Our Team

Director and founder of Social Science Works is Hans Blokland. Team-members are Mirjam Neebe, Maxime Kuhlmey, Alice Lorch and Philipp Bautz. Various interns and visiting scholars additionally are part of our team.

Moreover, we are supported by a growing number of Fellows. Please find more about them here.

Prof. Dr. Hans Blokland

Mirjam Neebe MA

Mirjam Neebe studied sociology and philosophy at the University of Potsdam and environmental management with a focus on political science at the Free University of Berlin. Her thesis is about the hybrid ethnic identities of students belonging to the second generation of immigrants in Germany. It shows how these young people, who can be regarded as examples of successful integration, create a ‘third space’ with new ethnic identities beyond assimilation into, or demarcation from, the German culture. During her work in applied social research and development cooperation, Mirjam’s work focused on qualitative social research, the development of methodological approaches and research design, as well as project management.

Maxime Kuhlmey

Maxime Kuhlmey started his career at SSW in October 2019. He is studying social sciences at the Humboldt University in Berlin (HU). Earlier, he spent one and a half years in Beirut (Lebanon), gaining work experience at the Orient Institute Beirut (Max-Weber Foundation) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. He now finishes his Bachelor and will start his master in social science at the HU.

During his stay in Lebanon he realised once more the necessity of bringing people with different origins, values, opinions and beliefs together. Lebanon is with its 18 different religious sects one of the most diverse (and at the same time smallest) countries in the world. During his research, he found Social Science Works and their deliberative approach, that corresponds with his ideal conception of having a changing and lasting effect on people.

Lina Gessner

Lina Gessner is our spring intern of 2020. Lina studies Global Project and Change Management at Windesheim Honors College in Zwolle, The Netherlands. Since February 2020 she is working as an intern at SSW, where she is writing her Bachelor Thesis looking into new strategies on how to recruit and 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.

Zak Reimer MA

Zak Reimer is a German Chancellor Fellow from the Humboldt Foundation conducting research into grassroots refugee integration efforts in Germany. Starting in the Autumn of 2019, for a year Zak will be a part of Social Science Works, conducting his own research as well as contributing to our projects. More information about his project can be found here.

Zak grew up in the state of Montana, USA and first became interested in the subject of migration after studying the issue at the US/Mexico border in 2016. In 2017, Zak began work with refugees at the newly opened office of the International Rescue Committee in Missoula, Montana. While working to help the community welcome refugees, Zak began asking the questions that led him to pursue his research in partnership with Social Science Works: chiefly, what factors strengthen the role a community plays in integrating refugees and how can successful programs in Germany be replicated in the US?

Zak holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Montana State University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Montana.  His other areas of research interest include childhood development, economic justice, and conflict mediation.

Alice Lorch BA

Alice Lorch worked on the Canarian Island Teneriffa for the Loro Parqué Foundation after finishing an apprenticeship as a state-approved foreign language correspondent. During her work, she made her first experiences in project management and member support. In 2010 she moved back to Germany and started working in the cultural department of the German-Polish Foundation Genshagen. There, she improved her skills in project management, controlling and public relations. At the same time, Alice graduated in International Business Communication at the private AKAD university in Leipzig. She wrote her bachelor thesis about the potential projects for the societal integration of refugees. Since October 2019, she works as a freelance project manager at Social Science Works.

Philipp Bautz BA

Philipp studied Public Economics and sociology at the University of Potsdam, as part of a dual-subject bachelor. A wide variety of subjects were at the center of his studies, such as resource and environmental economics, organizational structures, micro economics, statistics and survey design. He is a especially interested in how the economic and ecological spheres influence each other. Also for this reason he wrote a bachelor thesis on the international protection efforts regarding the river Oder, which he approached from a game theory angle. In his spare time he enjoys art, animation, movies, cooking and baking, especially pizza.