Our Fellows

Social Science Works is supported by an increasing group of Fellows.

Our fellows comprise a diverse, international group of scholars, mostly based in Germany, that share the core ideas behind Social Science Works.

They strive to contribute to the societal relevance of social science and to the quality of democratic decision making. For that account, they publish quality articles and blogs on our homepage targeting a broad audience and they can be hired by us to write second opinions on research about which they have expertise. Additionally, they regularly support our workshops – especially the ones on deliberation – as moderators and consultants.

Eva Singler M.A.

Eva Singler is a passionate professional with expertise in the field of migration, integration and diversity. She aims for understanding the complex interconnectedness of the local, national and global. Eva holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Development Policies from the University of Duisburg-Essen and a Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies majoring in Political Sciences from the University of Regensburg and the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. Her research expertise focuses on policy effectiveness, evidence-based policy making and the migration development nexus.

She is an experienced practitioner. She volunteered in Ecuador and worked as a Project Manager for the German Development Cooperation on the subjects of skilled migration, diaspora cooperation and migration policy advice. Currently, she works as a Special Officer for the city administration of Frankfurt a.M. on the issues of integration, diversity and anti-discrimination. She is trained in workshop facilitation and non-violent communication. By joining deliberations she actively wants to contribute to promoting democratic values and challenging anti-pluralist thinking. She enjoys feminist literature and podcasts, hiking and hatha yoga.

Nils Wadt MA

Nils Wadt has been connected to Social Science Works from the very beginning. Nils finished his Bachelor degree in Sociology and Political Science in Cologne and Frankfurt. Both schools are grounded in different research traditions, Frankfurt with a strong background in Critical Theory (Horkheimer & Adorno, Frankfurter Schule) and Cologne with a strong background in empirical research and methodology (René König, Kölner Schule). Nils completed his graduate degree in Social Science at Humboldt University Berlin integrating the different academic backgrounds.

In his Master thesis Nils researched the political motivations and social values of civil volunteers in the refugee sector. His academic profile is leaning towards qualitative methods backed up by general competence in quantitative analysis. His qualitative focus covers methods such as genealogy, content analysis, as well as a variety of interview techniques and participatory observation.

Besides his studies, Nils Wadt worked at Chairs of Sociology, Political Theory, Psychology and Economics, gaining insights into the different research practices and epistemological groundings.

Within his work and studies in the academy, Nils Wadt apprehended the problems, contemporary social science is facing. This includes not only the separation between empirical research practice and the evaluation of its epistemological assumptions, but also the growing irrelevancy of academic research to civil society. His commitment to the project of Social Science Works is grounded in this apprehension.

Florentin Münstermann BA

Florentin Münstermann is a German graduate of the Erasmus School of Economics Rotterdam, currently living in Potsdam. He holds a Bachelor in Economics and Business Economics, with a focus in Political Economics. Throughout his life he acquired a lot of international and multicultural experiences, which range from living a year abroad in Beijing, studying at an international school in Berlin and participating in an exchange semester at Bocconi University Milan during his bachelor studies in Rotterdam. Flo’s political interests stem from the increasingly controversial political debates and crisis around the globe. He rounded off his Bachelor with a thesis on the topic of political enfranchisement, voting behaviors of expatriate voters and their changing roles modern political campaigns. Currently, Flo is finishing his Masters at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Flo is also interested in sports and music, and holds a certificate in Music Production and Sound Engineering from dBs Berlin.

Anne Flake MA

Anne Flake is a recent Public Policy graduate of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Before joining the Hertie School of Governance, Anne majored in International Development (BA) at Leiden University College, and worked at local NGOs in Turkey, Myanmar and the Netherlands. Anne previously worked with GIZ for a multisector programme aimed at strengthening the resilience of refugees and host-communities in Syria’s neighbouring countries. For her master thesis, Anne conducted field research in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to study the concept of procedural legitimacy in the interaction between local (government) stakeholders and external aid actors.

