The MWP Annual Report 2012-2013 has been published
2012–2013 was the 7th academic year of the Max Weber Programme and, in several respects, marks the end of a first period of the programme. Change and continuity will mark this transition. Change in housing and directorship; continuity in funding, fellowships, activities, and most of the MWP team.
How change and continuity interact determines success or failure in the evolutionary process… whether species and societies grow or decay. Change is needed for innovation to take place; continuity is needed for knowledge and resources to accumulate. This annual report provides an excellent abridged account of what the Max Weber Programme is (more to come in the forthcoming seven-year report). An account is always useful, for change and continuity to play their role.
It is mostly about the Max Weber Fellows, about what they have done individually (see their individual pages) and collectively (Academic Practice Groups, Reading Groups, joint activities, etc.). Although, one must confess, not all collective activities are being reported here… many hours spent with other Fellows in and out of Villa La Fonte – sharing anxieties, experiences and projects – have made the year a memorable one for them. But this is part of their private collective memory, and the report respects this.
It is also, of course, about the Max Weber Programme Activities, which now constitute a distinctive feature of the programme as a (unique?) ‘Structured postdoctoral programme’ in the Social Sciences and Humanities. From those we call Multidisciplinary Activities (workshops, conferences, Max Weber Lectures) to those we call Academic Practice Activities (presentations, academic writing, job-search, workshops, reading and study groups, etc.) EUI faculty, external faculty and other professionals have participated in most of these activities. We have all benefited from this collaboration and I would like to thank them.
But there is no dividing line between Fellows and Activities. MWP activities are, primarily, MWFs activities and, in fact, the Fellows themselves organize many of these activities, as this Year Report clearly shows. In fact, we have had great conferences and workshops and a very special Max Weber Fellows activity: the MWFs June Conference with a large participation of Max Weber Fellows from all the six previous years; possibly the best account of what the programme has achieved in these seven years.
It is about the activities of the Academic Careers Observatory, helping to better understand how academic careers and funding opportunities are structured in different countries and, in particular, what the current state of the European Research and Higher Education Area in these years of prolonged Euro crisis is.
And, although it is not very explicit in the report, it is also about the MWP staff and other EUI supporting staff that make it possible to run a professional programme; my thanks go also to them.