetically Modified Foods and large agribusiness, and who want instead to support local food and the 100-mile diet, is also fuelling local and regional pride, which can easily be used by nativists against “foreign cultures”. Unless, of course, locavores and pro-diversity agents find common ground. Visual artist Leone Contini is questioning the dichotomies local/global, autochthons/allochthones, native/foreign in his TuscanChinese project.


The Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean culinary traditions are, however, much larger than pork. There is plenty to choose without the need to exclude gastronomic minorities. Mohammed Chaib, former member of the Catalan parliament, proposed using the Spanish omelette, a popular dish made with egg, onion and potatoes, as a national symbol that could unite all but vegan Spaniards. The other contender as a national food, the controversial jamón, would of course exclude all non-pork eaters and environmentally minded omnivores.

In the Tuscan tradition, at least half of the regional specialties to try when visiting Florence are pork free and many of them would even entice vegans. Bistecca alla fiorentina (steak), lampredotto (cow’s stomach stew), crostini toscani (chicken liver on toasted bread) are good for all omnivores, as long as animals have been slaughtered following ritual practices. Lard from Colonnata is only for real pork lovers, while panzanella (bread salad), ribollita (bean and vegetable stew), and pappa al pomodoro (bread with tomato sauce) are universal dishes. Would it be un-Tuscan to serve universal dishes at schools and leave pork for the private sphere?

In 2015, the World Health Organization made waves in Spain after suggesting that red and processed meat were linked to cancer. Jamón lovers took print and online fora by storm and confirmed their commitment to meat, claiming jamón as if it were a human right. We’ve lost the memory of it being a privilege and a rare treat merely three generations ago. Today it is a daily staple in most Spanish households.

Meat, however, is a luxury item with high environmental costs. By thinking of pork not only as a right, but also an obligation to be consumed by minorities in Europe, we are deepening the environmental and health challenges we currently face. If we were to return to the days when we mostly followed a Mediterranean diet, with pork and meat as indulgences for rare occasions, Europe would become a more inclusive society for vegans, vegetarians, and non-pork eaters without being any less European for it.


Masaaki Higashijima and Ryo NakaiPolitical scientists have long debated whether democracy is compatible with multi-ethnic societies. Although the unique virtues of modern democracy, such as checks and balances and freedom of speech, have contributed to preventing an ethnic majority from oppressing minorities, we also know of many instances where democratic competition fueled ethnic antagonism, provoked deadly riots, and even dragged countries into bloody civil war. This dark side of democracy is often observed in the developing world where both institutional constraints and political transparency are still fragile but where electoral competition exists, like in India, Burundi, Kenya, South Africa, and the Deep South United States in the 19th century (to name a few). In post-communist Europe, ethnic issues have also been increasingly playing an important role in electoral competition.

In our article recently published in Studies in Comparative International Development, we explore when and how democratic competition strengthens ethnic identities in the public. In democracies, political parties spend their resources on presenting their policy packages, providing public goods to the public and cultivating supporters. If ethnic parties are powerful, they propose ethnically exclusive policy platforms and patronage distribution aimed at attracting votes from their co-ethnics. Exposed to such ethnic mobilization, voters are more likely to identify themselves as members of their ethnic groups. We hypothesize that people are more likely to strengthen their ethnic identities as democratic elections get closer, but only in party systems where political parties are able and willing to organize large-scale ethnic mobilization during election campaigns.

Specifically, we theorize that there are two causal pathways through which ethnic parties strengthen the ethnic identities of their co-ethnics – mobilization and polarization. The mobilization effect is straightforward: when an ethnic party holds rich political resources to mobilize their co-ethnics, the party can carry out extensive, effective election campaigns on the eve of elections, which encourage co-ethnics to identify with their ethnicity as the election date approaches. In addition, we also contend that as an unintended consequence such ethnic party mobilization also polarizes citizens’ identities: since ethnic parties escalate exclusive ethnic mobilization by discriminating against members of other ethnic groups, out-group members are more likely to recognize this mobilization as a political threat that will undermine the interest of themselves and their own ethnic groups. This fear leads to strengthening ethnic identities of out-group members and thus bringing about ethnic polarization at elections.

Electoral Mobilization, Ethnic Parties, and Ethnic Identification

Figure 1: Electoral Mobilization, Ethnic Parties, and Ethnic Identification

Note: Shaded and dotted areas are 95% confidence interval.

We test our theory of ethnic identification on a case study of Latvia as well as survey data analysis of the five waves of the Baltic Barometer, which includes approximately 18,000 respondents from the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) from 1993-2004. We focus on the Baltic republics where the countries provide an excellent laboratory to test our hypotheses because of a large variation in the strength of ethnic parties, clear-cut majority-minority structures, the timing of elections, and the degree of ethnic identification among citizens across countries and over time, while controlling for numerous confounding factors, such as electoral systems and historical experiences. The survey data analysis robustly supports our theoretical expectations on the timing of elections and party systems (see Figure 1). First, the closer the timing of a survey to a parliamentary election, the more likely citizens are to identify with their ethnicity, as long as ethnic parties are powerful and thus occupy a majority of seats in parliament (mobilization effect). The mobilization is consistently observed regardless of whether ethnic parties are based on majority or minority groups; the effect of ethnic majority parties is 2.14 times stronger than that of ethnic minority parties. Second, we also find that electoral mobilization by ethnic majority parties also tends to strengthen ethnic identities among members of ethnic minorities, and vice versa (polarization effect).        

The case of Latvia serves as an illustration to process-trace the causal mechanisms. Latvia is a multi-ethnic society of ethnic Latvians and Russian speaking minorities, and both ethnic majority and minority parties have been active and retained a strong influence in politics. Ethnic politics has characterized Latvia’s national politics for the many years since its independence from the Soviet Union.

The biggest ethnic majority party, the For Fatherland and Freedom/ Latvian National Independence Movement (TB/LNNK), and a Russian minority party Harmony Centre (SC) have played a leading role in Latvian politics (Now they are known as the National Alliance, after having formed an alliance with radical far-rightists.). Both the TB/LNNK and SC (and their predecessors) have highlighted ethnic issues as a strategy to win elections. For example, in October 2010 when a general election was held, the TB/LNNK promoted an ethnic agenda by collecting signatures and calling for an ethnically driven referendum on language law, which turned the electoral battle to their advantage. Our content analysis of newspapers also demonstrates that the number of rallies, protests, or demonstrations mobilized by TB/LNNK tends to dramatically increase around election time. On the other hand, the ethnic minority SC party financed a historical memorial event to elevate Russian ethnic consciousness; the number of participants in 2010 was three or four times larger than is usual when this annual event is held in non-electoral periods. In addition, the party seems to have offered material benefits for ethnic Russians in the capital city Riga. All of these anecdotes illustrate efforts by the ethnic parties in Latvia to mobilize their co-ethnics’ political support for the upcoming elections, leading to a strengthening of ethnic identities. As a result of this ethnic outbidding, the TB/LNNK party succeeded in increasing its vote share, while the SC also successfully became the second largest political party in parliament after the general elections.  

