The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “EU in Global Dialogue” (CEDI) was designated in July 2015 by the European Commission to support an ambitious programme of research, teaching and outreach activities.


The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence is a focal point of competence and knowledge on European Union issues. It gathers the expertise and competences of high-level experts and aims at developing synergies between the various disciplines and resources in European studies, as well as at creating joint transnational activities and structural links with academic institutions in other countries. It also ensures openness to civil society.


The Centre is directed by Jean Monnet Professor Dr. Michèle Knodt (TU Darmstadt) and co-directed by Professor Dr. Arne Niemann (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Jean Monnet Professor from 2012-2015), who are both high-level experts on EU external governance. Thus, CEDI builds up a regional hub of expertise on the “EU in Global Dialogue”. In addition CEDI contributes to the Strategic Partnership between the two Universities.

Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt


TU Darmstadt

CEDI Director



Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt is full professor (since 2005) and Jean Monnet Professor (since 2011) in Political Science, specialised in EU External Governance, and principle investigator and active member of the TU Darmstadt Energy Center. She coordinates several international, interdisciplinary research projects on (1) EU External Energy Governance towards the emerging powers (VW Foundation, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Compagnia de San Paolo) with 11 partners in EU and emerging powers; (2) an EU Project on ‘Images of the EU as a global energy actor’ (Co-Leader); (3) on Europeanization of local knowledge formation in climate and energy policy as a member of a DFG (German Research Foundation) Research Group, her project has just been extended; (4) VW Foundation project on the EU External Democracy promotion with 8 Partners from South Caucasus and Central Asia; (5) DFG project on EU external trade governance. 

Prof. Dr. Arne Niemann 


Uni Mainz

CEDI Co-Director





Prof. Dr. Arne Niemann holds a tenured, permanent position as Full Professor and Chair of Inter-national Politics at Mainz (since Feb. 2011). He has also held a Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration Studies (2012-2015) and is the Director of a trinational MA programme in European Studies. Arne Niemann has developed significant research and teaching expertise in the area of European integration (especially EU external policy, European integration theory, EU decision-making). He has secured or contributed to securing (and implementing) several re-search/teaching grants, funded by the Commission, the German Foundation for Peace Research, the Federal Ministry for Education, the German Research Foundation, and the Saxon Ministry for Education.

Anne Hofmeister, M.A. 


TU Darmstadt

CEDI Project Coordinator





Anne Hofmeister is researcher at the Department of Political Science at TU Darmstadt. She has research expertise on European integration, EU decision-making and European public policies, with a focus on cities and EU energy and climate policy. Anne Hofmeister looks back on long experience with interdisciplinary research groups. She was part of the interdisciplinary research group “Knowledge strategies in local climate politics" at TU Darmstadt, funded by the German Research Council. In her research project “Local knowledge strategies in the context of the European Union” she analysed the interdependencies between the supra-national and local level in the field of energy and climate policy in three case studies. Anne Hofmeister is currently working on the follow up project “Translocal action and local innovations in climate change. A comparative analysis of German cities”. The project aims to analyse the conditions for innovative energy and climate policy at the local level and the impact of the European, national and regional level.

Mehman Ahmadov


Department of Public Administration, Qafqaz University

Guest researcher at TU Darmstadt



Mehman Ahmadov is a CEDI Fellow and PhD student at the Department of Political Science, TU Darmstadt. He obtained his bachelor degree from Qafqaz University, Azerbaijan, which focused on Public Administration and his master degree from Istanbul University, Turkey, at the department of Political Science and Public Administration. He has research expertise on Public Administration, Comparative Public Administration, Good Governance, European Studies, especially on European Integration, foreign policy of EU towards neighboring countries, European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership, EU’s promotion of good governance etc. He mainly analyzes the role of European Union in the South Caucasus (especially Azerbaijan) in terms of Good Governance. He is currently doing research on “EU’s Promotion of Good Governance within the framework of ENP and EaP” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Michele Knodt. Mr. Ahmadov works at Qafqaz University Azerbaijan as a research assistant since 2013.


