Germany – Free University of Berlin
Research area: historical sociology, international political sociology, transnational actors and philanthropy, history of social sciences, Max Weber’s political writings, Weber’s early reception in Germany and the Americas, Herrschaft.
My current concern with Weber has two aims: one is to explore the possibilities of the concept of domination to study international social relations, mainly between donors and recipients involved in issues as diverse as science patronage and human rights. In particular, I’m interested in the possibilities that concepts like “means of domination” offer at the time of empirically pinning down elusive, power-related aspects of these relations. Rational, knowledge-intensive forms of domination have attracted most of my attention, but I’m also interested in their development, i.e. how a scholar’s charisma becomes routine in a patronage arrangement or how purportedly rational organization in academia leaves ample room for traditional, patrimonial domination. The other aim of my concern with Weber is closer to intellectual history: to find out about Weber’s reception in the 1920s, particularly his Political Writings, and to understand how the subterranean relationship connecting his to the history of US post-war social science. At the core of my concern are the so-called classical realist theory of international relations and Weber’s analyses of democracy, war, and peace at the end of World War One.