Doctoral Students

Research focus

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

This PhD project explores 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 involving countries of origin and transit in migration management is becoming increasingly popular both at the 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 prevent people from making their way to Europe in the first place, but to find protection in their countries of origin and other third countries. This approach is also called the root cause approach, as it aims to eliminate the causes of flight. Development cooperation plays a central role in the externalisation policy and the root cause approach. In this context, actors from development cooperation complain that it is being undermined by migration management and that its actual goals, such as sustainable poverty reduction, are being disregarded. This project understands EU development cooperation and EU migration policy as separate policy fields that have recently become intertwined. This, according to the hypothesis, gives rise to a new EU "development-migration policy field". In this sense, this PhD project asks about the constitution of this policy field through the refugee crisis and about possible different logics of action and paradoxes of this policy field. It also asks 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

"The Holy Man: Aspects of Cinematic Memory in Post-War European Cinema".

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Kseniia Cherniak is a researcher 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).

Research focus:

"European integration in the area of defence: theoretical and methodological investigation"

The research project aims to conceptualise and develop the methodological background for studying the phenomenon of defence integration in the European Union. Although in recent years the topics of defence integration and related processes has been actively discussed by researchers and policy analysts, barely any study defines the phenomenon and provides clear understanding of what is analysed under the defence integration and why. The dissertation aims to close this research gap by applying the framework of sociology of knowledge to the research on European defence policy and European integration. It is expected to form conceptual and methodological foundation for further investigation and observation of the defence integration in the European Union and beyond.

"Research focus: Transparency and informalization in EU policymaking process.

The prominence of informal decision-making has indisputably revamped EU’s legislative procedure. Since its initial introduction in 1994, the utilization of informal decision-making venue known as informal trilogue to facilitate legislative deals between EU legislative bodies has grown persistently and exponentially. The trend to informal decision-making represents a paradox conspicuously when assessed with the development of EU’s institutional reform for more democracy. The presence and increasing importance of informal trilogue in EU’s legislative procedure presents an anomaly: while EU has shown and taken considerable commitment, measures, and development in increasing the transparency and accountability of its (formal) policymaking, EU’s decision-making process largely takes place in the restricted secluded arena of decision making. The anomaly suggests potential causal relationship EU’s increased enforcement of transparency in (formal) legislative procedure and informalization. The research aims to investigate whether the shift to informal decision making can be attributed to the greater transparency enacted within EU’s legislative procedure. The relationship between increased transparency regulations of the legislative process and the trend to informal decision-making is the main focus of this research. "

Research focus: Authoritarianism and authoritarian formations within social movements

Carl Dewald is doing his doctoral thesis on authoritarianism and authoritarian formations within social movements. Focusing on the aftermath of the Corona-Protests he attempts to characterize the authoritarian potential of late-modern societies more precisely.

The development of law and dogmatics in the pandemic and the role of the executive

The research project examine the development of infection control law and legal dogmatics in the Corona pandemic using jurisprudential and contemporary historical methodology. The project is based on the following assumption: the executive has a central role in both the development of legal norms and the development of legal dogmatics. The development of law and dogmatics by the legislative bodies and the application of the law can be easily traced in the pandemic because of its rapidity, but it does not differ fundamentally from the development of other areas of law. The study is intended to contribute to theory-building on the development of administrative law and its dogmatics.

Research focus

Tthe (regional) difference in female employment growth. She is doctoral researcher at the Department for  Comparative Political Economy of the Institute for International Management.

Research topic

The right to healthcare of undocumented migrants in Germany, France and Italy

The right to healthcare and its protection is essential to living a dignified life. Nevertheless, undocumented migrants do not hold equal rights as regular residents do. They need access to healthcare, but are, because of their residence status not necessarily entitled to it, or only to a small extent compared to people with a regular residence status.

The research analyses the right to healthcare in international and European law and compares the concrete design of healthcare benefits granted to undocumented migrants in Germany, Italy and France. The research is linked to the bigger question of the universality of human rights and if undocumented migrants benefit from promises under human rights law.

Research focus

Social services for people in permanent need of assistance in Europe: Potentials of deeper European integration

Social services, such as care and assistance for the elderly or people with disabilities, are organised nationally within the EU. The EU Services Directive of 2006 even explicitly excludes the sector from the European integration process. At the same time, with increasing worker mobility, the demand for cross-border social services is also rising. This project will explore the possibilities of deeper European integration in this sector. Approaches to this research include the comparison of welfare state systems, the importance of solidarity between member states for past integration attempts, as well as parallels to the (more advanced) integration of the health services sector.


"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.

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Research Topic:

"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 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.

Alejandro Valdivia is a social scientist in international relations, specialising in global health, international protection and international patent law. Cross-cutting themes of his research are ethics and gender. As part of his work as a research assistant and PhD candidate at the Interdisciplinary Centre for European Studies in Flensburg, Alejandro is working on the Franco-German research project "Access+" on access to social rights for women and migrants in France and Germany.

