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Prof. Laurence McFalls, PhD

Prof. Laurence McFalls, PhD
Université de Montréal
Director of the Canadian Centre
for German and European Studies
Department of Political Science
3744, rue Jean-Brillant
Montreal, Quebec
Canada, H3T 1P1
Phone +1-514-343 6763
Fax +1-514-343 7187
E-Mail laurence.mcfalls@umontreal.ca
Homepage https://pol.umontreal.ca/repertoire-departement/professeurs/professeur/in/in14153/sg/Laurence%20McFalls/
CV Full CV Laurence McFalls
As director of the Centre canadien d’études allemandes et européennes (CCEAE) at Université de Montréal, McFalls has developed considerable expertise in academic management, the development of interdisciplinary and international collaborative research projects, and in graduate research training. He initiated and institutionalized graduate and undergraduate training curricula at the CCEAE and at that same time developed the Center’s research profile through the mobilization of Canadian and German funding for dozens of collaborative research projects housed at the Centre. Under McFalls’s leadership and thanks to major competition-based funding from the DAAD, the CCEAE has become internationally recognized as a model for a research- and graduate-training-based centre for interdisiciplinary German studies.

In his own research as a full professor of political science, McFalls has, over the past twenty years, worked on a decade-long panel study of ordinary East Germans’ experiences under communism, their role in the revolution of 1989, and the cultural adaptation to consumer capitalist and democratic society; led an interdisciplinary research group on the reception and the contemporary relevance of Max Weber’s œuvre; and developed a collaboration with medical anthropologists for the critical study of militarized humanitarian intervention. Within the framework of the latter two projects, McFalls has drawn on Max Weber’s and Michel Foucault’s theories of domination to articulate an original theoretical critique of neoliberal humanitarian interventions not only in the international sphere but in domestic social policy. His recent work addresses the concepts of diversity and vulnerability in the contemporary biopolitical management of populations. His theoretical perspective informs our IRTG’s attempt to disentangle current discourses of diversity in the Canadian and European contexts. His new project in collaboration with a German-Swedish documentary filmmaker, the “Open Memory Box,” uses the web and digitized home movies from the GDR to explore contemporary German memory politics and their intermedial translation.

McFalls’s interdisciplinary, Weberian and critical theoretical perspectives have attracted a large number of master’s-level and doctoral students in political science and international studies working on issues ranging from the historical sociology of the state in Turkey and Iran to the rise of bio-citizenship in Canada and Europe. Despite the heterogeneity of his students’ research topics, they find common ground in a theoretical approach that draws heavily on the German tradition of Sozialphilosophie. Indeed, the possibilities for interdisciplinary dialog, which this tradition fosters, has been a hallmark of the CCEAE’s success under McFalls’s directorship, and this tradition plays a key role in the IRTG Diversity.

The IRTG faculty affiliates based at the CCEAE represent the span of disciplines within which the IRTG doctoral students are completing their dissertations on themes relating to questions of diversity: history, political science, sociology, (comparative) literature, media studies, anthropology, and law. CCEAE faculty affiliates include prominent public intellectuals such as Guy Rocher and Daniel Weinstock, who have shaped the debate on identity and diversity in Québec, in the former case for over 50 years. The CCEAE has worked closely, in the framework of conferences, publications, and collaborative research projects with IRTG spokespersons Ursula Lehmkuhl and Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink since 2007 and 2001 respectively.

Laurence McFalls has developed a global network of collaboration in the field of German and European studies through his role as director of the CCEAE for the majority of the past 16 years. In addition, his research collaborations within the framework of the Groupe de recherche sur les interventions militaires et humanitaires have allowed him to develop close ties to political scientists and anthropologists in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States who will be able to provide expertise and advice to the IRTG and its students.

Academic Career


BA Political Science/ International Relations, UCLA

Graduation / Academic Degrees

PhD Political Science, Harvard University
MA Political Science, Harvard University

Current Position(s)

Director of the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies
since 2002
Full professor, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal

Position(s) Held

Director of the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies
Director of the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies

Relevant (International) Research Experience

Member of international editorial board of German Monitor
Member of international editorial board of German Politics and Society
Visiting Professor, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Leipzig

Major Research Grants, Scholarships and Awards

PI, SSHRC, Insight Grant, “Open Memory Box: A Visial Archeology and Intimate Social History of the GDR” (106,000$)
PI, SSHRC, Partnership Grant, “International Research Training Group Diversity” (2.5M$)
PI, SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, “International Research training Group on Diversity” (177,000 CAN$)
SSHRC Grant, Intervention as Order: Therapeutic Domination in the Balkans and West Africa
SSHRC Grant, Bio-availability, social triage and iatrogenic violence in the Balkans and West Africa
FQRSC Grant, Urgence, Ingérence, Action : Une perspective critique des interventions dans les Balkans

