Geschwister Scholl Institute of Political Science

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In our research, one of our core interests is in understanding and explaining how international institutions are designed, how they evolve and what consequences they induce. Our research ranges from questions addressing the design of multi-level governance structures and institutions, to the impact of EU policies and institutions abroad, as well as challenges to the legitimacy of international institutions. Empirically, one of our main fields of inquiry is the EU, its institutions, policies and processes.

Our approach to explain political phenomena is problem-driven, theory-oriented, and committed to methodological pluralism. In analytical and theoretical terms, we are very invested in exploring the dynamics of institutional design, their underlying drivers as well as their short- and long-term effects on actors’ preferences, strategies and public policies.

Current Projects

  • Diversity or Convergence? Explaining the development of defense-industrial policies (DFG-funded; project leader: Moritz Weiss)
  • Public Responsibility Attributions in International Organisations (Berthold Rittberger & Bernhard Zangl)
  • Secrecy and Surveillance: Paradoxes of Modernity (Berthold Rittberger)
  • The Representation of Women in the European Parliament (Berthold Rittberger & Jessica Fortin-Rittberger)

Current Publications


  • Biermann, Felix and Jagdhuber, Stefan (2021): Take it and leave it! A postfunctionalist bargaining approach to the Brexit negotiations, West European Politics
  • Biermann, Felix and Weiss, Moritz (2021): Powerhouse Without a Cause? - Germany’s stealth strategy and the integration of European defence, Journal of European Integration
  • Biermann, Felix and Rittberger, Berthold (2020): Balancing Competence and Control: Indirect Governance-Triangles in EU Regulation; in The Governor’s Dilemma, Oxford University Press
  • Heinkelmann-Wild, Tim; Kriegmair, Lisa and Rittberger, Berthold (2020): The EU Multi-level System and the Europeanization of Domestic Blame Games, Politics and Governance
  • Heinkelmann-Wild, Tim; Kriegmair, Lisa; Rittberger, Berthold and Zangl, Bernhard (2020): Divided They Fail: The Politics of Wedge Issues and Brexit, Journal of European Public Policy
  • Kriegmair, Lisa; Heinkelmann-Wild, Tim; Rittberger, Berthold and Zangl, Bernhard (2021): Dolce far niente? Non-compliance and blame avoidance in the EU, West European Politics
  • Müller Gómez, Johannes and Thieme, Alina (2020): The Appointment of the President of the European Commission 2019: A toothless European Parliament?; in Die Europawahl 2019, Springer VS
  • Pamp, Oliver; Lebacher, Michael; Thurner, Paul and Ziegler, Eva (2021): Explaining destinations and volumes of international arms transfers: A novel network Heckman selection model, European Journal of Political Economy
  • Rittberger, Berthold (2021): Die Europäische Union. Politik, Institutionen, Krisen, C.H.BECK
  • Rittberger, Berthold and Richardson, Jeremy (2020): Brexit: simply an omnishambles or a major policy fiasco?, Journal of European Public Policy
  • Schindler, Sebastian (2020): The Task of Critique in Times of Post-Truth Politics, Review of International Studies
  • Schindler, Sebastian (2020): Clausewitz zur Einführung, Junius
  • Schindler, Sebastian and Martill, Benjamin (2020): Theory as Ideology in International Relations; The Politics of Knowledge, Routledge
  • Weiss, Moritz and Biermann, Felix (2021): Networked politics and the supply of European defence integration, Journal of European Public Policy
  • Weiss, Moritz and Biermann, Felix (2021): Cyberspace and the protection of critical national infrastructure, Journal of Economic Policy Reform
  • Weiss, Moritz (2020): Varieties of Privatization: Informal Networks, Trust and State Control of the Commanding Heights, Review of International Political Economy
  • Weiss, Moritz and Heinkelmann-Wild, Tim (2020): Disarmed principals? Institutional Resilience and the Non-Enforcement of Delegation, European Political Science Review