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2021 Rudolf Wildenmann Prize awarded to Paul Meiners

It is our pleasure to announce that our 2021 Rudolf Wildenmann Prize has been awarded to Paul Meiners of the University of Münster for his paper Information and motivation – How do attitudes towards international organizations Develop? which he presented at our 2021 Joint Sessions of Workshops.

Awarded since 2001, the prize recognises an outstanding paper presented by an early career scholar at our renowned, longstanding annual event, the Joint Sessions.

We are thrilled to celebrate Paul's success. To capture this special moment and share it with our community, we have created a short video featuring Paul, our Jury Chair Sabine Saurugger, and Tobias Lenz of Leuphana University Lüneburg, who nominated Paul for the prize. Tobias, along with Sarah von Billerbeck, directed the Workshop his paper featured in.

About our winner

Paul Meiners

Paul Meiners is a research associate at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Münster. He received his MA in Comparative Politics from the University of Freiburg and Sciences Po Aix. Since 2019, he has been a graduate student at the Graduate School of Politics at the University of Münster.

Paul's research focuses on attitudes towards institutionalised forms of international cooperation. He mainly uses experimental methods to investigate the psychological mechanisms behind political behaviour. In his PhD project, he explores how citizens form opinions towards international organisations.

Here, he has looked at attitudes on delegation to supranational institutions in general, the consequences of internationalising migration policy through the UN and the effects of infringement procedures launched by the European Commission on EU support.

Most recently, his research with Bernd Schlipphak and Osman Sabri Kiratli on the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on support for the WHO has been accepted for publication in the Review of International Organisations.

Paul tweets @pa_meiners.

In his own words

'It is a great honour for me to receive the Rudolf Wildenmann Prize for this central paper in my thesis work. The prize motivates me to explore further the potential for overlap between the fields of international relations and political psychology.

The detailed feedback from the 2021 and the 2019 Joint Sessions greatly influenced and improved my research.'

From our jury

'...The jury was impressed by the methodological rigor in this paper as well as the systematic presentation of the results. Methodologically, Paul Meiners employs cutting-edge experimental techniques based on a preregistered factorial survey experiment using a large sample of the German population. This particular experimental design allows him to compare the effect sizes of the various determinants of individuals’ attitudes about international organisations.

He finds that citizens respond to information about the authority of international organisations even in the presence of strong party cues. These effects are amplified when respondents are motivated to engage in reflective reasoning. It is this synthetic design, rigorous and novel theorizing and cutting-edge methodological setup that convinced the jury that the paper makes an excellent contribution to the literature on the relationship between public opinion and international organizations.'

Read full laudation

2021 Rudolf Wildenmann jury members

  • Sabine Saurugger Sciences Po Grenoble (Chair, Executive Committee Member)
  • Christian Haerpfer University of Vienna (Executive Committee Member)
  • Daniel Stockemer University of Ottawa (Editor – European Political Science)
  • Alexandra Segerberg Uppsala Universitet (Editor – Political Research Exchange)


28 January 2022
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