The State of American Democracy

Research-based Analysis and Commentary by the Department of Politics at the John-F.-Kennedy Institute




  • Dr. Thomas Greven

…is Associated Professor (Privatdozent) of political science at Freie Universität Berlin, Senior Research Fellow of the German Institute for International Relations, Berlin, and an independent political consultant. He teaches at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies (FU Berlin) and at the Global Labour University (Kassel and Berlin). After studying political science at FU Berlin and Western Michigan University, he graduated in 1994 with an M.A from WMU. In 1995/1996, he was an APSA Congressional Fellow in the office of Bernie Sanders (I-VT). In 2000, he received his doctorate in political science at FU Berlin with a dissertation on labor rights and US foreign economic policy. Between 2000 and 2007, he was Assistant Professor of political science at the John F. Kennedy Institute at FU Berlin, where he also served as Visiting Professor between 2008 and 2009. In 2009, he earned his “Habilitation” in political science at FU Berlin. Greven has been visiting scholar and researcher i.a. at the University of British- Columbia, the Economic Policy Institute, the University of California, Berkeley, York University in Toronto, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies. His research interests include globalization, development policy, labor unions and industrial relations, US and Canadian politics, and African politics. He lives in Berlin and Bamako, Mali.

Selected Books:

  • Solidarität über Grenzen: Gewerkschaften vor neuer Standortkonkurrenz (Berlin 2011, hrsg.. mit F. Gerlach, U. Mückenberger und E. Schmidt);
  • Globalisierter Rechtsextremismus? Die extremistische Rechte in der Ära der Globalisierung (Wiesbaden 2006, hrsg. mit Thomas Grumke);
  • Globalisierung gestalten. Weltökonomie und soziale Standards (Bonn 2005, mit Christoph Scherrer);
  • Die Republikaner. Anatomie einer amerikanischen Partei (München 2004);
  • Clash of Globalizations? The Politics of International Labor Rights in the United States (Frankfurt/M. und New York: 2003).


  • Dr. Christian Lammert

…is visiting professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies and teaches political science. He received his doctorate in 2002 at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main on national movements and state in Canada and France. Later on he worked for several years as a researcher at the Centre for North American Studies at the Goethe University before he came to Berlin. His research interests include US and Canadian politics, Comparative Welfare State Research, Tax and Social Policy, Nationalism and Multiculturalism.

Selected publications:

  • Travelling Concepts: Negotiating Diversity in Canada and Europe (ed. with Katja Sarkowsky), Wiesbaden VS Verlag 2010
  • Quebec: Between ,Founding Nation’ and Sovereignty”, in: Global Realignments and the Canadian Nation in the Third Millennium, ed. Karin Ikas, Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz 2010, 129-140
  • „New Instruments in Social Policy: Taxation and the Welfare State“, in: Convergence and Divergence in North America. Canada and the United States, ed. Karl Froschauer, Vancouver 2006
  • Modern Welfare States Under Pressure: Determinants of Tax Policy in a Globalizing World, Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) Working Paper Series 2004-01, Montréal 2004
  • „Nationalist Movements and the State in Canada and France: Ethno-territorial Protestmovements in Québec and Corsica”, in: Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien 21 (2) 2002


  • Curd Knüpfer M.A.

…is a PhD student at the John F. Kennedy Institute’s Department of Politics at the Freie Universität Berlin. His research interests include US conservatism, media and foreign policy.

Before moving to Berlin, he received his Magister degree from the University of Bonn’s North American Studies Program. His M.A. thesis dealt with the impact of theories and ideas that shaped the American neoconservative movement after the end of the Cold War. During his studies he worked for and was an intern at several media outlets and public relations offices, including a UN secretariat.

He spent the years from 1991 to 2000 living in a Washington DC suburb with his family. His thesis is focused on the fragmentation of US news media, the rise of conservative media and its possible impact on foreign policy debates.


  • Ideen, die die Welt verzerren – Das Machtstreben der US-amerikanischen Neokonservativen nach 1989. (Marburg, 2010).



  • Dr. Boris Vormann

… is a postdoctoral researcher in political science and urban studies at Freie Universität’s John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies and an associated researcher at the Chaire de Recherche du Canada en Études Québécoises et Canadiennes (CRÉQC), Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

His research foci include the relationship between urbanization and globalization; nationalism and political culture; and social and urban inequalities. He has conducted research on urban planning strategies in North American global cities, social policies in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and nationalism in North America and Europe.


Book publications:

— Global Port Cities in North America. Urbanization Processes and Global Production Networks (Routledge 2015)

— with Christian Lammert and Markus Siewert (eds.). Handbuch Politik USA (Springer VS, 2015)

— Zwischen Alter und Neuer Welt (Synchron, 2012)

— with Alain-G. Gagnon and Ingo Kolboom (eds.). Québec: Staat und Gesellschaft (Synchron 2011)

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