Alejandro's dissertation project deals with the representation of health interests of workers in the low-wage sector of the service industry in France and Germany. He examines the interaction between labour unions and political parties in regard to the health interests of precarious workers.

Alejandro holds a Master's degree in International Relations from the TU Dresden (Germany) and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the Universities of Besancon and Strasbourg (France). Alejandro also holds a degree in Humanities from the Jesuit University Antonio Ruiz de Montoya (Peru)."

Monika Verbalyte holds a B.A. in Political Science from Vilnius University (2007) and an M.A. in European Sociology from Freie Universität Berlin (2010). From 2015 to 2020 she was a research assistant in the project "Network Europe: Transnational Human Activities and European Integration" at the University of Magdeburg and now she is starting at the Europa-Universität Flensburg in the project "Value Conflicts in a Differentiated Europe (ValCon)", directed by Prof. Monika Eigmüller. Monika Verbalyte is also a doctoral candidate at the Department of Sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin. In her dissertation "The Emotional Dynamics of Political Scandal" she investigates how public emotions are produced, articulated and shaped by the media during political scandal.

Research interests

  • sociology of emotion
  • political communication
  • political attitudes and behaviour
  • European sociology
  • social network analysis
  • discourse analysis

She has already published several peer-reviewed articles: in the European Journal of Political Science and Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research. In the latter, she is now also guest editor of the special issue on affective reactions to political crises in Europe and in American Behavioral Scientist on the link between populism and emotions.

The doctoral project deals with transformation processes in peripheral areas.

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Scholars affiliated to the European Wasatia Graduate School

Yosur Shukri Al-Kukhun

Yosur Shukri Al-Kukhun is a Palestinian documentary film-maker as well as a social activist in the field of humanitarian and voluntary work. She grew up in Palestine, and had won two awards in the field of documentaries (both documentary films are related to the subject of gender and violence against women). Al-Kukhun has been in the field of visual documenting since 2011, to date. During her work as a documentary film-maker, she discovered her interests in disciplines enclosing: Narrative, Identity, Culture, and Affiliations and their vast impact on individuals, and decided to include these disciplines in her education. She wrote her Master dissertation about "The Use of Palestinian Narrative by Palestinian Diplomacy to Help in Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict after Oslo Accord (1993-2020)."

PhD-Project: Analysis of Cinema as Visual Narrative and its Role in screening the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Bashar Alzubaidi

Bashar Alzubaidi, born in 1989 in Iraq, pursued his academic journey with resilience and dedication. After completing his bachelor's degree in German Studies with English as a minor at the University of Baghdad, he received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to continue his master's studies. From 2014 to 2016, Bashar successfully completed his Master of Arts in German as a Foreign and Second Language (DaF/DaZ) at the Philipps University of Marburg. Since 2017, Bashar has been committed to teaching German in integration and orientation courses, where he imparts language skills and cultural understanding to learners. Additionally, he served as a lecturer for Arabic at the Europa-Universität Flensburg. Bashar Alzubaidi has made significant contributions to translation and interpreting between German and Arabic, facilitating cultural dialogue through his work. Notably, he translated two influential works: "The Arabs and Europe: 2000 Years of Shared History" by Alfred Schlicht and "Imperial Way of Life: On the Exploitation of Humans and Nature in Global Capitalism" by Ulrich Brand and Markus Wissen. Currently, Bashar is engaged in a doctoral project focusing on knowledge transfer and intercultural dialogue. His research aims to deepen understanding and foster improved relations between the Arab and European worlds. The project, titled "Language and Identity, Cultural Contact, and Conflict Management between the Arab and European Worlds," reflects his dedication to promoting mutual understanding and cooperation across cultures.

Iclal Baki

Iclal Baki was born in 1990 and grew up in Hochtaunus (Hessen). After graduating from high school, she had a year of studying Arabic language as a pre-requisite for her studies in Islamic theology in Ankara, Turkey. Her Bachelor’s Degree spanned from the year 2012 to 2016 and was anchored on the religious rights of non-Muslims under the Muslim rule in the 11th century. However, having completed her Bachelor’s Degree in 2016, that same year, she enrolled for a Master of Arts Degree in Religion and Language at the University of Munster and completed it in 2019 with a thesis which examined Surah 36 of the Quran. In terms of work experience, since the end of 2019, she has been working as a research assistant in the Department of Dialogue of Religions at the Seminar for Systematic and Historical Theology of the University of Flensburg (EUF). She also took part in various interreligious platforms such as summer schools or Quran-Bible reading circles as well as giving lectures on Islam-related topics.

