Past Projects

Abstracts of projects funded by the Foundation on German-American Academic Relations 2013-2017



Prof. Dr. Sebastian Harnisch (Universität Heidelberg)
Prof. Cameron Thies, Ph.D. (Arizona State University)
Gordon Friedrichs, M.A. (Universität Heidelberg)

Eligibility period: 2017

The initial goal of the conference was to generate and explore theory-based hypotheses on the mechanisms of transatlantic crisis resilience in three areas: security, economic relations, and international institutional order. By inviting both theoreticians and policy pundits, the project was set up to track and examine the adaptive and transformative capacity of transatlantic political institutions. The starting assumption was to account for the variety of adaptive and resilience mechanisms, which conventional academic research oftentimes overlook, by employing a pluralistic understanding of crisis as a short-term and strong volatility of power relations, economic distributional gains/losses, values, and institutions. In short, the researchers had in mind a theory-based assessment of transatlantic crisis management across policy areas from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

The research did not anticipate that changing events, such as the US presidential elections, the Brexit, or the impact of the migration crisis on European national elections, would interfere with a smooth theory-based investigation of the variance in transatlantic crisis resilience across different policy areas. Hence, the researchers adjusted and extended the scope of their initial research proposal, now focusing on two central elements: First, they kept the focus on crisis resilience which they believe can occur and/or vary along three social mechanisms (institutions/values/division of labor). These social mechanisms may or may not explain why transatlantic relations are more resilient than other non-democratic or mixed relationships and why resilience may vary over time and policy areas. Second, the research also wanted to explore if and how those mechanisms buffer the upcoming policy conflicts between the new Trump administration and the EU member states. This, of course, includes effects of the Brexit decision and other policy crisis in the Union or Europe. In a way, the research adapted to the new circumstances by shifting the analytical dimension of crisis and by broadening our empirical assessment.

The results of the conference which was funded by the Foundation on German-American Academic Relations were published as an edited volume with the title "The Politics of Resilience and Transatlantic Order: Enduring Crisis?" (Routledge, 2019).



Prof. Dr. Ingo Liefner (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
Prof. Dr. Yifei Sun; Prof. Dr. Peilei Fan (Michigan State University)
PD Dr. Stefan Hennemann (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen)
Prof. Dr. Yuefang Si (China Normal University)
Kerstin Schäfer (Leibniz Universität Hannover)

Eligibility period: 2014-2016

The funding provided by the Foundation on German-American Academic Relations was used for the organisation of two workshops that took place in 2014 and 2016. During the first workshop, the main goal was to establish a common foundation regarding important data as well as to plan the future work of the study group. In 2015 we started to implement this plan. During this work, we focused on three questions:

  1. the dynamic and comparative analysis of global innovation networks of established large corporations
  2. the analysis of the shape and effects of collaborative innovations of multinational corporations from emerging economies (China) in highly developed innovation systems
  3. the analysis of network structures of global innovation networks

The second workshop was conducted in 2016. During this workshop we focused mostly on the final discussion of results, publications, and further application for funding.

The study group's work resulted in the following publications: 

  • Liefner, Ingo, Yue-fang Si, und Kerstin Schäfer. 2019. A Latecomer Firm’s R&D Collaboration with Advanced Country Universities and Research Institutes: The Case of Huawei in Germany. Technovation 86: 3-14.
  • Schaefer, Kerstin J., und Ingo Liefner. 2017. Offshore Versus Domestic: Can EM MNCs Reach Higher R&D Quality Abroad? Scientometrics 113: 1349-1370.

Publications as WorkingPapers / in preparation:

  • Si, Y.F. und Ingo Liefner. Intrafirm Knowledge Management Across Space – Samantabhadra Model Based On the Case Study of Huawei.
  • Liefner, Ingo, und S. Hennemann. Dynamics of Places and Technologies in Multinational Companies' Global Innovation Networks.



Eligibility period: 2015

The workshop that was funded by the Foundation on German-American Academic Relations that took place in 2015 was particularly concerned with three broad topics. The first panel, set up around the topic of collective defense and the US-Japan Alliance, examines the current status of the US-Japan alliance as it relates to military and humanitarian intervention. The second panel focused on collective security. It scrutinized Japan's politics on military and humanitarian intervention, discusses the extent to which Tokyo has supported interventions and surveys the key rationales for participation or non-participation. The last panel analysed the role of domestic politics for military and humanitarian interventions. Especially it sought to address the "two-level-game" between domestic and foreign policy and what similar and different parameters and limitations major key actors set for supporting or resisting Japan's military and humanitarian intervention.



Moritz Weiss, Ph.D. (LMU München, Deutschland)
Jennifer L. Erickson, Ph.D. (Boston College, USA)
Marc de Vore, Ph.D. (University of St. Andrews, UK)

Eligibility period: 2015

The study group's point of departure was the observation that the defense industry is different from most economic sectors to the extent that governments sponsor research and development, regulate transfers and constitute the primary clients of production. Yet, the defense-industrial sector's place between the state and the market is increasingly challenge by globalization. For instance, the growing internationalization of supply chains is undermining the state’s capacity to meet their defense needs solely through domestic production. This even applies to the United States, the world’s largest arms producer, arms market, and arms exporter. In addition, the emergence of multinational defense contractors is rendering state control over arms production and weapons transfer increasingly problematic.

