Berlin Summer School in social sciences

Linking Theory and Empirical Research

Berlin, July 17 – 28, 2016

We are delighted to announce the 6th Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences. The summer school aims at promoting young researchers by strengthening their methodological understanding in linking theory and empirical research. The two weeks’ program creates an excellent basis for the advancement of their current research designs.

In the first week we address the key methodological challenges of concept-building, causation/explanation and micro-macro-linkage that occur in almost all research efforts and strive for a clarification of the epistemological foundations underlying methodological paradigms. In the second week, these methodological considerations are applied to central empirical fields of research in political science, sociology, and their intersections with other disciplines. In this second part of the program participants are assigned to four thematic groups according to their own research topics. The thematic areas cover “External Governance, Europeanization, and Global Norms Diffusion”, “Citizenship, Migration and Social Inequalities”, “Social Struggle and Globalization”, and “Democracy at the Crossroads”.

The program is characterized by a varied format of lectures, workshops, seminars, and one-to-one consultations. During the summer school participants will also have the opportunity to present and intensely discuss their own work and approaches and will be provided with hands-on advice for their research designs.

The school brings together a faculty of renowned international and Berlin-based scholars. Among the confirmed international lecturers are Gilbert Achcar (University of London), Donatella Della Porta (EUI), Macartan Humphreys (Columbia University), Bob Jessop (University of Lancaster), Sanjay Reddy (New School), and Vera Troeger (University of Warwick).

The Berlin Summer School is a joint endeavor of the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. It is co-funded by the two institutions. Moreover, we receive generous funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Details on travel grants and tuition fees can be found on our webpage.

The international summer school is open to 50 PhD candidates, advanced master students and young Post-Docs. The call for applications has opened. Applications can be submitted online via the application form on the summer school webpage until March 31, 2016.

The decisions of the selection committee will be communicated to the applicants at the beginning of April. For more information, please visit our webpage at

If you have additional questions, please contact directly the organizing team at