© C.T. Henry

Prof Dr Achim Goerres

Achim.Goerres “at” uni-due.de


University of Duisburg-Essen

Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science

Lotharstr. 65

47057 Duisburg


Phone +49 (0) 203 379 – 3615 (direct), -1385 (secret.)



Curriculum Vitae

Work on the Social Science Research Network

Work in Progress



PhD Supervision

A Political Sociological CV

Central Results and Press Coverage


One of my primary motivations to become an academic was that I love teaching.

Since I finished my Habilitation in January 2010, I have also been formally allowed to take on PhD students. This experience is very rewarding and I am very lucky to be supervising a few very talented early-career researchers.

I think of a PhD thesis as a project that needs to be planned, monitored and quality-checked. Once I am convinced that someone has some doable ideas, has proven him or herself in other contexts, shows analytical skills and has the self-discipline to work on his or her own for several years, I regularly meet with my PhD students, agree with them on milestones of their work and advise them about their projects. My PhD students and I agree on morally binding rules and project plans that are revised at least every 12 months. I adhere to the recommendations set out in the best-practice paper by the PhD-completion-interest organisation THESIS and the German Professorial Association DHV.

I regularly teach workshops to professionalise PhD students, such as on publishing in peer-reviewed journals and on attending conferences.


Past PhD students

2010 – 2013 (successful completion, PhD from the University of Cologne)

Dr. Katrin Prinzen, B.A. in Communication Science,  B.A.+M.A (Diplom) in the Social Sciences (both in Duisburg-Essen)

Katrin studied conflicts between generations in modern welfare states. So far, Katrin has published five articles, one that came out of her master thesis (Politische Vierteljahresschrift), one from her doctoral thesis and three other together with me that originated from a grant project by the Thyssen foundation (Quality & Quantity, Social Indicators Research, Zeitschrift für Sozialreform). See the table of contents of the dissertation here.

She won the prize for the best MA thesis at her faculty and was offered a prestigious scholarship by the German Rentenversicherung to fund her PhD. She spent half a year in Turkey working for a big environmental NGO.

Currently, she is research associate for Prof Karsten Hank.


2011-2014 (successful completion, PhD from the University of Cologne)

Dr. Christian Weyand, B.A.+M.A. (Diplom) in the Social Sciences (Cologne)

Christian worked on the impact of citizens’ monitoring of policy-making and the perceptions thereof on the political process. He won a three-year PhD scholarship from the Cologne Graduate School and started his programme in 2010. See the dissertation here.

During his studies in Cologne, he spent half a year as an ERASMUS student at the Helsinki School of Economics in Finland and another term at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He moved to the private sector and works for a commercial market research company.


2012-2016 (successful completion, PhD from the University of Duisburg-Essen)

Dr. Florian Rabuza, Master-equivalent (Staatsexamen I) in Political Science and German Studies (Stuttgart)

Florian worked on the context-dependent impact of formal education on political participation across Europe. See the dissertation in German here.

Florian holds a part-time position (50 %) as a research associate and lecturer in methods of political science at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Formerly, he was employed at the Department of Political Science and Political Sociology at the University of Stuttgart when he also regularly attended training courses in applied statistics and experimental design. For his MA thesis, he won the Faculty prize in 2010.



Pia Beermann, B.A in Political Science (University of Mannheim) and M.Sc. in Sociology and Empirical Social Research (University of Cologne) worked at the interdisciplinary project Big Risks for 6 months before she left for a job in market research. Her proposal was ready for submission to the PhD board when she decided to leave academia for good.


Current PhD students

Since 2011

Regina Weber, B.A.+M.A. (Magister) in History and Political Science (Potsdam)

Regina works on political participation of young people across diverse liberal democracies, focusing on a comparison between Germany and Israel. Besides her PhD, she has a fulltime job as policy advisor at the Hans Boeckler Foundation in Duesseldorf. While a student, Regina spent a year at Charles University Prague. Further short-term postings abroad were with the OSCE in Vienna and the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Tel Aviv. Regina was and is very active in student, equal opportunity and trade union politics. During her studies, for instance, she led the student government body at the University of Aachen and was a member in the German National Bologna Follow-Up Group. Regina has published several policy reports, and a revised version of her master’s thesis on women in right-wing extremism is forthcoming as a monograph.


