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Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel

Portrait Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel, Foto: David Außerhofer)
Research Fields
  • Political regimes: Democracy - dictatorships
  • Democratization
  • Political parties
  • Social democracy
  • Social justice
fon: +49 30 25491 330
fax: +49 30 25491 345
mail: wolfgang [dot] merkel [at] wzb [dot] eu
Gudrun Mouna
fon: +49 30 25491-321
fax: +49 30 25491-345
mail: mouna [at] wzb [dot] eu
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin

Appointment as a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

since 2004
Director of the research unit "Democracy: Structures, Performance, Challenges" at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB)

Professor of Comparative Political Science and Democracy Research, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Faculty of Arts III, Department of Social Sciences

Call for a professorship in political science (C4) from the University of Heidelberg

Acceptance of a call for a professorship in political science/comparative governance (C3) from the University of Mainz

Selected Publications
  • Merkel, Wolfgang (2010): Systemtransformation. Eine Einführung in die Theorie und Empirie der Transformationsforschung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 561 S.
  • Merkel, Wolfgang/Grimm, Sonja (Eds.) (2009): War and Democratization. Legality, Legitimacy and Effectiveness. London/New York, NY: Routledge, 218 S.
  • Merkel, Wolfgang/Petring, Alexander/Henkes, Christian/Egle, Christoph (2008): Social Democracy in Power. The Capacity to Reform. Routledge Research in Comparative Politics. London/New York, NY: Routledge, XVII, 309 S. (Die Reformfähigkeit der Sozialdemokratie, in englischer Sprache)
  • Merkel, Wolfgang (2010): "Are Dictatorships Returning? Revisiting the 'Democratic Rollback' Hypothesis". In: Contemporary Politics, Vol. 16, No. 1, Special Issue "Promoting Democracy - Promoting Autocracy? International Politics and National Political Regimes", edited by Ian Holliday, S. 17-31.

Merkel, Wolfgang (2004): "Embedded and Defective Democracies". In: Aurel Croissant/Wolfgang Merkel (Eds.): Special Issue of Democratization: Consolidated or Defective Democracy? Problems of Regime Change, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 33-58



Critical Junctures and the Survival of Dictatorships. Explaining the Stability of Autocratic Regimes, funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG)
Participating scientists: Wolfgang Merkel, Christoph Stefes, Alexander Schmotz, Johannes Gerschewski, Dag Tanneberg

The Political Sociology of Cosmopolitanism and Communitarianism
Funding: WZB
Project directors: Wolfgang Merkel, Ruud Koopmans, Michael Zürn
Participating scientists: Onawa Promise Lacewell, Céline Teney, Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Pieter de Wilde

since 2005
Democracy Barometer, NCCR Democracy, University of Zurich, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation
Project leaders:  Wolfgang Merkel, Daniel Bochsler (Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau)
Participating scientists: Marc Bühlmann (University of Berne), Heiko Giebler, Bernhard Weßels
Doctoral student: Lisa Müller (Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau)