International Max Planck Research School
on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy

Our Faculty

Our faculty is made up of professors from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and the University of Cologne. Five further members are affiliates.
Faculty Members
Affiliated Faculty Members
  • Jenny Andersson (Economic History)
  • Olivier Godechot (Sociology)
  • Ariane Leendertz (History)
  • Sigrid Quack (Sociology)
  • Karen Shire (Sociology, not available as advisor for new IMPRS doctoral students in 2017)

    Candidates who wish to work with Jenny Anderson or Olivier Godechot apply directly for doctoral positions at MaxPo (Max Planck SciencesPo Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies) in Paris. Open PhD-positions at MaxPo will be announced here. Information on our cotutelle program is available here.



Jens Beckert

Jens Beckert

Professor of Sociology
Director at the Max Planck Institute
for the Study of Societies (MPIfG)
Phone + 49 221 2767-216

Professor Beckert's primary research interest is in the sociology of markets. He combines approaches from economics and sociology, with particular attention to the insights emerging from the new economic sociology. Using a theoretical framework that is both action- and institution-oriented, he focuses on the social, institutional, and cultural embeddedness of the economy. His research aims at a sociological theory of economic action.
With his research group on markets at the MPIfG, Beckert looks at a wide spectrum of markets, focusing on such issues as the valuation of goods, cooperation among actors, the organization of competition, and, particularly, expectations of the future in decision making in the economy. While much of its research looks at legitimate markets, the group also investigates various illegal markets and their relationship to the legal economy. Dissertation projects on the role of “fictional expectations” in the economy, illegality in markets, inheritance and wealth distribution, and the social and political consequences of increasingly low growth rates in highly developed economies are especially welcome.

Research Fields:
  • Economic sociology
  • Sociology of markets
  • Illegal markets
  • Inheritance and wealth distribution
More about Jens Beckert...


Mark Ebers

Mark Ebers

Professor of Business Administration,
Corporate Development and Organization
University of Cologne

Phone + 49 221 470-5660

Organizational research as conducted by Professor Ebers constitutes a critical addition to the School. His research mainly focuses on different institutional forms that govern organizational exchange relations, their antecedents, dynamics, and consequences. Specifically, he has conducted survey research on the institutional and relational governance of buyer-supplier relations in the construction industry; performed case studies on the impact of social capital on firm development and performance in the biotechnology industry; and surveyed how different forms of contractual governance and social capital influence innovation outcomes in the machine tools industry.

His current empirical research projects focus on 1) how social capital, absorptive capacity and organizational ambidexterity affect organizational learning and innovation within and across inter-organizational projects and in start-ups, and 2) better understanding post-merger integration processes and their implications for firms' subsequent performance. Other projects he is involved in explore which institutional and organizational conditions foster individuals' entrepreneurial intentions and abilities. Candidates seeking to work in these areas are invited to apply as are those interested in organizational design and change.

Research Fields:
  • Exploration, exploitation, and ambidexterity
  • Organizational design, and change
  • Entrepreneurial orientation and intent
  • Networks and social capital
More about Mark Ebers ...


Martin Höpner

Martin Höpner

Head of Research Group "The Political Economy of European Integration" at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG)
Adjunct Professor at the University of Cologne

Phone + 49 221 2767-188

Martin Höpner is head of the Research Group on "The Political Economy of European Integration" at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and Adjunct Professor (apl. Prof.) at the University of Cologne. The research group is located at the intersection of comparative political economy and integration research and analyzes European integration under conditions of political-economic heterogeneity. Of particular interest are conflicts within the Eurozone, tensions between political and judicial integration, the liberalization bias of European integration, various forms of interactions between private interests and European institutions and organizations, problems relating to the legitimacy of political action, and the balance between capitalist economy and social democracy in the European Union. Höpner's research interests also include the varieties-of-capitalism debate, industrial relations, and corporate governance from a comparative perspective.

Research Fields:
  • Comparative political economy of the EU
  • European Monetary Union
  • Judicial integration
  • Economic liberalization
More about Martin Höpner ...


André Kaiser

André Kaiser

Professor of Comparative Politics
University of Cologne

Phone + 49 221 470-2852

Professor Kaiser, who holds the chair in Comparative Politics, is broadly interested in the causes and effects of political institutions. Understanding the role of institutions is crucial for any analysis of the economy since political decisions still account for the most influential regulatory interventions in modern economies. Aimed at a positive theory of political insitutions, Professor Kaiser's research shows, among other things how and why economic regulation does not follow a simple logic of efficiency.

Current research projects investigate the effects of federalism and decentralization on the economy and the supply and demand of political issues in democratic multilevel systems.

