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I studied philosophy, public administration, and political science at the FernUniversität Hagen while at the same time working as a freelance editorial consultant. Between 2005 and 2010, I wrote my PhD thesis on software patentability in the United States and in Europe. From 2010 to 2012, I held a postdoc position at the Free University Berlin and conducted a project on biodiversity regulations in India and Brazil. Since November 2012, I am working as an assistant professor of international relations at Radboud University.

My research is at the interface between international political economy, philosophy, international relations, and public policy analysis. Empirically, I am interested in the institutionalization of property rights in various sectors with a special focus on natural resources (biodiversity, traditional knowledge, land rights) and their embeddedness in a socio-political and cultural context. Since property governance takes place in a complexity of multi-level systems, my research encompasses interactions from the local to global level. However, I have developed a focus on international regimes and trade-related relationships between industrialized countries and emerging economies. To discuss property governance in a broader context, I mainly draw on international political economy approaches, but I also use insights from comparative policy analysis and postcolonial studies. In theoretical terms, I would describe myself as a latitudinarian: The world is far too complicated to be explained by just one single theory, and I try to make creative use of different approaches in order to explain the irritating findings of the empirical reality (assuming that it exists). My inherently heterodox worldview inevitably leads to a preference for inductive research approaches (“from nosiness to science”).

Research grants

  • Regulatory biodiversity politics in Brazil, Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation (July – August 2015)
  • Bitter pills or fair deals? European free trade agreements, the protection of innovation, and pharmaceutical health care in developing counties. Study commissioned by the Büro für Technikfolgenabschätzung, Deutscher Bundestag, June – October 2012
  • Patent Protection in India and Brazil, as part of the Special Research Project (SFB 700) “Governance in areas of limited statehood” (2010-2013, with Susanne Lütz)
  • Copyleft, copytheft – copyright? The regulation of intellectual property related to software development, funded by the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation (2007-2010, with Susanne Lütz)

Key publications

  • Eimer, Thomas R. / Lütz, Susanne / Schüren, Verena (2016): Varieties of localization. The commodification of knowledge in India and Brazil. In: Review of International Political, forthcoming. DOI:
  • Eimer, Thomas R. (2016): When the sum becomes less than its parts: Structural power and the biodiversity regime complex, in: Revista Internacional de Direito e Cidadania (forthcoming)
  • Eimer, Thomas R. / Kranke, Matthias (2015): (with Matthias Kranke): Teaching the Transnationalization of Politics: Participant Observation of Public Events. In: International Studies Perspectives 16(2), 127-141
  • Eimer, Thomas R. (2014): Philospher-kings in real life: The epistemic community on biodiversity in Brazil and India. In: Global Society 28(2): 131-150
  • Eimer, Thomas R. (2013): Global Wordings and Local Meanings: Traditional Knowledge Regulation in India and Brazil. In: Journal für Entwicklungspolitik 29(2): 31-50
  • Eimer, Thomas R. / Schüren, Verena (2013): Convenient Stalemates: Why International Patent Law Negotiations continue despite Deadlock, in: New Political Economy 18(4): 533-554
  • Eimer, Thomas R. / Phillips, Annika (2012): with Annika Phillips) Auf dem Weg zum Weltpatent? Ursachen transatlantischer Regulierungskonflikte, in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Sonderheft 46: 441-464
  • Eimer, Thomas R. / Phillips, Annika (2011): Networks hanging loose: The domestic sources of US-EU patent disputes, in: Review of International Political Economy 18(4): 460-480.
  • Eimer, Thomas R. (2011): Arenen und Monopole. Softwarepatente in den USA und in Europa. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
  • Eimer, Thomas R. / Lütz, Susanne (2010): Developmental States, Civil Society and Public Health: Patent Regulation for HIV/AIDS Pharmaceuticals in India and Brazil, in: Regulation & Governance 4(2): 135-153
  • Eimer, Thomas R. (2008): Decoding Divergence in Software Regulation: Paradigms, Power Structures, and Institutions in the U.S. and the EU, in: Governance 21(2): 275-296

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