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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertLepenies

R. Lepenies

Areas of Expertise & Research

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

Curriculum Vitae

2004 − 2007

BA  Politics, Philosophy and Economics, University of Oxford, UK

2007 − 2008

MSc International Political Economy, London School of Economics, UK, Awarded with Distinction

2009 − 2014

Ph.D. Political Science (Governance), Hertie School of Governance Berlin, Losers in Trade: Economics and Normative Justifications
Received the 2015 German Nachwuchspreis für Plurale Ökonomik

2012 − 2013

Fulbright-Schuman Fellowship, Philosophy, Yale University, USA

2013 − 2015

Max Weber Fellowship, European University Institute, Italy

2015 − 2016

WZB ASK Prize Recipient, Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)

2016 − 2017

Fellow at KFG Justitia Amplificata/Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin

since 2017

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

Elected in 2016 to the Global Young Academy for ‘Scientific Excellence and Service’ as one of only 200 young scholars world-wide. Elected to the Executive Committee in 2019 and 2020

Guest lecturer at ESCP Europe Business School, Freie Universität Berlin and Hertie School of Governance

Major Conferences Organized

2020 − International Conference of Young Scientists “Heal the Earth: Sustainable Development Goals in a Changing World” (India + online)

2019 − Brussels PEER Stakeholder Workshop on Risks and the SDGs (with E. Primmer & K. Jax)

2019 − Anniversary Meeting of Global Young Academy in Halle on “Re-Enlightenment” at the Leopoldina Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften (Lead local organiser).

2017 − Dimensions of Poverty, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (with H. Hahn & V. Beck)

2017 − Behavioural Sciences and the politics of simplifications, Villa Vigoni (with K. Loer & H. Strassheim)

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 2021
  • 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)
  • Next Generation Stifterverband

Reviewer for

  • UN Global Sustainable Development Report
  • Global Policy
  • Comparative Research on Poverty (CROP)
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Millennium – Journal of International Relations
  • Res Publica
  • GAIA
  • Critical Public Policy
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Ecological Economics
  • Water
  • Government Information Quarterly
  • 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

Publications and Media Appearances

2023 (1)

2022 (2)

2021 (3)

2020 (5)

2019 (2)

2018 (3)