• European Integration
    • Theories of European Integration
    • EU Negotiations and Decision-making
    • The EU as International Actor
    • Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)Enlargement (2004, 2007, 2013, and beyond)
    • Institutional Reform and Future of the EU
    • Asylum and Migration Policies
    • Regional Integration within and beyond Europe
    • Rule of Law and Corruption in the (new) Member States
    • EU-US-China Relations
  • Foreign and Security Policy
    • Transatlantic Relations
    • US Foreign and World Policy, focusing not only but also on domestic roots of foreign politics and US-China relations
    • Foreign Aid as Foreign Policy
  • Theories of international relations
  • International organisation and Regimes
  • Media and International Politics
  • Sports / Soccer and International Relations
  • Peace and Conflict Research

Research grants (selected)

The research project “The Identity Effect of Europeanised Lifeworlds: Becoming European through Football? (EUFoot)” aims to explore the importance of everyday activities, i.e. football fandom and spectatorship for the formation of a European identity.

Research on European identity paid rather little attention to the sport-related and supposedly non-political activities of football fandom. This is astonishing, given that the “global game” is played all over Europe, increasingly often through European wide competitions such as the Champions league and the Europa league. Player markets and football club activities reach beyond national borders. Our project examines the extent to which a Europeanisation of football fans’ perceptions and identities has taken place in times of Europeanised player markets, competitions and football governance structures.

We use a multi-method research strategy. The combination of comparative analysis and triangulation of data obtained through discourse analysis, survey research and in-depth interviews serves us to answer our main research question: To what extent are identities of football fans across Europe “Europeanised”? Any such Europeanised patterns of identification, nurtured in a lifeworldly context of activities are of both scientific and political relevance. Identity-formation in everyday (supposedly non-political) transboundary contexts is still under-researched. We will investigate the formation of identification patterns in non-elite discourses in several countries across Europe.

Funded by the German Research Foundation (2018-2021): 420.000 € .

Jean Monnet Chair: “EU External Policy: Challenges, Crises and Opportunities”. Duration 9/2017-2/2021. Role: chair/main applicant. Budget: 50,000 EUR. This project bundles innovative aspects of EU external policy and EU crisis policy-making in teaching and Research.

Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “EU in Global Dialogue”. A cooperation between the Technical University Darmstadt and the University of Mainz. Duration 2015-2018: overall budget 80.000 EUR. Director: Prof. Michele Knodt (TU Darmstadt). Co-Director: Prof. Arne Niemann (University of Mainz). Research: the project funds, for example, workshops on the external dimension of EU migration policy and on regional Integration in comparative perspective. Teaching: the JM Centre of Excellence allows the University of Mainz to sustain and expand its innovative teaching in terms of EU simulations.

Research Project: 'A Peacemaker in the Making? The European Union as an Actor in International Mediation'

This project investigates the EU’s role as mediator in peace negotiations. The research project pursues three main objectives. First, we aim to better understand how and in what ways the EU has been involved in international mediation activities. Second, we assess the extent to which the EU constitutes an effective mediator in peace negotiations. Third, we seek to explain different degrees of EU mediator effectiveness. In addition, an important objective of this project is to use the insights gained from the analytical and explanatory components of the project as a basis for knowledge transfer from science to practice, and to establish a policy dialogue with relevant actors.

The project is funded through a 100.000 € grant by the Funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research (Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung, DSF) and runs from February 2015 to January 2017.

Jean Monnet Multilateral Research Group: “EU-Russia Relations: A Transnational Perspective”. Duration: 9/2013-8/2015. Coordinator: University of Kent. Role: project partner. Budget: 80,000 EUR.
This project critically analyses the state of EU-Russia relations, by taking both an EU and a Russian perspective to the relationship.

Jean Monnet Chair: “The EU and its external policy, with emphasis on EU-US and EU-BRICS relations”. Duration 9/2012-8/2015. Role: chair/main applicant. Budget: 50,000 EUR.
This project bundles innovative aspects of EU external policy in teaching and Research.

Habilitation projects

Development Policy between Securitization and Financial Crisis: US, UK and Germany Compared (in German) (Alexander Brand).

PhD projects

"Bargaining for Peace – The European Union as a Mediator in Peace Negotiations" (Julian Bergmann). Supervisor: Arne Niemann.

"Integration for Development: The New Regionalism in Southern Africa" (Johannes Muntschick). Supervisor:Thomas Gehring (University of Bamberg).

"The EP - An Institution Shapes Itself" (Dennis Voll). Supervisor: Arne Niemann

„Understanding Coalition Strategies – Two-Level Negotiations within Israel’s Multi-Party Democracy“ (Helge Eikelmann). Betreut von Arne Niemann

„EU Performance in the Neighbourhood – The Effectiveness of the European Union in the ENP“ (Nils Hoffmann). Betreut von Arne Niemann

Further research projects

Europeanisation and Football as Carrier of Identity Change (Arne Niemann / Alexander Brand)

Human Rights in Europe and their Violations: Cross National Multidisciplinary Analysis (Petra Guasti / David Siroky – Arizona State University / Daniel Stockemer- University of Ottawa)