Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

Created: 3 January 2012

For a number of years, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies of Cologne (MPIfG) has had scientific ties with several Sciences Po research institutes: the CSO, the CEE, and the CERI.

Over the last few years, the CSO has become more involved in this partnership in different ways:

1. Organizing joint research workshops.
2. Research fellowships and exchanges for researchers from both institutions.
3. A Ph.D. student exchange program.
4. Creation of a Franco-German center in Paris by the Max Planck Society and Sciences Po in 2012.

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne is co-directed by Jens Beckert and Wolfgang Streeck.

Founded in 1984, the MPIfG conducts research on the governance of modern societies.

Its goal is to develop, via empirical research, a theory of the social and political foundations of modern economies by studying the interrelations between economic, social, and political action. The MPIfG primarily takes an institutionalist approach to study how markets and organizations are embedded in historical, institutional, political, and cultural frameworks, how they develop, and how their social contexts change over time.

To find out more

1. Joint research workshops

Research workshops have been held alternately in Cologne and Paris to allow researchers from both institutions to meet and discuss their work.

The first series of workshops was held in 2008 and 2009 on "States and Markets."

- Workshop, December 3-5, 2008

-Workshop, March 25-27, 2009

-Workshop, April 8-9, 2010

A workshop on "The Constitution of Quality in Markets" was organized at the MPIfG the 16th and 17th of May, 2011. The papers presented there will be published in a collective volume edited by Jens Beckert and Christine Musselin, forthcoming in 2013.

To find out more

2. Research fellowships and exchanges for researchers from both institutions

The partnership with the MPIfG also encourages research exchanges between researchers from Sciences Po and the MPIfG.

As an example, Jens Beckert, co-director of the MPIfG, stayed at the CSO for three months (November 2008-end of January 2009), Patrik Aspers for one month in 2011 (mid-April to mid-May), and Sascha Münnich will join us in February 2012 for two months.

3. Ph.D. student exchange program

In the academic year 2009-2010, Sciences Po and the International Max Planck Research School created a Ph.D. student exchange program. The Franco-German University recognized and began financing this program in 2010.

a) A joint Ph.D. in the two institutions since January 2010

Since January 2010, students in the Ph.D. program at the MPIfG (IMPRS-SPCE) and Ph.D. students at Sciences Po can do a joint Ph.D. in the two institutions, and thus write their Ph.D. under the joint direction of both institutions (with a dissertation advisor from both).

Click here to find out more about the PhD program at the IMPRS-SPCE.

And the Sciences Po doctoral program.

b) Joint doctoral research seminars

Since 2010, a research seminar on the sociology of markets has been available to students from both institutions. It is conducted in English and takes place over one week, alternately in Cologne and Paris. Jens Beckert (MPIfG) and Pierre François (CSO) are the co-organizers.

-Seminar, January 11-15, 2010
-Seminar, June 27-July 1, 2011

Starting in 2012, a sociology of organizations seminar will also be held each year. It will be organized by Sigrid Quack and Mark Ebers from the MPIfG and Henri Bergeron, Patrick Castel, and Christine Musselin from the CSO. The first session will be held in June 2012 in Cologne.

c) Co-organization of the Summer School (with Sciences Po, Columbia University, and Northwestern University)

Every year since 2006, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies has organized, with Sciences Po, Northwestern University, Harvard University (2006-2010) and Columbia University (since 2011), a summer school for Ph.D. students in Sociology and Political Science from these schools.

To find out more:
- Summer School 2010
- Summer School 2011

d) Exchange programs with partner institutions

Ph.D. students from the Doctoral School of the MPIfG (Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy - IMPRS-SPCE) can, during their second or third year of their Ph.D., spend a few months at Sciences Po in one of its research laboratories.
And conversely, Ph.D. students from Sciences Po can, benefit from the resources of the MPIfG during a research stint there.

4. Creation of a Franco-German center in Paris by the Max Planck Society and Sciences Po in 2012

In 2012, the Max Planck Society and Sciences Po-Paris will create a Franco-German Social Sciences center, the "Max Planck-Sciences Po Center." Researchers at this center will focus on the following topic: "Coping with Instability in Market Societies." This Franco-German center will be located at Sciences Po and the two institutions will pilot it jointly.

A job opening was posted in September 2011 to recruit directors for the two research groups which will compose the center.

To launch this project and the reflection on the center’s research topics, the two partners organized a conference in Paris on the 15th and 16th of December 2011 on "Coping with Instability in Market Societies."