Prof. Dr. Merlin Schaeffer

Photo Merlin Schaeffer


merlin.schaeffer [at]

Research fields

Migration, Integration, and Intercultural Conflicts | Social Science Research Methods
Discrimination | Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Cohesion | Stratification | Residential Segregation


I am a sociologist who specializes in the analysis of ethnic diversity and inequality stemming from immigration. My research focuses on the resulting processes of stratification, inclusion, and political contestation. I am currently investigating ethno-racial discrimination in immigration societies, with a particular focus on the disparities in perspectives between citizens regarding the definition and perceived prevalence of this form of discrimination. I draw on a wide range of social theories from various traditions to contribute to sociology through original theoretical and conceptual work. My empirical research utilizes state-of-the-art statistical methods to analyze various types of data, including survey data, (online) experiments, behavioral games, register and spatial data, meta-analytic data, and new forms of digital trace data.



Career Stages

Since 2023 Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen.

2018-2022 Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen

2015–2018 Associate Professor at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology, University of Cologne

2014–2015 Visiting Professor, Institute of Sociology, Karslruhe Institute of Technology

2009–2015 (Senior) Researcher at the Department "Migration, Integration, Transnationalization, WZB Berlin Social Science Center,


2012 PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam

2008 MA Social Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Selected Publications

Schaeffer, M. & Kas, J. (2023) The Integration Paradox: A Review and Meta-Analysis of the Complex Relationship Between Integration and Reports of Discrimination. International Migration Review. doi:

Wiedner, Jonas, Merlin Schaeffer, and Sarah Carol (2022): “Ethno-Religious Neighbourhood Infrastructures and the Life Satisfaction of Immigrants and Their Descendants in Germany.” Urban Studies 00420980211066412. doi: 10.1177/00420980211066412.

Schaeffer, Merlin, and Mikkel Haderup Larsen (2022): “Who Should Get Vaccinated First? Limits of Solidarity during the First Week of the Danish Vaccination Programme.” European Sociological Review jcac025. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcac025.

Schaeffer, M. (2019): Social Mobility and Perceived Discrimination: Adding an Inter-generational Perspective. European Sociological Review 35(1): 65–80.

Heisig, J.P., Schaeffer, M. & Giesecke, J. (2017): The Costs of Simplicity: Why Multilevel Models May Benefit from Accounting for Cross-Cluster Differences in the Effects of Controls. American Sociological Review 82(4): 796–827.

Legewie, J. & Schaeffer, M. (2016): Contested Boundaries: Explaining Where Ethno-Racial Diversity Provokes Neighborhood Conflict. American Journal of Sociology 122(1): 125–161.