Personal Information & Research

Personal Information

I am a PhD researcher at the Institute for Political Science since October 2018. At the Institute, I am affiliated with the Chair for Global Environmental Governance as well as with the Junior Research Group DynaMo: Mobility-Energy-Dynamics (Socioecological Research Framework of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research). I hold a MA (Political Science) and BA (Politics & Economics) degree both from the University of Münster. In Fall 2022 I was a visiting researcher at the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the University of California, Berkeley.

During my studies, I have gained interdisciplinary experience in social & business ethics while working as a (graduate) student assistant at the Chair of Christian Social Science at the Catholic-Theological Faculty of the University of Münster. Furthermore, I have (international) work experience in journalism, education and research management & diplomacy. Beyond my work, as a First Gen student I am particularly sensitive for questions of social and educational justice and an advocate for a more equal access to (higher) education and the questioning of academic habits.

Research Interests

  • Norms in International Relations
  • Inter- and Transdisciplinary Approaches in International Relations
  • EU Mobility & Energy Governance
  • Global Environmental and Sustainability Governance


PhD Project

Moving Meaning? Translation and Performance of EU Sustainability Norms in Urban Mobility Transitions

A sustainable transition of the mobility and transport sector is imperative to address the global challenge of climate change, especially given the sector’s substantial and procedural inertia in that regard. Therefore, supranational efforts to address climate change, such as the EU’s Green Deal initiative, are trying to access the puzzle of transforming transport and mobility (among other sectors). Therefore, coming from an International Relations (IR) norm-theoretical perspective, my PhD pro-ject asks how global sustainability norms are implemented in sectoral policymaking and governance. Norms, in that regard, are understood as vehicles that transport ‘meaning-in-use’ across political and social realms where it is translated into discourse and practice. Understood as such, the notion of norm translation covers implementation dynamics on a vertical (between political levels) and a horizontal (between sectoral/technical operationalizations) dimension. EU transport and mobility governance provides an interesting case to illustrate these complex dynamics in an inte-grated way. On the one hand side, the complexity of the EU multilevel governance system constitutes a challenging context for norm translation since multiple horizontal and vertical circles of translation need to be perceived in conjunction. Also, the governance of transport and mobility is amenable to a high relevance of technological regulation and emerging structures and practices, which further stimulate the need for an interactive translation process. Many initiatives and programs (top-down and bottom-up) in mobility and transport underline this impression and provide a rich field for investigation. In the PhD project, I aim to deconstruct and evaluate these dynamics through a qualitative-interpretative analysis that combines different methods such as document analysis, expert/stakeholder interviews, participating observation on the EU level and selected local translation contexts. As a result, I want to show structural and discursive contingencies of norm dynamics in EU governance and provide orientation on how to amend these architectures to enable substantive sustainable change.

  • CV

    10-12/2022 Visiting Researcher, Institute for European Studies, University of California, Berkeley
    Since 06/2020 Scholarship (on merit) for Doctoral Studies, Cusanuswerk e.V.
    Since 03/2020 Member of the Graduate School of Politics (GraSP), Institute for Political Science, University of Münster
    Since 10/2018 Research Fellow, Institute of Political Science, University of Münster (Chair for Global Environmental Governance)
    Since 06/2018 Member of the Junior Research Group DynaMo (Socio-Ecological Research of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF)
    01-04/2018 Research Intern, Northamerica Office, German Research Foundation (DFG), Washington DC/New York City
    2016-2018 M.A. Political Science, University of Münster
    2014-2018 Extracurricular Program Social & Business Ethics, Catolic-Theological/Business Faculty, University of Münster
    2013-2016 B.A. Political Science & Economics, University of Münster


  • Publications / Conference Contributions

    Selected publications (* peer reviewed)

    *Stockmann N, Graf A. 2022. Just translation? A socioecological justice lens on EU environmental governance and urban mobility transitions. Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft. Online First. doi: 10.1007/s41358-022-00335-1
    *Stockmann N, Graf A. 2020. ‘“Polluting our kids’ imagination”? Exploring the power of Lego in the discourse on sustainable mobility.’ Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 16(1): 231-246. doi: 10.1080/15487733.2020.1802142
    *Holthaus Leonie, Stockmann Nils. 2020. “Who Makes the World?” – Academics and (Un)cancelling the Future.’ New Perspectives 28(3): 413-427. doi: 10.1177/2336825X20935246
    *Feldhoff B, Stockmann N, Fanderl N, Gahle AK, Graf A, Leger M, Sonnberger M. 2019. ‘Bridging Theories and Practices: Boundary Objects and Constellation Analysis as Vehicles for Interdisciplinary Knowledge Integration.’ Sustainability 11, Nr. 19. doi: 10.3390/su11195357
    Stockmann Nils, Graf Antonia. 2019. „Nachhaltige urbane Mobilität von morgen zwischen Reproduktion und Dekonstruktion von Normen.“ Amosinternational 13, Nr. 3: 10-16.
    Heimbach-Steins, Marianne, Stockmann, Nils. 2019. „Ein Impuls zur „ökologischen Umkehr” - Die Enzyklika Laudato si’ und die Rolle der Kirche als Change Agent.“ In Die Enzyklika Laudatio si' – ein interdisziplinärer Nachhaltigkeitsansatz?, herausgegeben von Heimbach-Steins, Marianne, Schlacke, Sabine, 11-53. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

