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John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship for Christopher Wratil

Research on the Council of the European Union at Harvard

Dr. Christopher Wratil, Thyssen Postdoc Fellow at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics since 2016, was selected for the renowned John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) in Harvard.

From September 2018, Christopher Wratil will spend one year at CES in Harvard to analyse video recordings of public deliberations of the Council of the European Union during the economic and financial crisis for the planned research project. The research project is the first project to evaluate videos as sources to study government behaviour at the EU level. The aim of the project is to improve our understanding of how governments negotiate at the EU level. For this purpose, advanced methods of quantitative text analysis and multivariate scaling methods are used. In concrete terms, this means that both the political rhetoric of governments is analysed on the basis of word frequencies as well as the positioning of the actors in terms of content on various negotiation topics.

The first project phase (2016-2018) was financed by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation via a research grant at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics. "I am very pleased to continue the research project at the Center for European Studies at Harvard as one of the world's leading places in European studies, and to be able to take a new look at the EU from the outside" Christopher Wratil describes his expectations for the stay. 

About the Fellowship

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship was established in 1966 as a foundation with funds from the German government and industry in memory of the killed US President. Every spring, up to three scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to German postdoctoral researchers who are currently writing a habilitation or an equivalent work. The fellowship provides a scholarship of $60,000 for the stay at Harvard. Scholarship holders join other guest researchers at CES as part of the "Visiting Scholars Program". The Fellowship is administered by the DAAD from the German side. 

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