Faculty of Management, Economics and Society

    Chair of International Political Studies

    The International Political Studies team: Stefan Stojkovic, Bruno Della Sala, Dr. Lea Kaftan, and Prof. Dr. Nils-Christian Bormann
    The International Political Studies team: Stefan Stojkovic, Bruno Della Sala, Dr. Lea Kaftan, and Prof. Dr. Nils-Christian Bormann (Photo: UW/H)
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    Prof. Dr. Nils-Christian Bormann holds the Chair of International Political Studies. He investigates the sources of instability in multiethnic and democratic societies. Specifically, he studies the role of elite coalitions in preventing political violence. His research thus lies at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations.

    Currently, the research team consisting of Dr. Lea Kaftan, Bruno Della Sala, Stefan Stojkovic, Nils-Christian Bormann  focuses on studying the effect of political violence on democratic survival in inter-war Europe (1919-1939). Sponsored by an European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant, the project will yield risk assessments for contemporary European democracies.

    Professor Bormann’s methodological approach derives from the theoretical questions under consideration. Predominantly, he uses statistical models to estimate the risks of different forms of instability: civil war, the risk of governmental breakdown, or democratic failure. To probe the plausibility of these models, he draws on case study approaches.

    Our questions

    In the classroom, Professor Bormann focuses on identifying the causes of instability in multiethnic or democratic states. Using a range of methodologically diverse analytical tools, he sets out to answer why some states or regions are more stable than others. Moreover, he uses political science theories to develop strategies for conflict prevention and resolution at the local, national, and international level.

    The students are invited to contribute insights from philosophy and economics to develop innovative and constructive solutions to the problems posed by political instability. To lay the foundation for a successful interdisciplinary analysis, he teaches the critical analysis of quantitative data and textual sources.

    Current research interests

    • Democratic stability
    • Elite coalitions and political violence
    • Correlates of civil wars
    • Economic inequality between groups
    Democracy, Anger, and Elite Responses (DANGER)
    Elite Power-Sharing Coalitions and Ethnic Civil Wars
    Diffusion of Self-Determination Conflicts
    Intergroup economic inequality


    Die Universität Witten/Herdecke ist durch das NRW-Wissenschaftsministerium unbefristet staatlich anerkannt und wird – sowohl als Institution wie auch für ihre einzelnen Studiengänge – regelmäßig akkreditiert durch: