Alumni Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr Dvora Yanow

Alumni Fellows

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

Tel: +49 (0)203 29861-126
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: yanow@spam


Prof. Dr. Dvora Yanow joined the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Senior Fellow. She conducted her research in Research Unit 4 'Paradoxes and Perspectives of Democratization' from April 2016 to March 2017.

Research Project at the Centre

Citizen-making by the Numbers: Counting, Category-making, and the State

How do state-created categories, such as those used in censuses, work, and what work do they do, for turning immigrants into citizens? Why do some state residents not find themselves represented in the list of category names, and what are the implications for the stability of the category structure when that occurs? What are the effects for the inclusion and exclusion of new state members, of categories that those designated come to experience as pejorative? These are three of the key questions animating this research project. The project develops theoretical insights from empirical research. Specifically, it addresses issues in the achievement of cultural pluralism and social equality which pose challenges to democratic legitimacy and participation.  Its concerns also touch on the place of cultural values in the national identity stories that, I argue, categories such as these enable; the links between these categories and political inequalities; and the ways in which ongoing fear of otherness and difference challenge the ideal of democratic pluralities.

Drawing on policy-oriented field research conducted in The Netherlands over the last several years, the project critically assesses the implications of The Netherlands’ categories for the social inclusion and exclusion of immigrant groups. It extends theorizing about categories and category-making from previous research in Israel and the US (Yanow 1992, 1996a, b, 1999, 2003, 2015). Although drawing on case material from a single nation-state, it has implications for theoretical understanding and policy practices that reach beyond the state’s borders. The empirical material suggests a paradox characteristic of governmental category-making of this sort wherever it occurs: the categories created to enumerate group achievements and thereby implement social justice goals often end up as pejorative designators of immigrant groups, undermining and even negating their integration and thereby the very social justice the categories were intended to achieve.

Research Interests

  • Interpretive Policy Analysis
  • Immigration and Immigrant Integration Policies
  • Practice Studies
  • Research Ethics and their Regulation
  • The Communication of Meaning through Categories, Metaphors, Framing, Built Spaces, and other 'Media'
  • Interpretive Methodologies
  • Visual Politics [Visual Methods]

Current Projects

  • Citizen-making by the Numbers
  • Policing Social Science: Regulating Research Ethics in a Democracy (co-edited with Peregrine Schwartz-Shea)
  • 'Engaging DA-RT [Data Access-Research Transparency): Critical Assessments' (with Peregrine Schwartz-Shea)
  • 'Encountering your IRB 2.0: What political scientists need to know' 
  • 'Science/technology museums and the construction of 'science': An ethnographic study of museum design and exhibiting practices'
  • 'Framing 'deception' and 'covertness' in research: The legacy of Milgram, Humphreys, and Zimbardo for regulating social science research ethics' (with Peregrine Schwartz-Shea)


Since 09/2011 Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Department of Communication, Philosophy and Technology
Guest Professor
10/2010-09/2011 University of Amsterdam
Department of Political Science
Visiting Professor
10/2005-10/2010 Vrije Universiteit-Amsterdam
Culture, Organization, and Management
Strategic Chair in Meaning and Method
09/1988-03/2008 California State University, Hayward/East Bay
Department of Public [Affairs and] Administration
Lecturer, Assistant, Associate, Full Professor; Department Chair


Yanow, Dvora / van der Haar, Marleen / Völke Karlijn (in press): Troubled Taxonomies and the Calculating State: ‘Everyday’ Categorizing and ‘Race-Ethnicity’—The Netherlands Case, in: Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics 1 (2).

Yanow, Dvora  (2015): After Mastery: Insights from Practice Theorizing, in: Raghu Garud et al. (eds.): The Emergence of Novelty in Organizations, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 272–317.

Yanow, Dvora / van der Haar, Marleen (2013): People Out of Place: Allochthony and Autochthony in Netherlands Identity Discourse—Metaphors and Categories in Action, in: Journal of International Relations and Development 16 (2): 227–61.

Yanow, Dvora / Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine (2012): Interpretive Research Design: Concepts and Processes, New York: Routledge. 

Cook, Scott D.N. / Yanow, Dvora (2011/1993): Culture and Organizational Learning, in: Journal of Management Inquiry 20 (4): 362–79.

Yanow, Dvora / van Marrewijk, Alfons (eds.) (2010): Organizational Spaces: Rematerializing the Workaday World, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Yanow, Dvora (2009): Ways of Knowing: Passionate Humility and Reflective Practice in Research and Management, in: American Review of Public Administration 39 (6): 579–601.

Yanow, Dvora / Tsoukas, Haridimos (2009): What is Reflection-in-Action? A Phenomenological Account, in: Journal of Management Studies 46 (8): 1339–64.

Yanow, Dvora / Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine (eds.) (2006): Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn, Armonk, NY:  M E Sharpe, 2nd edition 2014.

Yanow, Dvora (2003): Constructing ‘Race’ and ‘Ethnicity’ in America: Category-making in Public Policy and Administration, Armonk, NY: M E Sharpe.

Nicolini, Davide / Gherardi, Silvia / Yanow, Dvora (eds.) (2003): Knowing in Organizations: A Practice-based Approach, Armonk, NY: M E Sharpe.

Yanow, Dvora (1996): How does a Policy Mean? Interpreting Policy and Organizational Actions, Washington, DC:  Georgetown University Press.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Writing Ethnographic and Other Qualitative-Interpretive Research: An Inductive Approach
  • Analyzing Political Language
  • Issues in Political, Policy, and Organizational Ethnography
  • Interpretive Policy Analysis
  • Interpretive Approaches to Political, Policy, and other Social Scientific Research

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA. Program and impact evaluation of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts
  • Administrative Office of the Courts, State of California. On implementation of major organizational cultural change effort
  • New England Environmental Mediation Center, Boston, MA. Analyzed agency structure, professional practice, definition of 'good' work
  • Mayor’s Commission to Study the Rent Control Board, Cambridge, MA. Analyzed organizational structure, use and training of professionals, executive-board relations
  • Joint Distribution Committee, Jerusalem, Israel. Evaluated the role of community organizers in a multi-service agency and their implementation of national policies and agency programs

Seminars and Conferences

  • Creator, co-organizer, and 'specialist': The Methods Café, American Political Science Association Annual Meetings 2006, Western Political Science Association Annual Meetings 2005; idea adopted by International Studies Association 2013, Law & Society Association 2013, Hungarian Political Science Association 2013
  • Co-director: Betty Glad Memorial Fund Symposium on 'Field Research and US Institutional Review Board Policy', 20–21 March 2014; with Peregrine Schwartz-Shea
  • Co-director: National Science Foundation 'Workshop on Interpretive Methods in Political Science',  Toronto, 31 August - 2 September 2009; with Peregrine Schwartz-Shea
  • Co-director: European Consortium for Political Research, Joint Sessions Workshops, 19: 'Studying the Political through Frame Analysis', Lisbon, 14–19 April 2009; with Merlijn van Hulst
  • Co-convenor: Language, Culture, and Mind Conference Theme Session: 'Communicating and Interpreting Policy Meaning', Odense, DK, 14–16 July 2008; with Alan Cienki
  • Co-convenor: 2nd Organization Studies Summer Workshop 'Re-turn to Practice: Understanding Organization as It Happens', Mykonos, Greece, 15–16 June 2006; with Reijo Miettinen and Dalvir Samra-Fredericks
  • Co-organizer: Workshop on 'The Ethical Dimensions of Field Research', Keele University, 11 March 2015; with Emma Bell
  • Co-organizer: 2nd international Interpretive Policy Analysis conference, Amsterdam, 30 May–2 June 2007; with Maarten Hajer
  • Co-founder and Chair: Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group of APSA, 2008–2013; Programme Co-Chair, 2008–2009
  • Co-founder and Program Chair: Conference Group on Theory, Policy, and Society of APSA, 1998–2010
  • Co-Founder and Co-Chair: Section on Immigration and Citizenship of the Western Political Science Association, 2009
  • Co-Founder and Co-Chair: Section on Interpretation and Methods of the Western Political Science Association, 2004–2006


  • American Political Science Association
  • European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS)


  • Cora Maas Teaching Award, ECPR Summer Methods School, for 'Issues in Political, Policy, and Organizational Ethnography' (2012, 2014)
  • Highly Commended Paper Award (2013), for 'Organizational ethnography between toolbox and world-making', Journal of Organizational Ethnography.
  • Selection as one of five articles reprinted to mark the Journal of Management Inquiry’s 20th anniversary, for 'Culture and Organizational Learning' (Journal of Management Inquiry 20 (4): 362–79 (2011; orig. 1993); with Scott D.N. Cook).
  • Herbert Simon Book Award, American Political Science Association, Public Administration Section (2007), for 'Constructing American 'race' and 'ethnicity': Category-making in public policy and administration' (Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 2003).
  • First 'Best Book' Award, American Society for Public Administration, Section on Public Administration Research (2004), for 'Constructing American 'race' and 'ethnicity': Category-making in public policy and administration' (Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 2003).
  • 'Breaking the Frame' Award (1994), Journal of Management Inquiry, for best contribution in its first two years of publication, for 'Culture and Organizational Learning' (with Scott Cook; Journal of Management Inquiry 2(4), December 1993).

