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Wiebke Rabe, Thomas Kern, Sebastian Fehrler, Philipp Schulz, and Gisela Febel join BIGSSS as Faculty

We are very happy to announce that the BIGSSS Academic Council has approved the applications for faculty membership by Prof. Dr. Wiebke Rabe, Prof. Dr. Thomas Kern, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Fehlrer, Dr. Philipp Schulz, and Prof. em. Gisela Febel.  They are now part of BIGSSS faculty and participate in the supervision of our PhD fellows, collaborate with BIGSSS members in research projects, and provide their expertise in our doctoral colloquia, seminars, workshops and mutual discussions. 


Wiebke Rabe

Wiebke Rabe is Assistant Professor of International Relations, specializing in the politics of global resources at the Institute of Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) at the University of Bremen. Her research and teaching focuses on the global distribution of natural resources and related interdependencies and conflicts as well as on international politics of digital data as an economic resource. A special focus lies on the role of China in international affairs and related domestic political processes and interests under central-local relations. Before joining the InIIS, Wiebke was an Assistant Professor at the Department of China Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, and a Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Chinese Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. She holds a doctorate in political science from the Hertie School and is author of the book “China’s Provinces Go Global: Internationalization under Guided Autonomy” (2023, Routledge).Her research has appeared in journals such as Energy Policy, the Review of International Political Economy, The China Quarterly and the Journal of Contemporary Asia. Wiebke covers a range of methodological approaches which include fieldwork, surveys and documentary analysis.

Thomas Kern

Thomas Kern is Professor of Theoretical and Normative Foundations and head of the working group Sociological Theory at SOCIUM. In his research he has primarily focused on understanding the social, political, and religious dynamics shaping contemporary societies, particularly in Germany, the United States, and South Korea. To explore these issues, he has employed both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.


Sebastian Fehrler

Sebastian Fehrler is Professor of Economics at the SOCIUM and director of the project A02 “Global Dynamics of Coverage and Generosity in Work-Injury Compensation, Unemployment, and Old-Age Pensions” at the CRC 1342.

His research interests lie in the fields of public, organizational, and behavioral economics. To address research questions in these fields, he applies game theory and experiments (lab and field). His research agenda focuses on decision-making and communication in groups (such as committees or cartels), and the evaluation of social-policy interventions (mainly in the Global South).


Philipp Schulz

Philipp Schulz is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS). He currently leads three different research projects as principal investigator, focused on: (1) sexual violence against men, funded by the German Research Foundation (2020-2023), on (2) the experiences of queer forced migrants in Uganda and Lebanon (2023-2025); and (3) on practices of love and care in armed conflict, in collaboration with Dr. Roxani Krystalli (University St. Andrews) and funded by the German Research Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (2023-2026).

Since 2016, he Philipp is also a research associate at the Refugee Law Project (RLP) at the School of Law at Makerere University. His research interests include international relations, peace and conflict research, feminist security studies as well as research ethics. His research engages with the gender dynamics of armed conflicts and political violence, with a particular focus on masculinities.


Gisela Febel

Gisela Febel is a literary and cultural scientist with a focus on Romance literatures and cultures (French, Spanish, Italian) and Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at University of Bremen for literatures and cultural theory. As an active member of the Graduate School on Contradiction Studies and the interdisciplinary and collaborative research platform Worlds of Contradictions (WoC) she still carries out research in the labs Postcoloniality/Modernity and Imagined Communities in Digital Diaspora.