Duisburg, 1-3 July 2015
Three years after its inauguration, the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research invited key experts of this new and interdisciplinary research area to its Midterm Conference. The Centre used the half-way point of its first funding-phase as an opportunity for both retrospective and prospective reflection. Under the title ‘Global Cooperation: Can We Build on It?’, the international Midterm Conference brought together around 100 academics. Amongst the participants were thirty or so of the fellows, past and present, who have pursued research at the Centre in the period since its foundation in 2012. Markus Böckenförde, Executive Director of the Centre and one of the chief architects of the Duisburg conference, said it had been thrilling to be able to bring together so many of the Centre’s fellows and to welcome additional experts from a number of very highly regarded institutions.
The event opened with a remarkable lecture—the 12th in the ‘Käte Hamburger Lecture’ series—given by Scott Barrett of Columbia University. In the atmospheric surroundings of the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, Professor Barrett set out his view as to why cooperation sometimes succeeds but mostly doesn’t. Citing examples of successful cooperation, he showed how international collaboration, institutional design, and the use of incentives can help ensure the effective supply of global public goods. A response to the lecture was given by Margret Thalwitz (former World Bank director and Senior Expert Fellow at the Centre), after which a vivid discussion unfolded.
Over the following two days, current and alumni fellows of the Centre joined with invited experts to consider the topics and methods in play in the current research-process and representatives of relevant think-tanks and research institutions identified likely trends in global cooperation research. In the second half of its first term, the Centre may well find itself targeting selected topics more specifically and drawing the different strands of its research even closer together to produce findings of direct practical relevance in tackling the challenges associated with global cooperation itself and with the research devoted to it.