Anne is specifically interested in challenges related to inclusive education, (forced) migration, governance in areas of limited statehood, human rights in authoritarian and conflict-affected contexts, and social policy. She believes that deliberation and participatory approaches to policy-making are valuable tools to building more inclusive societies – be they in Germany, the Netherlands or beyond.

Isabel Navarro BA

Lina Gessner

Lina Gessner was our spring intern of 2020. Lina studied Global Project and Change Management at Windesheim Honors College in Zwolle, The Netherlands. At SSW she wrote her Bachelor Thesis looking into new strategies on how to recruit participants for deliberative democratic events.

In her studies, Lina has had the chance to work on projects both in The Netherlands and abroad experiencing first-hand some of the global issues our society is facing and was able to develop her interest in peacebuilding, mediation, and integration of migrants.

During her research for a suitable internship organization, she came across SSW and liked the approach of using scientific knowledge to improve civil society by holding deliberative events, where many different voices, beliefs, values, and opinions come together and have a chance to impact each other by creating a conversation in a safe space.

Gabrielle Denman

Gabrielle was our intern for the Autumn of 2019. She is from Austin, Texas and is currently working to complete her undergraduate degree in Supply Chain Management at the University of Texas at Austin and has just completed a semester abroad at Copenhagen Business School. She has earned a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas, a field of study based on the analysis of the “great books” of human history, which discuss human nature, ethics, and the meaning of life from various perspectives. She is especially interested in a career working with startup NGOs which are dedicated to creating sustainable solutions to help stabilize the world’s refugee crisis and has experience volunteering with such NGOs in Europe, as well as working at a tech startup in the USA.

Paul Börsting BA

Paul Börsting graduated from Tilburg University in Netherlands with a bachelor degree in “Liberal Arts and Sciences” majoring in Social Sciences. During his interdisciplinary study he focused on a diverse number of topics mainly in the realm of political sciences and sociology, such as migration, identity, international relations, the European Union and political theory. He finished his degree with a bachelor thesis on the expectations, motivations and effects of volunteering by refugees in Germany. In the first half of 2018, Paul was an intern at Social Science Works. Currently, he finishes his Masters at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Sciences Po in Paris.

Besides that, Paul enjoys getting to know other cultures and people – may it be on his travels, during his one year volunteer service in South India, in international workcamps or during his exchange semester in Hong Kong. Additionally, he enjoys music, company, food, hiking and podcasts.

Emma Eden BA

Emma Eden is a Palestinian Israeli graduate from Max Stern Yezreel Valley College in Israel. She studied Psychology and Criminology as part of her dual subject bachelor. During her studies, Emma participated in Model United Nations (MUN) that prepares students to debate social and political topics in conferences all over the world. She worked with youth in distress for 3 years, gathering perspectives on complex social issues. Furthermore, as an Arab woman growing up in Israel she observed the Israeli – Palestinian conflict from both sides and from different perspectives. She examined this in her BA thesis on the integration of Arab female students in Israel. This integration creates an ethnic identity dilemma and Emma analyzed their way of coping with it. Additionally, Emma led a workshop bridging Arab and Jewish students and encouraging them to open a conversation touching on both their issues and concerns. She is currently in Germany, and is researching forced emigration and human rights from a social cognitive perspective.

Emily Frank MA

Emily Frank is a Project Assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, working on a European Commission project studying how select countries apply the broad concept of “vulnerability” in asylum law and how protection seekers experience this concept. As an incoming doctoral researcher, she is interested in how interactions with street-level bureaucrats shape immigration outcomes.

Emily holds a BA in sociology from New York University and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before obtaining her Master’s, she spent two years working at the Urban Justice Center, a nonprofit organisation in New York City. There, she represented low-income and migrant individuals and families facing legal issues with social assistance benefits. She also supported educational and activist efforts around welfare state issues. At UW-Madison, Emily also led diversity and inclusion work and continues to engage in similar efforts to support diversity and inclusion in the city of Berlin.

