Co-Head of Research Unit 2

Prof. Dr Volker M. Heins

Other Colleagues

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 196
47059 Duisburg

Tel:  +49 (0)203-29861-108
Fax: +49 (0)203 29861-199
E-Mail: heins@spam or volker.heins@spam

Research Interests

  • International political theory/sociology
  • NGOs and international interventions
  • Human rights
  • Military ethics
  • Multiculturalism and migration
  • New regionalism

Current Projects

  • Soldiers, NGOs, and the Construction of New Military Ethic
  • New Regional Formations: Rapid Environmental Change and Migration in Coastal Regions of Ghana and Indonesia
  • Social Performances of Cultural Trauma and the Rebuilding of Solid Sovereignties (SPECTRESS)


From 2014 Ruhr University Bochum
Affiliate Professor of Political Science ("apl. Prof.")
Since 04/2012 Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), Essen
Research Unit "Interculturality"
Senior Fellow and Head of Research Unit
2006-2010 McGill University, Montreal
Lecturer in Political Theory
2009-2010 Hebrew University Jerusalem
European Forum
Visiting Professor
2009 Yale University
Center for Cultural Sociology
Visiting Fellow
2003-2004 Harvard Kennedy School
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Visiting Fellow
2001 University of Giessen
“Habilitation” in Political Science
1998-2010 Frankfurt University
Institute for Social Research
Research Fellow

Selected Publications

Heins, Volker M. / Christine Unrau (forthcoming 2018): ‘Refugees welcome: Arrival gifts, reciprocity and the integration of forced migrants’, Journal of International Political Theory 14, no. 2.

Heins, Volker M. / Christine Unrau / Kristine Avram (forthcoming 2018): ‘Gifts and reciprocity in global society: Introducing Marcel Mauss in international studies,’ Journal of International Political Theory 14, no. 2.

Heins, Volker M. / Christine Unrau (forthcoming 2018): 'Anti-immigrant movements and the fracture of the civil sphere’, in Jeffrey C. Alexander et al. (eds.), Civil Sphere and Radicalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Michael Flitner / Volker M. Heins / Johannes Herbeck (forthcoming 2018): ‘Critical beaches: Coastal erosion and geosociality in south-eastern Ghana’, in Elisabetta Nadalutti and Otto Kallscheuer (eds.), Region-Making and Cross-Border Cooperation: New Evidence from Five Continents, London and New York: Routledge.

Heins, Volker M. (forthcoming 2018): 'Another Critical Theory: Judith Shklar and the Frankfurt School', in: S. Ashenden and A. Hess (eds.), Judith N. Shklar: A Political Companion. University Park, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Heins, Volker M. (2017): 'Multikulturalismus in der Ära Trump', Mittelweg 36 26 (2): 53-62.

Heins, Volker M. (2016): Krisenbewältigung durch Kooperation? Die Grenzen des EU-Modells’, Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 26 (4): 445–53.

Heins, Volker M. (2016): 'Die Gegenwart der Homophobie', WestEnd. Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung 13 (2): 75–81.

Heins, Volker M. (2016): 'Habermas on the European Crisis: Attempting the Impossible', Thesis Eleven 133: 3–18.

Heins, Volker M. / Kai Koddenbrock / Christine Unrau (eds.) (2016): Humanitarianism and Challenges of Cooperation, London and New York: Routledge.

Heins, Volker M. (2016): 'Recognition, Multiculturalism, and the Allure of Separatism', in Patrick Hayden and Kate Schick (eds.), Recognition and Global Politics: Critical Encounters between State and World, Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 69–84.

Heins, Volker M. (2015): 'Recognition Going Awry: NGOs and the Rise of the Unelected', in Christopher Daase, Caroline Fehl, Anna Geis, Georgios Kolliarakis (eds.), Recognition in International Relations: Rethinking a Political Concept in a Global Context, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Heins, Volker M. (2013): Der Skandal der Vielfalt: Geschichte und Konzepte des Multikulturalismus <The Scandal of Diversity: History and Concepts of Multiculturalism>, Frankfurt / New York: Campus.

Heins, Volker M. (2012): The Global Politics of Recognition, in: Shane O‘Neill / Nicholas H. Smith (eds.): Recognition Theory as Social Research: Investigating the Dynamics of Social Conflict, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 213–230.

Heins, Volker M. (2012): Three Meanings of Equality: The "Arab Problem" in Israel, in: Res Publica, Vol. 18, No. 1, 79–91.

Heins, Volker M. (2011): Beyond Friend and Foe: The Politics of Critical Theory, Leiden / Boston: Brill.

Heins, Volker M. / Andreas Langenohl (2011): A Fire That Doesn’t Burn? The Allied Bombing of Germany and the Cultural Politics of Trauma, in: Ron Eyerman et al. (eds.): Narrating Trauma: On the Impact of Collective Suffering (Yale Cultural Sociology Series), Paradigm, 3–26.

Heins, Volker M. / Aditya Badami / Andrei S. Markovits (2010): The West Divided? A Snapshot of Human Rights and Transatlantic Relations at the United Nations, Human Rights Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1–16.

Heins, Volker M. (2008): Nongovernmental Organizations in International Society: Struggles over Recognition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

See also

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Dept of Political Science, Ruhr University of Bochum

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Volkswagen Foundation
  • Referee for numerous journals

Seminars and Conferences

  • The Future of Religious Pluralism, Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), Essen, 05/2013


  • Faculty Fellow, Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University
  • Associate Fellow, Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt am Main


  • Foundation German-American Academic Relations
  • Volkswagen Foundation
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes