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Prof. Dr. Miriam Hartlapp



Ihnestraße 22
Room 120
14195 Berlin
Room 114

Office hours

At the moment, no personal office hours will be held for given reasons. Prof. Hartlapp offers a digital office hour (via Webex) every second monday, starting from November 2nd, between 2 p.m. - 3p.m.

To sign up for the office hours, please send a mail to ines.stavrinakis@fu-berlin.de. Many thanks.

CV of Prof. Dr. Miriam Hartlapp 

Born 1975 in Bonn (Germany); 1994-2000 Studies at the Universitiy of Osnabrück, Universidad de Complutense Madrid/ Spain and Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Poitiers/ France, 1998 Maîtrise en Gestion Internationale/ Poitiers, 2000 Magister European Studies/ Osnabrück

2000-2003 Doctoral Student and Postdoctoral Fellow, project “New Governance and Social Europe: Theory and Practice of Minimum Harmonization and Soft Law in the Multilevel System” (directed by Prof. G. Falkner) at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne), Dr. rer. pol. in Political Science, Dept. of Social Sciences, University of Osnabrück followed by (2003-2004) an employment as associate expert at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva.

2004-2008 Senior Researcher, Unit: Labour Market Policy and Employment at the Social Science Research Center Berlin

2008-2013 Head of independent Schumpeter Junior Research Group 'Position Formation in the EU Commission' at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB)

2013-2014 Professor for ‘Organisation and Governance Studies’, University of Bremen

2014-2017 Professor for Multilevel Governance, Leipzig University 

Since 2017 Center for Comparative Politics of Germany and France

Guest/Fellowships at Max Planck Institut for Social Law and Social Policy (MPISoc), Munich (2010), European University Institute Florence (EUI) (2012), Sciences Po Grenoble (2017), Sorbonne Paris (2018)




Organisation von Interessen in Deutschland und Frankreich


Garystr.55/C Seminarraum  oder Online





Macht und Entscheidungsprozesse in den EU - Institutionen







Colloquium Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft & Europäische Union





Submission of assessed coursework

For submission of coursework, essays etc. please send an electronic copy to miriam.hartlapp[at]fu-berlin.de and sumit one hard copy addressed to the research centre as well as to Prof. Dr. Miriam Hartlapp via the postbox at Ihnestraße 22 (duplex print, single paper clip, NO folders, sleeves etc.)


Final thesis submission (BA, MA, teaching degree)

Students that want to write their final thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Miriam Hartlapp should send a written prospectus at least 4 weeks in advance of their respective registration period. Please also consult the “BA or MA thesis prospectus template” and consider the “Information for BA and MA graduate candidates”. You should have – at the minimum – regularly attended one of my seminars and submitted a piece of assessed work.

References (for scholarships, foreign exchanges, MA-applications, …)

I am happy to supply references needed for scholarships, foreign exchanges or graduate degree applications. In order for me to do so, you will have to have regularly attended at least one of my seminars and submitted a piece of assessed work. Please send me a document entailing all relevant information, for which you can consult the “Information for References (for scholarships, foreign exchanges, MA applications,…)”, at least 4 weeks in advance of your reference deadline.

Overview of ongoing and completed research activities

The Centre for Comparative Politics of Germany and France engages in comparative political science with a focus on the politics and policies of France and Germany, as well as their role within the EU. Empirical problems, resulting from the interplay of state, economy and society in multi-level systems, form the basis of our theory-driven comparative analyses. Analytically and conceptually we favour actor- and institution-centered approaches, which are theoretically adaptable to a diverse range of research designs and comparisons, such as the comparison of states, policy fields and across time, as well as on mixed-methods designs, which combine qualitative case studies with comparisons of a moderate number of cases (N 30-90) and quantitative analyses. Current research in the centre is organized in to three streams:


        I.  Comparative Politics

Here we investigate the relationship between the state and the market from a comparative perspective.

  • How does EU integration, demographic change or privatization impact upon a state’s economic, labour, family and social-policy?
  • How does this affect the interplay of policy fields as well as (indirectly) the role of the state?
  • How can we capture and measure these changes and compare them across countries?