Oktay Tuncer MA

Namitha Vivek MA

Namitha has always been severely curious about systems and the way they work. This led her to finish a masters in Physics from Chennai, India and more recently graduate with a masters in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy from Furtwangan University in the Schwarzwald. Her master thesis examined the effects of the migration crisis on post-war German national identity.

She spent the first half of 2019 working at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This experience highlighted the need to establish strong multisectoral partnerships and retain the relevance of academia in becoming tangible to civil society.  At Social Science Works she has set out to do just that.
She has studied conflicts of various kinds in India, Germany and Israel and is interested in identity politics, gender theory, forced migration and statelessness, and social hierarchy. In her free time she enjoys marathon walks in forests, rowing, meeting people over numerous cups of ginger tea and attempts to conquer the infamously hard German language.

Drop her an email at namitha.vivek27@gmail.com

Ole Oeltjen MA

Ole Oeltjen is a political scientist. After receiving his BA from Freiburg University he studied an MA at the Free University of Berlin. In his MA thesis Ole analyzed the role of camp operators in the accommodation of asylum seekers in Berlin. Subsequently, he worked at the Humboldt University of Berlin and at Bielefeld University, where he did research on local migration control.

Besides migration and asylum policies, Ole is interested in the relationship and tensions between citizenship, civil rights and security policies, which he especially focused on during a semester at the University of Copenhagen. Furthermore, he spent a semester at the New University of Lisbon and completed an internship at the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation’s office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Ole is currently pursuing a second degree in law studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

Alessia Arbustini MA

Alessia is a Master student of Gender Studies with special reference to the Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. She holds a BA in Anthropology, Religion and Oriental Civilization at University of Bologna, Italy. Her main research interests lie in queer and feminist diaspora studies, migration and displacement, gender issues related to new nationalisms and feminist and queer knowledge production. She has always been actively involved in grassroots and local organizations concerning topics such as human trafficking, sexuality, gender performance, and migration. She is currently working on her MA thesis on the representation of Muslim women (and men) by right-wing propaganda in Italy.

Phillip Reißenweber MA

Phillip Reißenweber is a political scientist and doctoral candidate at the University of Greifswald. During the course of his study his main area of interest comprised contemporary questions of political theory as well as questions of methodology and research designs. He is also a communications coach, trained in Nonviolent Communication based on the approach by Marshall B. Rosenberg. His experience with this approach towards intra- as well as interpersonal conflict resolution, with its emphasis on emotions and needs, led him to believe that emotional development is an important prerequisite for the accomplishment of democratic values like political equality and social justice. In his M.A. thesis he brought political science and Nonviolent Communication together by analysing the connections between cognitive-evaluative theories of emotions and the principles behind representative democracy. His PhD thesis partly continues this project by analysing the role of emotions in political deliberation and investigating possible designs for real-world deliberative settings. Settings which are capable to integrate even subtle aspects of
emotionality into public discourse. Besides all that Phillip is a passionate Balfolk dancer, he loves to read novels, cycling and he enjoys listening to music.

Jeanne Lenders MA

Jeanne graduated with distinction for her Master in European Studies at King’s College London, after spending the final semester at the Humboldt University in Berlin. She also holds a first-class Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture from the Radboud University Nijmegen. For her Master’s thesis, she conducted semi-structured interviews with young, male Afghan asylum seekers in Berlin, focussing on their displacement experience and views on German culture and gender relations. Previously, she has volunteered for the Boat Refugee Foundation in Lesvos, where she coordinated an Afghan women’s support group. Next to that, she contributed as a research assistant to a human-rights think tank in Malta and completed a training on refugee inclusion in Southern Italy. Her main research interests lie in social coherence, the power dynamics between majority and minority populations, and the gendered aspects of forced migration.

Akram Yacob MA

Akram Yacob graduated from the Hertie School of Governance with a Master in Public Policy. After spending 6 months at the United Nations Volunteers in Bonn, he wrote his thesis on the topic of improving social media stakeholder engagement using Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Prior to that, he graduated from the Singapore Management University with a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Sociology and Corporate Communication. Over the years, his research interests have gravitated towards technology, urbanization and development.

