Our staff members

Here you find our represented faculty in alphabetical order with brief descriptions and contact information for each person.


  • CHAPNIN, Sergei

    Sergei Chapnin has a Master in Journalism and Communication Science from Moscow State University in 1993 and was a chief editor of the official magazine of the Russian Orthodox Church the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate and the official newspaper the Church Herald. He also served as a senior lecturer at the Theological faculty of the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, as a secretary of the Commission on Church, state and society of the Inter-Conciliar Board of the Russian Orthodox Church and a deputy chief editor of the Publishing house of the Moscow Patriarchate. He organized many national and international events for the Church, including a biannual Festival of Orthodox Media and exhibitions of contemporary Christian art and architecture.

    His main interests include: the intersections of religion, state, and society, civil religion and secularization with a focus on a period of so-called ‘Church revival’ in Russia. His book, titled “The Church in Post-Soviet Russia. Revival, ‘quality of faith’, dialog with the society” was published in Russian in 2013. 

    More informations about Sergei CHAPNIN:

  • foto_nachname_vorname.jpg

    Kristina Fürhapter has studied Sociology and Economics (Master "Organization Studies", completed 2014) at the University of Innsbruck. Later this year (2016) she will complete her Master in "Social and Political Theory". From March 2014 to January 2016 Kristina Fürhapter was a student assistant at the Institute of Sociology in different areas, first at the secretariat, later she worked as assistant to the president of the Austrian Society for Sociology (ÖGS). Since November 2015 she supports Dr. Kristina Stoeckl as project manager of the project "Postsecular Conflicts" in different administrative Areas.

    More informations about Kristina FÜRHAPTER:
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73427
    Raum: w 2.20

  • foto_globisch_claudia

    Claudia Globisch holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Erlangen (dissertation on right-wing and left-wing anti-Semitism) and is currently working on a project (Habilitation) concerned with the sociology of crisis.
    Since October 2010 she is assistant professor at the Department of Sociology of the University of Innsbruck, coordinating the field "Methods of Social Research." She is part of the curriculum commission as well as of the faculty board.

    She has worked at the Departments of Sociology at the University of Erlangen (Prof. Ilja Srubar, 2007-2008) and the University of Leipzig (Chair of Social Policy, Prof. Georg Vobruba, 2008-2010).

    Her research focuses on anti-Semitism and right-wing-extremism, poverty/social inequality, biographic-narrative research, sociology of knowledge, qualitative social research, and sociological theory.

    She´s part of the Editorial Committee of the "Explorations of the Far Right" book series at ibidem-Verlag.

    More informations about Claudia GLOBISCH:
    Download: cv etc.
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73408
    Room: w 2.12
    Office hour: Tue 14.30-15.30pm

  • HÖRTNAGL, Siglinde

    Tel.: +43 512 507-73409
    Room: w 2.04



  • KOSTENKO, Olena, MA

    Olena Kostenko studied social and political conflict at the University of Augsburg (Germany), political science at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and philology at the National Technical University of Kharkiv Polytechnic Insitute (Ukraine). Since June 2016 she is a research team member in the project “Postsecular Conflicts”.


    Tel.: +43 512 507-73429
    Room: w-2.19

  • KRUG, Verena

    Tel.: +43 512 507-73417
    Room: w 2.02

  • Foto Ksenia Medvedeva

    Ksenia Medvedeva is a researcher in the Postsecular Conflicts project. She received her MA in Sociology from Higher School of Economics (St Petersburg) in 2012 after having finished her research on faith-based extracurricular activities for schoolchildren in Orthodox and Protestant parishes of St. Petersburg. She served as a teacher assistant in sociology and sociology of religion in 2014-2015 and was an international visiting graduate research student at the University of Toronto in 2015. She completed the postgraduate program in Sociology at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) in 2016 where she conducted her research on contemporary Russian Orthodox monasteries for women. Apart from Christian monasticism, her research interests include pilgrimage; Orthodox Christianity; nationalism, multiculture and religion. In the Postsecular Conflicts project, Ksenia will focus on international networks of conservative organizations and the role of the Russian Orthodox church.

