2024-02-05

Professor Dr. Maria J. Debre takes over the Chair of International Relations

ZU has appointed Professor Dr. Maria J. Debre to the Chair of International Relations. Born in the Allgäu, she is moving from the University of Potsdam to Lake Constance. Her research and teaching at ZU will include the international dimension of authoritarianism, regional and international organizations and how they deal with new geopolitical challenges, as well as regionalism in the global South.

Takes over the Chair of International Relations at Zeppelin University: Professor Dr. Maria J. Debre. (Photo: Juan Cequera)


"Zeppelin University enjoys an outstanding reputation as a young and cosmopolitan university that offers an ideal starting point for international cooperation thanks to its location on Lake Constance. Thanks to this and the close link between theory and practice, students and researchers alike can benefit from a dynamic environment that promotes innovation and personal development," says Maria J. Debre, explaining her reasons for moving to ZU. "I am particularly looking forward to working with many new colleagues, the exchange with committed students and the opportunity to set and pursue my own research priorities with a new team of professors."


Maria J. Debre studied political science at the University of Passau, the University of Potsdam and the Université Laval in Québec. After completing her Bachelor's and Master's degrees, she completed her doctorate at the Freie Universität Berlin as part of the Berlin Graduate School of Transnational Studies and the research group "The Transformative Power of Europe". In her final year of doctoral studies, she was a Fox International Fellow at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. Her dissertation focused on the impact of regional and international intergovernmental organizations on the survival of authoritarian regimes.


Following her PhD, Maria J. Debre worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the European Research Council project "'Who gets to live forever?' Towards an Institutional Theory on the Decline and Death of International Organizations" at the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University. Most recently, she joined the Department of Political Science, in particular International Organizations, at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Potsdam as a research assistant.


"The rise of powerful autocratic regimes such as China, Russia or Saudi Arabia and the global strengthening of right-wing populist movements and parties pose enormous challenges for established democracies. This is precisely where Maria J. Debre's research and teaching come in, as she is dedicated to the central question of the concentration of power and legitimate exercise of power by authoritarian regimes and the consequences this has for international politics and international institutions," says ZU President Professor Dr. Klaus Mühlhahn. "We are convinced that Ms. Debre's personality and expertise will not only complement our political and social sciences, but also enrich them in a valuable way."

Time to decide

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