Prof. Dr. Kai Arzheimer


Uni Mainz





Prof Dr. Kai Arzheimer is professor of Empirical Political Science at Mainz and Visiting Fellow, Department of Government, University of Essex. He has substantial experience in teaching European integration, e.g. courses on Political Integration and the European Union, European integration after Lisbon, Introduction to European Politics, Europeanization of Germany and Germanification of Europe. His main research and teaching interests are: voting in national and comparative perspective, esp. concerning right-wing extremist parties in the EU; political attitudes and value orientations in comparative perspective, esp. in terms of political disaffection/alienation; research methods in political science; German and EU politics more generally.


Prof. Dr. Arthur Benz


TU Darmstadt



Prof Dr. Arthur Benz is professor of Political Sciences specialized in German government and comparative politics, with a focus on federal systems including the EU. Since receiving the John G. Diefenbaker Award in 2007, he participates in the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue, a major Canada-Europe research network, and is member of the Advisory Board of the “Centre for European Studies” (an EU Centre of Excellence) at Carleton University Ottawa. His recent research has addressed multilevel governance in climate and energy policy. In a DFG Research Group on “International Public Administration”, he works on coordination between national, European and inter-national administrations in energy policy. He has published on democratic legitimacy and institutional reform in multilevel politics and has advised several governments and parliaments, e.g. he recently provided an expertise on “Challenges of a Federal Europe” to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


Julian Bergmann, M.A.


Uni Mainz



Julian Bergmann has research expertise in European Integration (particularly foreign, security and defence policy of the European Union), Peace and Conflict research (particularly proceedings of international conflict management and conflict analysis), theories of International Relations and normative theories of International Relations (with a special focus on the „just war“ doctrine). He has experience in teaching International Relations and European politics and history. Together with Prof. Dr. Arne Niemann he has participated in the acquisition of a third party funded project at the German Foundation for Peace Research. He is Junior Member of the Gutenberg Academy (of distinguished young researchers) at the University of Mainz.


Dr. Petra Guasti


Uni Mainz



Dr. Petra Guasti is lecturer and researcher at the Department of Political Science at Mainz. She holds an M.A. in Society and Politics from Lancaster University and a PhD in political sociology from the Charles University in Prague and a PhD in political science from the University of Bremen. Between 2005 and 2008 she worked at the Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies at the University of Bremen as a researcher in the project ‘Citizenship and Constitution: Transformations of the Public Sphere in East- and West-European Integration’ (Volkswagen Foundation). Petra Guasti has participated in numerous FP6 and FP7 projects, most notably Reconstituting Democracy in Europe (RECON). Her current research focuses on democratization and Europeanization in CEE and ENP states, in particular the issues of rule of law, corruption and human rights. She is a co-convener of the Standing Group Central and Eastern European Politics of the European Consortium for Political Research. 


Prof. Dr. Philipp Harms


Uni Mainz



Prof. Dr. Philipp Harms is professor of International Economics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. His research covers issues related to international goods and services trade, as well as international investment and financial markets. He is particularly interested in questions that are located at the intersection of economics and political science. Philipp Harms has realized a DFG-sponsored research project on demographic change and political risk in developing and emerging economies, as well as a project on international production networks. He is a member of the Research Group on Development Economics and vice-chairman of the Research Group on International Economics of the German Economic Association.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rolf Katzenbach


TU Darmstadt



Prof. Dr. Rolf Katzenbach is Director of the Institute and the Laboratory of Geo-engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Darmstadt, and since 2007 Director of the TU Darmstadt Energy Center. His scientific activities include among others: President of the European Network of Excellence ELGIP (European Large Geotechnical Institute Platform), Member of the Board and head of the section "Environmental Geotechnics" including geo-thermal the German Geotechnical Society (DGGT), an Executive Member of the Advisory Board of the University Darmstadt Energy Center. His publications cover a broad range of topics on renewable energy technologies-/ geothermal, seasonal thermal storage, geothermal energy, energy piles.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jochen Monstadt


