Austrian Scientists & Scholars
in North America

The European Research Council awards Jürgen Braunstein an ERC Starting Grant

The European Research Council’s ERC Starting Grant is one of the most prestigious European science awards. The award is endowed with €1.5 million.

Energy Transitions and the Rise and Fall of Great Financial Centers (ENFIN)


The many reasons for the rise and fall of the world’s great financial centers (GFCs)—each a source of debate in its own right—are made more complex by global energy transitions. While the conventional thinking is that finance is driving the current green energy transition, ENFIN’s analysis of four centuries of data on global market capitalization suggests the reverse: Energy transitions drive finance transitions. This logic, based on historical analysis, typological theory development, and an advanced statistical path model, opens the way for an interdisciplinary approach to the rise and fall of GFCs that draws on comparative political economy and research on innovation and sustainability transitions.

About Jürgen Braunstein:

Jürgen Braunstein
Jürgen Braunstein

Jürgen Braunstein conducts research at the WU Institute for Economic Geography and GIScience.

In 2022 Jürgen Braunstein won the ASciNA Award in the category “Junior Principal Investigator”. His book, Capital Choices, was published by University of Michigan Press and analyzes the creation of SWFs from a comparative political economy perspective.

Jürgen Braunstein focuses on the early formation phase of SWFs, a critical but poorly understood area given the high political sensitivity and lack of transparency surrounding SWF formation. Braunstein’s novel analytical approach offers practical lessons for business and financial organizations as well as policymakers and decision makers in countries that have created or are planning to create SWFs.

He graduated from the University of Vienna, Austria, with a master’s degree in political science, followed by master’s and PhD studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Since 2019, Jürgen Braunstein is a Fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School and is supported by the Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship of the FWF.

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