PhD Project: Islamische Replik auf christliche Dialogmodelle – Eine systematisch-wissenschaftliche Bestandsaufnahme

Jelena Beljin

Jelena Beljin is a reseacher whose academic journey reflects a deeply interdisciplinary approach, resulting in a richly diverse academic background. Born in Belgrade, Serbia, and raised in Berlin, she completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the Freie Universität zu Berlin, majoring in Protestant Theology and Non-Christian Religions. Building upon this foundation, she continued her studies at Humboldt Universität Berlin, earning a Master of Arts Degree in Religion and Culture. Her academic profile extends beyond theology, in particular encompassing disciplines such as cultural studies, philosophy, and inter-religious studies. As a research assistant at the Department of Dialogue of Religions at the Seminar for Systematic and Historical Theology of the University of Flensburg (EUF), she has taught courses in Systematic Theology, Comparative Theology, Inter-religious Dialogue, and Applied Ethics. Her year-long experience as a research staff member also includes organizing international conferences, reflecting her commitment to fostering academic exchange and dialogue. Her research interests focus on themes of interreligious tolerance, applied ethics, and the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In her dissertation project, she aims to explore the interdependence of these areas, seeking to deepen our understanding of the complex intersections between religion, ethics, and intercultural dialogue. Through her work, she seeks to find ways in which various religious traditions can understand and respect each other, and how ethical principles can be translated into practical applications.

PhD-Project: Interreligiöse Toleranz und politische Versöhnung. Die Bedeutung Dietrich Bonhoeffers für Fragen des Weltfriedens

Aviram Bellaishe

Aviram Bellaishe currently serves as the Vice President for Middle East Diplomacy and Communications at the JCPA Center for Policy Research, Diplomacy, and Communication. With a wealth of experience in both governmental and private sectors, Aviram has dedicated his career to fostering cross-cultural relationships and cooperation in the Middle East. At DTKGG law firm, Aviram led the Middle East and North Africa Business Cooperation, facilitating the promotion of Israeli technology across various Arab countries and Israel. For over seven years, Aviram has been deeply involved in regional public diplomacy efforts aimed at enhancing cooperation in the Middle East. Notably, he served as the Israeli Director for the "Israeli Regional Initiative," driving economic projects and cooperation through Track-2 diplomacy. In 2021, Aviram joined MENA 2050, a regional cooperation group, where he currently serves on its executive committee. Aviram holds a Bachelor's degree in Law with distinction from Colman College and a Master's degree in Law from Bar Ilan University, specializing in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. He also underwent professional mediation training at the Center for Peaceful Conflict Resolution. His dedication to Arab-Jewish initiatives underscores his commitment to exploring foundational and historical approaches for conflict resolution.

"Dynamics of Conflict Resolution in Historical Palestine: Between Arab-Jewish Cooperation and Collision, 1870 to 1948."

Finn Büttner

After completing his Bachelor's degree in History and Culture of the Near East with a focus on Islamic Studies and Political Science at the Free University of Berlin, Finn Büttner completed his Master's degree in Politics, Administration and International Relations at Zeppelin University. In his master's thesis, he analyzed contemporary Saudi regional foreign policy. Finn Büttner speaks Arabic due to his studies at the Jordanian University and the Doha Institute. Finn Büttner currently works as a research assistant at the Maecenata Institute, a think tank for civil society, where he is involved in social reconciliation initiatives in Germany.

PhD-Project: The enemy of my friend may still be my friend: An analysis of Oman's foreign policy approach towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from 1970 to 2024.

Ada Cara

Ada Cara is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Language as well as a Master of Science in Language Teaching, all from the University of Tirana in Albania. She also holds another Master’s Degree in Education and International Development which she attained from the University College of London in the UK under the prestigious Chevening scholarship which was funded by the FCDO. However, in terms of work and research experience, Ada has close to eight years of work experience in the field of language learning and educational projects, which focused mainly on Albania. Her research focuses on corruptive practices in higher education, quality of education, education, and politics of migration and education in conflict affected countries. She joined Epoka University in 2019, as part of the Political Science and International Relations Department. Thereafter, in October 2021, she participated in co-designing the first National Network on Youth, Peace, and Security as part of a project which was funded by USAID. In November 2021, she was invited by Emerald Publishing Group, Journal of Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning to be a guest editor on a part-time basis.

PhD project: Ethnic Schism as an Inhibitor for Peacebuilding in the Western Balkan: Kosovo’s Case

Tea Hodaj

Tea Hodaj is a political scientist as well as an international relations specialist from Tiran, Albania. She attained her Master of Science Degree in Political Science and International Relations from Epoka University, where she had worked as a teaching fellow for two years. During her experience as a fellow, she had taught courses such as Public Administration in Democracies, Environmental Politics, Introduction to Political Science, Political Communication and Political Sociology. With a broad experience in the field of human rights and regional cooperation, Hodaj directed her academic focus on the conflict dynamics of the Western Balkans. However, having been inspired by the richness of the oral poetry and the folklore mechanism of the Western Balkan countries, Hodaj dedicated her PhD studies to the ‘Dynamics of Historical Perspectives in the Literary Texts of the Western Balkans: Interpreting the Tracks of Political Thought embedded in National Historical Consciousness.’ Tea Hodaj aspires to contribute to the amelioration of relations and to the co-existence of the people in the region, by pointing out to the fabricated narratives that hinder it.