Born and raised in Singapore, he worked for several years in the government in Singapore. Additionally, he has been part of several start-ups from public-service platforms to decentralized AI platforms. He loves animals and has spent time volunteering with the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore) and the Animal Care Center of NYC (ACC).

Mariana Zarpellon BA

Mariana Zarpellon graduated from Universidade Federal do Paraná with a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, majoring in Anthropology and Archaeology. During her studies, she worked at the university’s archaeological laboratory (CEPA) and did fieldwork with the people living at an abandoned construction site at her hometown in Brazil. Throughout the four years in which the research took place, many topics were brought up by the relation she stablished with her interlocutors, such as homelessness, statelessness, substance dependency and social marginalization. The field research eventually led to the production of an ethnographic film called Fala de Mim, which was later evaluated in her graduation monograph.

She has a previous bachelor’s degree in Social Communication and has worked as a photographer since 2008.

Raíssa Silveira MA

Raíssa is a Brazilian Masters student for Political Science at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – Brazil, currently in Germany to expand her research on modern antisemitism. She is a BA in International Relations and a former intern for her country’s Ministry of Foreign Relations on Human Rights issues. Raíssa was also a volunteer for Palestinians’ rights and she specialized in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, when her desire to advocate against antisemitism also arose. Furthermore, she has interest for democracy studies, international organizations, media studies, forced migration, MENA studies, theology and political philosophy. She will take part in the Brazilian delegation to TUFTS University – Boston Symposium on Migration in a Turbulent World. She loves travelling and learning languages, and looks forward to developing relevant and accessible research.

Abdulrahman Kadi BA

Zacky Khairul Umam MA

Zacky Khairul Umam studied Middle Eastern languages and cultures in Jakarta, Canberra, and Istanbul before coming to Berlin as a Ph.D. candidate for the global intellectual history of early modern Islam at the Freie Universität Berlin (2014 until now). His popular essays on Islam, democracy, Middle Eastern cultures, pluralism, and social thought have been published in major Indonesian media since his undergraduate studies. During Fall 2018, he obtained a Global Humanities Junior Fellowship at the Comparative Thought and Literature Department of the Johns Hopkins University in the US. He is affiliated to Indonesia für Deutschland (indonesiafuerdeutschland.com), a social project to “retribute” to marginalized German societies.

Uwe Ruß MA

Asaf Leshem MA

Sergiu Lucaci MA

Alexandra Johansen BA

Sarah Coughlan MA

Jada Lindblom MA

Dr. Philipp Gerlach

Christian Kipp MA

Christian Kipp currently studies mathematics at TU Berlin. He holds a master’s degree in Social Science from HU Berlin. In his master’s thesis in Social Science, Christian discussed Ernest Gellner’s theory of nationalism from a philosophical perspective. The topic of his bachelor’s thesis in mathematics is at the intersection of geometric functional analysis and statistics. Christian’s support of SSW is based on the belief that science and democracy should be understood as two aspects of humanism, which can only exist as a unity.

Michael Häfelinger MA

Dr. Sergiu Buscaneanu

Lily Cichanowicz BA

Mafalda Sandrini MA

Mafalda is currently doing her PhD at the Free University in Berlin under the Organizational Communication Division of the Institute for Media and Communication Studies. While studying her master in Media and Communication Management at Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Mafalda worked on the research project The Moving Networked, developed by the BoP – Board of Participation Association and the Allianz Kulturstiftung, aimed at creating intercultural bridges between the refugee and local community by implementing lectures and workshops in refugee camps and other facilities. In her dissertation Mafalda is deepening the approach by adopting a meso perspective in order to investigate how organizations are connected within the networked public sphere by adopting social network analysis. Particularly, she is interested in examining the relationships between governmental organizations, NGOs and organizations funded by refugees, in Berlin, in order to gather a holistic picture of relationships’ patterns and their structure.

Johannes Petry MA

Paula Herrera MA

Ilyas Saliba MA

Patrick Sullivan MA