Uni Utrecht




Prof. Dr. Jochen Monstadt holds the chair of Governance of Urban Transitions, Dept. Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University. He is co-director of the Erasmus Mundus M.Sc. programme “Mundus Urbano” where he teaches courses on urban planning, urban infrastructure and energy and climate policy. His research interests are at the interface between urban/regional studies and social studies of technology and he is specialised in infrastructure planning, co-evolution between cities and infrastructures. Jochen Monstadt has conducted and coordinated extensive comparative research on the urban transition of energy, water and wastewater systems, on the co-evolution of cities and infrastructures and on infrastructure planning in Germany, Switzerland, Canada, USA, Vietnam, Tanzania and Kenya. His current research projects involve a project on urban technological styles (funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG), a project on urban innovation pathways in energy systems (funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research), a project on “global suburbanisms: governance, land use, and infrastructure in the 21st century” (funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) and a project on urban energy systems in Dar es Saalam and Nairobi (funded in the Priority Programme “Creativity and Adaptation in Africa” of the DFG). As the director of a PhD programme on urban infrastructure in East Africa he has extended his academic network to research universities in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

Prof. Dr. Marcus Müller


TU Darmstadt



Marcus Müller is full professor in German Studies - Digital Linguistics at the Department of Linguistics and Literature, Technische Universität Darmstadt. He has been a visiting lecturer at the universities of Paderborn and Düsseldorf as well as at the universities of Tashkent, Budapest and Beijing. Marcus Müller leads the Discourse Lab, a research environment for digital discourse analysis, funded by the German Excellence Initiative. He is the founder and spokesman of the German-Chinese graduate network “Linguistic Cultures – Epistemic Cultures” and the “Language and Knowledge” graduate platform. He is a member of the of the Digital Humanities Cooperation (executive board), the Netzpolitik AG (scientific committee) and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (associate member). His research interests include corpus linguistics, discourse analysis (especially energy and climate discourses), grammatical variation, language and social roles.

Dr. Wolfgang Muno


Uni Mainz



Dr. Wolfgang Muno has taught numerous courses on European integration (including Current Problems of European Integration, EU-Latin America, Turkey and the EU). He has taught the MEUM (Model European Union Mainz), a simulation about EU decision-making (awarded as innovative teaching project at the University of Mainz in 2010). Wolfgang Muno is programme coordinator 2007-2011 of a new trinational Master’s programme in European studies involving the University of Mainz, University of Burgundy in Dijon (France) and University of Opole (Poland).

Dr. des. Johannes Muntschick


Uni Mainz



Johannes Muntschick has a research focus on regionalism, esp. on regionalism in southern Africa and on questions of external influence on regionalism (e.g. exerted by the EU). He has conducted intensive research in and on South Africa and has worked together with partners at universities and research institutes in South Africa. Johannes Muntschick has participated in a research project on global regionalism at the University of Bamberg and has experience in teaching from B.A. to M.A. classes, and also with progressive teaching methods, incl. simulation games. He is programme coordinator (2011-2015) of a new trinational Master’s programme in European studies involving the University of Mainz, University of Burgundy in Dijon (France) and University of Opole (Poland). Johannes Muntschick has been involved in the ‘Junior Campus’ initiative of the University of Mainz with his own teaching project and has cooperated with a secondary school on a regular basis.

Dr. Vladimir Paramonov


Guest researcher at TU Darmstadt





Vladimir Paramonov is founder and director of the analytical group / project “Central Eurasia”, www.ceasia.org, www.ceasia.ru (since June 2010), Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He is experienced in the area of policy oriented and interdisciplinary analysis. Mr. Paramonov obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science / International Relations in 2003 from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.


Formerly Dr. Paramonov worked as a Senior Researcher (Research Coordinator) at the Center for Economic Research under the State Adviser (of the President) on Social-Economic Policy (2004-2006), the head of the Center for Systemic Research (2002-2003), and the part-time/full-time researcher, later head of the Department “The US and Europe” of the Institute for Regional and Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (1996-2001).


He worked with Uzbek, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, European, US and Chinese governmental bodies as well as with some internationally recognized universities, institutions, donors and think-tanks such as UNDP, ADB, OSCE, LSE, USAID, OSI, NUPI, Oxford University, IISS, LSE, Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, Academy of Defense of the UK, Carnegie Endowment, several European and American consulting companies and NGOs, leading Russian, Chinese and Central Asian think-tanks/research institutions, etc.


Nadine Piefer, M.A.


