The “Mannheim Centre for European Social Research” (MZES) is an interdisciplinary research institute of the University of Mannheim, founded in 1989. It is located in the square A5 of the city of Mannheim nearby the Mannheim Palace. The institute devotes itself to research on societal and political developments in Europe. Research focus is located in comparative research on Europe and the investigation of the European integration. The “Mannheim Centre for European Social Research” mainly carries out basic research, financed by external funds from the German national research foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), foundations promoting scientific research, and research funds from the European Union. Furthermore, the “Mannheim Centre for European Social Research”, neatly related to the School of Social Sciences of the University of Mannheim, gives training and support to young social scientists, when starting their scientific careers. At present, approximately 80 social scientists and 60 students are working at the “Mannheim Centre for European Social Research”. Thus, the “Mannheim Centre for European Social Research” is the largest institute of the University of Mannheim, and the largest research institute of a German university in the field of the social sciences. From 1989-1998 the institute was composed of four work units, namely social structure and the welfare state, elections and policy research, political and social integration, German democratic republic/east Europe.