Faculty of Management, Economics and Society

    Chair of International Political Studies

    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 ability of elite coalitions to prevent political violence in general and civil wars in particular. His research thus lies at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations.

    In the following years, Dr Bormann will apply his insights on elite coalitions to learn more about the causes of democratic survival or failure in inter-war Europe (1919-1939). Sponsored by an European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant, he will conduct risk assessments for contemporary European democracies.

    Dr Bormann’s methodological approach derives from the theoretical questions under consideration. Frequently, 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.


    In the classroom, Dr. 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 topics of the Chair

    • 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
    Prof. Dr. Nils-Christian Bormann

    Prof. Dr.
    Nils Bormann

    Fakultät für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Department für Philosophie, Politik und Ökonomik)
    Professur für International Political Studies

    Phone: +49 (0)2302 / 926-579

    E-Mail: Nils.Bormann@uni-wh.de

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    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: