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Overview of Research

Legitimacy of international organizations

Empirical research on legitimacy at the international level. The fact that political institutions require a certain degree of legitimacy in order to meet their duties and achieve their goals is a long-established argument that has also been applied to international organizations. However, there is little empirical evidence to support this thesis.
In view of the growing challenges to the legitimacy of multilateral institutions in the recent past, this field of research examines how crises affect the resources and decision-making capacity of international organizations.


Effectiveness of international organizations

This research field seeks to answer the question, which consequences result from the activities of international organizations (IOs) and whether those expectations, placed on these institutions, are fulfilled.

An important intermediate step within Political Science studies about performance of IOs is the focus on the decision-making level: What helps organizations to agree on actions, agreements and statements in the first place? How quickly and when do they react to crises? Which international norms do they integrate into their agenda and which mechanisms do they use to do so? In answering these questions, the focus is on analysing the role of institutional design.

Democratisation / Authoritarianism

This research area deals with the contribution that international organizations can make to democratisation processes and examines the conditions under which authoritarian structures are strengthened. We also consider the question of how authoritarian regimes influence the design, actions and policy output of international organizations. 

Crisis of the liberal international order

Research on the current crisis of the liberal international order and the consequences arising from this for the actions and survival of international organizations. The focus is particularly on the question of how the institutional design of organizations enables them to deal successfully with internal and external challenges.