Ongoing projects and current publications 

In addressing these questions Prof. Dr. Miriam Hartlapp contributes to a network of projects titled “European economic and social integration” (Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Universität Bremen, Universität Tübingen, Freie Universität Berlin), which meets annually and seeks to strengthen research on the political crises and distribution problems resulting from increased integration.

- Graziano, P.R. & Hartlapp, M. (2018). The End of Social Europe? Understanding EU Social Policy Change. Journal of European Public Policy. Available here

- Hartlapp, M. (forthcoming) ‘European Union Social Policy – facing deepening economic integration and demand for a more social Europe with continuity and cautiousness’, in S. Blum, J. Kuhlmann and K. Schubert (eds), Routledge Handbook of European Welfare Systems. Available here


      II.  Public Administration and Judicial Systems


Administrative institutions and judicial systems are of particular relevance for politics and the implementation of policies. They are therefore the object of inquiry in our second research stream.

  • How do we explain successful implementation of European and national policies in Germany and France?
  • When and why are EU institutions brought before the European Court of Justice and sued for their actions?
  • How does cooperation by administrative and juridical bodies develop between European countries?
  • What impact do political institutions have on the political representation of women and how does this impact upon policies?


Ongoing projects and current publications

The European Network on Soft Law asks how soft EU provisions that are non-binding legally, such as recommendations, guidelines or decisions, impact on Member States. How do national courts use this EU soft law in creating environmental, social, competition, and finance policies? How does EU soft law impact upon the legitimacy of rule in multi-level systems? The network is being coordinated by the University of Maastricht and consists of scientists from the Universities of Helsinki (FIN), Maastricht (NL), London (UK), Aix en Provence (F), Kranj (SI), and the Free University of Berlin, all of whom conduct comparativist research and teaching at their respective institutions. In the spring of 2019 (28.02.-1.03.) a workshop and a panel discussion will be held at the Free University of Berlin titled “Soft law in social policy”. A comprehensive project description can be found at https://www.solar-network.eu/home/.

In summer 2019, we start a new project on „Effects of EU soft law across the multilevel system” in cooperation with Sabine Saurugger and Fabien Terpan from the Univeristy of Grenoble (funded by ANR and DFG). This project aims at providing a better understanding of the performance of the EU-multilevel system through an analysis of the effects of EU soft law. What is the proportion of EU soft law in different policy areas? When and why is EU soft law implemented at domestic level? Once implemented, when and why does it feed back into EU policy-making? EfSoLaw will analyse soft law adoption over a 15 year period in eight policy areas that differ in conflict structure and decision making. It combines a systematic inventory of the status quo with 64 in depth case studies and insights from an original survey on the usage of soft law by central national administrations and courts.

Together with Christian Adam (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität Munich), Michael W. Bauer (Germany's Centre of Competence for Administrative Sciences in Speyer) and Emmanuelle Mathieu (Barcelona Institute for International Studies), we analyse annulment actions brought before the European Court of Justice. On the basis of a comprehensive dataset of all annulment actions since the founding treaties, as well as case studies, we investigate a number of phenomena that remain puzzling from a political science perspective: the clear dominance of cases from agricultural and competition policy, and the uneven distribution of successful litigation by and against certain member states. We also address the question of what motivates litigation and what impact multiple actor-constellations may have on these processes.

- Hartlapp, M. (2018). Why some EU institutions litigate more often than others: exploring opportunity structures and actor motivation in horizontal annulment actions. Journal of European Integration. Access the article here.

- Adam, C., Hartlapp, M., & Mathieu, E. (Eds.). (2018). From High Judges to Policy Stakeholders: A Public Policy Approach to the CJEU's Power. Special Issue Journal of European Integration.

- Hartlapp, M. & Heidbreder, E. (2018). Mending the hole in multilevel implementation: Administrative cooperation related to worker mobility. Governance 31(1): 27-43 Access the article here. 

- Hartlapp, M. (2018). Soft law implementation in the EU multilevel system: legitimacy and governance efficiency revisited. SoLaR Working Paper. Access the paper here.