Since 2014

Evelyn Funk, M.A. (Magistra Artium) in Political Science, Cultural Anthropology and Slavonic Studie from the University of Cologne.

Evelyn works on the impact of civic education in developing democracies. She was a student at Cologne University and the European University of St. Petersburg in Russia. During her studies, she received a scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation. After completing a 9-months Postgraduate Training Programme for Development Cooperation of the German Development Institute (DIE-GDI) in Bonn, she worked as a research associate at the Center for Evaluation in Saarbrucken for about 2 years. Her work experience abroad includes one year volunteer work in Belarus, three months research in Kazakhstan and Tanzania each, and further missions to India, Kenya and Madagascar.


Stefano Ronchi, B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pavia,  M.A. in International Labour and Social Policies from the University of Milan, M. Res. in Public Policy and Social Change at Collegio Carlo Alberto at Turin.

His Master thesis in Milan won a local prize as best dissertation on social policy. He joined the research training group SOCLIFE “Social Order and Life Chances in Cross-National Comparison” at the University of Cologne. His work deals with comparative welfare state analysis, focusing on the by now EU mainstream approach known as “social investment”. He is interested in assessing whether this new blueprint may actually lead to the desired outcomes in the variety of “Social Europes”, wherein in peripheral countries a mix of unfavourable policy legacies, scarce income security and post-crisis tightened fiscal constraints provides all but a breeding ground for the social investment strategy.

Stefano also works as a research assistant within the Observatory “Percorsi di Secondo Welfare”, for which he is monitoring the implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee in the Italian regions.


Since 2015

Dominik Lober, Master-equivalent (Staatsexamen I) in Political Science, History, and Geography (Heidelberg)

Dominik works on the generational cleavage with regard to welfare spending across European countries. He is particularly interested in the attitudes and preferences of older people, i.e. their willingness to accept cutbacks in their own benefits (e.g. pension payments) in order to increase benefits for the younger generations (e.g. education spending). Since October 2014, Dominik has been a PhD student at the Graduate School of Decision Sciences at the University of Konstanz and is affiliated with the Chair of Political Science, Policy Analysis and Political Theory of Marius Busemeyer. During his studies, Dominik received a scholarship by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation and worked as a student assistant for the Chair of International and Comparative Political Economy of Stefanie Walter, and the Chair of Economic and Social Geography of Michael Handke.

I act as the advisor to Dominik. His day-to-day supervision lies in the hands of Marius R. Busemeyer and Christian Breunig at the University of Konstanz.


Since 2016

Anne-Kathrin Fischer, B.A. in Social Science with focus on media studies (University of Siegen) and M.A. in Sociology (University of Münster).

Anne-Kathrin works on the interdisciplinary project “Big risks”: perceptions, management and neuralgic societal risks in the 21st century at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The project is about the ways in which the public deals with neuralgic societal risks such as climate change, demographic change or state deficits in the 21st century. It is financed by the Funk Foundation. Anne-Kathrin is particularly interested in the political determinants of public opinion and the individual perception of global risks.

During her studies, she spent half a year as at the San Diego State University on a German Academic Exchange Service scholarship. As a student assistant for the Chair of Political and Administrative Science Nicolai Dose (University of Duisburg-Essen) she worked on a research project about the shrinking membership base of political parties, leading to several publications, especially the monograph in German:

Dose, Nicolai/Fischer, Anne-Kathrin/Golla, Nathalie (2016): Die Partei im regionalen Fokus: Mitgliederschwund, Alterungsprozesse und Mitgliederpartizipation bei der SPD – Ergebnisse zweier empirischer Studien. Nomos, Baden-Baden.


Prospective PhD students

If you are thinking about whether I may be a good supervisor for you, please do contact me with some ideas. From my profile, you can gather things that I am doing research in myself. However, I am interested in many more things, so if you want to pursue a PhD on something that I have not published about, this should not prevent you from asking me. Any project, however, should be empirical and, finally, based on sound knowledge of methods that you are willing to acquire after you have started your PhD.

Note that I can only act as primary supervisor to PhD students at my current university (Duisburg-Essen).