Doctoral Students

Research focus

"Who becomes a European Teacher?

A Bourdieusian approach to internationalisation in teacher education: A cross-field application of the notion of the ‘transnational habitus.’"

This research is concerned with the Europeanisation of teacher education viewed through a sociological lense.

As recognised by policy makers in the European Union (EU), administrators, and scholars alike, teacher education in all EU member states has to prepare teachers for the demands presented by internationalisation and a global context. On a related note, a widely voiced argument is that there is need for increased political and institutional commitment to internationalisation and Europeanisation in teacher education. This work will be concerned with different questions which arise against this background. A central idea discussed here is the concept of the European teacher as a model the EU is striving to create through the internationalisation of and by infusing a global and European perspective into teacher education – with the result to produce educators who can support all students and who can teach from multicultural, global and ethnorelativist perspectives. But how do European teachers become European teachers and who becomes a European teacher? This work approaches these questions through social theory, specifically Pierre Bourdieu´s concepts of social fields and habitus. In line with many recent scholarly works, I aim to apply Bourdieu´s toolbox and explore the notion of transnational habitus in the context of different social fields with the intend to analyse the formation of a transnational habitus – if and under which conditions it emerges and who develops it. In this work, I will explore the notion of transnational habitus as a possible feature of the European teacher and challenges for teacher education in Europe arising in this context.

Research focus:

"Development Cooperation as a means of European Union external Migration Management: Trade-offs, inconsistencies, and implications for EU institutional balances"

This doctoral project investigates the question of how the EU uses development cooperation as a means of external migration management. In the course of the so-called refugee crisis, the strategy of including countries of origin and transit in migration management is becoming increasingly popular both at EU level and in the member states. This phenomenon is known in academia as the externalisation of EU migration policy. The externalisation strategy aims to ensure that people do not set off for Europe in the first place but find protection in their countries of origin and other third countries. This approach is also called the cause of flight approach, as it aims to eliminate the causes of flight. Development cooperation plays a central role in externalisation policy and in the causes of flight approach. In this context, actors from development cooperation complain that migration management infiltrates them and disregards their actual goals, such as sustainable poverty reduction. This project sees EU development cooperation and EU migration policy as separate policy areas that have recently become intertwined. The hypothesis is that this will create a new EU "development migration policy field". In this sense, this doctoral project asks about the constitution of this policy field by the refugee crisis and about possible different logics of action and paradoxes of this policy field. In addition, the question is asked to what extent the emergence of this policy field has an influence on the institutional network of the EU.

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Research focus:

"Der Heilige Mensch: Aspekte von kinematographischer Erinnerung im europäischen Nachkriegskino"

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Hanna Kieschnick is a research fellow in the DFG project Paradoxien der Personenfreizügigkeit and a doctoral candidate at the European University Flensburg. In the project, she mainly deals with the case country of Romania. She studied European Studies at Syddansk Universitet in Sønderborg (Denmark) and obtained a Master's degree in International Politics and International Law at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, where she was also employed as a research assistant. Her master's thesis focused on the impact of social movements and protest moments on agenda setting in international institutions. 

Her research interests concern the dynamics of the EU integration process, institutional change and party systems, possibilities for action and political potentials of non-state actors, and critical perspectives on political-economic processes. 

Topic of the dissertation

Soziale Dienstleistungen für dauerhaft hilfebedürftige Menschen in Europa: Potenziale einer vertieften europäischen Integration

Soziale Dienstleistungen, etwa die Pflege und Betreuung von Senioren oder Menschen mit Behinderungen, sind innerhalb der EU nationalstaatlich organisiert. Die EU-Dienstleistungsrichtlinie von 2006 schließt den Sektor sogar explizit vom europäischen Integrationsprozess aus. Gleichzeitig steigt mit zunehmender Arbeitnehmer-Mobilität auch die Nachfrage an grenzüberschreitenden Sozialdienstleistungen. Dieses Projekt wird die Möglichkeiten einer vertieften europäischen Integration in diesem Sektor erforschen. Die Ansätze für diese Forschung umfassen den Vergleich der wohlfahrtsstaatlichen Systeme, die Bedeutung der Solidarität zwischen den Mitgliedsstaaten für vergangene Integrationsversuche, sowie Parallelen zur (weiter fortgeschrittenen) Integration des Sektors der Gesundheitsdienstleistungen.

Research focus:

"The Convergence of the Far-right and Far-left Political Parties on the Socioeconomic Policies in Europe"

This research investigates the realignment and the dealignment processes of the radical parties in Europe, especially focusing on the stances of immigration, class appeal and attitudes towards the European Union integration. The project aims to demonstrate the changing and overlapping nature of radical and mainstream politics in Europe while identifying the factors that incite such shifts throughout the 21st century.

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Research focus

"The Relevance of Migrant Integration Policies in Prevention of Diaspora Nationalism"

Following the arrival of the Gastarbeiter (guest workers) in the 1960s and 1970s, German states have pursued various migrant integration policies. While some German states have introduced inclusive and liberal policies, the others have followed a rather assimilationist approach. Since the results of recent studies illustrate that, although to a varying extent, migrant integration policies have an impact on diaspora nationalism, this dissertation concerns with the third generation of migrants, and seeks to understand what role migrant integration policies play in the persistence of ethnic retention.

