Welcome to the Homepage of Katharina T. Paul


I am assistant professor at the University of Vienna (Faculty of Social Sciences, department of Political Science). I am interested in vaccination policy and its role in Austrian politics as well as the broader EU context. This website provides regular updates on my research projects. Please get in touch if you are interested in any papers that are regrettably still behind a paywall, or if you are interested in exchanging teaching syllabi! Finally, this website also helps me distinguish myself from my many Doppelgängers out there (not-so-fun fact: I have erroneously received medical results, boarding passes, BBQ invites and casting invitations intended for Doppelgängers).

START Prize 2021

In June 2021, I was awarded a START Prize by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). The project is titled Valuing Vaccination: A multi-sited policy valuography. I will be starting this project with a fantastic team in late 2022 – please get in touch if you want to learn more!

New CeSCoS Project COVID-19 and solidarity

Barbara Prainsack and Katharina Kieslich have developed a project (“SolPan”) exploring the experience of COVID-19 and how and why citizens react in particular ways to current policy measures. Does COVID-19 generate pro-social (solidaristic) behaviour and what does it mean for politicians to instrumentally employ the notion of solidarity? I have just joined a team of researchers on this project and have been conducting online and telephone interviews in this context. Katharina Kieslich and I have also recently written a short blog piece for the University of Vienna, questioning what solidarity could mean under current conditions. You will find more information on SolPan (in German) here.

Workshop Global Health & Diplomacy: Configurations of Knowledge, Power and Policy

Thanks to my brilliant team colleagues, I truly enjoyed our project workshop this month. The event brought together scholars researching public health and diplomacies in interdisciplinary panels, mingling factions from across the social sciences (political science, international relations, anthropology and STS) and humanities (history of medicine, science and technology). Scholars from the Health work package I lead presented their research in dialogue with other researchers, covering cases such as antimicrobial resistance, vaccination, and diagnostic technologies for newly emerging diseases. The event built on an ongoing collaboration with SONAR GLOBAL, an EU project that mobilizes social sciences against infectious threats and featured a brilliant keynote by Prof Stefan Elbe (University of Sussex).

Serving as a bridge between theory and practice, the workshop was punctuated by a roundtable discussion with Dr Reinhild Strauss of the Austrian Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health, and Consumer Protection and Dr Michaela Told, a global health diplomacy consultant and instructor, as well as InsSciDE’s coordinator and President of the Historical Committee of Inserm (From Science to HealthPascal Griset. This roundtable particularly helped in identifying changes and continuities in health diplomacy, and also displayed the different temporalities that shape sanitary actions – the comparison between long-term antimicrobial stewardship and short term sanitary measures in the current case of COVID-19 (a new variant of the Corona Virus) was particularly insightful for both academics and practitioners.

Michaela Told, Reinhild Strauss, Pascal Griset

Curious about who was there? Click here to view the program.

Panel accepted for 4S/EASST 2020 – “Value in Biomedicine & Healthcare”

Very excited that our panel has just been accepted for the 4S/EASST conference to take place in Prague in August 2020. Based on ongoing research and working towards a problematisation of dominant concepts of value, Katharina Kieslich (U. of Vienna), Saheli Datta Burton (King’s College), Barbara Prainsack and Gabby Samuels (King’s College) invite both conceptual and empirical papers on the subject of value, and encourage speakers to reflect on the impact of their research on policy and practice. Paper submission opens 16 December!

Workshop announcement: Global Health & Diplomacy: configurations of knowledge, power and policy

Along with my wonderful team, I am hosting a workshop (10-11 February 2020) to discuss historical and present efforts to coordinate public health interventions across national and disciplinary borders. The workshop critically engages with a set of case studies on health diplomacy and is funded by the Work Package on Health that I lead in the context of H2020 project InsSciDE – Inventing a shared Science Diplomacy for Europe.

Work Package 5 (Health) will present its case studies in dialogue with other researchers covering cases such as antimicrobial resistance, vaccination, and diagnostic technologies for newly emerging diseases. Specific attention will be devoted to the role of social sciences and humanities in informing infectious disease control, in dialogue with EU projects SONAR GLOBAL and S4D4C. Looking forward to gathering our all-female Work Package team here in Vienna, too!

Governing Global Health Security in the 21st Century

Together with Christian Haddad at the Austrian Institute of International Affairs (oiip), I organised a visit by Prof. Stefan Elbe (University of Sussex) in Vienna this month.  In his talk on 25 September at the Austrian Institute of International Affairs, Stefan Elbe talked about changing concepts of health and security, the politics of technological innovation, and new forms of diplomacy that (re)shape global health and international relations in the 21st century. A great chance for Anna Pichelstorfer and me to discuss our work on health diplomacy.

Invited talk: German Ethics Council

The German Ethics Council (Deutscher Ethikrat) is currently considering the ethical dimensions of vaccine mandates in light of decreasing vaccination rates in Germany. To this effect, the Ethics Council consulted three experts on February 21 in Berlin at a public meeting held at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. You can find transcripts and my presentation materials here

A busy and productive winter – with some news!

As the year is coming to an end, some updates are in order. Last month, Anna Pichelstorfer has joined my workpackage on health and knowledge diplomacy in the EU project InSsciDE. InsSciDE is a Horizon 2020 funded project ​exploring extant and newly emerging forms of science diplomacy across Europe through international, interdisciplinary research and by focussing on some of the ‘grand challenges’. Anna and I will work on a case study of what could be termed ‘data diplomacy’ as a particular form of governance in European vaccination policy.  More on this soon, as our case study will take shape! It’s great to have Anna’s STS perspective on board!

A second update concerns my affiliation: My wonderful colleague Barbara Prainsack and I have decided to join forces and it has been wonderful to be welcomed as affiliated member of her newly founded Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS) at the University of Vienna.  The launch of CeSCoS was a fabulous and festive event, too – with a brilliant line-up of speakers, including Linsey McGoey!



all content © 2017 by Dr. Katharina T. Paul

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