Our research suggests that electoral mobilization of ethnic parties is one of the main processes of constructing ethnic identities in new democracies. Once strong ethnic parties emerge or political parties come to pursue more ethnically exclusive policies, their political appeal may deepen ethnic cleavages among citizens at the time of elections, often resulting in riots, protests and state repression along the lines of ethnicity. Such vicious cycles of ethnic polarization may escalate some day to the point where political bargaining is next to impossible without violent means. For competitive elections to be an institution for resolving political conflicts in ethnically divided societies, governments may need to complement electoral competition with other principles of liberalism that aim to protect citizens’ political freedom, such as checks and balances and media consciences carefully screening hate speeches and radical ethnic discourses. Without such institutional backup, competitive elections may bring ethnic antagonism and a violent confrontation, increasing and exacerbating serious ethnic cleavages in the public.



We are now in the final stages of what is the hardest task of the Max Weber Programme, that of processing the applications for next academic year and selecting the Fellows. As the tables reveal, we continue to receive a high number of applications from all over the world, with 1106 applications from 95 countries.  Although there was a slight decrease in applications to HEC, SPS and RSCAS, which hitherto have all seen steady growth, ECO and LAW, which had been slowly falling, increased this year. So, as ever swings and roundabouts.  Therefore, entry to the programme remains highly competitive, with around a 4% chance of success. While we are still awaiting responses from all the applicants who have been offered a place, if all accept we will have 25 countries represented in the Programme next academic year. As usual, we receive slightly more male than female applicants, though our offers tend to be more or less 50:50 – indeed this year we made slightly more offers to women than to men.  Although the details still need to be confirmed, we may also have a number of Fellowships sponsored by particular states, as was the case with Greece this year. For the coming year, we are finalising such arrangements with Poland and Slovenia. We are hoping this additional sources of funding will increase our capacity to offer two year Fellowships in the future. Meanwhile, we also have a growing number of Fellows funded by external funders, such as the Academy of Final or the Swiss Research Council.  

In other news, as they say, the next Academic year will see a further change in the Programme as we move once again to Villa Paola in the grounds of the Badia and preparations for the transfer are already under way. It is also my pleasure to  welcome Francesca Grassini as the new ACO Research Assistant  following her very successful period as an intern with us last year.Sadly, we must also say farewell and  good luck to Sarah Simonsen, who leaves us to become the administrator of the Economics Department. We shall greatly miss her and wish her all the best in her new position. I hope to have an update on both the move and the MWP administrative team by the next newsletter.

Tables on application and offers of award 2016-2017

Figure 1:
The numbers of a global and diverse post-doctoral programme


Figure 2:
The numbers of a global and diverse post-doctoral programme


Figure 3:
The numbers of a global and diverse post-doctoral programme


Figure 4:
The numbers of a global and diverse post-doctoral programme


Figure 5:
Distribution of offers of awardby Thematic Group


Call for papers10th Social Issues for Social Sciences Conference, “Dimensions Of Equality, Effectiveness And Efficiency - Past And Future”, 8-10 June 2016, Badia Fiesolana, San Domenico di Fiesole

At the annual June Conference of the Max Weber Programme the research of current Max Weber Fellows (MWFs) is brought together with the recent work of former MWFs. The conference offers an interdisciplinary perspective on economic, historical, legal, political and social debates in research and academia, with an emphasis on inequalities and exclusion around gender, sexuality, ethnicity, citizenship, race and religion. It is a forum that fosters inter-cohort academic collaboration and cross-institutional exchange. Hence, we invite applications from current and former MWFs, as well as other early-career postdocs (within five years of obtaining their PhDs) who currently hold EUI Jean Monnet Fellowships or Marie Skłodowska-Curie grants at either the EUI or elsewhere.

One of the bedrocks of the Social Issues for Social Science conference is its cross-disciplinarity. During the 2015/16 academic year, the Max Weber Fellows have been exchanging ideas in the context of six thematic research groups, each of which is represented by a section at the June conference. For each section we welcome papers or posters – both theoretical and empirical ‒ that respond to the topics listed below from an economic, historical, political, sociological or legal perspective:

  1. Challenges to the understanding and governance of economies: causes, consequences and solutions
  2. Citizenship and migration within and beyond crisis: new challenges or old issues?
  3. Challenges to democratic legitimacy and institutional design in a globalizing world
  4. Europe and the world: international relations, globalization and encounters 
  5. Determinants and consequences of inequality
  6. Methodological encounters

Important Dates:

Deadline for abstract submission
Please submit an abstract of no more than 200 words and complete the submission form.

Decision of the Scientific Committee announced

Registration deadline for presenters
A final version of the paper must be submitted upon registration.

We look forward to welcoming presenters to the EUI. The conference package will include lunches, a BBQ dinner and organised social activities.
MWF Alumni unable to obtain conference funding from their current institution are encouraged to apply for one of the available grants by clicking the appropriate box in the abstract submission form.

Section Calls

Section 1:
Challenges to the understanding and governance of economies: causes, consequences and solutions
Economies are complex beasts: over recent years we have witnessed dramatic changes in macroeconomic aggregates, in the behaviour of agents within economies, and in the way we understand, describe and regulate the economy. At the same time the links between the social, political and legal spheres and the economy have become ever more salient. The papers in this section explore these phenomena. Contributions from every discipline are welcome, to offer insight into the current debates and to strengthen the interdisciplinary understanding of how economies work and interact with other social, political, legal and historical phenomena.

Section 2:
Citizenship and migration within and beyond the crisis: new challenges or old issues?

In recent years Europe has witnessed the phenomena of forced migration, represented in the media as either a “migrant crisis” or a “refugee crisis”. As a result of these developments both public and academic debate has revolved around the theoretical and practical challenges that have been presented because of the refugee crisis: from the question of open borders and global inequality to multicultural policies and a reassessment of territoriality, but also to new narratives of inclusion and exclusion as well as diversity. However the question remains: are these challenges particularly new or are we readdressing pre-existing issues that are now in a new format? This section invites papers from a wide variety of disciplines that are (re-)addressing the challenges that surround citizenship and migration. It especially encourages applications from scholars focusing on global perspectives or inequality connected to citizenship and migration.

Section 3:
Challenges to democratic legitimacy and institutional design in a globalising world

The new types of governance emerging in a globalizing world are often questioned both for their legality and for their legitimacy. The rise of executive power, the judicialization of politics, the influence of transnational expert networks and the predominant role of the market pose a challenge to the democratic principle in the EU and its member states. Citizens experience infringements of their civil and social rights, without being able to successfully hold the responsible actors accountable. This is often translated into a distrust of international and supranational structures as a whole, or even into extremism and nationalism. Should this be seen as the result of a failure of particular policy choices or as symptomatic of a deeper systemic failure of institutional design? Can civil society actors offer a remedy? How should we conceptualize legitimacy today? We are interested in exploring the legal, political, historical and sociological dimensions of the challenges to democratic legitimacy in the following contexts (though this list is not exhaustive): financial crisis, international organizations, immigration, minorities, welfare state, security and privacy, human rights, citizenship and global constitutionalism.

Section 4:
Europe and the world: international relations, globalisation and encounters: past and future

In the last century Europe’s relations with the world and its role in the global world order were challenged. The two World Wars, the Cold War and the decolonisation process have shaken the supposed long-established European domination over the World and what is problematically called “European identity”. In the European Union project, local actors and countries have tried to invent a new economic and political role for a geographically complex continent, divided up until the early 1990s. The recent economic crisis, the European debt crisis, the rise of the Islamic State and the Arab Spring have revived the debate on a potential leadership position for Europe and on its duties as a humanitarian and military power.