PhD-Project: Dynamics of Historical Perspectives in the Literary Texts of the Western Balkans. Interpreting the Tracks of Political Thought embedded in National Historical Consciousness

Doa’ Jabari

Doa’ Jabari is a dedicated lawyer and human rights activist from Palestine. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Jordan, achieving distinguished academic performance with a cumulative GPA of A with Honors. Continuing her academic journey, she pursued a Master's Degree in International Law and Transitional Justice from Al-Quds University, where she focused on the complexities between Israel and Palestine. In her professional journey, Doa’ has served as both a lawyer and a legal researcher at the High Judicial Council of Palestine. Additionally, she has contributed her skills and expertise to NGOs such as the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Her commitment to human rights extends beyond academia, as she has worked closely with refugees, including Palestinian refugees and Syrian refugees in Turkey, as well as marginalized women and children, providing essential support and advocacy. Driven by a lifelong aspiration for peace and justice, Doa’ participated in an intensive workshop on Transitional Justice at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, deepening her understanding of its principles. Inspired to share this knowledge, she volunteered to conduct seminars and workshops at Hebron University, focusing on human rights and conflict resolution in Palestine. As a member of the Women's Committee of the Palestinian Bar Association, she has provided training to Palestinian refugees, empowering them with knowledge about their rights. Currently, Doa’ is pursuing doctoral research on issues of transitional justice, reconciliation, human rights, and international law. Her aim is to contribute meaningful insights to this critical area of study, making a valuable contribution to efforts in promoting peace and justice in the Middle East.

PhD-Project: Transitional Justice between Palestine and Israel in The Case of The Palestinian Refugees 1948-1967

Philipa Joy Joseph

Philipa Joy Joseph received her Bachelor’s Degree in Theology, with the specialization in Youthwork, from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Thereafter, she completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Theology, as well as her Master’s Degree in Clinical Pastoral Care and Counselling from the same university. Her Master’s thesis focused on the dynamics between justice, love and responsibility within the counselling space, as well as the importance of multi-directed partiality and genuine dialogue. As a ‘born-free’ citizen from South Africa, her doctoral research is inspired by issues of multi-religiosity and multi-culturalism within various communities and contexts. Her doctoral research is therefore inspired by the dialogical intergenerational pastoral process, and how this relates to peacemaking, justice, ethics, genuine dialogue and harmonious living in multicultural contexts. 

PhD-Project: A qualitative study on peace and conflict resolution strategies with its focus on the Middle East, by peacemakers from multicultural and interreligious contexts by the use of a transdisciplinary approach.

Anna Lichinitzer

Anna Lichinitzer received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Thereafter, she enrolled for her Master’s Degree with the Department of Politics and Government at the same university. Her Master’s thesis, which she finished with excellency, analysed new and old surveillance mechanisms in the forced sedentretion space of Hura local council, one of the seven Bedouin planned townships at the north of the Israeli Negev. Currently, she is the Project manager of the Economy Department at the General Histadrut labour federation, as well as a PhD student at Flensburg University. Her doctoral research involves issues of transitional justice, minority issues, and national institutions of collective memory.

PhD-Project: Sousveillance in Israel – Palestine

Raanan Mallek

Raanan Mallek, M.Ed. from Hebrew College, and an MA from the Schechter Institute, has served as a Rabbi in both Israel and the US. Rabbi Mallek received ordination as a Dayan (a judge of Jewish law) from the Integral Halachah Institute where he focused on Mediation and Adjudication. His Rabbinical Ordination and Master of Jewish Studies were from the Schechter Seminary and Institute in Jerusalem. During his studies, Raanan was an interreligious scholar and event coordinator for the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for three years. His certification in facilitation and management was from the Conflict Resolution, Management and Negotiation Graduate Program of Bar Ilan University.

PhD-Project:  Martin Buber's philosophy of dialogue and his federalist socio-political writings as a framework for reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis.

 Marissa McMahon

Marissa McMahon received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts and History from Queens University Belfast in 2009 where she also did her Post Graduate Diploma in Practice Management in Community Leadership in 2012 as well as an MED (Master of Education Degree) in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion in 2013. She currently works for a Human Rights NGO as a campaign organizer on the issue of housing and justice in Northern Ireland. She started her PhD under the supervision of Prof Dr Michelle Witen in September 2022 with a thesis which focuses on Northern Irish Post-Troubles literature.

PhD-Project: Between Fact and Fiction: Analysing the Good Friday Agreement, Land Justice, and Government Housing Policies in contrast to their Representation in Northern Irish Post-Troubles Literature

Langton Muchenjekwa

Langton Muchenjekwa is a Zimbabwean and is a holder of a Master of Arts Degree in Religious Studies, an Honours Degree in Religious Studies and a Diploma in Religious Studies, all from the University of Zimbabwe. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from Lupane State University, a Professional Diploma in Sustainable Community Development and Humanitarian Project Management with Training and Development International Trust In association with Southern Africa Development Consultants Consortium (SADCCon), a Certificate in Resource Mobilisation, Project Planning and Proposal Writing with Regional Partnership for Resource Development (IRFD) and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) with TEFL Professional Development Institute. However, in terms of work experience, Langton worked as a teacher for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in Zimbabwe, teaching Family and Religious as well as Heritage Studies to Lower and Upper Six students. He also taught History and Doctrine of Islam, Sociology of Religion. Phenomenology of Religion, World Religions and Ideologies and Religion and Ethics at Zimbabwe Open University (Midlands Province-Gweru Campus) as a Part-Time lecturer. He, as well, taught other modules in the area of Ethics and Organisational Leadership (BAEL), namely Business Ethics, Foundations of Ethical Leadership and Organisational Behaviour.

