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Prof. Lora Anne Viola


Freie Universität Berlin


Abteilung Politik

Lansstraße 7-9
Room Raum 210
14195 Berlin

Lora Anne Viola is currently University Professor in the Politics Department of the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB). She received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago, a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Economics from Columbia University in New York City. Before joining the FUB she was a Senior Research Fellow at the Berlin Social Science Research Center (WZB) and a visiting scholar at Stanford and Oxford Universities. She has held research fellowships at the European University Institute and the Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich. She is a native New Yorker and an adopted Berliner.

Viola’s research areas include international institutions and global order, US foreign policy and diplomacy, international relations theory, historical institutionalism, and inequality in the international system. She has published on the G20, shifting patterns of governance, international organizations and inequality, institutional legitimacy, and US foreign policy.

Viola’s book on inequality and hierarchy in the international system, The Closure of the International System: How Institutions Create Political Equalities and Hierarchies (Cambridge University Press 2020), is the recipient of the 2021 Chadwick Alger Best Book Award for its contributions to the study of international organizations and the 2021 Diplomatic Studies Best Book Award.

She is also co-editor of Historical Institutionalism and International Relations: Explaining Institutional Development in World Politics (Oxford University Press, 2016). Her article “Putting Path Dependence in Its Place” (Journal of Theoretical Politics, together with Thomas Rixen) was awarded APSA’s 2016 Alexander L. George Award. Her article “Legitimacy and Institutional Change in International Organizations” (2017 Review of International Studies, with Tobias Lenz) is the journal’s most cited article of the last three years. She has been awarded a German National Science Foundation (DFG) research grant for a project on Trust and Transparency in an Age of Surveillance (TATAS). In 2018, at the FUB’s 70th Anniversary celebrations she received the University’s prestigious Prize for Excellence in Doctoral Supervision.

Professor Viola is a frequent guest contributor on various national and international news outlets.

TATAS - Trust and Transparency in an Age of Surveillance

In this DFG-funded research project the theoretical and empirical relationship between trust in government, government transparency, and security surveillance policies is studied by a comparative analysis of the US, Germany, and Poland. For more details on the research project visit the TATAS Blog.