In this section, we invite papers ‒ from all the disciplines ‒ that interrogate European colonisation and imperialism since the 15th century, Europe’s political, economic and cultural relations with the world in the long run, Europe’s transnational connections and encounters with extra-European actors, or the history of European integration.

We hope to put together panels in which we reflect on Europe’s quest for leadership in the new world order, its policies of leadership and partnership, but also on the fundamental question of the political, economic and geostrategic definition of this complex geographical space called “Europe”, with multiple borders in the making. We hope to address the issues surrounding an old “continent” facing new challenges.

Section 5:
Determinants and consequences of inequality

In this section, we welcome submissions of applied papers that analyse the determinants and the effects of inequality on health, education and labour market outcomes. We are particularly interested in the following topics, though the list is not exhaustive: the role of family, school, ethnicity, social protection, the welfare state and the effects of policy interventions; the role of history, economic growth, development and political institutions; and the measurement of income inequality and its consequences on labour, education, health and political participation.

Section 6:
Methodological encounters

It is an often frustrating, however just as often enlightening activity, to look up from the methodological frames of our work and be confronted with other approaches. Talking across methodologies is a difficult element of interdisciplinary dialogue, as the Max Weber Fellows themselves often experience it. The diversity of methodologies with which social, political and historical phenomena are assessed and analysed is, however, one of the most fascinating elements of the humanities and social sciences. In this section, we welcome submissions with a methodological focus, aiming at a dialogue between and across disciplines and methods.

Scientific Committee:
Silvia Calò (MWF RSCAS), Maria Adele Carrai (MWF LAW), Guillemette Crouzet, (MWF HEC), Zsofia Lorand (MWF HEC), Bilyana Petkova (MWF LAW), Anastasia Poulou (MWF LAW) and Julija Sardelic (MWF SPS).
For more information please visit the conference website  or contact


Workshop on Designing Legitimacy in International OrganizationsThis workshop aims to bring into conversation scholarship on the rational design of international institutions with that on institutional legitimacy. Our point of departure is the observation that these two strands of literature have much to offer each other but rarely interact directly.

While the rational institutionalist research programme has much to say about institutional design, it focuses primarily on problems of cooperation rather than on problems of legitimacy. The rational design literature – to the extent that it considers legitimacy at all – operates on the implicit assumption that effectively designed international institutions will also engender widespread legitimacy, i.e. generalized or diffuse support of its ends and means (e.g. Koremenos et al 2001; Haftel and Thompson 2014). This position essentially 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. Recent work, for example, posits legitimacy as an indispensable component of institutional authority; authority exists when subordinates recognize an international organization’s right to rule (Lake 2010; Zürn, Binder and Ecker-Ehrhardt 2012). Relatedly, the sociological literature on organizations points to the importance of congruence between the social values associated with or implied by an organization’s activities and the norms of acceptable social behaviour in the larger social system of which they are part (Dowling and Pfeffer 1975; Meyer and Rowan 1977).

Despite these insights, 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 (Buchanan and Keohane 2006: 409; Esty 2006; Gent et al. 2015; Koppell 2010; Take 2009; Zürn and Stephen 2010; Nullmeier, et al. 2010; Steffek 2015). The growing literature on empirical legitimacy is conflicted over whether an IO’s procedures or its performance is more important for legitimacy (Zürn and Stephen 2010; Eisentraut 2013; Binder and Heupel 2014), or if we need to focus attention instead on throughput legitimacy (Schmidt 2013). Finally, recent empirical literature has even cast doubt on the extent to which the “right” design facilitates the recognition of an IO as legitimate (Delmuth and Tallberg 2014).

In line with these observations, the workshop aims to explore how insights from rational design and institutional legitimacy can be combined to enhance our understanding of international institutions. In particular, the workshop aims to explore the following questions:

  1. How do IO design and legitimacy interact?
    1. What design strategies can be used to enhance institutional legitimacy? Which designs are best matched to which legitimacy problems?
    2. How can we empirically assess the effects of institutional design elements on legitimacy? What do empirical studies tell us about the relative importance of different theorized sources of legitimation?
    3. When and why might strategies for enhancing legitimacy through design undermine the achievement of legitimacy?

  2. How and when is IO legitimacy independent of design?
    1. Why do similar institutional designs have varying levels of empirical legitimacy in different contexts?
    2. What factors independent of design are critical for explaining variation in institutional legitimacy?
    3. Under what conditions can international organizations successfully seek legitimation in the absence of changes to their institutional design? i.e. through practices or discourse, by cultivating connections to civil society, etc.

The workshop will be held at the EUI on 7 June 2016. If you would like to present a paper at the workshop, please submit a 300 word abstract (including your name and affiliation) to one of the organizers by 25 February 2016.

Gisela Hirschmann,
Tobias Lenz,
Lora Viola,


New Thematic Research Groups in 2016-2017A dynamic cluster of research does not sit still! There are going to be changes in the Thematic Research Groups (TRG) of the Programme in the academic year 2016-2017. The TRG on “Governance, Constitutionalism and Democracy” will give way to two new exciting forums for interdisciplinary research:

  1. Diversity and Unity: Federalism and Subsidiarity in Economic, Legal, Political, Social and Historical Perspective led by Richard Bellamy (Director MWP) and Thomas Grundmann (LAW): This theme seeks to bring together researchers from all four of the EUI’s core disciplines interested in developing an interdisciplinary dialogue about the different ways, both empirically and theoretically, diversity and unity can be combined  from a federalist or a subsidiarity perspective.  Different models of federalism and subsidiarity have been proposed for managing both the economic diversity of the Eurozone within the unity of a common currency, to the many different forms of combining diverse religious, ethnic, linguistic, and material values and preferences within a single legal, political and economic unit. Topics suitable for this group might include discussion of how markets operate as mechanisms for uniting sellers and buyers offering and possessing a diversity of  products and preferences; diversity and unity within multicultural societies; studies of different types of federalism; and the governance of the EU as a mechanism for combining unity with diversity, among other issues.
  2. Legal, Political  and  Social  Theory:  Historical  and  Contemporary
    led by Richard Bellamy (MWP), Nehal Bhuta (LAW), Ann Thomson (HEC): This group brings together researchers with an interest in legal, political and social theory, both past and present. Themes will include the nature of law; justification and legitimacy;  normative  and  metaethical  theory,  including the  relationship  of  law  and politics   to   morality; social   and  political   philosophy   and   their   application   to   the assessment of public policies and practices. The group will provide a forum for interdisciplinary exchange on these and similar themes, and dialogue between those interested in various contemporary theories and/or the history of ideas.

More on the groups at:


The Max Weber Programme on the Move AgainThe EUI is playing musical chairs next year and the Max Weber Programme will move from the centuries old cloister of the Badia to the homely environment of the newly refurbished Villa Paola.

More on Villa Paola:


Podcasting is the New Academic Broadcasting!

According to a recent article in The Guardian podcasts are growing in popularity and podcasting is perfect for people with big ideas. There is no shortage of great thinkers on the Max Weber Programme, both resident and visiting, so we have started our brand new podcasting section in our Blog.

We are still small podcasters but have big plans!

Check out our podcasts at


The Max Weber Programme video archive on YouTube keeps growing.

Follow the links and watch MW Lectures, interviews and occasional talks published in the current academic year.

