Dr. Ortrun Merkle is a post-doctoral researcher working on corruption, gender and migration. Her research focuses on the relationship of corruption and migration and pays particular attention to gendered forms of corruption such as Sextortion. She holds a Ph.D. from Maastricht University, a MA in Economics, a MA in International Relations and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Security Studies from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, NY. Prior to that, she received a B.Sc. in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Passau, Germany and spent a year at the Helsinki School of Economics.
Her PhD thesis focused on the relationship of gender and corruption. Challenging the one-dimensional approach most corruption research takes on gender, she argues that one must understand underlying gender norms to truly comprehend how corruption is rooted in society. Using a mixed method approach her thesis particularly focuses on the role of political participation of women and the gendered experiences of corruption of migrants. During her PhD Ortrun has been a visiting researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) as well as UNU-Gest in Reykjavik.
Since joining UNU-MERIT and its Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Ortrun has extensively taught on the Bachelor and Master level and supervised numerous Master and Bachelor thesis, focusing on security issues, corruption and gender. She is an academic advisor at the University College Maastricht (UCM) and a Competence Coach for the Premium Masters Honor Program at Maastricht University.