my European journey…

  • …began in Weimar/Thüringen, under the auspices of Goethe and Schiller, the 1919 constitution of the Weimar Republic and the Bauhaus, overshadowed by the nearby Buchenwald concentration camp and the wired fence between East and West Germany;
  • …allowed me to enjoy higher education in the the West German Bonn Republic before the Belogna reform, notably the Leibniz-Kolleg of Tübingen University, the Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Studies at Bielefeld and the University of München. It brought me to post-Franco democratising Spain, for field research and journalistic investigations in Madrid and the Spanish periphery on their way to regional autonomy. This research phase came to its conclusion at the European University Institute Florence, with a PhD in social and political sciences;
  • … took me on extensive journeys as a passionate teacher, researcher and author of comparative political sociology and European integration to the universities of Barcelona (UAB), Heidelberg, Mannheim, Koblenz-Landau, Uni-Bremen/BiGSSS, and moreover, as a DAAD visiting professor to the Government department of Cornell University /Ithaca NY, as a host and visitor in the EU’s Higher Education Exchange Program to Changchun University/PR China, as a lecturer of the European Studies Programs to the university of Celaya/Mexico, to the RGGU and PFUR in Moscow, and to the Centre for European Studies at Manipal/India;
  • ….enabled me to set up and chair the Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies (CEuS 2001 – 2016), to help my Bremen University establish a novel interdisciplinary BA program “Integrated European Studies” (ongoing);
  • ….motivated me to campaign as a B90/Grüne candidate in the 2019 European parliamentary elections, for which I wrote the booklet “Europa erneuern” (“Renew Europe”), offering a democratic vision for the EU of the 21st century;
  • …finally rewarded my longstanding interest in participatory and deliberative democratic movements, citizenship and institutional innovations with the “Conference on the Future of Europe” (2021 – 2022), the most fascinating democratic innovations at a transnational worldwide scale realised to date;
  • ….most recently, brought me back to Florence, to join the “Democratic Odyssey” project team at the EUI’s School of Transnational Governance (since 2022). Hence, my unfinished project of a democratic Europe is going on, heading towards a new milestone: a standing Peoples’ Assembly for Europe!