The study group's key questions are, first, how to explain the similarities and differences of how states respond to the challenge of defense-industrial globalization; and, second, whether these dynamics lead to increased competition or to more collaboration at both the corporate and the political levels. Over the course of our joint research, we became increasingly aware of another challenge from genuinely political globalization processes: European integration and the unforeseen consequences of supranational self-empowerment. The following research papers are the result of this group's efforts to fill some of the gaps in the literature:

  • Blauberger, Michael und Moritz Weiss. 2013. "If you can't beat me, join me." How the Commission pushed and pulled Member states into legislating defence procurement. Journal of European Public Policy 20 (8): 1120-1138.
  • DeVore, Marc R. 2014. Defying Convergence: Globalisation and Varieties of Defence-Industrial Capitalism. New Political Economy 20 (4): 569-593.
  • DeVore, Marc R., und Moritz Weiss. Who's in the Cockpit? The Political Economy of Collaborative Aircraft Decisions. Review of International Political Economy 21 (2): 497-533.
  • Erickson, Jennifer L. 2015. Dangerous Trade: Arms Export, Human Rights, and International Reputation. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Weiss, Moritz, und Michael Blauberger. 2016. Judicialized Law-Making and Opportunistic Enforcement: Explaining the EU's Challenge of National Defence Offsets. Journal of Common Market Studies 54 (2): 1-19.



Dr. Gotz Kaufmann (project leader, supervision of Brazilian,
Canadian, and German region, Q Oracle field researches,
political and environmental sociologist)
Dr. Jason Samson (Brazilian data, Canadian data, GIS, climatologist)
Johanna Seidel (Brazilian, Canadian, and German data,
development of the indices CSI, HIS, CEJI, physical geographer)
Bastian Stossel (consulting in development of the indices
CSI, HIS, CEJI, physical geographer)
Mari Justine Galloway (field researcher in Canada (Nainamo)
based on the found CSI, HIS, and CEJI results, political scientist)

Eligibility period: 2013-2015

The impacts of climate change on human populations at a global scale are both diverse and complex. At the regional level, the perception of climate change impacts is strongly influenced by underlying social realities. In order to develop a model for climate change adaptation policies, it is essential to understand the relative importance of broad social conditions (e.g. political system, cultural peculiarities, national history, etc.) and localized social deprivations (income, infrastructure, public services, etc.) on the perception of climate change impacts at the community level.

The goal of the CC-VISAGES project (Climate Change Inferred through Social Analysis, Geography and Environmental Systems) is to investigate the possibility of a general environmental justice pattern of climate change impacts on communities. Under such general pattern, the distribution of environmental burdens and the access to environmental goods in a climate change context can be generalized across countries based on social marginalization variables.

The project assesses the presence of a general environmental justice pattern of climate change impacts by conducting field research in Brazil, Canada, and Germany. First, a geographical representation of climate change vulnerabilities for the selected countries will be created based on ecological, social, and climate variables through a geographical information system (GIS). CC-VISAGES will then select areas in each country with high climate change vulnerabilities and perform comparative field research to understand the local perspectives on climate change impacts. From these field analyses of stakeholders' perceptions, the global pattern of environmental justice will be sought. The results will provide a strong framework for stakeholders of all kind (political and economic decision-makers, NGOs, civil society) to make appropriate climate change adaptation plans informed by both ecological and social realities. The CC-VISAGES project provides a much-needed multi-disciplinary perspective to both European, South and North American nations to deal with the multifaceted issue of climate change. Furthermore, the European – Americas' Science Cooperation will be strengthened by the establishment of an interdisciplinary and international research unit that will outlive the period of CC-VISAGES.



Prof. Herman Schwartz, Ph.D. (University of Virginia, USA)
Prof. Dr. Hubert Zimmermann (Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany)

Eligibility period: 2013-2015

The project was concerned with the connection between real estate policy, pension schemes and fertility (that is, family support) within the developed OECD member states. The central thesis of the project was, that there are increasing interdependencies between these three areas of society that show specific characteristics in European countries as well as the United States of America. The way in which real estate is funded in different societies is tightly connected to the pension system. The long-term stability of the pension system on the other hand is dependent on family policy. Access to the real estate market influences the decision to build family households and thus the decision for offspring. The financial crisis had different influences on the dynamics of these three policy areas within the different countries. The aim of the project was to analyse comparatively different aspects of these connections in Europe as well as the USA via several case studies.

The research demonstrated that the financial crisis had a significant impact on the (re-) development of the family as a social network because starting a family became increasingly difficult as the access to the housing market diminished. At the same time, the importance of owning a house as retirement saving also increased withing the higher earning strata of society.


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Abgeschlossene Projekte