Max Weber Lectures

Martin Weitzman (Harvard University)
21 October 2016
Silvana Patriarca (Fordham University)
18 November 2015
Peter J. Katzenstein (Cornell University)
9 December 2015
Daniel Cohen (Paris School of Economics)
20 January 2016

Interviews by Max Weber Fellows

Martina Bozzola (RSCAS 2015-2016)
interviews Martin Weitzeman
(Harvard University)
21 October 2015
Gisela Hirschmann (SPS 2015-2016)
interviews Peter Katzenstein
(Cornell University)
9 December 2015
Silvia Calo’ (RSCAS 2015-2016)
interviews Daniel Cohen
(Paris School of Economics)
20 January 2016
Nan Zhang (SPS 2014-2016)
interviews David Laitin
(Stanford University)
21 January 2016

Occasional Talks

David Laitin (Stanford University)
21 January 2016


In the MWP Blog Fellows have the opportunity to address current affair and academic issues in post format.

Follow the links to the post published in the current academic year:

Katharina Lenner (RSCAS Fellow 2015-2016) and Bashar Al-Khatib, “Alternative voices on the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan”

Katharina Lenner (RSCAS Fellow), “Unwanted and Refugee: No Current Prospects for Syrian Refugees in the Arab Neighbouring States”

Anna Beckers (LAW Fellow), “The VW scandal: A view on corporate self-regulation and the law”

Emmanuel Comte (HEC and RSCAS Fellow), “The Formation of the European Migration Regime, 1947-1992”

Florian Stoeckel (SPS MW Fellow 2014-2016), “Europeans and their views on European economic governance”


Upcoming Events

Feminist Thought and Socialism in Eastern EuropeBadia, MW Common Room, 11-13 February 2016

In cooperation with the CEU Pasts, Inc. Centre for Historical Studies, Budapest and the Department of History and Civilization of the EUI

Contact: Zsófia Lóránd, MWF in HEC,

The history of feminism under state socialism in Eastern Europe is just as contested as the entire history of the relations between socialism and feminism. Arguments vary from claims that socialist regimes in this region between WWII and 1989 were feminist (state feminism, communist feminism), to statements that there was no feminism under state socialism whatsoever. This workshop is multidisciplinary in the sense that the sources it focuses on belong to a wide range of disciplines and genres, from politics to the arts and literature, to party documentation. Moreover, the issues it raises about state and society, human rights and democracy versus authoritarianism may be of interest to scholars from other disciplines. 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. We also find it important that the PhD researchers of the EUI can share their ideas with the Max Weber Fellows and our guests; therefore the scope of the workshop is opened up towards social and political history too.

The programme is open to the entire EUI community.

Workshop Programme


Sarah Birch17 February 2016, Badia Fiesolana, 17:00-19:00

In recent decades, the politics of electoral reform has revolved mainly around the implementation of democratic electoral principles rather than around the principles themselves. This means that electoral authoritarian leaders tend to employ forms of electoral abuse that entail giving unfair advantage to pro-regime electoral competitors, rather than excluding either voters or competitors from the electoral arena altogether. When such regimes become weakened, they tend to ramp up forms of manipulation that favour pro-regime political forces. This deterioration in election quality often serves as a focal point which mobilises both domestic and international pressure for electoral reform, as the erosion of established electoral rights generates grievances. Under the right circumstances, such mobilisation can lead to step changes in the quality of elections. This suggests that improvements in electoral integrity commonly follow increases in fraud, in a one-step-back-two-steps-forward pattern which is in several ways quite distinct from existing understandings of the relationship between elections and democratisation. This model, which I term the 'electoral tango', has implications for how we evaluate and address electoral malpractice in the contemporary.


Upcoming Max Weber Lectures

  • 16 March 2016
    Reva Siegel, Yale University
    TRG: Law, Governance, Constitutionalism and Democracy (1)
  • 20 April 2016
    Maristella Botticini, Bocconi University
    TRG: Inequality and Efficiency in Education adn Labour Market
  • 18 May 2016 
    Philip N. Pettit, Princeton University
    TRG: Governance, Constitutionalism and Democracy (2)
  • 15 June 2016
    Rogers Brubaker, University of California (UCLA)
    TRG: Citizenship and Migration

Titles will be available closer to each event

Check it out at


Multidisciplinary workshops

  • "Challenging Injustice: The Ethics and Modalities of Political Engagement"
    15 February 2016, 9:00-18:00 
    Badia, MWP Common Room
    Organizers: Christine Hobden (SPS), Cynthia Salloum (SPS), Guy Aitchison (SPS), Simon Stevens (HEC)
  • "Interrogating the Idea of Europe: Views from North  Africa. Decolonization, Development, and European Integration"
    Co-organized with the De Gasperi Centre
    24 february 2016 (Session 2 of 3), 15:00-18:00
    Villa Salviati
    Organizer:  Muriam Haleh Davis (HEC)
  • "The Changing Role of Sanctions: History and Current Practice"
    2 March 2016, 14:00-18:00
    Badia, MWP Common Room
    Organizers: Sylvanus Afesorgbor (RSCAS), Jed Odermatt (LAW), Simon Stevens (HEC)
  • "Global Leadership in Hard Times"
    3 March 2016, 9:00-18:00 
    Badia, Emeroteca
    Organizers: Martina Bozzola (RSCAS), Anastasia Poulou (LAW), Jack Seddon (SPS)
  • "Quantitative Methods Working Group: VIsualizing Data and Statistical Models"
    17 March 2016, time tbc
    Organizers: Paul Bauer (SPS), Maria Ines Berniell (ECO), Jonathan Chapman (ECO), Stefanie Reher (SPS)
  • "Interrogating the Idea of Europe: Views from North  Africa"
    Co-organized with the De Gasperi Centre
    19 April 2016 (Session 3 of 3), 15:00-18:00
    venue tbc
    Organizer: Muriam Haleh Davis (HEC)
  • "The Power of Narratives: Demarcating Belonging with New Approaches"
    16-17 May 2016, 9:00-18:00
    Villa La Fonte
    Organizers: Aitana Guia (RSCAS), Julijia Sardelic (SPS)
  • "Quantitative Methods Working Group: Introduction to Text Analysis"
    19 May 2016, time tbc
    Badia, Seminar Room 4
    Organizers: Paul Bauer (SPS), Maria Ines Berniell (ECO), Jonathan Chapman (ECO), Stefanie Reher (SPS)
  • "The Political Economy of Regulations"
    20 May 2016, 9:00-18:00
    Badia, MWP Common Room
    Organizers: Silvia Calò (RSCAS), Anna Elizabeth Chadwick (LAW), Jonathan Chapman (ECO), Elena Esposito (ECO), Nuno Palma (HEC), Jack Seddon (SPS)
  • "Frontiers, Foreigners and Legal Frameworks"
    21 June 2016, 9:00-18:00
    Badia, MWP Common Room
    Organizers: Adele Carrai (LAW), Simon MacDonald (HEC), Cynthia Salloum (SPS), Peter Daniel Szygeti (LAW), Cecilia Tarruell (HEC)


Upcoming Conferences

  • 9th JMU-MWP Symposium, 18 April 2016,
    MW Common Room

Organizer: MW Fellow Emmanuel Comte (HEC-RSCAS)

  • 10th Social Issues for Social Sciences Conference
    8-10 June 2016,
    Badia Fiesolana

Scientific Committee: Julija Sardelic (SPS), Petkova Bilyana (LAW), Adele Carrai (LAW), Guillemette Crouzet (HEC), Silvia Calo’(RSCAS), Anastasia Poulou (LAW), Zsofia Lorand (HEC)

Details and Programs will be available closer to the events
Check them out at


Past Events

MW Lecture by Martin Weitzman (Harvard University), "Why is the Economics of Climate Change so Difficult and Controversial?", Badia Fiesolana, 21 October 2015

Summary brief by Martina Bozzola (RSCAS 2015-2016) and  Jordi Teixidó  (RSCAS 2015-2016)

With an exciting and timely lecture titled “Why is the Economics of Climate Change so Diff cult and Controversial?” Professor Martin Weitzman opened this academic year’s Max Weber Lectures at the European University Institute on 21 October 2015.