    III.  Conflict and Politicization in Europe


In this research stream we strive to account for and conceptualize political conflict, polarization and politicization as well as their respective effects, in order to better understand their consequences for the functioning of democracies. The project „The European Parliament as an arena of contestation?” looks at voting behaviour and discourse of Eurosceptic parties in the EP. Tanja Börzel, Philipp Broniecki and Miriam Hartlapp build on existing research to understand, when and where eurosceptic MEPs vote along party lines and when according to national interests. The project also scrutinizes discourse behaviour so understand which subjects trigger more aggressive and provocative discourse.

  • How do increased politicization and conflict impact upon the EU’s multi-level system?
  • What are the implications of these shifts for traditional concepts such as the separation of powers?
  • What challenges are posed to the democracies of Germany and France in light of these ongoing developments?

Ongoing projects and current publications

 Ongoing projects analyse the politicization and conflict lines between EU institutions, as well as their effect upon policy-output. Current developments suggest that responsiveness and populism will need to be investigated as major challenges to democratic systems.

- Hartlapp, M. (2018). Power shifts via the judicial arena: How annulment cases between EU institutions shape competence allocation. Journal of Common Market Studies. Available here

Hartlapp, M. (2018). Integrating across policy sectors in the EU: How the wider public impacts on the drafting process of trans-border healthcare. International Review of Administrative Sciences 84(3), 486-502. Available here

- Video: How power and conflict inside the Commission shape the policy for Europe

In addition, the following databases are regularly updated at the Centre for Comparative Politics of Germany and France:

- PEU Database
- SozPol Database

Information for potential PhD supervises 

Recent Publications

Download full list

Books and Edited Volumes

Taking the EU to Court. Annulment Proceedings and Multilevel Judicial Conflict. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019 [mit C. Adam, M. W. Bauer & E. Mathieu].

Special issue. Journal of European Integration. Volume 40 (2), 2018.

Gewaltenteilung im Mehrebenensystem der EU: neu, anders - oder weniger legitim? Special Issue Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (ed.), 2016 [with C. Wiesner].


Which policy for Europe?: Power and conflict inside the European Commission. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014 [with J. Metz & C. Rauh].

discussed in:            
- Journal of Common Market Studies, 2016 54/1: 209-210          
- West European Politics, 2016 39/2: 410-411    
- Journal of European Integration 2015 37/4: 509-516     
- EUSA Review Fall 2014: 23-24           
- CritCom des Council for European Studies, http://councilforeuropeanstudies.org/critcom/   
- European Politics and Policy Blog at LSE (EUROPP),  http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/category/book-reviews/


Complying with Europe: The Impact of EU Minimum Harmonisation and Soft Law in the Member States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005 [with G. Falkner, O. Treib & S. Leiber].

discussed in:            
- Zeitschrift für Staats- und Europawissenschaften, 3/2005: 507-508       
- Industrial Relations Journal, 2005, 36/6: 617-618         
- Böcklerimpuls, 16/2005: 7      
- Law and Politics, 2005, 15/10: 896-899           
- West European Politics, 2006, 29/1: 185-186   
- Journal of European Social Policy, 2006, 16/3: 6-7       
- Journal of Common Market Studies, 2006, 44/1: 224-225         
- Political Studies Review, 2006, 4/2: 213-214    
- Acta Politica, 2007, 42: 103–106         
- EUSA Review Spring 2007: 26


Die Kontrolle der nationalen Rechtsdurchsetzung durch die Europäische Kommission. Politik-Verbände-Recht: Umsetzung europäischer Sozialpolitik. Frankfurt/M.: Campus, 2005.


Journal Publications (* peer reviewed)

Revisiting patterns in EU regulatory social policy: (still) supporting the market or social goals in their own right? In: Zeitschrift für Sozialreform (1), 2019.

Why some EU institutions litigate more often than others: exploring opportunity structures and actor motivation in horizontal annulment actions. In: Special issue. Journal of European Integration 40 (2), S. 701–718. 2018.

