Moritz Graefrath

Affiliated Scholar 2023-24

Moritz Graefrath is a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute as well as an affiliate scholar with the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

His research, which has appeared in International Theory, operates at the intersection of IR theory and international security, focusing on great power politics, grand strategy, and conceptual innovation. He is particularly interested in issues of international authority and hierarchy, the decline and collapse of great powers, as well as the nature of interstate cooperation and international order.

Graefrath earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Notre Dame, where he was a fellow with the Notre Dame International Security Center. During the academic year 2022-23, he served as a Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow jointly appointed at the International Security Program of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University and the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

His book project, Power Vacuums in Great Power Politics, is based on his dissertation and 1) advances a novel conceptualization of power vacuums as instances of international authority collapse, 2) develops and tests a theory of how great powers respond to the emergence of power vacuums, and 3) shows how the resulting understanding of power vacuums and their role in international politics helps us better understand current policy issues, such as the rise of China and the question of how the United States should navigate the end of the unipolar era.

Graefrath holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. in philosophy and economics from the University of Bayreuth, Germany.