Memberships and other relevant Activities

Member of the Assemblée universitaire (Academic Senate), Université de Montréal
Member of the SSHRC evaluation committee for Small Research Projects
Head of the graduate program “Diplôme complémentaire en études allemandes dans le contexte européen”

List of Publications

a) Publications in refereed journals and book publications
"Postliberalism in International Affairs", in: Klaus Giesen (ed.), Ideologies in World Politics (Heidelberg: Springer), 179-195.
(co-edited with Mariella Pandolfi): Création – Dissonances – Violence : La musique et la politique (Montréal: Boréal).
"Qu’est-ce que la politique post-factuelle?", in: Les professeurs du Département de science politique (eds.), La politique en questions, vol. 2 (Montréal: Presses de l’Université de Montréal).
"Diversity: A late 20th Century Genealogy", in: Ursula Lehmkuhl et al. (eds.), Spaces of Difference: Conflicts and Cohabitation (Münster: Waxmann), 47-59.
(co-authored with Alexandra Hausstein) "Being East German in the Berlin Republic", in: Sarah Colvin (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of German Politics and Culture (Abingdon: Routledge), 147-162.
(co-authored with Mariella Pandolfi) "Therapeusis and Parrhesia", in: James Faubion (ed.), Foucault Now (Cambridge: Polity Press), 168-187.
(co-authored with Mariella Pandolfi) "The Enemy Live: A Genealogy", in: Jan Bachmann et al. (eds.), War, Police and Assemblages of Intervention (London: Routledge), 75-91.
"Foucauldian Scholarship", Academic Foresights 10.
(co-authored with Mariella Pandolfi) "Post-Liberalism", Academic Foresights 5.
"Benevolent Dictatorship: The Formal Logic of Humanitarian Government", in: Didier Fassin/Mariella Pandolfi (eds.), Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Humanitarian Intervention (New York: Zone), 317-334.
"Les fondements rationnels et sociaux des passions politiques: vers une sociologie de la violence contemporaine avec Weber et Foucault", Anthropologie et Sociétés 32:3, 155-172.
"Essai: L’autopsie d’une amitié, ou la sacralisation de l’états-unicitié", Theologica 16:1, 65-86.
(ed.) Max Weber’s ‘Objectivity’ Reconsidered (Toronto: University of Toronto Press).
(co-edited with Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink) "Au-delà des 'area studies': perspectives comparatistes et interculturelles", Special Issue: Lendemains 2/3.
Construire le politique: contingence, causalité et connaissances dans la science politique contemporaine (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval)
Communism’s Collapse, Democracy’s Demise? The Cultural Context and Consequences of the East German Revolution (Basingstoke and New York: Macmillan and NYU Press).

b) Other publications
(co-authored with Martin Beddeleem) "Weber in Frankreich, Foucault en Allemagne: Le dialogue interculturel des sourds-muets", in: Christoph Vatter/Robert Dion (eds.), Interkulturelle Kommunikation in der frankophonen Welt – La communication interculturelle dans le monde francophone (Sankt Ingbert: Röhrig), 381-392.

Training of Young Researchers

Dissertations Currently Supervised

Afshin Hojati: Sociologie historique comparée de l’État en terre d’Islam (to be completed 2017)

Marc-André Fortier: Démobilisations politiques comparées : Colombie et Québec (to be completed 2017)

Marian-Cristian Lobont: Transformations de l’État social: du régime assuranciel au régime entreprenarial (since 2006)

Jacqueline Adamcziewski: Chinese intervention in Africa, an alternative to neoliberal governmentality (since 2010)

Paul Carls: Le multiculturalisme comme fait moral (since 2016, Doctoral Researcher IRTG Diversity)

Finished Dissertations

Geneviève Gasser: S’en aller ou manger? Le conflit ethnorégional casamançais et l’État néopatrimonial au Sénégal (2000, currently program officer with Canadian International Development Agency)

Anca Mot: Analyse historico-structurelle du processus de restauration capitaliste dans les pays ex-communistes (2003, currently political science instructor in Bucarest)

Dariusz Augustynek: Les origines historiques de la coopération économique régionale comme forme non-hégémonique de coopération (2010)

Gabriela Marcoci: La réarticulation des politiques sociales dans les pays en transition postcommuniste: le cas de la Roumanie (Defense May 2012)

Simeon Mitropolitski: The Role of European Union Integration in Post-Communist Democratization in Bulgaria and Macedonia (Defense May 2012)

Mayra Moro Coco: Légitimité des seigneurs de la guerre et de leurs successeurs au Liberia, (thesis submitted for evaluation January 2012)
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