Dr Maren Hofius

Senior Research Fellow

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Phone: +49 40 42838-6438
E-Mail: maren.hofius@uni-hamburg.de


Dr Maren Hofius joined the research group 'Pathways and Mechanisms of Global Cooperation' in April 2020 and was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre until March 2021.


Research Project at the Centre

From Arctic Exceptionalism to Global Arctic: Exploring Pathways of Cooperation in Circumpolar Arctic Governance

With sea ice thinning and new possibilities for trade routes opening up, the Arctic is undergoing sustained changes, fuelling neo-realist visions of conflict and future competition over resources among Arctic and non-Arctic states. Despite these nightmarish imaginaries, Arctic governance continues to be largely cooperative rather than conflictual. In fact, it is considered a laboratory for studying global governance processes that are characterised by a plurality of stakeholders. Hence, the newly emerging narrative of the 'Global Arctic' is gaining ever more traction. Yet, how is this possible in light of this increasingly contested governance space?

To solve this puzzle, the project zooms in on the Arctic Council as the primary intergovernmental policy forum that structures Circumpolar Governance and identifies those processes and mechanisms that bring about cooperation rather than conflict in the Arctic Council. Through the lens of practice theory and critical border studies, it proposes that the Arctic Council fosters sustainable governance pathways through the ‘boundary work’ practiced by its multiple epistemic communities. As a ‘boundary organisation’, then, it has the ability to translate between multiple social worlds, and thus to span the boundaries of different knowledge regimes that range from state-centric forms of knowledge production over Western-centric scientific expertise to more traditional indigenous forms of knowledge. Over time, said boundary work of the Arctic Council’s diverse epistemic communities brings about regimes of mutual accountability and organising principles that are vital for solving potential disputes peacefully and cooperatively – rather than through confrontation and (threats of) military build-up. The focus on the Arctic Council’s boundary work promises to provide new insights into how global governance institutions can develop sustainable pathways of global cooperation in the face of increasingly pluralistic policy settings.


10/2015 – 03/2020

University of Hamburg

Chair of Political Science, esp. Global Governance

Postdoctoral Lecturer and Researcher

11/2012 – 12/2012

University of Tartu

Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS)

PhD Fellow

2009 – 2015

University of Hamburg

Lecturer and Researcher (doctoral candidate)

Research Interests

  • International Political Sociology
  • International Practice Theory
  • Constructivist Norms Research
  • Critical Border Studies
  • EU foreign and security policy, EU diplomacy
  • Arctic Governance

Current Projects

  • Boundary Work as a New Concept for International Relations
  • Diplomatic Knowledge Production during Crisis
  • The Normativity of International Practices


2017 BISA Prize for Best Article in Review of International Studies


  • DVPW
  • BISA
  • EISA
  • Centre for Sustainable Society Research (CSS), University of Hamburg


Hofius, Maren (2020). Towards a ‘Theory of the Gap’: Addressing the Relationship between Practice and Theory. Global Constitutionalism, 9(1), 169-182. DOI: doi.org/10.1017/S2045381719000431

Hofius, Maren (2016). Community at the border or the boundaries of community? The case of EU field diplomats. Review of International Studies, 42(5), 939-967. DOI: doi.org/10.1017/S0260210516000085

Hofius, Maren; Wilkens, Jan; Hansen-Magnusson, Hannes; Gholiagha, Sassan (2014). Den Schleier lichten? Kritische Normenforschung, Freiheit und Gleichberechtigung im Kontext des 'Arabischen Frühlings'. Eine Replik auf Engelkamp/Glaab/Renner, Ulbert und Deitelhoff/Zimmermann. Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, 2, 85-105. DOI: doi.org/10.5771/0946-7165-2014-2-85