Max Planck Summer School for Women in Political Economy

Call for Applications

The Max Planck Summer School for Women in Political Economy will be held for the first time in September 2023 to address the continued underrepresentation of women in the field of Comparative and International Political Economy.

The problem of underrepresentation exists at all levels of the discipline, from doctoral students to professors, but mostly becomes acute at the postdoctoral level, since many qualified and talented women who have earned a PhD in Political Economy or a related discipline leave academia and choose not to pursue an academic career. Often they lack both role models and a network in the discipline.

The new Summer School will attempt to address some of these issues. Hosted by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) and organized in collaboration with the Political Economy Section of the German Political Science Association (DVPW), it aims to establish a European network of women working in Political Economy and to contribute to ameliorating existing gendered inequalities in the field.

The Summer School is intended to be an inclusive event and explicitly welcomes women, non-binary people, and all people of marginalized genders. It is open to current PhD students or recent PhD graduates who work in Comparative and International Political Economy or related fields. It will bring junior scholars together with established scholars in the field who will act as the main instructors. The program will combine four strands:

  1. Substantive sessions on the state of the art in different subfields in political economy taught by senior scholars, allowing participants to gain familiarity with different subfields and current de-bates. The indicative list of topics covered includes: the political economy of comparative capital-ism, financialization, climate change, and political inequality.
  2. Work-in-progress sessions, giving participants the chance to get feedback on work in progress or their research design.
  3. Professional development sessions, focusing on science as a profession, giving participants the chance to develop practical skills and acquire useful knowledge relevant to their academic career.
  4. Sessions centered around sharing experiences of navigating a male-dominated field as women, the possible strategies to address the challenges this can pose, as well as potential avenues towards the transformation of unequal gendered dynamics in the field.

The list of confirmed instructors so far includes Sonja Avlijaš (Belgrade University), Dorothee Bohle (University of Vienna), Lea Elsässer (University of Mainz), Federica Genovese (University of Essex), Natascha van der Zwan (Leiden University), and Arianna Tassinari (University of Bologna) – with more to be confirmed.

We envisage several outcomes arising from such a program, benefiting participants and the field as a whole: intellectual exchange, professional and skills development; forging of professional and personal networks and informal mentoring relationships to facilitate equal participation and career progression in the field of Political Economy.

Practical details
The Summer School will be held over four days (September 11–14, 2023) at the MPIfG in Cologne, Germany. 20 funded places are available – five of which are reserved for participants from the Interna-tional Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS-SPCE). The application process is aimed at determining whether the program is a good fit for the appli-cants. We especially encourage applications from underrepresented groups experiencing intersecting and overlapping forms of disadvantage in academia. Participation in the Summer School is free of charge. For participants who do not have their own funding, the MPIfG will cover travel costs and ac-commodation. Lunches and a conference dinner will also be provided free of charge to all participants.

Application process
To apply, please send a statement of motivation (one page), your CV, and a 250-word ab-stract/summary of your current research project to by March 15, 2023. For planning and logistical purposes, we ask that you please indicate in your application whether you will need financial assistance to cover travel and accommodation. The accommodation provided will be in shared hotel rooms (double rooms), with alternatives provided if needed. Please indicate if you have any alternative needs. Participants will be notified of the outcome of their application by March 31, 2023.


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