Moritz S. Graefrath

I am 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.

My research, which has appeared or is forthcoming in International Theory and the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, operates at the intersection of IR theory and international security, focusing on great power politics, grand strategy, and conceptual innovation. I am 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.

I earned my Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, where I was a fellow with the Notre Dame International Security Center. During the academic year 2022-23, I 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).

My book project, Power Vacuums in Great Power Politics, is based on my 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.

I hold an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. in Philosophy & Economics from the University of Bayreuth, Germany. You can learn more about my professional and educational background from my CV.

Moritz S. Graefrath looking sternly at the camera