Dr Philip Liste

Dr. Blayne Haggart

Prof. Dr Marianne Marchand

Dr Tamirace Fakhoury

Dr Adam Sandor

Prof. Dr Claudia Derichs

Dr Stephen Adaawen

Dr Dr Ariel Hernández

Prof. Dr Frank Adloff

Dr Bettina Mahlert

Dr Franz Mauelshagen

Prof. Dr Dr Marlies Ahlert

Dr Zeynep Sahin Mencutek

Dr Mariana Nardone

Dr Ying Shen

Prof. Dr Andreas Thiel

Dr Esref Aksu

Dr Micheline van Riemsdijk

Prof. Dr Wouter Werner

Dr Pol Bargués-Pedreny

Dr Burcu Bayram

Dr Isaline Bergamaschi

Dr Felix Bethke

Dr Sarah Van Beurden

Jun.-Prof. Dr Manuel Borutta

Gerardo Bracho

Dr Morgan Brigg

Prof. Dr Lothar Brock

Prof. Stephen Brown

Prof. Dr Susanne Buckley-Zistel

Prof. Dr Bettina Burger-Menzel

Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Prof. David Carment, Ph.D.

Dr Paula Castro

Dr Ayse Cavdar

Prof. Dr Gerald Chan

Prof. David Chandler

Prof. Hongming Cheng

Prof. Dr Manjiao Chi

Prof. Andrew Cooper

Prof. Dr Larry Crump

Prof. Dr Susan Erikson

Dr Alejandro Esguerra

Prof. Dr Isabel Feichtner

Dr Peter Finkenbusch

Jaroslava Gajdošová, Ph.D.

Prof. Noemi Gal-Or, Ph.D., LL.B.

Dr Daniel Gaus

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D.

Dr Payam Ghalehdar

Prof. Faten Ghosn

Dr Gianluca Grimalda

Dr Jennifer Gronau

Dr Stefan Groth

Prof. Dr Eric Grynaviski

Dr Petra Gümplová

Prof. Dr Gunther Hellmann

Dr Heike Hennig-Schmidt

Prof. Dr Pablo Holmes

Dr Joe Hoover

Prof. Dr Jon Hovi

Prof. Meibo Huang

Dr Abou Jeng

Prof. Dr Anja Jetschke

Prof. Dr Jonathan Joseph

Dr Yannis Kallianos

Dr phil. habil. Otto Kallscheuer

Prof. Dr Babacar Kanté

Prof. Dr Ina Kerner

Dr Kai Koddenbrock

Mag. Dr Martina Kopf

Prof. Dr Bernd Lahno

Prof. Siddharth Mallavarapu

Dr Xavier Mathieu

Aysem Mert, Ph.D.

PD Dr Christian Meyer

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby

Dr Elisabetta Nadalutti

Dr James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh

Dr Dirk Peters

Dr Steven Pierce

Prof. Elena Pulcini

Prof. Dr Sigrid Quack

Dr Salvador Santino F. Regilme

Dr Nicole Renvert

Dr Mathieu Rousselin

Dr Galya Ruffer

Dr Olivia Rutazibwa

Mag. Dr Ariane Sadjed

Dr Shirin Saeidi

Prof. Dr Enrique Saravia

Dr Andrea Schapper

Prof. Dr Klaus Schlichte

Dr Jessica Schmidt

Dr Mario Schmidt

Prof. Dr Ulrich Schneckener

Prof. Jan Aart Scholte

Dr habil. Birgit Schwelling

Dr Katrin Seidel

Dr Balraj K. Sidhu

Dr Deepshikha Shahi

Dr Abdolkarim Soroush

Prof. Detlef Sprinz, Ph.D.

Dr Holger Straßheim

Dr Ángela Suárez-Collado

Dr Liam Swiss

Prof. Dr Christian J. Tams

Margret Thalwitz

Dr Peter Thiery

Prof. emerit. Arild Underdal

Dr rer. pol. Winfried Veit

Dr Wanda Vrasti

Prof. Dong Wang

Dr Hung-Jen Wang

Prof. Dr Herbert Wulf

Prof. Dr Dvora Yanow

Dr Fariborz Zelli

Prof. Dr Shirin Zubair