PhD-Project: Religion and Reconciliation: The Case of the Gukurahundi Massacre in Zimbabwe.

Amer Naji

Amer Naji was born in Yemen, a country grappling with complex social and political issues. Despite these challenges, Amer pursued his education in Flensburg, Germany. He studied European Culture and Society at the European University of Flensburg, where he gained a thorough understanding of the continent's history, languages, and social structures. This broadened his perspective on cultural exchange and understanding. After completing his Bachelor's degree, Amer continued his studies at the same university, enrolling in a Master's program in Culture, Language, and Media. This program equipped him with critical thinking and research skills. Amer also gained practical experience by working as a student helper at the university's international office, where he interacted with students from diverse backgrounds, improving his intercultural understanding and communication skills. His commitment to social impact was evident in his internships at local government offices, where he gained insight into the challenges faced by communities and the potential for positive change through policy and civic engagement. Currently, Amer is working on a PhD project exploring the Yemeni conflict's impact on the country's education system. His research delves into the destruction of schools, the displacement of students and teachers, and the disrupted learning opportunities for young Yemenis. However, his project also focuses on the critical role education can play in rebuilding Yemen and fostering peace.

PhD-Project: The Impact of the Yemeni Conflict on Education and the Role of Education in Peacebuilding

Stephen Omondi Opondo

Stephen Omondi Opondo is a Kenyan peace activist and the Executive Director and founder of Simama Community Based Organization, which uses sports for peace, good governance, democracy promotion, and social justice in Nairobi's urban slums.  He holds a Master's Degree in Peace Studies and International Relations from the Catholic University of East Africa, a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, a diploma in Civic Development and Education, and a diploma in Broadcast Journalism. Currently, he is completing an online Master's program in Ecumenical Studies at Ukrainian Catholic University. Stephen has implemented community dialogues in Nairobi under the "Kijana Jihusishe" program, supported by the European Union, and monitored political hotspots in Nairobi's slums. Through a mentorship program supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, he has mentored 100 young people from 2019 to 2024, many of whom have run for electoral seats. He has also facilitated capacity-building workshops on good governance, political accountability, and peacebuilding. Stephen believes in positive peace and a just society that addresses the root causes of conflict through truth and forgiveness. His PhD project focuses on the gaps and challenges of historical injustices on reconciliation efforts by the Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission of Kenya.

PhD-Project: Gaps, and Challenges of Historical Injustices on Reconciliation efforts of TJRC; a case of Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission of Kenya

Nemer A. Shaheen

Nemer A. Shaheen is a Palestinian researcher from the Gaza Strip. He received his Bachelor’s in English Literature from the Islamic University in Gaza, a Master’s in Israel Studies and Zionism from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and a diploma in Environmental Studies. Shaheen's Master's thesis, "The Perceptions of Brain Drain Impact on the Economic Conditions in the Gaza Strip," addressed critical issues impacting his community from a social, political, economic, and religious facets. Since 2015, he was part of local and global institutes, where he had projects, trainings, and workshops in dialogue, education, community peacebuilding, and environmental studies. During his time in Gaza, Shaheen contributed to humanitarian efforts in time of war as part of the Heroic Hearts Org, where he worked as a field supervisor over associate NGOs in Gaza.

PhD Project: Intergenerational Trauma and Peace: Any Hope? (Case Study: The Gaza Strip)

Hani Smirat

Hani Smirat has been the Programs Manager of "Taawon for Conflict Resolution" in Palestine since 2004. He has vast experience in vocational capacity building and employability programs as well as training in dealing with conflict. He holds a Master’s Degree in American studies from Palestine University, and a diploma in International Human Rights and non-Violence and many international training courses which are concerned with conflict resolution. In addition, Hani is a research assistant in the area of conflict, identity, citizenship, and conflict resolution. In his capacity as a certified trainer, Hani has participated in many seminars and workshops on responding to conflict, peacekeeping, combating poverty and social exclusion, mediation and conflict resolution, dialogue, culture, and good governance, to mention just a few, both within Palestine as well as internationally.

