Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

Max­Planck­Research Magazine

Issue 2017

MaxPlanckResearch 4/2017

Max Planck scientists cooperate with partners in more than 110 countries worldwide. Here they relate their personal experiences and impressions. Marcin Serafin studied sociology at the University of Warsaw. For his doctoral thesis, he chose to attend an International Max Planck Research School, where he enjoyed the opportunity to concentrate exclusively on his doctoral research – a stark contrast to the usual working conditions of doctoral students in Poland.
Issue 2015

MaxPlanckResearch - 1/2015

The Black Market as a Gray Zone
The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) has been looking at the issue of “illegal markets” since 2012, and it has proven far from easy to draw any clear lines of demarcation. After all, the cycle of manufacture, distribution and consumption isn’t always as uniformly criminal as in the case of drugs or child pornography. Academic staff and doctoral students headed by Director Jens Beckert are researching counterfeiting in Argentina, the mining and trade in diamonds in Sierra Leone, the trade in rhinoceros horn and financial market crime – a look at an innovative project in economic sociology.
Issue 2013

MaxPlanckResearch 4/2013

Failing by Installment
With the financial markets broadening their international reach, there was hope that microcredit might alleviate poverty and lead to the emancipation of women in the “global South.” Sadly, however, there are no indications that microfinance has had a positive effect. On the contrary, the poor have suffered more discipline, while surplus labor is extracted from them even more than before. Worse still, the microfinance sector has triggered a series of devastating crises. Our author explains why we can’t use more debt to create social justice.
Issue 2012

MaxPlanckResearch 4/2012

“The state has less and less room for maneuver”
As Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Wolfgang Streeck’s research focuses on the tension between democratic politics and the capitalist economy. In this interview, he speaks about the consequences of fiscal policy decisions, such as the establishment of a debt brake, the cutbacks required as a result and the shared liability for debt in the eurozone.
Issue 2011

MPR 4 /2011

Euro Sums Don’t Add Up
Will Europe fail if the euro collapses? Many believe it will, and are trying to save the euro. Our author holds a different view: If the euro is to be used as a tool to preserve European integration, the eurozone must be reduced to a core of countries that are equipped for long-term stability, allowing the remaining EU members to return to the more flexible European Monetary System.

MPR 4 /2011

The Short March to Capitalism
Old Buddhist temples, rural underdevelopment and extreme poverty on the one hand, skyscrapers, high-tech and world champion in exports on the other: during the past 40 years, China has surged forward to catch up with the industrialized nations.
Issue 2008

MPR 3 /2008

In Praise of Simplicity
Mankind owes its prosperity and its fund of knowledge primarily to the division of labor. It is this phenomenon that has brought both industry and science to their present peak of productivity.

MPR 2 /2008

Universities – Elitist but Nevertheless Fair?
The Excellence Initiative pursued by Germany’s federal government has acted as a catalyst in stimulating and accelerating the process of differentiation in the German university landscape.

MPR 1 /2008

Fighting It Out in Court
In the German Rail workers’ wage dispute, the opposing parties frequently resorted to the labor courts. Political scientist Britta Rehder foresees unwelcome consequences if this becomes the general rule.
Issue 2007

MPR 2 /2007

A Reform That Misses Its Mark
Early in the present decade, political actors at the national and regional levels finally seemed to agree: if government at both levels was to remain effective, Germany‘s system of federalism needed to be reformed.

MPR 2 /2007

From Contract to Conflict between Generations?
The chances of living a long life are getting better and better – with far-reaching consequences for both individuals and society.

MPR 2 /2007

Prompters on the Political Stage
For members of parliament, voting is part and parcel of their political routine. But what role do lobbyists play in Europe‘s political theater?
Go to Editor View