Funded as part of the SFB 700 of the German Research Association

'Talk and Action'. How International Organizations respond to areas of limited statehood

Principal Investigator: Andrea Liese
Research Associates: Angela Heucher, Leon Valentin Schettler


International Organizations (IOs) are central governance actors in areas of limited statehood (i.e. areas characterized by varying degrees of state capacity): First, they provide fundamental public goods. Second, they contribute to devising transnational guidelines, such as principles on how to engage in fragile states. Thereby, they provide guidance to a variety of public and private governance actors.Our project examines IOs concerned with a particular governance service as well as a fundamental human right: food security. We will be looking at IOs active in West Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Sierra Leone), Latin America (Colombia) and the Caribbean (Haiti). In doing so, we assume that IOs collect a whole range of experiences in dealing with areas where statehood is limited to different degrees. Against this background, we are interested in how different IOs see their role and how they perceive the opportunities and challenges regarding their operations in areas of limited statehood. Also, we want to better understand how experiences gathered “on the ground” influence how IOs act. Moreover, we seek to shed light on the consequences these experiences have and how they reflect back to the international level (e.g. in terms of changing transnational norms).



  • Voelsen, Daniel  & Schettler, Leon 2019: International political authority: On the meaning and scope of justified hierarchy in international relations, in: International Relations
  • Heucher, Angela 2019: Reconsidering overlap in global food security governance, in: Food Security,
  • Heucher, Angela 2019: Evolving Order? Inter-Organizational Relations in the Organizational Field of Food Security Governance in Côte d’Ivoire, in:  Forum for Development Studies,
  • Heucher, Angela, Liese, Andrea und Leon Schettler 2018: Methodischer Anspruch trifft organisationale Wirklichkeit: Interviewführung in internationalen Organisationen, in: Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, Vol. 25, No. 1, p. 199 - 210.
  • Heucher, Angela 2017: „International Organization in Time: Fragmentation and Reform by Tine Hanrieder“, In: Global Affairs 3 (1):  pp. 106 - 108.

Work in Progress

  • Heucher, Angela, Liese, Andrea und Leon Schettler 2018: International Organizations`Mode of Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood. SFB-Governance Working Paper Series.
  • Heucher, Angela, Linke-Behrens, Luisa und Leon Schettler 2017: Measuring Statehood on a Sub-National Level: A Dialogue among Methods, SFB-Governance Working Paper Series, No. 71, Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700, Berlin, February 2017.