Research Fields:
  • Federalism, decentralization and policy making
  • Institutional stability and change in capitalist democracies
  • New political movements, new political parties and dynamics in representative democracies
  • Anglo-Saxon democracies and liberal market economies
More about André Kaiser ...


clemens Kroneberg

Clemens Kroneberg

Professor of Sociology
University of Cologne

Phone + 49 221 470-4406

Clemens Kroneberg is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Cologne. His research focuses on action theory and social networks, social boundary making and the integration of ethnic minorities, and crime and deviance. He has contributed to developing the Model of Frame Selection, an integrative theory of action that covers framing and dual processes, and applied it to altruism, crime, political participation, and trust. In general, he is interested in integrating rationalist and cultural-normativist approaches in the social sciences.

He has been involved in the "Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries (CILS4EU)" and currently leads the longitudinal study "Friendship and Violence in Adolescence". Both studies have generated rich longitudinal data on social networks in schools, including positive ties (such as friendships) and negative ones (such as dislike, or violent offending behavior). The same can be expected from his ERC Starting Grant project, "Social Integration and Boundary Making in Adolescence", which will show how the recent influx of refugees is changing social boundary-making in Germany. In this context, Kroneberg is also interested in how headmasters, teachers and parents' associations view and organize the social integration of a diverse student body.

Candidates seeking to work in these areas are invited to apply. Although Professor Kroneberg is a quantitative researcher, he is also willing to supervise Ph.D. students who want to take a qualitative approach.
Research Fields:
  • Social boundary making
  • Integration of ethnic minorities
  • Crime and deviance
  • Social networks
  • Action theory
  • Analytical sociology
More about Clemens Kroneberg ...


Mark Lutter

Mark Lutter

Head of Research Group "Transnational Diffusion of Innovation" at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG)
Phone + 49 221 2767-154

Mark Lutter is a quantitative economic sociologist with interests in political sociology, social inequality research, and organizational theory. His research largely focuses on how social structures (such as networks or social capital) affect outcomes in economic life. Currently, he is conducting research on the emergence of extreme inequalities in markets, so-called winner-take-all structures. He is head of a newly established Max Planck Research Group on the "Transnational Diffusion of Innovation" at the MPIfG. With the research group, he aims to look at factors that influence and shape the spread of innovations among individuals, networks, organizations, and societies. The diffusion of innovations refers to the spread of micro-level practices, ideas, concepts, and frames of action to meso-level and transnational macro-level structures, such as the adoption of new forms of organization, policies, techniques, cultural ideas and norms, tastes and fashions, new institutional settings, and new transnational socio-political models. The group seeks to develop an empirically informed sociological theory of diffusion. Prospective candidates with strong backgrounds in quantitative social science research and interest in diffusion processes are invited to apply for a doctoral fellowship in this group.

Research Fields:
  • Economic sociology
  • Sociology of markets
  • Social capital and social networks
  • Diffusion processes
  • Social inequality
  • Organizational sociology
More about Mark Lutter ...


Christine Trampusch

Christine Trampusch

Professor of International Comparative Political Economy and Economic Sociology
University of Cologne

Phone + 49 221 470-8807

Professor Trampusch holds the Chair of International Comparative Political Economy and Economic Sociology, which is also the Liaison Chair to the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (Brückenprofessur). In her research, she mainly employs historical-institutional and comparative methods in order to analyze institutions and policies that regulate labor and financial markets. Her primary interests are the relationship between political and economic power, the transformation of statehood and reform politics, institutional change, and the question of how developments in the international political economy influence domestic politics. She uses qualitative-comparative and within-case methods to develop hypotheses in comparative political economy and institutional theory.
Her current research projects investigate the transformation of public debt management and financial market regulation, the historical origins of varieties of capitalism, the development of skill formation systems, and the transformation of industrial relations.

Research Fields:
  • Institutional change in capitalist democracies
  • Public debt
  • Financial markets and their regulation
  • Industrial relations, welfare state, and skill formation
More about Christine Trampusch ...


Jenny Andersson

Jenny Andersson

Co-Director at the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies

Jenny Andersson is co-director at the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo) and CNRS Research Professor at the Centre d'études européennes (CEE) in Paris. She holds a PhD in Economic History from Uppsala University and has held numerous international visiting fellowships. Among her publications are two books, Between Growth and Security: Swedish Social Democracy from a Strong Society to a Third Way (Manchester University Press, 2006) about the ideological transformation of Swedish social democracy after World War II; and The Library and the Workshop: Social Democracy and Capitalism in an Age of Knowledge (Stanford University Press, 2008). Andersson is the ERC Principal Investigator of FUTUREPOL, a Sciences Po project on the political history of the future, knowledge production and future governance in the post-war period. Her research is interdisciplinary, moving across ideational perspectives on political economy to political and intellectual history in the transnational and global field.


