Dr Isabelle Hertner

Dr Isabelle Hertner

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Lecturer in German and European Politics and Society
Deputy Director of the Institute for German Studies

Contact details

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Isabelle is interested in European politics. Her current research focuses on how national political parties deal with the challenges of European integration and how party federations at the European level ('Europarties') continue to develop into real parties. Isabelle is also interested in European election campaigns. Furthermore, she has done research on German, French, and British EU policy.


  • M.A. (Magister Artium) Politics, French and Italian (Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)
  • MA European Political and Administrative Studies (College of Europe, Bruges)
  • PhD University of London (Royal Holloway)


Before joining Birmingham in September 2011, Isabelle was a lecturer in European Studies and German at King’s College London. Her PhD, which she completed at the University of London (Royal Holloway) analyses the Europeanization of social democratic party organizations with a focus on the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party and the German Social Democratic Party.

Before moving to the UK, Isabelle lived in Belgium, where she did her MA (College of Europe,  Bruges) and gained work experience as a lobbyist for a German welfare NGO in Brussels. Isabelle has a M.A. in Politics, French and Italian (Erlangen-Nürnberg) and speaks German, English, French, and Italian. She also knows a little bit of Spanish. In her free time she enjoys reading novels, practicing yoga, and making her own jewellery.


Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD studentsin the following areas:

  • Comparative party politics;
  • European Parliamentary elections;
  • German, French, and British Politics;
  • European Union politics.

I have successfully supervised:

Dr. Charlotte Galpin: 'Euro Crisis... Identity Crisis? The Single Currency and the Discursive Construction of European Identities in Germany, Ireland and Poland' (with Dr. Tim Haughton). Charlotte passed her viva without corrections in December 2014.

I currently supervise the following PhD students:

Anja Benedikt: 'Imaginings of Identity: The Construction of National Identity in the Immigrant Integration Discourse in Germany' (with Dr. Nando Sigona).

Anne Gibney: 'Governing European Workforce Development. An analysis of policy integration in a multi-level governance' (with Dr. David Bailey).

Josefin Graef: '"Terrorism is what societies make of it": The National Socialist Underground and the (Re-) Negotiation of Germanness' (with Dr. Sara Jones).

Jenny Nolan: 'How far has European integration impacted on the role of regions within the European Union (EU) since 1975?' (with Professor Sabine Lee).

Bruno Theodoro Luciano: 'Representation and Integration: the logic of regional parliaments around the world'. (With Dr. Marco Vieira)


Research interests:

  • Comparative party politics: party members, parties as democratic organizations, electoral campaigning.
  • National political parties and the challenges of European integration.
  • European Parliamentary elections.
  • Europarties.
  • German, British, and French politics.
  • The Future of Social Democracy in Europe.

Other activities

Isabelle is the deputy director of Birmingham's Institute for German Studies (IGS)

Isabelle is also the director of Birmingham's Graduate Centre for Europe.

Isabelle is a member of the Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), the Political Studies Association (PSA), the International Association of the Study of German Politics (IASGP) and the German Studies Association (GSA).


Isabelle Hertner and Daniel Keith (forthcoming) 'Europhiles or Eurosceptics? Comparing the European policies of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats'. Accepted for publication by British Politics. 

Isabelle Hertner and Alister Miskimmon (2015) 'Germany's Strategic Narrative of the Eurozone Crisis'. German Politics and Society, Vol. 33, Nos. 1&2 (Spring/Summer 2015).

Isabelle Hertner (2015) 'Is it always up to the leadership? European policy-making in the Labour Party, the Parti Socialiste and the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands', Party Politics. Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 470-480.

Isabelle Hertner (2011) 'Are European Election Campaigns Europeanised? The Case of the Party of European Socialists in 2009', Government and Opposition, Vol.46, No.3, pp. 321-344.

Edited Collections

Isabelle Hertner, Joanne Sayner and Sarah Colvin (eds.) (2015) Special issue of German Politics and Society, Vol. 33, Nos. 1&2 (Spring/Summer 2015) entitled 'The Importance of Being German: Narratives and Identities in the Berlin Republic'.

Book Chapters

Isabelle Hertner (forthcoming, 2015) 'Who is that Spitzenkandidat? The Press Coverage of Martin Schulz and his 2014 European Campaign'. In: Ernst Stetter, Karl Duffek and Ania Skrzypek (eds.) Next Left. Foundation for European Progressive Studies.

Isabelle Hertner (2014) 'Running the show? Europarty members as election campaigners for the Party of European Socialists and the European Green Party.' In: Ernst Stetter, Karl Duffek and Ania Skrzypek (eds.) In the Name of Political Union—Europarties on the Rise. Foundation for European Progressive Studies, pp. 142-153.

Isabelle Hertner and James Sloam (2012) 'How Europe votes: the case of Germany.' In: Erol Külahci (ed.) How Europe Votes. ECPR Press, pp. 35-49.

Isabelle Hertner and James Sloam (2012) 'The Europeanisation of Social Democracy: Politics without Policy?' In: Henning Meyer and Jonathan Rutherford (eds.) The Future of European Social Democracy: Building the Good Society. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 27-38. 


  • German Politics.
  • Britain and the European Union.
  • European Parliamentary elections.

Media experience

Isabelle has appeared live on Sky News as an expert on German politics and British EU policy. She has also written about German elections in The Conversation.