The lecture gave a brief general overview of the economics of climate change, with emphasis on why this particular application of economic analysis presents special – almost unique – challenges to the economics profession.

Prof. Weitzman walked the audience through some of the most important unknown unknowns, of which the field of climate change is full. By starting with one of his favourite quotations Prof. Weitzman made clear the context of this field: when you change the system (institutions, policies etc…) in one way or another, something can go (terribly) wrong, especially those things that we don’t envision going wrong. The quote, by Nassim Taleb, goes as follows: “Black Swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: it is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable than it was”.

This is in a nutshell the reason why the economics of climate change is such a fascinating but frustrating subject, as even the most prepared economists in this field cannot come up with answers to key questions, such as how much to spend and what exactly to do in the case of climate change.

Professor Weitzman refers to climate change as uniquely a public good problem: 1. global, 2. long term, 3. irreversible and 4. uncertain. Notably, dealing with climate change implies dealing with deep structural uncertainties and an inability to exclude catastrophes. The best way to treat those uncertainties is still an open question among economists and policymakers. Climate change implies immense time scales of centuries and millennia, which is difficult for people to conceptualize. Furthermore open questions remain, such as how, and at which rate, should economics models discount distant-future events.
Some of the most controversial questions related to the economics of climate change were discussed: how to project or predict the costs associated to dealing with climate change? This is made even more difficult by the difficulties in predicting technological change. What is the damage caused by climate change, and what is the best way to estimate it? How to calculate the welfare impact of climate change? Climate change also has irreversible elements including CO2 atmospheric concentrations, ocean heat, etc. Once underway, climate change is very difficult to reverse by subsequent mitigation. Carbon prices are undoubtedly a very powerful tool to deal with climate change… If only the rest of the world agreed with economists...

To some, a geoengineering solution, that is large scale manipulation of the environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, may look like a tempting path to counteract the effects of global warming. Professor Weizmann also offered his view on the promises and problems of geo-engineering, which are also viewed as a “free driver problem” in contrast to the “free rider problem”. His latest book, Climate Shocks, written with Gernot Wagner, goes into these issues in depth.

At the end of the MW lecture, the audience surely had a better understanding of why it is so difficult and controversial for an economist to give sharp overall advice concerning what to do about climate change – and why there are so many differences of opinion. 

After giving serious thought to these dimensions of this much controversial topic…should we hope for the best but prepare for the worst by contingency planning for bad outcomes?


Max Weber Lecture by Silvana Patriarca (Fordham University) 'Brown Babies' in Postwar Europe: The Italian Case (c. 1945-1960), Badia Fiesolana, 18 November 2015

Summary brief by MW Fellow Katharina Lenner (RSCAS 2015-2016)

Silvana Patriarca's lecture focused on the continual racial construction of the nation in post-war Europe through the story of mixed race children born in Italy during or after World War II. These ‘brown babies’ – a term used at the time by African Americans to avoid the racial term ‘Mulattini’ (little mulattos), and adopted by Patriarca – were mostly children of European women and non-white allied soldiers. Their story has not attracted much scholarly attention to date, and archives have only recently been made available to the public. Yet as Patriarca pointed out, uncovering their story gives insight into the spectrum of attitudes towards race found in post-fascist Italian society, as well as into the oft-neglected role of the Catholic Church in shaping them. The story of the ‘brown babies’ serves to remind us of the persistence of racist currents/thought in post-war Europe, in spite of the ostensible distance European societies took from racist practices under fascism.

Brown babies were born in all countries visited by allied armies, among them  Britain, Germany, France, and Italy. They also formed part of the racialised imaginary of post-war societies, their presence considered by many to be a problem in need of a solution. Those with darker skin were often abandoned by their mothers. The stigma attached to their ‘illegitimate’ birth – which could not be hidden due to their skin colour – only compounded the troubles of women already socially ostracized for having relations with (black) American soldiers during or after the war. In Germany, these children, born as they were to ‘enemy’ fathers, furthermore served as a reminder of military defeat and were part of ‘national-sexual humiliation’, as Patriarca termed it. In Italy, meanwhile, one popular theory held that the United States had deliberately sent its black soldiers there, out of some sort of vindictive spite.

As elsewhere in Europe, the popular image of brown babies in Italy was one of foreign bodies that will always remain foreign, in spite of their Italian citizenship (which they received if they were not acknowledged by their fathers) and baptism. One outcome of the preoccupation with these children was the 'Tammurriata Nera’. Set to a Tarantella rhythm, this popular song about a back child appeared in a variety of cultural spaces and is known to generations of Italians. Related depictions appeared in a popular movie ‘Il mulatto’, which also circulated outside of Italy and was translated into various European languages.

In her lecture, Silvana Patriarca particularly highlighted the strong institutional and ideational presence of the Catholic Church as a specific feature in the Italian experience of the ‘brown babies’. Through its homes for abandoned children, it strongly contributed to shaping the childhood experiences of the brown babies.

In tracing the way the fate of these children was debated among the Catholic clergymen, Patriarca showed how established notions of Whiteness and racial purity persisted in the post-war Catholic Church. Reflecting Italian society at large, the Catholic Church had officially distanced itself from fascist legacies. Racism was primarily attributed to the Nazis and secondarily to fascism, making it possible to engage in self-absolution and self-exoneration.

Yet old elites and ways of thinking remained in place. Many clergymen, according to Patriarca, saw brown babies as intrinsically different to the rest of Italian society. They advocated educational segregation and subjected brown babies to various forms of examination. They also attempted to use the church’s global network to relocate these children to countries where they would supposedly be more accepted. Such ideas found their way into cultural output, for example the release of movies portraying the disappearance of the black children.

In summary, Patriarca has innovatively used the story of the ‘brown babies’ to trace how conceptions of race transformed or remained the same in post-war Italy and, more broadly, Europe as a whole. This study, she argued, and others along these lines could substantially contribute to overcoming limited perspectives that reduce and relegate racist ideas and practices to fascism. Furthermore, they could illustrate the central role of the Catholic Church in perpetuating racial prejudices in the post-war period.


Max Weber Lecture by Peter Katzenstein (Cornell university) “Anglo-American Civilization and the Dynamics of Globalization.”, 9 December 2015, Badia Fiesolana.

Summary Brief by MW Fellow Nadav Kedem (RSCAS 2015-2016)

Peter Katzenstein of Cornell University, one of the world’s leading political scientists, visited the EUI hosted by the Max Weber Programme. He gave his Max Weber Lecture, ‘Anglo-American Civilization and the Dynamics of Globalization’, on 9 December 2015. The lecture was also part of the activities of the thematic group, ‘Europe in the World’, run by Ulrich Krotz and Federico Romero.