From High Judges to Policy Stakeholders: A Public Policy Approach to the CJEU's Power. In: Special issue Journal of European Integration 40 (2), 2018. [mit E. Mathieu und C. Adam]

Power shifts via the judicial arena: How annulments cases between EU institutions shape competence allocation. Journal of Common Market Studies 2018 56(6), S. 1221-1489.

Integrating across policy sectors in the EU: How the wider public impacts on the drafting process of trans-border healthcare. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 2019 84(3): 486-502. *

Mending the Hole in Multilevel Application and Enforcement: Changes in administrative cooperation related to worker mobility. Governance, 2018 31(1): 27-43 [with E. Heidbreder]. *

How time empowers agency: Combining the EU Commission’s political powers and its administration’s advantage of acting from a long-term perspective. Journal of European Integration, 2016 39:3, 303-317.*

Wer mäßigt den Agenda-Setter im EU-System und wie? Drei Modi der Positionsbildung in der EU-Kommission. Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (Sonderheft Gewaltenteilung im Mehrebenensystem der EU: neu, anders - oder weniger legitim?), 2016 26(1): 85–98 [with J. Metz & C. Rauh]. *

Einleitung: Gewaltenteilung und Demokratie im EU-Mehrebenensystem. Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (Sonderheft Gewaltenteilung im Mehrebenensystem der EU: neu, anders - oder weniger legitim?), 2016 26(1): 3-16 [with C. Wiesner].

La fin de l’Europe sociale ? Évaluation du rôle des changements politiques et organisationnels au sein du système politique de l’Union européenne. Revue française des affaires sociales, 2015 3: 89–114 [with P. Graziano]. *

It's Not Always about Winning: Domestic Politics and Legal Success in EU Annulment Litigation. Journal of Common Market Studies, 2015 53/2 [with C. Adam & M.W. Bauer]. *

Die Europäische Kommission – ein (partei)politischer Akteur? Leviathan, 2015 1: 64-87 [with Y. Lorenz]. *

Enforcing Social Europe through Labour Inspectorates: Changes in Capacity and Cooperation across Europe. West European Politics, 2014 37/4: 805-824.*

Articles published in edited volumes (* peer reviewed)


European Union Social Policy: Facing Deepening Economic Integration and Demand for a More Social Europe With Continuity and Cautiousness. In Blum, S., Kuhlmann, J. and Schubert, K. (eds) 2020: Routledge handbook of European welfare systems(London, New York: Routledge, Taylor et Francis Group)

Soft law implementation in the EU multilevel system: legitimacy and governance efficiency revisited. In: Nathalie Behnke, Jörg Broschek und Jared Sonnicksen (Hg.) 2019: Configurations, Dynamics and Mechanisms of Multilevel Governance. Festschrift in honour of Arthur Benz' 65th birthday. Basingstoke: Palgrave, S. 193–210.


Judicial Control of the Guardian: Explaining Patterns of Governmental Annulment Litigation against the European Commission, in: Ege, Jörn/Bauer, Michael W./Becker, Stefan (eds.) 2018: The European Commis-sion in Turbulent Times, Baden-Baden: Nomos

Regulatory Social Policy in EU and Mercosur: Patterns and Developments. In: Regional Organizations and Social Policy in Europe and Latin America: A Space for Social Citizenship? A. C. Bianculli & A. Ribeiro Hoffmann (eds.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015: 92-116. *

Politicization of the European Commission: When, how and with what impact?. In: M. W. Bauer & J. Trondal (eds.), Handbook: The European Administrative System. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015: 145-160. *

Organising Exits from the Joint-Decision Trap? Cross-sectoral (Non-)Coordination in the European Union. In: G. Falkner (ed.), The EU’s Joint-Decision Trap and its Exits. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011: 181-198. *


Aktuelle Herausforderungen und Handlungsoptionenfür Arbeits- und Sozialpolitik im EU Mehrebenensystem, Expertise für die Kommission „Arbeit der Zukunft“ der Hans-Böckler Stiftung (January 2017)

Conflict inside the European Commission is a key factor in shaping EU legislation, EUROPP European Politics and Policy Blog (2015), http://bit.ly/1DW5VvN [with J. Metz & C. Rauh].