PhD Project: Ubuntu in South Africa and Wasatia in Palestine: A comparative analysis of two critical concepts in light of the role of culture and religion(s) in political reconciliation

Mazen Tamimi

Mazen Tamimi is a Palestinian Diplomat with a strong academic background and extensive experience in various fields. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Law and Jurisprudence with honors from Hebron University. Mazen's academic journey continued with the prestigious 'Chevening Scholarship,' which enabled him to pursue a Master's Degree in International Law at Sussex University in the UK. Subsequently, he was awarded a 'DAAD' scholarship to complete another Master's degree in European Studies at Heinrich Heine University in Germany. In addition to his academic achievements, Mazen has actively contributed to the academic community as a teaching assistant at both Birzeit University and Hebron University. He has also played significant roles in the NGO sector, serving as a trainer and project coordinator for various national and international organizations. His work has primarily focused on areas such as debate, human rights, life skills, and electoral procedures. Mazen's diverse background and expertise make him a valuable asset to the diplomatic and academic spheres, where he continues to contribute positively to various initiatives and projects.

PhD-Project: Torture and Transitional Justice in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict 

Ajsela Toci

Ajsela Toci received her Bachelor’s and Master of Science Degree in Political Science and International Relations at Epoka University in Tirana, Albania. During her Master of Science program, she worked as a Teaching Assistant where she taught a variety of courses such as: Introduction to International Relations, Theories of International Relations, Introduction to, International Security, Democracy and Democratization. She has a broad experience providing and delivering adult learning methods and models at Epoka University at the department of Political Science and International Relations, and currently at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Department of Political Science and Philosophy at University of Tirana. Ms.Toci is also a grant researcher for the projects of the European Union and recently the project manager of: "Western Balkan Higher Educational Courses in Data Journalism", partnership with University of Tuscia, Italy.  She has been part of different course programs from Jean Monnet Modules with the support of Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and "Swedish Institute Academy for Young Professionals". During these periods, Ms. Toci has conducted research and development steps related to migration and integration in the Western Balkans, Human Rights Education Network, Developing Eastern Partnership not only in a national environment but also in an international one i.e., Western Balkans, Strasbourg/France, Tbilisi/Georgia, Tartu/Estonia. Ms. Toci exhibits a profound interest in conflict resolution, particularly within and beyond the region, demonstrating a keen passion for peace-building initiatives, conflict resolution mechanisms, and an acute understanding of historical contexts.

PhD-Project: "Promoting Reconciliation Through Peace Education Programs in Segregated Schools of Bosnia and Herzegovina"

Astela Veis

Astela Veis was born in 2000, in Albania. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and International Relations from Epoka University in Albania and a Master of Arts Degree in European Studies from the European University of Flensburg, Germany. Ms. Veis has worked as a part-time Lecturer Assistant in the European Culture and Society Department at the same institution since the start of her graduate studies. Ms. Veis has worked and broadened her expertise in a range of scientific fields about migration, politics, and diplomacy in the interim. She has also been a commenter on several historical and political books written by Albanian authors. Furthermore, Ms. Veis' expertise is strongly tied to the history and geopolitics of Eastern Europe in general, and the Western Balkans in particular.

PhD-Project: The tragic myth of Kosovo and the re-destabilization of peace in the Western Balkans; Insights into the geo-political strategy of Nafertania, 2023

Affiliierte Wasatia Fellows

Jeremias S. Schmidt

Jeremias S. Schmidt ist aufgewachsen in Baden-Württemberg. Nach einem Bundesfreiwilligendienst in einer Gemeinde in Jerusalem, Studium der Rechtswissenschaften in Bayreuth und Münster. Abschluss des Münsteraner Zertifikatskurses "Islamisches Recht" (3 Semester). Seit 2019 Promotion zur "informellen Justiz im palästinensischen Rechtssystem" unter der Betreuung von Prof. Dr. Fabian Wittreck (Institut für Öffentliches Recht und Politik) in Münster. Mehrere Stationen als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter bei der Kanzlei Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (IP/IT). Zwischenzeitlich Visiting Research Fellow am Institut für Rechtswissenschaften der Birzeit Universität (Westjordanland) und mehrmonatige Feldforschung zum indigenen Gewohnheitsrecht. Seit 2021 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl von Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kluckert (Lehrstuhl für öffentliches Recht, Universität Wuppertal), zugleich assoz. Phd-Fellow der "European Wasatia Graduate School for Peace and Conflict Resolution".

Forschung: Jeremias S. Schmidt erforscht zeitgenössisches palästinensisches Gewohnheitsrecht in den Gebieten, die nach der sog. Zwei-Staaten-Lösung einmal den Staat Palästina bilden sollen. Sowohl im Westjordanland, als auch im Gazastreifen und auch im von Israel 1980 annektierten und de facto kontrollierten Ostjerusalem, werden – parallel zu den Gerichtsverfahren, welche die jeweilige vor Ort herrschende (quasi-)staatliche Autorität durchführt – zahlreiche ernste Konflikte durch dieses Recht und seine Institutionen reguliert. Es handelt sich im Kern um ein clan- und familienbasiertes Rechtsprechungs-, Schlichtungs- und Aussöhnungssystem, dessen "(...) Ursprünge (...) sich auf über 2000 Jahre zurückdatieren" lassen und "(...) den Traditionen beduinischer Wüstenstämme" entstammen (H. Rohne, 2015). Der Schwerpunkt der Betrachtung liegt dabei in geografischer Hinsicht auf dem Westjordanland, in sachlicher Hinsicht auf (der Aussöhnung von) Gewaltkonflikten und in zeitlicher Hinsicht auf dem Zeitraum seit Ende der zweiten Intifada (Feb. 2005).


