Princeton and the University of Humboldt in Berlin Renew Partnership

Carrie Compton, Princeton International
Two people bent over a lectern signing a paper Humboldt University President Julia von Blumenthal and Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber renew the Princeton-Humboldt Partnership for another five years. Photo by Sameer A. Khan/fotobuddy

Humboldt University President Julia von Blumenthal and a delegation of professors and staff traveled to Princeton for two days in October to formalize another five years of collaboration between the two universities and to reflect on the impact of the partnership, which began in 2012. The partnership has so far funded nearly 30 projects across a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, history, gender studies and material science. The current collaboration is Constitutionalism Under Stress (aka CONSTRESS) overseen by Jan-Werner Müeller, Princeton’s Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences, and Silvia von Steinsdorfprofessor of comparative democracy studies and the political systems of Eastern Europe at Humboldt University in Berlin.

“PIIRS is delighted to work with our Berlin colleagues to advance the Princeton-Humboldt partnership,” says PIIRS director Deborah Yashar, the Donald E. Stokes Professor of Public and International Affairs. “Over more than a decade this collaboration has supported a wide range of exciting scholarly initiatives, and in the process created a great many opportunities for both Princeton and Humboldt students. Our recent meetings have highlighted how this creative energy will inform a new phase of joint scholarly activity.”

A group of five men and women look over a book. The Humboldt University delegation, including Humboldt President Julia von Blumenthal, second from left, look at rare books and manuscripts at Princeton's Scheide Library, housed in Firestone. Photo by Shelley Szwast

During the visit, the delegation enjoyed a tour of Firestone Library and participated in a panel discussion organized by CONSTRESS as part of the University Center for Human Values’ Academic Freedom Initiative. Humboldt President von Blumenthal also met with her Princeton counterpart, President Christopher L. Eisgruber, to sign a new memorandum of understanding. 

“I am very pleased we were able to renew this special partnership,” said von Blumenthal. “We stand strong in our common values, and I'm looking forward to continuing our dynamic collaboration in research as well as student and staff exchange.”

Immediately following the formal renewal ceremony, the Humboldt delegation gathered with Princeton professors who have mounted past partnership projects to reflect on the achievements of the collaboration and to discuss potential new directions. The workshop was organized by PIIRS, which manages the partnership, and was jointly chaired by Yashar, and Yoan Vilain, vice provost for international and European affairs at Humboldt. The discussion highlighted, in particular, the joint publications generated by previous collaborative projects and the important career networking opportunities the partnership has provided students from both schools.

A woman and a man shake hands behind a lectern. Humboldt University President Julia von Blumenthal and Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. Photo by Sameer A. Khan/fotobuddy