    More Information about Ksenia MEDVEDEVA
    Curriculum Vitae
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73430
    Room: w 2.19

  • Foto_Bernadett Müller Kmet

    Bernadette Müller Kmet is a research and teaching assistant at the Department of Sociology since December 2015. In 2013 she acted as the absentee’s representative of the Educational Sciences Group Vienna of the University of Economics and Business in Vienna. Between 2005 and 2012 she was a member of the research group “International Comparative Social Research” at the Department of Sociology in Graz. In 2009 she finished her PhD thesis on personal, social and cultural identity. In 2009 and 2011/12 she was a visiting lecturer at the St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT). 

    Her research interests focus on identity theory and research, migration research, sociology of education, social inequality and international comparative social research.

    More Information about Bernadett MÜLLER KMET:
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73423 
    Room: w 2.18
    Office hour: by arrangement

  • NIEDENZU, Heinz-Jürgen, ao.Univ.-Prof. Dr. (Head of the Department of Sociology)

    NIEDENZU, Heinz-Jürgen, ao.Univ.-Prof. Dr.

    Heinz-Jürgen Niedenzu studied sociology, political sciences and educational studies at Freiburg University as well as social anthropology at Uppsala University. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Freiburg, and has taught sociology at Innsbruck University since 1983. In 1997 he joined the research group on 'Social Change' at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld as Research Fellow. In 2010 he qualified as a Professor having submitted a Habilitation thesis on the "Socio-genesis of Normativity. On the Emergence of a New Mode of Social Organization" (2011). Since 2012 he has been Head of the Department of Sociology.

    In addition to several academic functions, he currently also chairs the Board of Editors of the Austrian Journal of Sociology (Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, ÖZS).

    He specializes in sociological theory with a particular interest in the anthropological foundations of social theory, the development of a theory of socio-cultural evolution and of models of long-term change of social structures.

    More information about Heinz-Jürgen NIEDENZU:
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73407
    Room: w 2.09
    Office hour: on request 

  • PREGLAU, Max

    Max Preglau has received his doctorate from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and his habilitation for sociology from the University of Innsbruck. Since 1991 he is professor for sociology at the University of Innsbruck.

    He has been head of the Department of Sociolgy for 12 years and is currently chairman of the Curriculum Commission of the School of Political Science and Sociology.

    2006/07 he has been Schumpeter?Fellow at Harvard Universität in Cambridge, MA and in the first half of 2011 Distinguished Austrian Visiting Chair Professor at Stanford Universität in Stanford, CA.
    His areas of research are Theory and Methodology of Sociologie; Social Structure and Social Change in Austria, Europe ant the USA; Family-, Social-, Migration and Integration Policy and Gender Equality Politics in Austria, Europe and the USA; OEVP-FPOE/BZOE Government and its Consequences for the Political Culture in Austria. He is author, coauthor and editor of 11 books and about 80 bookchapters and articles in reviewed journals.

    More information about Max PREGLAU:
    Download: Curriculum Vitae | Government Observation
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73416
    Fax: +43 512 507-73599
    Room: w 2.07
    Office hour: Tue 11-12am and on request 

  • RIEF, Silvia, assoc. Prof. Dr.(Course Director Sociology)

    RIEF, Silvia, Mag.a (PhD)

    Silvia Rief gained her PhD in sociology from the University of London (Goldsmiths College) in 2003. Before joining the faculty at the University of Innsbruck in 2004, she taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the School for Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent (2003–2004). She has also been working as an Associate Lecturer at the Open University since 2002.

    Her research falls in the areas of the sociology of consumption, cultural sociology and theory, urban sociology and the sociology of space as well as gender studies. Currently, she works on sustainable consumption, subject formation in the sphere of consumption, innovation and cooperation in networks of provision and on material culture and social forms in transit spaces.