Affiliierte Wasatia Fellows

Jeremias S. Schmidt

Jeremias S. Schmidt ist aufgewachsen in Baden-Württemberg. Nach einem Bundesfreiwilligendienst in einer Gemeinde in Jerusalem, Studium der Rechtswissenschaften in Bayreuth und Münster. Abschluss des Münsteraner Zertifikatskurses "Islamisches Recht" (3 Semester). Seit 2019 Promotion zur "informellen Justiz im palästinensischen Rechtssystem" unter der Betreuung von Prof. Dr. Fabian Wittreck (Institut für Öffentliches Recht und Politik) in Münster. Mehrere Stationen als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter bei der Kanzlei Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (IP/IT). Zwischenzeitlich Visiting Research Fellow am Institut für Rechtswissenschaften der Birzeit Universität (Westjordanland) und mehrmonatige Feldforschung zum indigenen Gewohnheitsrecht. Seit 2021 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl von Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kluckert (Lehrstuhl für öffentliches Recht, Universität Wuppertal), zugleich assoz. Phd-Fellow der "European Wasatia Graduate School for Peace and Conflict Resolution".

Forschung: Jeremias S. Schmidt erforscht zeitgenössisches palästinensisches Gewohnheitsrecht in den Gebieten, die nach der sog. Zwei-Staaten-Lösung einmal den Staat Palästina bilden sollen. Sowohl im Westjordanland, als auch im Gazastreifen und auch im von Israel 1980 annektierten und de facto kontrollierten Ostjerusalem, werden – parallel zu den Gerichtsverfahren, welche die jeweilige vor Ort herrschende (quasi-)staatliche Autorität durchführt – zahlreiche ernste Konflikte durch dieses Recht und seine Institutionen reguliert. Es handelt sich im Kern um ein clan- und familienbasiertes Rechtsprechungs-, Schlichtungs- und Aussöhnungssystem, dessen "(...) Ursprünge (...) sich auf über 2000 Jahre zurückdatieren" lassen und "(...) den Traditionen beduinischer Wüstenstämme" entstammen (H. Rohne, 2015). Der Schwerpunkt der Betrachtung liegt dabei in geografischer Hinsicht auf dem Westjordanland, in sachlicher Hinsicht auf (der Aussöhnung von) Gewaltkonflikten und in zeitlicher Hinsicht auf dem Zeitraum seit Ende der zweiten Intifada (Feb. 2005).


Dr. Christine Barwick is a sociologist specialising in international migration and mobility, Europeanisation and urban sociology. She studied social sciences at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin (B.A. and M.A.). Her doctoral thesis on social mobility and neighbourhood choice of Turkish-Germans in Berlin (Humboldt Universität 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

    Social inequality

Weitere Informationen zur Person

Dr Vincent Gengnagel is research associate at the Department of Sociology and managing editor of the journal Culture, Practice and Europeanization.

Research focus

  •     Europeanisation processes
  •     Political sociology, esp. field theory
  •     Sociology of expertise and intellectual fields
  •     Comparative and historical sociology, esp. of the social sciences and humanities
  •     Theories of the 'political
  •     Public sociology

For further information, see:


  • Politische Soziologie
  • qualitative empirische Sozialforschung
  • Grenzforschung
  • Europäische Integration
  • Nationalstaatlichkeit

Weitere Informationen:


The Proudest Symbol We Could Put Forward?’ The Pink Triangle as symbol of transatlantic homosexual identity from the 1970s to the 1990s war ein Beitrag sowohl zu den Bereichen der europäischen queeren Geschichte als auch zur Globalgeschichte. Die Studie befasst sich mit transnationalen und transatlantischen kulturellen Kommunikationsnetzen von den 1970er bis zur Mitte der 1990er-Jahren und konzentriert sich auf den Rosa Winkel als Identitätsmarker in Kreisen von LSBTTIQAktivist:innen in Deutschland, Kanada, und den USA.  Dr. Sébastien Tremblay konzentrierte mich auf neue Trends der Ideengeschichte und verfolgte die visuelle Begriffsgeschichte des Rosa Winkels als vielschichtiges Symbol und Ästhetik einer imaginierten internationalen queeren Subkultur. Seine Arbeit ist die erste Studie einer der wichtigsten Symbole der euroamerikanischen Geschichte: Sie hat auch erstmals queere Geschichte mit einer globalen Ideengeschichte und die visuelle Geschichte von Konzepten mit komparativen Gedächtnisstudien und Genozidforschung verbunden. Ein wichtiger Teil der Dissertation war es, die deutsche Geschichte und die europäische Geschichte von sozialen Bewegungen mit einer Geschichte der globalen Wissenszirkulation zu verbinden. Über Vergleiche hinaus habt Dr. Sébastien Tremblay gezeigt, wie das Schreiben einer Geschichte der ‚Befreiung’ von Schwulen und Lesben das Schreiben von einer nationaler und einer transregionaler Geschichte impliziert. Er arbeitet derzeit an seiner ersten Monographie auf der Grundlage dieser Dissertation: A Badge of Injury: The Pink Triangle as Global Symbol of Gay and Lesbian Identities in the 20th Century.

