Sprechstundenzeiten / Office hours

Während des Semesters ist meine Sprechstunde in Göttingen immer Dienstags 13.00-15.00 Uhr. Bitte tragen Sie sich im StudIP für einen oder mehrere Zeitslots ein. Wenn ein Dienstag nicht freigegeben ist, oder wenn Sie Dienstags keine Zeit haben, schreiben Sie mir einfach eine Mail und wir finden einen anderen Termin.

In der vorlesungsfreien Zeit: Schreiben Sie mir einfach eine Mail mit einem Terminvorschlag.

During the semester, my office hours are tuesdays from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm. Please use the StudIP to reserve a time slot. If you don´t have time on tuesdays (or if a given tuesday is not open, or if the given tuesday is already full), just send me an email an we´ll find another date.

During the semester break: Just send me an email with some suggested dates.


Wenn Sie bei mir eine Abschlussarbeit schreiben wollen, finden Sie hier einige Hinweise.

If you would like me to supervise your thesis, here are some points to consider.

Wenn Sie in die Sprechstunde kommen, weil Sie ein Gutachten von mir möchten: Hier sind die Spielregeln.

If you like me to write a letter of reference for you: Look here for some instructions.

New publication: Where is the culture in European Studies?

Together with the whole Euroculture Göttingen team, I have a new publication: For the „20 years of Euroculture“ edited volume, we had a look at how the term „culture“ is used in European studies teaching and research. The takeaway is that research on European integration mostly sees different national cultures as an obstacle to integration, while European studies teaching often emphasizes a common European culture. How we can translate this finding into ideas for research and teaching is an open question left to another publication. At the moment: Thanks to the fantastic editors of the Groningen Euroculture team!

If you want me to write a letter of reference for you

Because that´s a FAQ, here is the answer to the question: „Could you write a letter of reference for me?“

Answer: Yes, if you have visited one of my seminars (i.e.: I know you a bit better). It can´t hurt if you were good in the seminar and participated a lot. The golden rule is:

“I don’t write a reference for a student unless I can write a very positive and specific one. Therefore, your job as a student is to become the kind of student professors can rave about in recommendations — hardworking, collegial, and intellectually inquisitive and honest. Consider maintaining relationships over time with professors, so that they know you well enough to write for you.”

This is not meant to discourage you, just to tell you: Put an effort into the seminar, and the letter of reference will be no problem.

Please hand in the following information beforehand:

  • Your CV
  • For what purpose/organization do you need the letter of reference?
  • Are there any formal requirements? Until when do I have to hand in the letter to whom etc.?

If you have done all this, visit me during my office hours and we can talk about the letter of reference.


Neuer Beitrag zur Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung bei der Planung von Stromtrassen

Zusammen mit Winona Hagendorf und Niklas Klinger habe ich einen neuen Artikel in der moderne staat veröffentlicht. Wir betrachten vergleichend die Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung der Übertragungsnetzbetreiber und der Bundesnetzagentur, und schauen, wer sich wo wie beteiligt. Ergebnis: BürgerInnen wenden sich häufiger an die Bundesnetzagentur, vor allem die Profis nutzen die Möglichkeit der doppelten Beteiligung (schreiben Eingaben an die Netzbetreiber UND die Bundesnetzagentur), und die Konsultation der Bundesnetzagentur wird dazu genutzt, sich über die Netzbetreiber zu beschweren.

Oder etwas anders formuliert im Abstract:

Es ist etablierte Praxis, dass Behörden die Öffentlichkeit vor wichtigen Entscheidungen beteiligen. In jüngster Zeit sind auch private Akteure wie Unternehmen gefordert, vor Großprojekten die Öffentlichkeit zu beteiligen. Der Beitrag untersucht, wie sich Teilnehmerfeld und Stellungnahmen dieser Konsultationen unterscheiden in Abhängigkeit davon, ob Behörden oder Unternehmen die Konsultation durchführen. Empirischer Fall ist die Aufstellung des Netzentwicklungsplanes Strom durch Netzbetreiber und Bundesnetzagentur, die beide die Öffentlichkeit beteiligen. Ergebnis ist, dass BürgerInnen sich häufiger an die Bundesnetzagentur wenden, und dass vor allem professionelle Akteure der Interessenvermittlung die Möglichkeit der doppelten Konsultationsteilnahme nutzen. Die tauschtheoretische Vermutung, dass an die Netzbetreiber vor allem ökonomische und an die Bundesnetzagentur vor allem juristische Argumente gerichtet werden, bestätigt sich nicht. Allerdings nutzen die KonsultationsteilnehmerInnen die Konsultation bei der Bundesnetzagentur, um die mangelnde Responsivität der Netzbetreiber zu kritisieren. Eine Lösung könnte sein, staatlichen Akteuren mehr Kompetenzen zu geben, die Konsultationen von Unternehmen zu begleiten und rechtlich einzurahmen.

On my way to ECPR Wroclaw

Next week, I´m on my way to the ECPR General Conference in Wroclaw. I´m chairing a panel on Comparative Perspectives on Public Participation as a Tool of Regulatory Governance, and present a paper – together with Eva Ruffing – titled Reputation or Capacity Driven? How Regulators Use Stakeholder Consultations in Multi-Level Arrangements in another panel. And maybe, only maybe, I can do some sightseeing in Wroclaw.

Euroculture IP 2019

As the director of studies of Euroculture Göttingen, I am very happy to be part of the organizing committee for the Euroculture Intensive Programme 2019. Together with colleagues from the universities of Pune and Olomouc, we have curated an academic and cultural programme about „Inequality and solidarity“. I´m looking forward to going to Olomouc at the end of June to see how it all works out and meet many old and new colleagues and friends – and a big thankyou to my fantastic Göttingen team!

New article on German Bundesländer parties and grid expansion

Together with Jan Bartels, Winona Hagendorf and Niklas Klinger, I have published an article on German subnational party positions on grid expansion.

The punchline: Economic interests of the Land are more important than party ideology; the conflict line runs between Länder, not between parties. Parties from the Northern, windy Länder are overall in favour of grid expansion, parties from the Southern Länder or the transit Länder in the middle are rather against grid expansion.


The German energy transition necessitates the expansion of the electricity transmission grid. Grid expansion is governed jointly by the federal government and the governments of the subnational states. Conflicts often erupt about the routing of grid projects. This article asks how German subnational parties form their positions on grid expansion. Based on a quantitative analysis of party manifestos, we conclude that the position of the federal party has little influence. Instead, German subnational party preferences are shaped by the energy production structure of their state. The more wind energy a state produces, the more in favour of grid expansion are its parties. Thus, the conflict over grid expansion will most likely persist. The article highlights a paradox of energy policy in a federal system: German federalism has encouraged the expansion of renewable energies, but is detrimental to coherent grid expansion for their utilization.

On my way to Munich

Tomorrow, I´ll be on my way to Munich to present a paper at the Governance of Big Transformations conference.

I present a working paper – co-authored with Eva Ruffing – on participation in German energy grid planning. While our earlier analyses were quite skeptical of the 2012 public participation, there is hope: In our paper for Munich, we show that participating actors learn over time to use the „right“ keywords in their consultation contributions. The more often they have participated in the consultation procedure – and from 2012 to 2017 they could in principle have participated in nine consultations – the more they use the keywords „Wirksamkeit“, „Bedarf“ and „Erforderlichkeit“ that are also used by the Federal Network Agency.


Admittedly, this is a superficial measure of learning, but there is some hope that public participation is getting better in the sense of participants communicating the right kind of information to the consulting actors.