    She acts as delegate of the University’s Equal Opportunity Board at the School and – ss. 

    More informations about Silvia RIEF:
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73415
    Room: w 2.10
    Office hour: Tue, 4-5pm  

  • SCHERMER, Markus

    Markus Schermer graduated in Agricultural Economics in 1983 and worked for several years in rural development abroad, in the agricultural advisory system in Austria and in spatial planning. Since 1999 he is employed at the University of Innsbruck, since 2004 as a faculty member at the Department of Sociology. Since 2008 he is associate professor for sociology. From 2004-2008 he was head of the Research Center for Mountain Agriculture. From 2008-2010 he was head of the department and from 2010-2014 director of studies.

    His research interests are:
    - social aspects of agri-food research
    - territorial aspects of regional development
    - changes of the cultural landscape in mountain regions
    - changing relations between farmers and wider society

    More information about Markus SCHERMER:
    Download: Publications
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73413
    Room: w 2.18
    Office hour: by Arrangement


    Tel.: +43 512 507-73420
    Room: w 2.04


  • SCHÜTZ, Claudia Dorothea, MA.

    Claudia Schütz studied sociology, political sciences and communication sciences at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and completed her master´s degree "Social and Political Theory" at the University of Innsbruck with a thesis on the protest movement Stuttgart 21 in 2013. This thesis was awarded as outstanding work by the Austrian Association for Sociology (ÖGS). Since 2013 she is doing her Ph.D. in the field of protest and social movement research. In her dissertation she deals with the recent wave of protest movement in democratic states and the social normative basis as premise for collective mobilization. Here, she particularly works on the Gezi protests in Turkey and the Indignados movement in Spain. Her research interests are political sociology, protest and social movement research, critical theory of society and methods of qualitative research.

    Claudia Schütz is board member of the Research Network "Social Movement" of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and member of the working group "Theories of Social Movements" of the Institute for Protest and Movement Research (IPB) in Berlin. Also, she is the student representative of the PhD/Doktorat Political Science-Sociology of the University Innsbruck.

    More information about Claudia SCHÜTZ:
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73425
    Room: w 2.22
    Office hour: on request

  • foto_scott_alan_klein

    Alan SCOTT is Professor of Sociology at the University of Innsbruck and Vice President (for the humanities and social sciences) of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). He has taught and researched at universities in the UK, France (as Vincent Wright Chair at Sciences Po, Paris in 2009) and Australia (UNE, NSW, 2010-13). His research areas are political sociology, social theory and Organisation Studies. He has published in leading journals, such as Economy and Society, BJS, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), Revue Française de Sociologie and the Journal of Classical Sociology and is co-editor of the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology (2011).

    More information about Alan SCOTT:
    Homepage and Publications:
    In matters relating to the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) please email:
    Tel.: +43 (0)512 507-73410
    Room: w 2.06
    Office Hours: By arrangement

  • STAUBMANN, Helmut, Univ.-Prof. Dr.

    Dean of the Innsbruck School of Political Science and Sociology
    Professor for Social Theory and Cultural Sociology

    M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Vienna; postgraduate diploma from the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna.

    1991-92 Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Maryland, College Park with an Erwin Schrödinger grant from the Austrian Science Foundation.

    1994-97 APART-Fellow (Austrian Program for Advanced Research and Technology of the Austrian Academy of Science) at the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

    2012/13 Visiting Scholar at Harvard University.

    Visiting Professor at UT Knoxville, FU Bozen/Bolzano and the Austrian Universities in Graz, Linz, and Salzburg.