Katzenstein deals with some of the deepest conceptual challenges cutting across the social sciences and humanities as a whole: power, civilizations, ideas, practices, risk, uncertainty etc. He tries to draw a map that enables some pattern recognition, rather than clinching an argument as most research does. In doing so, he is able to create synergy between philosophy, history, political science, sociology and economics. He talked to us about the latest in his three-book project (so far) on civilizations as well as his forthcoming work on power. The two seemingly unrelated topics were woven into one map. 

A starting point for Katzenstein is his criticism of Huntington’s highly influential work on the clash of civilizations. Unlike Huntington, Katzenstein sees civilizations as contexts more than unitary actors prone to conflict. Politics happens more within civilizations than between them. However, the great influence of Huntington over the political discourse should be addressed and cannot be dismissed. Huntington had a political agenda, and he was honest and frank about it.

Katzenstein vividly illustrated how different ‘versions’ can compete within civilizations. Moreover, civilizations can change dramatically, including in their core elements, overtime. The West was constituted in the 19th century based on empire, liberalism and race as its core underlining principles. Unique to Anglo-American civilization is that in its exterior it is a security-community,  it is Lockean. Britons deported to Australia had a better connection to London than to the indigenous people living next to them. However, today is no empire (Katzenstein sees the US mostly as an imperium rather than an empire) and race was replaced with multiculturalism. However, the West remains.

Katzenstein does not only go against the realist world view of Huntington but also against a liberal world view. There is no single standard as liberals would argue. Thus, not only is global politics not about actors but about processes, it is also about human well-being and human rights. No form of political authority can afford to ignore the last two. However, they can be pursued in different ways.

Civilizations are contexts but are still embedded in something larger. Civilizations can also be seen as ‘meaning communities’‒ communities in which actors engage in politics.  However, how should such communities be explored? A major way, according to Katzenstein, is through norms and practices. Civilizations add the meaning of practices, the content of politics. Affecting practices or the ‘balance of practices’ essentially relates to forms of power. Thus, Katzenstein makes connections between his work on civilizations and his work on power.

Katzenstein introduced the concept of protean power, as different from power in the sense of control. He defines it as ‘the effect of actors’ evolving agility as they adapt in situations of uncertainty.’ In other words, the content of politics is highly uncertain. Unlike economists, who are on a crusade to eliminate uncertainty in favour of controllable risk, we have to recognize that we live in epistemic uncertainty. Our knowledge is simply incomplete and our ability to predict the future is very limited. Katzenstein gave various examples of how unsuccessful predictions in the fields of finance can be. However, such failures are not exclusive to finance. No one can predict how successful a movie will be. Nobody predicted the success of Titanic or the emergence, great success and influence of Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry. 

This is also the way we should understand power. Change does not necessarily come from the top. Innovation is polycentric. Katzenstein reviewed various agents of change in different fields of law; not only are governments and international organizations behind it but also private law firms (often with much greater success than the former).  

The lecture attracted a large audience of professors, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students. During the Q&A phase, a lively discussion developed, engaging scholars from different disciplines. It is to be hoped that the map portrayed by Katzenstein will facilitate much new interdisciplinary thinking and research by members of the audience and beyond.


Max Weber Lecture “The Future of Growth” by Daniel Cohen (Paris School of Economics), 20 January 2016

Summary brief by MW Fellow Jack Seddon (SPS 2015-2016)

Professor Daniel Cohen of the Paris School for Economics delivered a Max Weber Lecture titled ‘The Future of Growth’ to a packed lecture theatre at the EUI on 20 January 2016.

Professor Cohen introduced the topic of growth with some historical background, summarizing economists’ perspectives on the agricultural (Neolithic) revolution and the industrial revolution. Cohen drew on Malthus’ classical observation that societies can be subject to laws of growth that are not fully understood but nevertheless condition their development. He then turned to more recent literature to elaborate on the paradox, identified by Richard Easterlin, that increasing personal incomes do not translate into greater happiness or wellbeing. Among the primary reasons for this is that people get happier when then get richer only in relative terms. We are always looking at the person next door. This explains somewhat paradoxically why economic growth, more than pure wealth, is the key to the functioning of capitalism, because it provides the general hope that we can rise above our present condition, even though this dream remains ever elusive for the vast majority of people. These two ideas – that the laws of growth can be opaque and that societal growth and individual wellbeing can be delinked – laid the foundation for Cohen’s intervention into the contemporary debate between the pessimistic stagnation theorists, who believe the age of growth has passed forever, and the optimists, who believe we are on the cusp of a dramatic era of technologically driven growth. Cohen argued that both are somewhat correct and yet both miss something crucial, because growth today is being delivered through the substitution of middle class jobs by technology. This process of middleclass job substitution is increasing economic growth but not individual satisfaction or wellbeing, because people do not feel that they are moving upwards. Economic growth achieved in this way risks fragmenting societies, increasing inequality, and destabilizing the social compact that supports liberal democracies. The surprise is that the future is far from certain even with growth.

The following day Professor Cohen gave a Max Weber Masterclass on sovereign risk and return to the Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa Working Group on ‘The Design and Governance of Monetary and Fiscal Policies and Financial Regulation in the European Union’. The guiding question was: why do countries default? The key message was that countries never really want to default, but rather do so after economic crises have set in. Cohen also elaborated on the kinds of economic processes that are more or less likely to trigger sovereign defaults. By using the theory of Lévy processes to combine Brownian (continuous) and Poisson (stochastic) processes in the explanation of what causes defaults, Cohen showed that it is possible to better understand default events and to simulate the enduring puzzle that relatively low levels of debt can still produce high default probabilities. This deeper understanding is important because it should enable Eurozone governments to set safer levels of debt. The key lesson is that Eurozone credit ceilings need to be calibrated to economic conditions, such that they are lower in normal times and extraordinary in extraordinary times. This distinction is often lost in the language of austerity that guides policy debates.


Silvana PatriarcaMaster Class with Silvana Patriarca (Fordham University), “Discourses of Internal Difference and the Renationalization of Contemporary Italy”, 18 November 2015

The workshop will discuss the racist neo-nationalism of the Northern League and the uses and abuses of national history by Northern League ideologues and so-called neo-Bourbons (Southerners who are very critical of the national state).

In addition, the construction of the image of Southern Italy in the official statistics of the 1860s-1870s, which contributed to the formation of the southern stereotype, will also be part of the workshop's discussion.

Class material:
"A Crisis of Italian Identity? The Northern League and Italy’s Renationalization Since the 1990s" (Download PDF)
"Unmaking the nation? Uses and abusesof Garibaldi in contemporary Italy" (Download PDF)


Peter KatzensteinMaster Class with Peter Katzenstein (Cornell University), “Protean and Control Power in World Politics”, 9 December 2015

Civilizations in World Politics: China and Sinicization in Comparative Perspective (PDF)
Protean and Control Power in World Politics


Daniel Cohen

Master Class with Daniel Cohen (Paris School of Economics), "Sovereign risk: the return"
21 January 2016 

Europe has recently been hit by a sovereign debt crisis which has caused three of its members to be ousted from financial markets. Those three countries, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, had to ask for the support of the other eurozone countries to refinance their debt. Additionally, in the case of Greece the eventual implementation of a nominal haircut of more than 50% was decided. In response to this unexpected crisis, Europe chose to impose a much stricter budgetary discipline, aiming for a near zero deficit rule. How did the eurozone suddenly become so vulnerable to sovereign risk? Is Europe overreacting by imposing budget constraints that are too restrictive?

