Conference on the politics of growth and stagnation

An international conference on The New Politics of Growth and Stagnation was held at the MPIfG in January. It was organized by MPIfG Director Lucio Baccaro, Mark Blyth (Brown University), and Jonas Pontusson (University of Geneva). Twenty-six researchers from institutions including Brown University, King’s College London, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) attended the conference, where they explored facets of the political economy of growth models. Their discussions covered conceptual issues on the growth models perspective, processes and agents, and the growth models of different countries and regions, including China, Latin America, Sweden, and Denmark. MPIfG Political Economy of Growth Models project area




Fritz W. Scharpf turns 85

Fritz W. Scharpf, Emeritus Director at the MPIfG, celebrated his 85th birthday on February 12. Colleagues gathered to congratulate him at a reception hosted by the Institute to mark the special occasion. Scharpf led the MPIfG from 1986 until 2003 alongside the Institute’s Founding Director, Renate Mayntz. His main research interests were federalism and European integration, and his work on the joint-decision trap and the effectiveness and legitimacy of the European multi-level polity is considered to have been groundbreaking for political science in Germany. In "Fritz W. Scharpf im Gespräch," a volume of interviews published in 2017, he explains his impact from the postwar period to the eurocrisis against the backdrop of his personal history. In his current research, Fritz W. Scharpf is working on the Political Economy of European Integration.



Economy and growth: Gesellschaftsforschung 1|2020 out now

In the lead article of the new issue of Gesellschaftsforschung, the MPIfG’s research magazine, Institute Director Lucio Baccaro presents findings from the Political Economy of Growth Models project area and explores how economic growth is generated in various European countries today. Armin Schäfer, the current Scholar in Residence at the MPIfG, explains in the Interview why voting and not voting are contagious, and why some people are justified in feeling that they are not represented by politics. Gesellschaftsforschung is published twice a year in print and online. To receive a copy or a PDF newsletter by email, please subscribe here. Gesellschaftsforschung 1|2020 (PDF)




DFG workshop on the history of sovereign debt

The DFG network “Doing Debt: Praxeology of Sovereign Debt in the Long 20th Century” met at the MPIfG in February for a two-day workshop hosted by Leon Wansleben, Research Group Leader at the MPIfG. During the workshop, the 21 attendees considered the relationship between situational decisions and structural dimensions in the history of sovereign debt. The scientific network is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and aims to understand and explain historical change in the handling of public debt through interdisciplinary exchange between scholars of history, social sciences, and economics. The network’s organizers are Stefanie Middendorf (Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam) and Julia Laura Rischbieter (University of Konstanz). Homepage of the DFG network “Doing Debt”




Excellent evaluation for Max Planck Partner Group in Poland

In Poland, the Max Planck Partner Group for the Sociology of Economic Life, a joint project between the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and the MPIfG, has been extended following its positive interim evaluation for another two years up to the end of March 2022. The group has been researching the social and institutional embedding of economic action since it was founded in 2017 and has already produced impressive work. Marcin Serafin, who was a doctoral researcher and then a postdoc at the MPIfG between 2011 and 2016, leads the Polish group. For the Max Planck Society, the Partner Groups are a way of supporting young researchers from Max Planck institutes who are returning to their countries of origin.



Lisa Suckert is Visiting Fellow at LSE

As Europe wrestles with the UK withdrawal process, the MPIfG researcher Lisa Suckert is in London to explore how and why Brexit happened. From January to April 2020 she is Visiting Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) . She will be using her stay among other things to study campaign material in the LSE archive for her research project "Brexit: Futures Drifting Apart.“



New guests in the first quarter of 2020

The MPIfG welcomed three new visiting researchers to the Institute in January. Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science at MIT and an External Scientific Member of the MPIfG, spent three weeks at the Institute and shared insights into her current research project, “American Exceptionalism in Comparative Perspective: US Employers and the Law.” Christopher Smith Ochoa, a doctoral researcher at the NRW School of Governance, also began his three-month research stay at the MPIfG at the beginning of the year. He is working on the public discussion surrounding socioeconomic inequality in Germany. Kai Koddenbrock, Acting Professor of International Political Studies at Witten/Herdecke University, will be at the MPIfG until the end of September 2020. His topic is “The Political Economy of Monetary Dependency: West African Policy Space Compared.” Visiting Researchers at the MPIfG




Cooperation between IMPRS and Columbia University to continue

International cooperation is exceptionally important for comparative social science research. The International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS-SPCE) has been working with notable partner institutions abroad for several years now. One of its partnerships, with Columbia University in New York, has just been extended until 2023. In this time, up to two doctoral students per year will have the opportunity to gain international research experience by spending between three and six months at the respective partner institution. Partner institutions of the IMPRS-SPCE




“Financialization of the City” at the MPIfG

In December 2019, an interdisciplinary group of around twenty scholars gathered at the MPIfG for a two-day workshop, “The Financialization of the City: Making Space for Cities in Economic Sociology and Political Economy.” In four panels they discussed how the heightened role of financial markets and borrowing affect urban phenomena, in particular municipal budgets, private household finances, and the housing market. The starting point for their discussions was the observation that economic sociology and political economy have hitherto given little attention to urban phenomena and the city as a level of analysis. The workshop was organized by Mikell Hyman, Sebastian Kohl (both MPIfG), and Marie Piganiol (Université Paris-Dauphine).



Matías Dewey takes up new post at University of St. Gallen

In February, Matías Dewey joined the Institute of Sociology at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Prior to his new appointment, Dewey worked for over eight years at the MPIfG as a senior researcher in Jens Beckert’s Sociology of Markets project area. His main research interest during that time was illegal markets, and in particular mechanisms that drive the exchange of illegal goods in a context of economic crisis. Central to his work was the La Salada textiles market in Buenos Aires. The results of his research will be published this June in his new book, Making It at Any Cost: Aspirations and Politics in a Counterfeit Clothing Marketplace. Link to the book here




Media and
Public Relations Contact

Christel Schommertz
Tel. 0221 2767-130

For the Media

News from the MPIfG by E-Mail and Regular Mail

Would you like to be notified about our new publications and brochures, or about upcoming events at the MPIfG? Sign up for our newsletters. 

MPIfG Newsletters & Mailings

MPIfG - News | http://www.mpifg.de/aktuelles/nachrichten_en.asp [Last updated 2020-03-25]