Team and publications

Dr. habil. Mareike Gebhardt

Principal Investigator, University of Münster

Political Science | Democratic Theory 

Mareike Gebhardt holds a doctorate in political science. In her habilitation “Democratic Closure,” she analyzed the European migration regime from a deconstructive and dispositive analytical perspective. Mareike Gebhardt is one of the two principal investigators of ZivDem (Gerda Henkel Foundation, 2022-2025) and co-director of the Centre for European Gender Studies (ZEUGS) at Münster University.

Her research focuses on radical democratic theory, post-structuralism, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, and critical migration and border regime studies.

Find out more about Mareike Gebhardt here

Dr. Lena Laube

Principal Investigator, University of Bonn

Sociology | Border Studies, Refugee Research 

Lena Laube is Scientific Manager of Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (FIW), Bonn. At FIW’s Department for Research on Democracies, she works as a senior researcher. Lena Laube researches and teaches from a political sociology perspective on European border and migration policy, Search and Rescue Missions, asylum and forced migration, populism, externalization, and international mobility regimes.

She works as one of the two principal investigators of the research group ZivDem (Gerda Henkel Foundation, 2022-2025) and is also executive director of the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (FIW) at the University of Bonn since 2013.

Learn more about Lena Laube here

Dr. des. Maria Ullrich

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Bonn

Social Sciences | Citizenship Studies, Migration Research 

Maria Ullrich is a social scientist. She gained her Ph.D. at the University of Siegen, where she wrote her doctoral thesis (in German) at the University of Siegen on “Participation of Refugees. Civil Society Negotiations in the German Reception Context.” Maria Ullrich is also a fellow at Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, Bonn.

Her research interests include interdisciplinary refugee migration and border studies, citizenship studies, and qualitative ethnographic social research.

Learn more about Maria Ullrich here

Sarah Spasiano, MA

Doctoral Researcher, University of Bonn

Anthropology | Migration Research 

Sarah Spasiano studied Anthropology (BA) in Freiburg and International Migration and Intercultural Relations (MA) in Osnabrück and Bologna. Since her bachelor’s thesis, Sarah Spasiano has been involved with critical migration and refugee studies. She is particularly interested in the European border regime, civil society solidarity, and social movements around (forced) migration and refugee protests. In her master thesis, completed in 2021, she focused on civil society support for refugees in the transit country Italy. Since July 2022, Sarah Spasiano writes her doctoral thesis at ZivDem.

Learn more about Sarah Spasiano here

Student Assistants

Isabel Vehrkamp B.A. | Student Assistant, University of Münster

Isabel Vehrkamp studies political science in the MA program “International and European Governance” in Münster and Lille. In her bachelor thesis she analyzed the SAR discourse in Germany from the theoretical perspective of Judith Butler’s work on grievability.

Bahia Amellal B.A. | Student Assistant, University of Bonn 

Bahia Amellal completed her Bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies in Lüneburg, where she already worked on the topics of flight and migration. She is currently studying Sociology for a Master's degree at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn.

Carlotta Laumann | Student Assistant, University of Bonn 

Carlotta Laumann is studyding Political Science and Sociology in the Bachelor program "Politik und Gesellschaft" as well as Psychology as a minor at the  Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn.

Jace Proske B.A. | Student Assistant, University of Bonn

Jace Proske studied Politics and Society as well as Ancient American Studies and Ethnology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität. Since the winter semester 2020/21, he has been studying for a master's degree in sociology.

Administrative employees

Doris Westhoff | FIW Bonn

Gabriele Erwig | IfPol, University of Münster