Sovereign debt crisis specialists have been asked for answers. Trying to understand why some countries default is the theme of a large body of literature. Why do countries default? This seemingly simple question has yet to be adequately answered in the literature. Indeed, prevailing modelling strategies compel us to choose between two unappealing model features: depending on the cost of default selected by the modeler, either the debt ratios are too high and the probability of default is too low or the opposite is true. In view of the historical evidence that countries always default after a crisis, we propose a novel approach to the theory of debt default and develop a model that matches the key stylized facts regarding sovereign risk


David Laitin

Max Weber Occasional Talk by David Laitin (Stanford University), Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-Heritage Societies, 21 January 2016

Amid mounting fears of Islamic extremism, many Europeans ask whether Muslim immigrants can integrate into historically Christian countries without putting host populations at risk. In a groundbreaking ethnographic investigation of France’s Muslim migrant population, Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-Heritage Societies(Harvard Press, January 2016) explores this complex question. The authors conclude that both Muslim and non-Muslim French must share responsibility for the slow progress of Muslim integration.

Claire L. Adida, David D. Laitin, and Marie-Anne Valfort found that in France, Muslims are widely perceived as threatening, based in large part on cultural differences between Muslim and rooted French that feed both rational and non-rational Islamophobia. Relying on a unique methodology to isolate the religious component of discrimination, the authors identify a discriminatory equilibrium in which both Muslim immigrants and native French act negatively toward one another in a self-perpetuating, vicious circle.

In their outline for public policy solutions aimed at promoting religious diversity in fair-minded host societies, the authors hold that disentangling the rational and irrational threads of Islamophobia is essential. Muslim immigrants must adjust several of their cultural practices that abet discrimination, the authors hold, and Europeans must acknowledge and correct the anti-Islam sentiments and practices that sustain that discrimination.

Chair: Nan Zhang (MWP-SPS).
Discussant: Olivier Roy (SPS Professor)
Organizers: Diego Gambetta (SPS Professor) and Nan Zhang (MWP-SPS).


MWP-ACO Conference

The 10th MWP-ACO Conference gathered together representatives of European and national funding agencies, professors and young academics to discuss on research schemes and grants available to international researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The speakers provided the audience with information about opportunities which are directly aimed at early-career scholars and offered advice and insights on the application procedures as well as practical tips to apply for funding. The event also was aiming at enabling the ACO team to offer the most up to date information on these schemes to post docs globally.

The meeting included representatives from the Research Executive Agency; representatives from the national research agencies of France, Switzerland and Germany; EUI professors and young academics. 
The conference was followed by individual consultations with the speakers.

Conference presentations:
Frank Marx, Research Executive Agency, European Commission
Ramon Marimon, European University Insitute 
Ingo Linsenmann, European University Institute 
Eléonore Dispersyn, French National Research Agency
Marco Bieri, Swiss National Science Foundation
Tim Maschuw, German Academic Exchange Service
Rasmus Hoffmann, European University Insitute
Stelios Bekiros, European University Institute

Post-conference Workshops:

  • Workshop on "Top tips for Grant-Writing for Postdocs", 3 December 2015,
  • Question and Answer Session with Angela Liberatore, Head of Unit, European Research Council, 4 December 2015,


Thomas Leeper 10 December 2015

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


Urban Politics, Migration, Diversity

16 December 2015

This workshop was addressed to the whole EUI community and intended 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 remain the 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.

Organizers: Luc-André Brunet (HEC), Emmanuel Comte (RSCAS), Ricardo Estrada (ECO)
Download Programme here


Interrogating the Idea of Europe: Views From North Africa

21 January 2016,

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?

OrganizerMuriam Haleh Davis (HEC)

Download Programme (PDF)


Experiments on Ethical Decision Making

David Hugh-Jones (University of East Anglia), 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 (Universite Libre de Bruxelles) (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 2014-2016)



We are glad to receive and announce former and current MW Fellows’ publications. Due to restricted space this is but a selection of publications received in the last few months.

