The core issue at the fifth conference of the MPIfG and the Cologne Institute for Economic Research
(IW), held on November 12, 2014, concerned federalism as a curse or blessing. Researchers from both institutes discussed the need for reforms in education and finance in the Bundesländer. Is a decentralized system of education preventing the reforms required? What effect does fiscal equalization have? Does Germany require further reform of its federalist system? Fritz W. Scharpf (Distributional conflicts in multilevel systems of bargaining) and Martin Höpner (Reform of inter-state fiscal equalization) gave talks at the conference. The conference findings will be included in the IW's "Market and State" Research Group with whom the MPIfG cooperates.
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Five new doctoral students joined the International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy
(IMPRS-SPCE) in October 2014: Marina Hübner
, previously at the University of Bamberg, is investigating the governance of international regulation; Dennis Mwaura
, from the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, is examining conformity in markets at transnational levels; Daniel Monninger
, previously at the Philipps University in Marburg, is researching the 1980s shift towards neoliberalism; Arjan Reurink
, a research assistant at the MPIfG since 2013, is examining the "Big-Data-Revolution" from the viewpoint of economic sociology and political economy; Karlijn Roex
, formerly of Oxford University, is working on employment standards and life satisfaction. Karlijn Roex and Daniel Monninger are the first doctoral students to join the new research groups set up in 2014 and headed by Mark Lutter (Transnational Diffusion of Innovation
) and Ariane Leendertz (Economization of the Social
). The IMPRS-SPCE
is a joint international doctoral program offered by the MPIfG and the University of Cologne. There are currently 25 researchers enrolled in the program.
Four postdoctoral fellows have begun work at the MPIfG: Chiara Benassi
, from the London School of Economics, is investigating the factors determining precarious employment conditions; Benjamin Braun
, previously of the GEM Erasmus Mundus PhD School, London, is examining the conditions for monetary policy governance; Torsten Kathke
, formerly of the German Historical Institute, Washington DC, is engaged with the market for populist diagnoses of the present in Germany and the USA; Aleksandra Maatsch
, previously at the University of Cambridge, is researching political economic governance of the EU in comparison to national parliaments.
, a doctoral student at the Renmin University of China, Peking, is visiting the MPIfG until September 2015. He will work on his dissertation on institutional and collective patterns of conflict in labor relations in China.
The Scientific Advisory Board
of the MPIfG has concluded that research at the institute for the period 2012-2013 was internationally excellent. The Board, made up of expert colleagues from around the world, visited the institute in May 2014 to carry out their evaluation. The board evaluates the institute every two years and reports to the president of the MPG. This year’s evaluation was extended, which is required every six years according to the statutes. An extended evaluation includes external experts, selected by the Max Planck Society, who are able to make a comparative evaluation by being involved in evaluations at other Max Planck institutes working on similar topics.
has received an award from the Franco-German university (Deutsch-Französische Hochschule
) for his doctoral thesis on the history of political regulation in the housing markets of Germany, France , and the USA. He completed his studies at the IMPRS-SPCE
in June 2104 with the award of a Franco-German doctorate from the University of Cologne and Sciences Po Paris. The 4,500 euros prize is awarded to researchers who complete their doctorates as part of a "cotutelle" or Franco-German doctoral program. The prize ceremony is to be held on November 21, 2014, at the French Embassy in Berlin. Sebastian Kohl is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the MPIfG.
has been awarded the 2015 prize for demographic studies from the German Society for Demography (DGD
). The prize is sponsored by the Allianz Group and is intended for young, researchers of demographics. Her doctoral thesis analyzed the influence of regional social milieu on Germany's birth rates. The DGD awards the 6,000 euros prize every year for outstanding work on demographic issues. The prize will be handed over at a ceremony in Berlin in March 2015. Barbara Fulda is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the MPIfG.
In the autumn of 2014, the MPIfG's online library catalogue was replaced by "elibrary
." The new portal enables users from inside and outside the MPIfG to gain access to a range of literature databases via a single search field. The databases include the books and publications held by the MPIfG library, the eBook library, the Max Planck Society's publications database, and OLC and Open Access articles. Elibrary is the outcome of a project between several Max Planck Institutes and the GBV (Common Library Network for German States) in Göttingen.
The MPIfG was present at the Congress of the German Sociological Association
(DGS) in Trier in October 2014 with a book and information stand and presentations by its researchers. Some 2,000 participants attended the congress, organized around the theme of "The Routines of Crisis - The Crisis of Routines". In a plenary session on changes to temporal structures and the handling of time, Jens Beckert, Managing Director of the MPIfG, gave a talk on fictional expectations and capitalist dynamics. Mark Lutter spoke for the DGS section on sociological network research on networks, social capital and gender inequality in a project-based job market, and Wolfgang Streeck held a talk on the perpetuity of crises at the plenary session of the sociology of employment and industry section.
, director at the MPIfG since 1995, retired on October 31, 2014. During two days of festivities in his honor in Cologne, the institute paid tribute to a researcher who has greatly influenced international discussions among social scientists on the tensions between democratic politics and capitalist economies. In the future, Streeck’s work will continue to inspire scholarly and public debate. The festivities began with a talk on societal governance today ("Gesellschaftssteuerung heute"), Wolfgang Streeck’s last lecture before retiring as director at the MPIfG, and continued at an academic colloquium on "Politics and Society in Dynamic Capitalism" at which some 100 researchers from Europe and the USA discussed issues emerging from Wolfgang Streeck’s research. The festivities concluded with some 180 invited guests gathering to celebrate a longtime director, colleague, and collaborative partner.
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In September 2014, doctoral students at the MPIfG elected Kimey Pflücke
as their spokesperson. She shares the post with Martin Seeliger, who was confirmed in the post he took up in October 2013. Kimey Pflücke has been a doctoral student at the IMPRS-SPCE