Prof. Dr. Sonja Grimm


Welcome to my website!

I am a political scientist with a strong background in International Relations, European Integration and Comparative Politics and a keen interest in applied qualitative and quantitative methodology of social science inquiry. I am the Chair of International Relations and European Studies at the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg and the Scientific Lead and Co-Coordinator of the collaborative research consortium EMBRACE, funded by the European Commission. Before coming to Wuerzburg, I was an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz (D), having completed my habilitation thesis in 2018.

Priorly, I have been Senior Lecturer at the University of Konstanz (D) and Replacement Professor at the Universities of Basel (CH), Göttingen (D), Mannheim (D), Konstanz (D) and Würzburg (D). I also been a visiting researcher at the University of Belgrade (SRB), Charles University in Prague (CZE), University of New Caledonia (NCL) and the University of Oxford (GBR). I earned my PhD from Humboldt University Berlin (D) while being a researcher at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB). 

In my research, I specialize in the field of crisis mananagement, democratization and state-building in developing, transitioning, fragile and post-conflict contexts. My research focuses on causes and consequences of violent conflict, state fragility, and the politics of international state-building and externally overseen democratization. In my habilitation thesis, completed in 2018 at the University of Konstanz, I investigate strategies and instruments of EU and UN democracy promotion, study their effects, and offer innovative explanations as of why international democracy promotion is often less effective than assumed. The habilitation thesis is based on two original datasets, expert interviews and several in-depth case studies. 

With EMBRACE, I investigate the European Union's democracy promotion policy in the European Neighbourhood and study the blockages that hinder further democratization.

I am founder and member of the Research Network External Democracy Promotion (EDP). That has been funded by the DFG and the Leibniz Gemeinschaft.