TU Darmstadt



Nadine Piefer is researcher at the Department of Political Science at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, and a freelance consultant for the German development cooperation. Her research and consultancy work focuses on EU foreign and energy relations with the BICS, new development partners and triangular cooperation. She was the project coordinator of the international, interdisciplinary research project “Challenges of European External Energy Governance with Emerging Powers: Meeting Tiger, Dragon, Lion and Jaguar”, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation from 2011-2015 and lead researcher in the Jean Monnet Programme funded research project “External Images of the EU: The EU as a Normative Energy Player” (EXIE). She is researcher in the Tsinghua University funded project “China in the Eyes of the EU. China’s Engagement with Africa as a Case Study”. Nadine Piefer has taught numerous courses on aspects of development cooperation, BRICS, international relations and the EU in international development and energy policies by using innovative teaching methods, such as simulations, excursions, case studies and co-teaching seminars with practitioners from Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). In 2013, she was awarded the Athene Award for excellent teaching at TU Darmstadt in 2013. Nadine Piefer has research and practical experience in South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, India, China and Germany.

Friedrich Plank, M.A.


Uni Mainz



Friedrich Plank has research expertise on European Integration with a special focus on foreign policy of the European Union, Peace and Conflict Studies (particularly power-sharing in post-conflict situations and conflict analysis), theories of international relations as well as regionalism and interregional relations of the European Union. He has experience in teaching International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies as well as in collaborative publications and interdisciplinary third-party funded projects. 

Dr. Carlos Henrique Santana 


TU Darmstadt



Carlos Henrique Santana is a fellow at the Humboldt Foundation and postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science, TU Darmstadt. He has research expertise on comparative political economy, especially on industrial policy, financial systems, state-owned public banks, and energy policy. His main works have focused on South America, relations between South America and Central-Eastern Europe, and BRIC countries. His analyses have privileged historical and constructivist approaches. He obtained his PhD in Political Science at Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP-UERJ), spent a year as visiting researcher at UC Berkeley, and since then worked with a large interdisciplinary network called Brazilian National Institute of Science and Technology (INCT-PPED). With his colleagues from the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) he also was engaged in comparative analysis of state capacity in BRIC countries. In addition, he is trying to articulate analyzes about EU external energy and resource policy. Currently, Dr. Santana is developing a comparative analysis of energy infrastructure policies adopted by Brazil, Russia, India and China in the last twenty years. The project analyzes three aspects: the federative dilemmas in coordinating policies, public financing instruments in long-term credit, and bureaucratic cohesion as the mainstay of policy implementation.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Schiereck


TU Darmstadt



Prof. Dr. Dirk Schiereck is professor of Corporate Finance, specialised also in Energy Finance and Financial Management of Cleantech Companies. As a principal investigator of the Energy Centre at TU Darmstadt, he follows the vision of energy as a cross-cutting issue, understanding financing as a main challenge of the German energy transformation. He has built up a reputation as one of the leading experts on financing restrictions in the renewable energy sector in Germany. From 2010 to 2013 he worked as a principal investigator on a BMBF (German Ministry of Education and Research) project on ‘Climate Change, Financial Markets and Innovation‘ and finalised in 2014 a research project on success factors and efficiency benchmarking of local German utilities (Stadtwerke) in times of energy transformation supported by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants (Germany). Dirk Schiereck has created numerous valuable relations with key practitioners in the German utility and energy finance area. In addition he is part of a BMWi (German Ministry of Economics and Energy) research group at TU Darmstadt on energetic rehabilitation of housing settlements from the 1950s and 1960s. 

Prof. Dr. Viola Schmid, LL.M. (Harvard)


TU Darmstadt



Prof. Dr. Viola Schmid is a pioneer of European and German law on cyber governance/Cyberlaw. She has the venia legendi for European Law, German Public Law and “Energy Law” and teaches classes on “European Law” and “Management of Law and Lawyers” focusing on recent challenges to the multilevel model. Her teaching and research concentrates on law in Germany and beyond. Hence, she promulgates a global legal perspective. Her experience and expertise is founded on her career as a business lawyer as well as on her function as an annotator of the German Code of Administrative Court Procedure – specialized on E-Justice Law. She is a member of the Scientific Program Board for Security Research by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and since March 2015 she is speaker of the research pillar “Governance, Compliance & Regulation” (Go CoRe!) at the faculty of law and economics of TU Darmstadt (in coordination with Prof. Dr. Schiereck).