  • The challenge of innovation in lawBarbara Bottalico (LAW 2014-2015) ‘Workplace technological innovation: what role for the law?’, in A. Santosuosso, O. Goodenough, M. Tomasi (eds), The challenge of innovation in law. The impact of technology and science in legal studies and practise, (Pavia University Press, 2015). Available to download at:
  • Ylenia Brilli (ECO 2013-2015)  ‘Does child care availability play a role in maternal employment and children's development?’, with Daniela Del Boca and Chiara Pronzato, Review of Economics of the Household, forthcoming
  • L’Europe des citoyens et la citoyenneté européenneEmmanuel Comte (HEC 2014-2015, RSCAS 2015-2016), “Les origines de la citoyenneté européenne, de 1974 à 1992.” In L’Europe des citoyens et la citoyenneté européenne. Évolutions, limites et perspectives, edited by Michel Catala, Stanislas Jeannesson, Anne-Sophie Lamblin-Gourdin, 69-87. Bern: Peter Lang, 2016.
  • Emmanuel Comte (HEC 2014-2015, RSCAS 2015-2016), “Migration and Regional Interdependence in the Mediterranean, from the Early 1980s to the Mid 1990s.” Journal of European Integration History 41 (June 2015): 109-23.
  • Genèses du Moyen-OrientGuillemette Aline Crouzet (HEC 2015-2016) Genèses du Moyen-Orient. Le Golfe Persique à l'âge des impérialismes (c.1800-C.1914), Champ Vallon 2015,
  • Gianluigi Fioriglio (LAW 2009-2011) ‘La «dittatura» dell’algoritmo: motori di ricerca web e neutralità della indicizzazione. Profili informatico-giuridici’, Bocconi Legal Papers, 2015, 5, pp. 113-141.
  • Les parlements dans l'Union Européenne après le Traité de LisbonneDiane Fromage (LAW 2014-2015) Les parlements dans l'Union Européenne après le Traité de Lisbonne , (L’Harmattan, 2015)
  • New Diversities 17Aitana Guia (RSCAS 2015-2016), ‘Completing the religious transition? Muslims and Catholics navigate secularism in democratic Spain,’ New Diversities 17, 1 (2015): 95-110, Special issue ‘Engaging with the other: religion, identity, and politics in the Mediterranean’
  • Statistical methods for causal analysis in life course researchRasmus Hoffmann (SPS 2008-2009) ‘Statistical methods for causal analysis in life course research: an illustration of a cross lagged structural equation model and a latent growth model’, with E. Pakpahan and H. Kröger, International Journal of Social Research Methodology.
  • Pablo Kalmanovitz (LAW 2013-2015) ‘Early modern sources of the regular war tradition’ in Seth Lazar and Helen Frowe (eds.)  The Oxford handbook of ethics and war (OUP 2015 on line publication)
  • Katharina Lenner (RSCAS 2015-2016), ‘Projects of improvement, continuities of neglect: re-fragmenting the periphery in southern rural Jordan’, Middle East - Topics & Arguments, Vol. 5, pp. 77-88. Available on line at
  • Alternative voices on the Syrian refugee crisis in JordanKatharina Lenner (RSCAS 2015-2016) Alternative voices on the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan - an interview collection, edited with Bashar Al-Khatib, (RLS. Ramallah: RLS, November 2015).
    Available to download in English at:; available to download in Arabic at:
  • Designing Tito's capitalBrigitte Le Normand (HEC 2007-2008) Designing Tito's capital: urban planning, modernism, and socialism in Belgrade (University of Pittsburgh Press) 2014
  • Zsofia Lorand (HEC 2015-2016) ‘Feminist criticism of the ‘new democracies’ in Serbia and Croatia in the early 1990s’, in Michal Kopeček and Piotr Wciślik (eds.), Thinking through transition, (CEU Press 2015)
  • Norm conformity across societiesMoti Michaeli (ECO 2014-2016) ‘Norm conformity across societies’, (with Daniel Spiro), Journal of Public Economics, December 2015
  • Norm conformity across societiesMichal Onderco (SPS 2014-2015) ‘Money can't buy you love: the European Union member states and Iranian nuclear programme 2002-2009’ , in  Perspectives on the Iran nuclear deal, (Taylor&Francis on line, 2015)
  • Michal Onderco (SPS 2014-2015) ‘Informalization of nonproliferation: why PSI is a problematic solution’, with P. Van Hooft, in the Chinese Journal of International Politics, forthcoming
  • Michal Onderco (SPS 2014-2015)  ‘The ideational foundations of coercion: political culture and policies towards North Korea’ with W.M. Wagner, in the European Political Science Review, forthcoming
  • Ottavio Quirico (LAW 2008-2009) Climate change and human rights: an international and comparative law perspective (hardback), Routledge, 2016
  • Journal of Health EconomicsBrandon Restrepo (ECO 2012-2014) and Matthias Rieger (ECO 2013-2014) ‘Trans fat and cardiovascular disease mortality: evidence from bans in restaurants in New York’, Journal of Health Economics,
  • Denmark’s policy on artificial trans fat and cardiovascular diseaseBrandon Restrepo (ECO 2012-2014) and Matthias Rieger (ECO 2013-2014), ‘Denmark’s policy on artificial trans fat and cardiovascular disease’, American Journal of Preventive Medicine,
  • The kosmos of cosmopolitanismPeter Szigeti (LAW 2015-2016)  ‘The kosmos of cosmopolitanism: geography and grounding,’ in Tamara Caraus & Elena Paris (eds.), Re-grounding cosmopolitanism: towards a post-foundational cosmopolitanism (Routledge 2015)
  • Peter Szigeti (LAW 2015-2016)  ‘The implementation of performance review reports by regional fishery bodies 2004-2014,’ with Gail Lugten, published as FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1108, available at
  • Barbara Bottalico Barbara Bottalico (LAW 2014-2015) moved to a postdoc research fellowship at the European Centre for Law, Science and New Technologies, University of Pavia (Italy), and started serving as legal expert for the Rockeu - Robotics Coordination Action For Europe:
  • William CarruthersWilliam Carruthers (HEC 2014-2015) in 2016 is a Visiting Guest Scholar at the German Historical Institute, London, funded by a Research Fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Stiftung
  • Karina Cendon Boveda Karina Cendon Boveda (SPS 2013-2014) moved to a fellowship and lectureship at the University of Oxford (St. Hilda's College and The Queen's College).
  • Franziska ExelerFranziska Exeler (HEC 2013-2014) moved to the position of Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for History and Economics, University of Cambridge and lecturer in Modern History, Global History Research Group, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Diane FromageDiane Fromage (LAW 2014-2015), as of September 2015 is a lecturer in European and International Law at the University of Utrecht.
  • Hin-Yan LiuHin-Yan Liu (LAW 2012-2013) in July 2015 moved to the position of Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen.
  • Fran MeissnerFran Meissner (SPS 2013-2015) has moved to a position as Junior Research Group Leader at the Institute for Urban Development in the School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Design at the University of Kassel, Germany.
  • Roman PetrovRoman Petrov (MWF 2006-2008) became Full Professor at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine.
  • Eugenia VellaEugenia Vella (ECO 2013-2015) in September 2015 became a lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Economics, University of Sheffield (UK). 
  • Heng WangHeng Wang (LAW 2010-2011), moved to the Faculty of Law, the University of New South Wales, Sydney as Associate Professor.
  • Axelle ArquiéAxelle Arquié (ECO 2014-2016) was awarded a 2015 thesis prize by the Chancellerie des Universités de Paris for her dissertation ‘Essays on financial regulation’.
  • Anna BeckersAnna Beckers (LAW 2015-2016) was awarded the 2015 second prize of the Deutscher Studienpreis of the Körber Foundation for her dissertation ‘Enforcing corporate social responsibility codes: on global self-regulation and national private law’
  • William CarruthersWilliam Carruthers (HEC 2014-2015) is starting a Gerda Henkel Stiftung research scholarship in January 2016, based in London In 2016 he will also be a postdoctoral fellow for three months in London at ICAS:MP on the module ‘History as a political category’:
  • Emmanuel ComteEmmanuel Comte (HEC 2014-2015, RSCAS 2015-2016) was awarded a prize by the Committee for the History of Social Security of the French Ministry of Social Affairs for his dissertation ‘The formation of the European migration regime, 1947-1992’
  • Karin De VriesKarin De Vries (2011-2012) was awarded a grant by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) 'Veni' Programme, for her research project 'Equality for non-nationals? Nationality discrimination as a new challenge for non-discrimination law'. The grant will allow her to conduct research for a period of 3 years, starting on 1 January 2016.
  • Aitana GuiaAitana Guia (RSCAS 2015-2016) was awarded first under the title ‘Cities and religions. Past and present for a peaceful coexistence’, by the Istituto Sangalli, Comune di Firenze, Banco di Brescia for the project ‘Cities and the peaceful coexistence of the faiths: best practices, past and present’, 2015
  • Lukas HaffertLukas Haffert (SPS 2014-2015) was awarded the 2015 second prize of the Deutscher Studienpreis of the Körber Foundation in the social sciences category for his dissertation on ‘Growing capacity or shrinking ambition? The political economy of budget surpluses’.
  • Katharina LennerKatharina Lenner (RCSAS 2015-2016) received the award for the best dissertation in 2014 from the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO) for her dissertation ‘Policy-shaping and its limits: the politics of poverty alleviation and local development in Jordan’.
  • Brigitte Le NormandBrigitte Le Normand (HEC 2007-2008) in 2014 was awarded an Insight Development Grant by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her project ‘Cities and regions in transition: the case of Rijeka/Fiume.’ 
  • Robert LepeniesRobert Lepenies (LAW 2013-2015):
    1) Young Scholar Award for Pluralism in Economics, a prize sponsored by the Witten Institute for Institutional Change (WIWA), 2015,
    2) recipient of the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin A.SK Social Science Postdoctoral Award (10 month fellowship) at the WZB for a project on ‘The ethics of behavioral applications in public policy’, starting March 2016,
    3) 6 month German DAAD, November 2015, to support the ‘reintegration of excellent scientists from abroad’,
  • Eugenia VellaEugenia Vella (ECO 2013-2015) was awarded a Juan De La Cierva Grant by the Spanish Ministry of Education.

The MWP Team is overjoyed to announce two new MW Fellows’ babies

  • Katrine Louise Ferro Katrine Louise Ferro, daughter of Karin De Vries (2011-2012) and Duco Nunes Ferro, was born on 17 July 2015
  • RikuRiku, second son of Sara Konoe (2009-2010) was born in August 2015  

The MWP Newsletter is a platform for current and former Fellows to share their news and short articles about their academic experience. Please send them to