Home » Programmes and Fellowships » Postdoctoral Max Weber Programme » Activities » Thematic Groups 2018-2019

Thematic Research Groups 2018-2019

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

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

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

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

The Thematic Research Groups for the academic year 2018-2019 are:

Citizenship and Migration


This theme has a double focus on citizenship and migration.

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


Governance, Constitutionalism and Democracy


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

Experimental Methods in Social Sciences


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


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

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

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

Ideas, Concepts and Theory

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.

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

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

Page last updated on 22 November 2017