Dr. Sébastien Tremblays neues Forschungsprojekt ist für seine zukünftige Habilitation konzipiert und geplant. Der vorläufige Titel ist Jewish Prostitutes on the Move: ‘White Slavery,’ Migration, and Fin de Siècle Internationalism. Dieses Projekt befasst sich mit dem historischen Einfluss von migrierenden jüdischen Prostituierten und des philanthropischen Internationalismus auf das Border-Making vom Ende des 19. bis zur ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Es konzentriert sich auf die Arbeitsmigration und zeigt die longue durée sowohl des Antisemitismus als auch der Kontrolle der weiblichen Mobilität auf, während es gleichzeitig die methodologischen Grenzen des Konzepts der Agency unterstreicht. Zu diesem Zweck werden die Alltagsstrategien osteuropäischer jüdischer Migrantinnen in deutschen (Bremen, Hamburg, Berlin, Kiel (?)) und nordamerikanischen Städten (New York, Montréal) vom Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts bis zu den politischen Krisen der Weimarer Zeit untersucht. Diese Forschung untersucht die Lebenswege dieser Frauen, die sich sowohl als Frauen als auch als Jüdinnen in der Welt zurechtfanden, und konzentriert sich dabei auf diejenigen, die als sogenannte Kontrollmädchen oder sogenannte Straßenmädchen der Prostitution ausübten. Sie verknüpft Überlebensstrategien "vor Ort" mit zeitgenössischen institutionellen Deutungsmustern und der Verwendung einer Sprache der Abhängigkeiten und kolonialen Ängste, um das Leben von Frauen an der Grenze zu regulieren. Mit Blick auf die Geschichte von Intimität, Arbeit und Mobilität, mit einem größeren Fokus auf Bewegungsstudien, beabsichtige ich, Prozesse des doing border zu analysieren, ausgehend von europäischen Migrationsgeschichten, mit breiteren Auswirkungen in der transatlantischen Welt.


• Queere Geschichte und Sexualitätsgeschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts
• Neuere und neueste deutsche Geschichte in globaler Perspektive
• Transatlantische Geschichte sozialer Bewegungen
• Migrationsgeschichte und ‚Border Studies‘
• Erinnerungskultur und Vergangenheitsbewältigung
• Visuelle Ideengeschichte / Begriffsgeschichte

Kleine Biografie

Dr. Sébastien Tremblay (er/ihn) ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter und Dozent an der Europa-Universität Flensburg. Er ist außerdem assoziierter Forscher für queere Geschichte am Goldsmiths, University of London in Großbritannien. Geboren in Montreal / Tiohtià:ke, promovierte er 2020 an der Graduate School of Global Intellectual History in Berlin. Seine Dissertation befasste sich mit dem Rosa Winkel als Symbol schwuler und lesbischer Identitäten in der transatlantischen Welt, genauer gesagt in der BRD , in den USA und Kanada. Für seine Promotion erhielt er Stipendien der Halleschen Stiftung für DeutschAmerikanische Beziehungen, der Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft, der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft und des DAAD. Vor Flensburg war Sébastien Postdoktorand am Internationalen Forschungskolleg des DFG-Exzellenzclusters "SCRIPTS – Contestations of the Liberal Script", wo er die Verbindung zwischen einer queeren kollektiven Erinnerung an den Nationalsozialismus und der medialen Konstruktion eines "homophoben Migranten" untersuchte und die Verknüpfungen zwischen Grenzen und Zeitlichkeit_en. Er hat mehrere Artikel, Rezensionen und Blogbeiträge in Französisch, Englisch und Deutsch veröffentlicht. Sein neuster Artikel über den Rosa Winkel in der transatlantischen Welt ist in der neuesten Ausgabe der Revue d’Allemagne et des Pays de Langue Allemande erschienen. Derzeit arbeitet er an seiner ersten Monographie auf der Grundlage seiner Dissertation: A Badge of Injury: The Pink Triangle as Global Symbol of Gay and Lesbian Identities in the 20th Century. Außerhalb der Wissenschaft hat Sébastien als Berater für das Schwule Museum in Berlin, das Goethe-Institut, die Berlinale und für deutschfranzösische Theaterstücke gearbeitet, die im Institut Français Berlin aufgeführt wurden

Dr. Stefan Wallaschek is post-doctoral researcher in the international research project "Value conflicts in a differentiated Europe" (ValCon) at the ICES. His main research interests are

  • Political (online-)communication
  • European politics
  • Political sociology
  • Solidarity research
  • Gender politics
  • Network analysis
  • Discourse analysis

More information on his recent projects and latest publications can be found on his personal website as well as on his institutional website