Dr. Robert Lepenies

Thematic Area Environment and Society
Department of Environmental Politics
Working Group Social-science Water Research

Helmholtz Centre
for Environmental Research − UFZ
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

phone: ++49 - 341 - 235 1406
fax: ++49 - 341 - 235 45 1733


R. Lepenies

Areas of Expertise & Research

  • Behavioral Public Policy (Nudging)
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences (Economics)
  • Poverty & Sustainability Research
  • Politics of Water & the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Curriculum Vitae

since 12/2017

Research Scientist at Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Environmental Politics


Guest Lecturer, ESCP Europe Business School


Visiting Fellow, KFG Justitia Amplificata, Freie Universität Berlin


A.SK Social Sciences Post-Doctoral Award Fellow, Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)

2015 − 2016

Guest Instructor, Seminar on Moral and Practical Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin

2013 − 2015

Max Weber Post-Doctoral Fellow, Law Department, European University Institute (Florence, Italy)

2012 − 2013

Fulbright-Schuman Grantee and Visiting Assistant in Research (VAR), Global Justice Program, Yale University (New Haven, CT)


2009 − 2014

Dr. rer. pol. in Political Science (Governance), Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Dissertation: Losers in Trade: Economics and Normative Justifications

2007 − 2008

MSc in International Political Economy, London School of Economics

2004 − 2007

BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics, The Queen’s College, University of Oxford

Honors and Stipends

2016 − A.SK Postdoctoral Award for Research on Social and Political Reform

2015 − DAAD Post-Doctoral Reintegration Fellowship (Rückgewinnung deutscher Wissenschaftler aus dem Ausland)

2015 − Inaugural WIWA Young Scholars Award for Pluralism in Economics

2014 − Max Weber Post-Doctoral Fellowship, European University Institute

2013 − Max Weber Post-Doctoral Fellowship, European University Institute

2012 − Fulbright-Schuman Grant for Transatlantic Affairs

Major Conferences Organized

2017 − Dimensions of Poverty (with Stefan Gosepath, Henning Hahn, Valentin Beck. Speakers include: Sanjay Reddy, Jo Wolff, Leif Wenar, Nicole Hassoun, Mitu Sengupta, Varun Gauri etc.), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

2017 − Varieties of Behavioral Politics (with Kathrin Loer, Holger Strassheim), Recipient of the Villa Vigoni conference award (DFG-Deutsch-Italienische Zusammenarbeit in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften)

2015 − The Future of Basic Income Research - Economic and Philosophical Perspectives, Two day conference & Book workshop with Philippe van Parijs (with J. Bidadanure)

2014 − Annual Max Weber conference on Adam Smith, EUI, May 2014 (conference committee)

2014 − The Structural Roots of Global Poverty, Academics Stand Against Poverty Deutschland e.V. inaugural conference, Freie Universität Berlin, January (conference committee)

2014 − John Rawls: Past, Present, Future, Global Justice Program, Yale University


  • Global Young Academy, until 2020
  • Interacademy Partnership Science for Poverty Committee (IAP-SPEC)
  • Fulbright Alumni, Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft (DVPW)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Philosophie (DGPhil)
  • Forum Wirtschaftsphilosophie
  • International Network for Economic Method (INEM)
  • Institute for New Economic Thinking – Young Scholars Initiative (INET-YSI)
  • Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. (GAP)
  • International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)

Reviewer for

  • Global Policy
  • Comparative Research on Poverty (CROP)
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Millennium – Journal of International Relations
  • Res Publica
  • Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (CRISP)
  • Review of Philosophy and Psychology
  • Leviathan


  • Hertie School of Governance (International Economic Thought)
  • ESCP Europe Business School (Introduction to Politics)
  • Freie Universität Berlin (Moral and Practical Philosophy)
  • LSE/EUI Teacher Training Program (Justice)
  • European University Institute, individual seminars (Global Justice/John Rawls)

For syllabi and course evaluations, see www.robertlepenies.com