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History of the Institute

The Institute of German and International Party Law and Party Research gained national and international reputation particularly because of its leading role in the process of discovering and throwing light on various party financing scandals. Moreover, members of the institute have studied closely the origin and development of political parties in Europe. They have, for instance, served as scientific advisors to an initiative for the creation of a party statute at the European level, which became applicable EU law in 2004.

Providing the general public with the possibility to follow and discuss current matters concerning the institute’s broad research spectrum, it publishes a journal every year. In addition to that, scientific symposia are held regularly.

Emerged from a research project concerning party law of the EC states, which had been initiated and carried out by Dimitris Th. Tsatsos†, the institute was founded in 1991 as Institute of German and European Party Law. Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Tsatsos†, former Professor of Constitutional Law and State Theory at FernUniversität Hagen, also became the institute’s founding director. From 1997 to 2011 Professor Dr. Martin Morlok, Chair of Public Law, State Theory and State Sociology, took over this task.

Current director Professor Dr. Poguntke, was put in charge on Octobre 1st, 2016, as a change within the executive position is planned at regular intervals. Professor Dr. Morlok serves as assistant director.


The range of tasks was expanded in 2001, as the institute was restructured to include the field of party research from political science. At its new home at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf the institute became a center of interdisciplinary cooperation between the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts. Its broadened scope was reflected by its new name: Institute of German and European Party Law and Party Research. In this context, renowned political scientist Professor (Emeritus) Dr. Ulrich von Alemann was assistant director for eight years.


In order to reflect the important role the institute fulfills regarding party research in Germany and Europe, it changed its name to Institute for German and International Party Law and Party Research on January 1st, 2011.

After twenty-one years in office Prof. Dr. Martin Morlok passes the baton to Prof. Dr. Sophie Schönberger in October 2018. Together with Prof. Dr. Thomas Poguntke she will take over

the duties of the Executive Board from now on. Until the next regular change professor Poguntke will assume the role of the institutes director while professor Schönberger will hold the position of associate director.


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