Jonas Schönefeld


TU Darmstadt




Jonas Schoenefeld is a research fellow with Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt at

the Technische Universität Darmstadt, where he contributes to the

Kopernikus Project on the European Energy Union. His research focuses on

energy, climate, and environmental politics in the EU and especially

polycentric governance and policy monitoring and evaluation. Jonas is

also currently pursuing a PhD on these topics with Professor Andy Jordan at

the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental

Sciences at the University of East Anglia. He holds a BA from Middlebury

College (USA) and an MPhil from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Jared Sonnicksen


TU Darmstadt



Dr. Jared Sonnicksen is post-doc researcher in Political Science at the TU Darmstadt, where he works for the Area of “Comparative Politics/Political System of Germany”, which cooperates closely with the Area “Comparative Politics/European Union”. His areas of concentration are the political system of the European Union, Comparative Government, Governing in Multilevel Systems, and Democratic Theory. In addition to several publications on democratic and constitutional developments in European integration, he has completed his dissertation on how to democratize the EU compatibly to its own system of government. He continues to explore patterns of governing in the EU, building further on this research for comparison with other political systems, multilevel governance, and corresponding challenges for democracy. 

Dr. Tamer Söyler


TU Darmstadt



Dr. Tamer Söyler is a CEDI fellow at TU Darmstadt and a researcher at Fluminense Federal University in Brazil. He obtained his PhD from Humboldt University in Berlin in Sociology during which he was part of international research projects focusing on social inequality in India and Brazil. Dr. Söyler’s main research interest is the rise of the Global South with its internal and external dimensions. While during his doctoral studies he primarily focused on the epistemological consequences of this grand-scale social transformation, his postdoctoral research extends the philosophical and sociological investigation to the political field. His research focuses on the topics of social inequalities and social movements while connecting these inquires to the fields of development cooperation and poverty reduction. Within the framework of CEDI, Dr. Söyler examines what kinds of challenges the epistemological shift has brought to the EU and probes into the social, political and economic consequences of the rise of the Global South for the EU’s external policy making.

Dr. Sigita Urdze


TU Darmstadt



Dr. Sigita Urdze is post-doc researcher in political science, specialized in EU external governance with expertise on the states of the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Her PhD thesis was on the EU’s external democracy promotion in the Central Asian states. Together with Prof. Dr. Knodt she is the co-leader of a VW Foundation project on the EU External Democracy promotion in those two regions with eight partners from the respective countries. She also focuses on the Baltic States. This includes Europeanization processes that took place in these states prior to the accession to the EU as well as Europeanization processes that can be traced until today.

PD Dr. Claudia Wiesner


University of Jyväskylä and TU Darmstadt



PD Dr. Claudia Wiesner is currently senior researcher in the project “Transformations of Concepts and Institutions in the European Polity” (TRACE), funded by the Academy of Finland, and senior guest researcher at TU Darmstadt. Until Sept. 2015, she was Acting Professor for Comparative Politics at Philipps-University, Marburg and Ruhr University, Bochum, as well as Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Finnish Research Centre in Political Thought and Conceptual Change at Jyväskylä University. Her main research interests lie in the comparative study of democracy, political culture and political sociology in the EU multilevel system. She especially focuses on changes of concepts and institutions, as well as on the related debates and discourses. Claudia Wiesner’s second field of research is Public Policy, its evaluation, its reform and its theory. Here she has a long-standing experience in public policy consulting. <she chairs the ECPR Standing Group “Political Concepts”, has led several research projects and international cooperation networks, and was visiting fellow at universities in the US, France, Finland, Greece, and Spain.

Dr. des. Natascha Zaun


Uni Mainz



Natascha Zaun is a Lecturer and Researcher in International Relations at the University of Mainz. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, an M.A. in Political Science, Public International Law and French Philology from Bonn University and a B.A. in Franco-German Studies from Université de Paris III- Sorbonne Nouvelle. Her research interests and expertise cover European Integration and International Relations with a particular focus on asylum and immigration policies, EU decision-making and EU institutions. Before joining the department of Political Science at Mainz University, she has worked as a Research Associate at the Collaborative Research Centre 597 "Transformations of the State" in a project on 'Border regime change and the mobility of persons' at Bremen University. Her PhD thesis studies EU decision-making in the area of asylum policies and finds that expertise can act as an important power differential in intergovernmental negotiations.