Candidates who wish to work with Jenny Andersson apply directly for doctoral positions at MaxPo (Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies) in Paris. Open PhD positions at MaxPo will be announced here. Information on our cotutelle program is available here.


Research Fields:
  • Political economy of contemporary social democracy
  • Histories of prediction
  • Expertise and global intellectual history
More about Jenny Andersson ...


Olivier Godechot

Olivier Godechot

Co-Director at the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies

Phone + 33 1 45 49 86 72

Olivier Godechot is an economic sociologist interested in the study of labor markets, especially finance and academic labor markets, as a means to understand the development of unequal exchange relations at work and their impact on the dynamics of inequality. He has studied the division of labor and ordinary rationalities in a trading room and compensation mechanisms in the financial industry. Extending his interest in labor markets to academia, he has also examined university hiring, in particular the impact of networks on recruitment. He has published four books on wages, finance, labor markets, and traders. Candidates with research projects on finance, academia, labor markets or inequalities are invited to apply.

Candidates who wish to work with Olivier Godechot apply directly for doctoral positions at MaxPo (Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies) in Paris. Open PhD-positions at MaxPo will be announced here. Information on our cotutelle program is available here.

Research Fields:
  • Labor markets in finance and academia
  • Dynamics of Inequality
More about Olivier Godechot ...


Ariane Leendertz

Ariane Leendertz

Head of Research Group "Economization of the Social and the History of Complexity" at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG)

Phone + 49 221 2767-160

Ariane Leendertz is a modern historian who came to the MPIfG in 2012 from the Amerika-Institut at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Her research interests include twentieth century German and American history, the history of the social sciences, and intellectual history. Among the subjects she has dealt with are identification of historical breaking or turning points and the difficulties of writing recent history from the perspective of the present. She is particularly interested in understanding the developments that contributed to the end of the postwar order in the 1970s and their impact on contemporary social sciences, policymaking, and public debate. Her current research project focuses on the rise of discourse about complexity from the 1960s onward and the role it has played both in social science and public policy. Leendertz' research group investigates developments in the 1970s and 1980s that can be framed as "Ökonomisierung des Sozialen," (i.e., economic definitions of the social), such as the "marketization" of public and political discourse, economic conceptions of the self, and the social and cultural implications of the expansion of financial services.

Research Fields:
  • Intellectual History/ History of Ideas
  • Political History
  • History of the Social Sciences/ History of Knowledge

More about Ariane Leendertz...


Sigrid Quack

Sigrid Quack

Professor of Comparative Sociology
University of Duisburg-Essen
Associate Head of Research Group "Institution building across borders" at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG)
Associate Senior Fellow at KHK/Centre for Global Cooperation Research

Phone + 49 203 379-4794  

Sigrid Quack, a sociologist with an interdisciplinary orientation, is broadly interested in the preconditions, actors and effects of the development of transnational institutions. Her research focuses on the constitution of epistemic and governance authority in cases of institution building characterized by the participation of private and civil society actors. She also studies the interplay of intended and emergent processes of institutionalization. Recent projects investigate the social and organizational practices that actors use to cope with regulatory uncertainties arising from the polycentric nature of transnational governance. Examples are projects on the organization of creative processes in the music and pharmaceutical industries in relation to intellectual property regulation; patterns of occupational mobility between NGOs in transnational labor markets; and recursive processes between rule-setting and the implementation of transnational standards and legal norms.

Research Fields:
  • Globalization and transnational institution building
  • Epistemic and governance authority
  • Social and organizational practices of coping with regulatory uncertainty
  • Recursivity of transnational and international legal norms
  • Comparative economic and organizational sociology
More about Sigrid Quack at the University of Duisburg-Essen...
More about Sigrid Quack at KHK...


Karen Shire

Karen Shire

Professor of Comparative Sociology and Japanese Society
University of Duisburg-Essen

Phone + 49 203 379-4048  

Karen Shire is Professor of Comparative Sociology at the University Duisburg-Essen, where she is also a member of the Institute of East Asian Studies. Her research interest is the comparative/historical study of work, organizations, and social institutional change in Europe and Asia. She approaches social institutional changes as shifts in responsibilities for the governance of risks. She is especially interested in how state policies shape (also unintentionally) the creation and construction of markets to displace or overlay public, collective, private firm-internal, and/or familial governance of social risks. Her empirical research has focused on the erosion of employment and welfare change. With her research group she is currently investigating the development of transnational labor markets, especially the role of intermediaries and recruitment firms in creating markets for cross-border temporary labor, with empirical research spanning technical, domestic, forced, and trafficked labor.

Research Fields:
  • Comparative/historical social institutionalism
  • Cross-border labor markets and transnational regulation
  • Gender, work, and organization
More about Karen Shire...




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Last modified Mittwoch, 17. Mai 2017