Petra Ahrens researches gender politics in the European Union, inequalities in organisations, in particular gendered power relations and political strategies like gender mainstreaming, and gender equality and social politics in Germany.
Through the EU research program Horizon 2020, she was awarded a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship titled 'Effects of Institutional Change on Participatory Democracy and the Involvement of Civil Society Organisations' (DemocInChange). She is researching how the de- and re-institutionalization of gender+ equality structures on the supranational EU level influences the chances of 'equality CSOs' in participating in policy-making. She studies inequalities in organisations and exclusionary practices of EU policy-making by combining research on social movements, participatory democracy and intersectionality.
Petra studied social sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and political sciences and humanities at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (Erasmus). Inequalities and power relations among actors were also subject ofher sociological PhD thesis The Sound of Silence – Institutionalising Gender Equality Policy in the European Union.