    More information about Helmut STAUBMANN:
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73406
    Office hour: by arrangement

  • foto_stoeckl_kristina

    Kristina Stoeckl joined the Department of Sociology in October 2015 as leader of the FWF-funded START-project "Post-Secular Conflicts" and senior post-doc. Before that she held positions as APART Fellow at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna (2012-2015), as Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (2009-2012) and as research assistant at the research-platform World Order-Religion-Violence at the University of Innsbruck (2007-2009). She holds MA degrees in Comparative Literature (University of Innsbruck 2001) and International Relations (Central European University, 2003) and a PhD in social and political sciences from the European University Institute Florence (2007).

    Her research areas are social and political theory and sociology of religion with a special focus on theories of secularization and religious pluralism, religious actors in politics and civil society, orthodox christianity and church-state-relations in Russia.

    She has published articles in, among others, the "European Journal of Social Theory", "Religion, State and Society", "Sociology Compass", "Journal of Contemporary Religion". Her recent monograph is "The Russian Orthodox Church and Human Rights" (Routledge, 2014).

    More informations about Kristina STOECKL
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73424
    Room: w 2.21
    Office hour: by appointment

  • STOTTEN, Rike, Dr.

    Rike Stotten has studied Geography and Sociology at the RWTH Aachen University and finished her studies with a master’s thesis at the Research Institute of Organic Farming in Switzerland. She worked as a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts at the Institute for Urban- and Regional Development. In her work she looks on participatory processes in rural areas, especially regarding demographic change within the farming society and agricultural landscape. She is holding a PhD in Sociology of the University of Innsbruck and wrote her thesis about landscape perception among Swiss farmers. Since summer 2015 she is working at the Institute of Sociology and the Research Unit of Mountain Farming. Her work is focussing on qualitative (visual) social research and rural sociology.

    Further, she looks on the French oversea department; she wrote a travel guide book about La Réunion and she has been teaching at a public high school in Mayotte.

    More information about Rike STOTTEN:
    Publications: Publications Stotten
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73425
    Room: w 2.22
    Office hour: on request

  • foto_weicht_bernhard

    Bernhard Weicht has studied (Social) Economics in Vienna/Austria and Social Policy in Nottingham/UK. He received his PhD in Sociology from The University of Nottingham researching the social and moral construction of care for elderly people (2010). He continued his work on care and ageing as a Marie Curie Fellow at Utrecht University in the Netherlands with a project focusing on the intersections of care and migration regimes in Austria, the UK and the Netherlands. Prior to joining the University of Innsbruck he worked as a lecturer at Leiden University College. Bernhard has published on the construction of care, ideas of dependency, migrant care workers, the intersection of migration and care regimes and the construction of ageing and older people. Most recently his monograph The Meaning of Care has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. He is chair of the European Sociological Association Research Network Ageing in Europe.

    More Information about Bernhard WEICHT:
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73402
    Room: w 2.14
    Office Hours: By arrangement

  • WELZ, Frank, Ass.-Prof. Mag. Dr.phil.

    After studying sociology, philosophy, psychology and history at Freiburg University, Frank Welz taught and researched in Freiburg, Bielefeld, Onati, New Delhi and Cambridge. Since 2006 he teaches sociology and social theory at Innsbruck. He currently serves as Vice-president of both, the European Sociological Association (program, finances, research) and the Austrian Sociological Association.

    Frank published books and articles related to sociological theory, sociology of law and the history of the social sciences. His publications include 'Critique of the life-world', 'Sociological theory and history', and 'Morality and law in the discourse of modernity'. Recent publications in English include:

    N. Luhmann's Sociology of Law. In: Understanding Law in Society. Munster: Lit, 2011.

    Culture in the World-System (with A. Kumar). In: Understanding Globalisation and Emerging India, N.Delhi: Palm Leaf, 2011.

    100 Years of Indian Sociology: From Social Anthropology to Decentring Global Sociology. In: International Sociology 24: 635-655, 2009.

    More information about Frank WELZ:
    Link: homepage
    Tel.: +43 512 507-73405
    Room: w 2.11
    Office hour: on request