IGES Research Profile and Projects

Founded in 1994, the Institute for German and European Studies (IGES) is the UK’s leading centre for interdisciplinary research on Europe as a site of intertwined histories, cultures, and languages. As part of a global network of 20 centres funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), IGES scholars have specific interests in Germany’s role in Europe, in British-European relations, and in promoting German Studies in the UK.

IGES’s unique interdisciplinary and transnational research approach seeks to connect the study of Europe’s with contemporary questions and problems. Scholars affiliated with IGES challenge established disciplinary frameworks and the entrenched, teleological narratives that shape Europe’s history.

Strand 1 – The UK, Germany and Europe

The United Kingdom and the European Union are undergoing a period of profound transformation. IGES scholars are working to understand these processes, focusing on Anglo-German relations, the impact of Brexit on the EU, Germany and UK, changing understandings of democracy, as well as the rise of Euroscepticism, populism and ‘post-truth’ politics.

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Strand 2 – Relationality, Identity and Migration

Throughout history, both emigration and immigration have shaped European societies and states. To understand how individuals identify with communities, societies, and states, IGES scholars look beyond the nation state to examine European communities as interlinked, transnational networks.

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Strand 3 – Memory, Testimony and Uses of History

Historical memory shapes human societies – but often societies conceive of the past in a way that diverges from state sanctioned memory. IGES scholars lead their scholarly fields in terms of finding innovative methodological approaches on how people make sense of and come to terms with the past.

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Strand 4 – Agency, Inequality and Deviance

Across modern European history, social, political, and intellectual movements have attempted to uncover the agency of silenced and marginalised groups. IGES researchers study how contemporary and historical actors reinforce and challenge social norms, how they conceive of deviance and obedience and how they respond to social inequality.

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Strand 5 – States and Societies in Central and Eastern Europe

Relations between Central and Eastern Europe have traditionally been close, but also particularly volatile – not least because of legacies of empire, violence, and occupation. IGES researchers affiliated with this strand examine how transformations, state-building and state collapse have shaped societies and how the past continues to structure contemporary politics.

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Strand 6 – Promoting German Studies in the UK

Although the benefits of foreign-language skills are immediate and incontrovertible, language learning is in decline across the UK. IGES scholars work closely with partner institutions and practitioners to promote interest in German language and culture and to improve our understanding of the needs and cognitive processes of language students.

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Publications before 2016


The Institute for German and European Studies's special issue of the peer-reviewed journal German Politics and Society, entitled 'The Importance of Being German: Narratives and Identities of the Berlin Republic' is now published (GP&S, vol. 33, issue 1-2, spring/summer 2015). The special issues was co-edited by IGS deputy director Dr. Isabelle Hertner, Dr. Joanne Sayner (Department of Modern Languages) and Prof. Sarah Colvin (Cambridge). IGS alumnae and (former) staff members have contributed to this special issue, amongst them Dr. Sara Jones (Modern Languages), Dr. Charlotte Galpin, Dr. Leila Mukhida, Prof. Rainer Hillebrand, Prof. Wilfried van der Will.


S. Jones, ‘Catching Fleeting Memories: Victim Forums as Mediated Remembering Communities’, Memory Studies (forthcoming, 2013). Published online before print 23 May 2012.

S. Jones, ‘Memory on Film: Testimony and Constructions of Authenticity in Documentaries about the GDR’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 16.2 (2013), 194-210 [10.1177/1367549412467180]

S. Jones and C. Firth, ‘German Studies: Literature and Film, 1945 to the Present Day’, The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies 2011, 73 (2013), 376-403


I. Hertner and J. Sloam (2012) 'How Europe votes: the case of Germany'. In: Erol Kuelahci (ed.) How Europe votes. ECPR Press, pp. 35-49.. 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.. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 27-38.

S. Jones, ‘Why Stay? Shifting Perspectives on “Inner Emigration” and Resistance in the Works of Elfriede Brüning’, in The Self in Transition: East German Autobiographical Narratives. Essays in Honour of Dennis Tate, ed. by D. Clarke and A. Goodbody (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2012), pp. 73-86

S. Jones, ‘Community and Genre: Autobiographical Rememberings of Stasi Oppression’, in Remembering and Rethinking the GDR: Multiple Perspectives and Plural Authenticities, ed. by D. Pinfold and A. Saunders (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 67-82

S. Jones, ‘At Home with the Stasi: Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen as Historic House’, in Remembering the German Democratic Republic: Divided Memory in a United Germany, ed. by D. Clarke and U. Wölfel (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 211-22

S. Jones and C. Firth, ‘German Studies, Literature and Film 1945 to the Present Day’, The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies 2010, 72 (2012), 432-458.


F. Heiduk, “Policing Mars or Venus? Comparing European and US approaches to police assistance”, in: European Security, Vol. 20, No. 3, July 2011, pp. 363-383

I. 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, Vol.46, No.3, pp. 321-344

S. Jones and M. Nehru (eds), Writing under Socialism past and present: a comparative approach (Nottingham: Critical, Cultural and Communications Press, 2011)

S. Jones, ‘Staging Battlefields: Media, Authenticity and Politics in The Museum of Communism (Prague), The House of Terror (Budapest) and Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen (Berlin)’, Journal of War and Culture Studies, 4.1 (2011), 97-111

S. Jones, ‘Touching on Taboos: Elfriede Brüning and the Reception of Partnerinnen in the GDR’, German Life and Letters, 64.1 (2011), 71-82

S. Jones, ‘Writing in Ambiguity: Negotiating Censorship in the GDR’, in Writing under Socialism past and present: a comparative approach, ed. by S. Jones and M. Nehru (Nottingham: Critical, Cultural and Communications Press, 2011), pp. 11-27