    Selected conference talks and papers

    Stockmann, Nils (2022): ‘Have I seen the future? Making norms for uncertain times to come’. 15th EISA Pan-European Conference (European International Studies Association), Athen, 02.09.2022. and IES Research Colloquium (Institute of European Studies), University of California, Berkeley, 10.11.2022.
    Stockmann, Nils (2022): ‘Meaning-making between global aspirations and local realities: Contested sustainability norms in EU urban mobility governance’. ECPR General Conference (European Consortium for Political Research), Innsbruck, 24.08.2022.
    Stockmann, Nils (2022): ‘Navigating Ghent’s mobility transition between global aspirations and local challenges’. Lunchtalk Series of the Stadsacademie Ghent, University of Ghent, 30.03.2022.
    Felder Alina, Stockmann Nils (2021): ‘Is resilience the new competitiveness? How the pandemic awakened dormant norm collisions in EU sectoral policies’. 10th Conference of the ECPR Standing Group for the European Union, Online, 11.06.2021.
    Stockmann, Nils (2021): ‘Mobility beyond scales and silos: Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans as a device to re-imagine sectoral policies within the EU?’ Energy Futures - Emerging Pathways in an Uncertain World, Wissenschaftszentrum für Sozialforschung Berlin (WZB) / online, 26.02.2021.
    Stockmann, Nils (2020): ‘The city is a stage: Reconstruction of the scales and spaces of EU mobility policy’. Cosmopolis Lunch Seminar, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, 26.11.2020.
    Stockmann, Nils (2020): ‘Governing and researching the plurality of crises: Prospects and challenges of research on EU sustainability politics in Covid-19 times’. BAGSS Doctoral Workshop "Yet another Crisis for EU Research(ers)?", Online-Workshop, 18.09.2020.
    Stockmann, Nils (2020): „Translation and performance of EU sustainability norms - developing a theoretical stance for analysis“. 14. IB-Nachwuchstagung, Akademie für Politische Bildung, Tutzing, 12.03.2020 / Conference: Translation in/of World Politics: Language, Practices, Power, SOAS University of London, Great Britain, 18.01.2020.
    Stockmann, Nils, Graf Antonia (2019): ‘Discursive reproduction of unsustainable mobility in children entertainment: the Lego case’. 13th EISA Pan European Conference on International Relations, Sofia University "Sveti Kliment Ohridski", Sofia, Bulgaria, 13.09.2019.

  • Memberships / Activities

    • Elected member of the Early Career Commitee of the German Political Science Association (DVPW), since 2021
    • Member of the Governing Board, Institute of Political Science, University of Münster (Representative for the Academic Staff)
    • Deputy Speaker, Early Career Group of the German Political Science Association's (DVPW) International Relations Section, since 2020
    • Associated Fellow of the Center of Interdisclipinary Sustainability Research (ZIN), University of Münster, since 2018
    • Member of the European International Studies Association (EISA), International Studies Association (ISA), German Political Science Association (DVPW)
    • Service on Different Commitees/Working Groups on Faculty & Department Level, University of Münster
    • Different Organized Events & Talks for Practitioners and in (Higher) Education


  • Teaching

    BA-Level Courses

    • Cities as Actors in Global Governance: Networks, Fields of Action and Challenges, Winter Term 2022/2023
    • Another Theory is Possible? Alternative Approaches and Concepts in EU Studies, Winter Term 2021/2022
    • Introduction to Environmental Politcs, Summer Term 2019
    • Contemporary Debates of Critical IR Norm Research, Winter Term 2019/2020


    • The Cultural and Social Prerequisites of a Sustainable Mobility Transition, Workshop for BA/MA Students at Summer School of the Cusanuswerk, 2019

    Supervision of BA Theses

    • The establishment of sustainable mobility in EU governance, 2022
    • Quatar's sport diplomacy in football: A study with the soft power approach, 2022
    • The security policy discourse in the Irish parliament in the context of Brexit from the perspective of Securitization Theory, 2022
    • The conflict of sustainability paradigms in the mobility sector - A qualitative analysis of the the FDP and Greens party manifestos, 2021
    • Reorientation in the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Legitimation Policy? A qualitative-interpretive Analysis of the Committee of World Food Security's Reform after the Hunger Crisis of 2008, 2021
    • 'Good Governance' within the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2020
    • Collective Identity in Social Movement Platforms - The Example of the platform 'Pour une autre PAC', 2020
    • Sustainable Mobility Concepts in the City of Lille: An Evaluation From an Environmental Justice Perspective, 2020
    • Environmental Justice and Tourism: A Case Study of "The Right to the City" Movement in Venice, 2019
    • Norm Export of EU Agricultural Norms through Civil Society Engagement, 2019
    • Sustainable Mobility in Münster: An Evaluation of the 'Velorouten' Concept, 2019