Research Topic:

"The role of the European Commission in European Budgetary Politics"

This doctoral research aims to analyse the dynamics of preference formation and negotiation strategies of the Commission in European budgetary politics. With powers that range from the formal agenda-setting to an informal presence throughout the budgetary process, the Commission remains a pivotal actor in this policy field. Yet, after the strong entrepreneurship of the earliest Colleges, the Commission appeared progressively less ambitious. The changing attitude of this institution offers, thus, an interesting puzzle to solve. Is the Commission increasingly restrained towards budgetary politics or is it shifting its priorities and interests? This study intends to challenge the traditional understanding of the Commission as a static and rather indulgent actor of the budgetary politics, depicting a more detailed and nuanced picture. The research might have positive impacts on both the theoretical debate on supranational institutions and budgetary politics, as well as on the concrete unfolding of the budgetary procedures. Indeed, the recent developments induced by the pandemic confirm the relevance of this research, which could contribute to the understanding of a particularly salient policy domain of the EU.

Kseniia Cherniak is a research fellow and a PhD candidate at the Europa-Universität Flensburg. She received bachelor and master degree in sociology at the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine), where she also worked as a chair assistant at the Department of Political Sociology, and a master degree in Sociology – European Societies at the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), where she was a student assistant at the project AFFIN (Affective and cultural Dimensions of Integration in the wake of fleeing and immigration). For two years she also worked as a research assistant at the Centre for East-European and International Studies (ZOiS) (Berlin).


"The role of (post-crisis) neoliberalisation in the Intra-EU emigration trends"

The research project investigates the role and influence of neoliberalisation, chosen as a strategy to combat consequences of the 2008 economic crisis by some EU members, primarily, in the Central and Eastern Europe, on the outward migration in these countries. Context and implementation of policies will be studied as well as governments’ motivations to introduce these policies and attitudes of population and civil society to them. To cover general context and non-crisis factors of emigration and neoliberalisation, situation in the countries prior and after the crisis and the overall attitude of European institutions towards neoliberal policies also will be researched.

Lara's research focus is: the (regional) difference in female employment growth. She is doctoral researcher at the Department for  Comparative Political Economy of the Institute for International Management.

Monika Verbalyte has B.A. in Political Science from University of Vilnius (2007) and M.A. in European Sociology from Freie Universität Berlin (2010). From 2015 to 2020, she was Research Fellow in the project "Network Europe: Transnational Human Activities and European Integration" at University of Magdeburg ( and now joins Europe-University of Flensburg and ICES in the project "Value Conflicts in a Differentiated Europe (ValCon)" lead by Prof. Monika Eigmüller ( Monika Verbalyte is also a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin. Her doctoral thesis "The Emotional Dynamics of Political Scandal" examines how emotions of the public are produced, articulated and shaped by the media during the political scandal. Her research interests include emotion sociology, political communication, political attitudes and behavior, European sociology, social network analysis and discourse methodology. She has already published some peer-reviewed articles in European Journal of Political Science and Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research. In the later, she is now also a guest-editor of the special issue on affective reactions on political crises in Europe and in American Behavioral Scientist on the link between populism and emotions.


Research foci:

  • Internationalisierung und Globalisierung (und dem darin enthaltenen Europa Bezug) in der Lehrer*innenbildung
  • Weitere Schwerpunkte in Lehre und Forschung
    • Ethnographie und Diskursethnographie
    • Rekonstruktive Sozialforschung
    • Verhältnisse zwischen Schule, Familie und Raum
    • Institutionen aus praxistheoretischer Perspektive
    • Erzieherische und pädagogische Grenzverschiebungen
    • Bildung und Gewalt

Further Information

Christine Barwick is a sociologist specialising in international migration and mobility, Europeanisation, and urban sociology. She studied social sciences at the Humboldt University in Berlin (B.A. and M.A.). Her doctoral thesis on social mobility and neighbourhood choice of Turkish-Germans in Berlin (Humboldt University of Berlin) received several awards, including the Dissertation Award of the Urban and Regional Sociology Section of the German Sociological Association and the Hartmut Häußermann Award 'Socially Integrative City'. As a post-doctoral researcher, she was involved in the Centre for European Studies at Sciences Po Paris, project 'What is governed in the large metropolis? Comparing Paris and London', and at the Centre Marc Bloch Berlin, in the research group 'Migration, Mobility and Spatial Reordering'.

Christine is currently working on the ACCESS + project on access to social rights for EU migrants, as well as on cross-border mobility, transnationalism and identification of Black and Ethnic Minority Europeans.

Research focus:

  • Europäisierung/Transnationalisierung
  • Mobilität
  • Bildung
  • soziale Ungleichheit

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Vincent is a Post-Doc at the Seminar for Sociology and Managing Editor of the journal Culture, Practice and Europeanization. His main research foci are:

- Europeanization Processes

- Political Sociology, esp. Field Theory

- Sociology of Expertise and Intellectual Fields

- Comparative and Historical Sociology, esp. of the Social Sciences & Humanities

- Theories of 'The Political'

- Public Sociology

Further information:

Research focus

  •     political sociology
  •     qualitative empirical social research
  •     Border research
  •     European integration
  •     Nation statehood

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