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Dr. Sören Stapel


Position Postdoctoral R

Belfortstraße 20, 1. OG Hinterhaus

79085 Freiburg i. Br.

Room  01 013

    sören stapel  


Dr. Sören Stapel joined the Chair for Multi-Level Governance (Prof. Dr. Diana Panke) in December 2019. He is leading the project “Overlapping Regionalism in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe Compared”, which is funded by the German Research Council (DFG).

Dr. Stapel studied political science at Freie Universität Berlin and Université de Montréal with a specialization in International Relations and Comparative Regionalism. Previously, he was a research associate at the Research College (KFG) “The Transformative Power of Europe?” and the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700 “Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood” at Freie Universität Berlin. In 2016, he defended his PhD thesis on diffusion processes between regional organizations in the area of democracy, human rights, and rule of law promotion and protection (summa cum laude). Afterwards, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg in the project “External Funding of Regional Organizations in Africa – What works, and why?“ (EFRO), funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR). In the academic year 2018-19, he served as the interim Chair for International Organizations and Globalization at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.


Since 2018, Dr. Stapel has been a co-spokesperson of Standing Group on European Studies and Comparative Regionalism (AKER) of the German Political Science Association (AKER). Previously, he was one of the coordinators of the DVPW’s thematic group on comparative regionalism between 2015 and 2018.

Research interests

  • international organizations and global governance
  • Comparative Regionalism
  • norm and policy diffusion
  • overlapping regionalism and regime complexity
  • financing of international and regional organizations
  • democracy, human rights and the rule of law
  • development Policy
  • regional Focus: Europe, Africa


  • Diana Panke, Sören Stapel, Anna Starkmann (2020): Comparing Regional Organizations. Bristol: Bristol University Press.


Articles (with peer review)
  • Diana Panke, Sören Stapel (2018): „Exploring Overlapping Regionalism”. In: Journal of International Relations & Development. Vol. 21, No. 3, 635662.
  • Diana Panke, Sören Stapel (2018): „Overlapping Regionalism in Europe – Patterns and Effects.“ In: British Journal of Politics and International Relations. Vol. 20, No. 1, 239-258. 


Book chapters
  • Sören Stapel, Fredrik Söderbaum (2019): „Mapping and Problematising External Funding to the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities“. In: Ulf Engel, Frank Mattheis (eds.) The Finances of Regional Organisations in the Global South: Follow the Money. London: Routledge.
  • Tanja A. Börzel, Sören Stapel (2015): „A Global Script in Regional Colours: Mapping Governance Transfer by Twelve Regional Organizations”. In: Tanja A. Börzel, Vera van Hüllen (eds.) Governance Transfer by Regional Organizations: Patching Together a Global Script. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 22-48.
  • Veronika Kirschner, Sören Stapel (2012): „Does regime type matter? Regional integration from the nation states' perspectives in ECOWAS”. In: Tanja A. Börzel, Lukas Goltermann, Mathis Lohaus, Kai Striebinger (eds.) Roads to Regionalism. Genesis, Design, and Effects of Regional Organizations. Farnham: Ashgate, S. 141-157.


Policy reports

  • Fredrik Söderbaum, Sören Stapel (2018): „Pan-African and Regional Organizations: Assessing their Relevance and Contribution in Tackling Africa’s Development Challenges”, Report for the African Capacity-Building Foundation, Harare.

Conference presentations

  • 2019: „Regionalism from the outside: European funding of regional organization in Africa” (with Fredrik Söderbaum), Research Group Regional and Global Governance (REGG) Research Workshop, 20 May 2019, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg.
  • 2019: „Legitimität regionaler Integration: zwischen Effektivität und Politisierung“, Jahrestagung des Arbeitskreises Europa- und Regionalismusforschung (AKER) der DVPW, 2-3 May 2019, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg (organizer).
  • 2019: „The Diffusion of Innovations Through Social Spaces: Regional Organizations and Institutions to Protect and Promote Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law”, International Studies Association Annual Convention, 27-30 March 2019, Toronto.
  • 2019: „Regional International Organizations in Africa as Recipients of Development Aid. Why Are Some More Attractive to Donors than Others?” (with Diana Panke and Fredrik Söderbaum), International Studies Association Annual Convention, 27-30 March 2019, Toronto.
  • 2018: „Promoting and Protecting Democracy from Above: A Typology of Regional Arrangements”, 26. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft, 25-28 September 2018, Goethe-University Frankfurt.
  • 2018: „External Influence Over Regional Organizations”, Development Research Conference ‘Rethinking Development’, 22-23 August 2018, University of Gothenburg (panel organizer).
  • 2018: „European states and their quest for regionalism: Enlargement, policy expansion and implications”, Closing Conference of the KFG Research College “The Transformative Power of Europe?’, 7-9 June 2018, Freie Universität Berlin.
  • 2018: „External Support to Regional Integration Organizations in Africa — What Works, Why and For Whom?” (with Johannes Muntschick and Fredrik Söderbaum), European Union in International Affairs (EUIA), 16-18 May, Brussels.
  • 2018: „EUropean influence over regional organizations in Africa: The case of external funding” (with Fredrik Söderbaum), Svenska Nätverket för Europaforskning i Statsvetenskap (SNES) ‘The European Union: Inside/Out’, 19-20 April 2018, University of Gothenburg.
  • 2018: „External Influence Over Regional Organizations in Africa” (with Fredrik Söderbaum), International Studies Association Annual Convention, 4-7 April 2018, San Francisco.
  • 2018: „Drivers of Overlapping Regionalism: How the Power over Rules and the Rule of Power Shape Regional Organizations” (with Diana Panke), International Studies Association Annual Convention, 4-7 April 2018, San Francisco. 
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