Other Projects

This site summarises some of my other ongoing activities and research projects:


Working Group on Trade Policy at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation

I am currently serving as a member of the Working Group on Trade Policy convened by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the largest political foundation in Germany, to advise on future priorities and challenges of German and European trade policy.


Joint Research Project: “Authoritarian regimes and legally binding regional integration and cooperation” at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

Together with Christian von Soest (GIGA Institute of African Studies), I examine why authoritarian regimes in Africa formally support and ratify continental provisions aimed at democracy-promotion and against so-called unconstitutional changes of government.

We presented drafts and preliminary results of our work at the following workshops and conferences:

  • Workshop “Varieties of Punishment”, April 6–8, 2017 organised by the FU Berlin, KFG The Transformative Power of Europe
  • 7th European Studies Conference on African Studies (ECAS) in Basel, June 29 – July 1, 2017.
  • Offene Sektionstagung der DVPW-Sektion “Internationale Beziehungen”, Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaften, Universität Bremen, October 4–6, 2017
  • 59th Annual Convention, International Studies Association (ISA), San Francisco, April 4–7, 2018
  • the upcoming 2018 APSA Annual Conference, August 30 – September 2, 2018 in Boston, MA


Joint Research Project: “Unfolding Research: Discovering Reliable Strategies for Early-Career Researchers” funded by the Economic and Social Research Council

The ESRC-funded project aims to identify and curate easily accessible problem-solving strategies tailored to the needs of PhD students and early career researchers. The project is conducted jointly with Onna Malou van den Broek, a fellow PhD student at King’s College London, and is part of the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP).

The research strategies are intended to guide young researchers through moments of pressure, help them sustain or restore productive thinking processes and allow them to approach problems from new and unusual directions. The strategies serve as short reminders of proven and reliable working habits. While prescribing no detailed method, the strategies will encourage young researchers to look beyond their conventional working patterns, consider alternative approaches and stimulate creative thinking.

We collect these working principles using an interdisciplinary and inclusive process, involving experienced researchers and the PhD community in various fields and institutions. Our project contributes to the sharing of successful research and problem-solving techniques across generations of academics, disciplines and universities.


Joint Research Project: “The Legitimation of Transnational Trade Governance”

The research collaboration with Prof. Dr. Christian Joerges, Professor of Law and Society, Hertie School of Governance and Bremen University, examines new trends in international trade governance in light of fundamental concerns about the democratic legitimation of trade agreements. It contributes to the development of an economic sociology of law.

Recent publication: Fabian Bohnenberger and Christian Joerges: “A conflicts-law response to the precarious legitimacy of transnational trade governance”, published in the Research Handbook on the Sociology of International Law, edited by Moshe Hirsch, Von Hofmannsthal Professor of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and Andrew Lang, Chair of International Law and Global Governance, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, UK


This chapter discusses the fundamental tensions between economic globalisation and democratic politics in the field of international trade. New bilateral and regional trade agreements increasingly incorporate other ‘trade-related’ policy areas and threaten to constrain state action and democratic politics. The move towards deeper and more comprehensive trade deals has greatly accentuated grievances and is of exemplary importance in the realms of transnational governance. We examine the decoupling of these agreements from national and democratic control and the resulting legitimacy impasses of transnational governance, based upon the theoretical frameworks of Karl Polanyi and Dani Rodrik. Arguing that politics is not a mistake that gets in the way of markets, we submit our own conceptualisation of transnational legitimacy. In doing so, we suggest a new type of conflicts law which does not seek to overcome socio-economic and political diversity by some substantive transnational regime, but responds to diversity with procedural safeguards, thus ensuring space for cooperative problem-solving and the search for fair compromises.


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