Research

Agenda 2018–2024

The Centre for Global Cooperation Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen is one of ten Käte Hamburger Kollegs sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Established in 2012, the Centre is an interdisciplinary and international learning community that seeks to enhance understanding of the possibilities and limits of global cooperation and to explore new options for global public policy.

Overview: Research Agenda 2018–2024

For the next years, our research and fellowships will focus on four broad themes that we will explore in two subsequent periods.

During the period 2018-2021, we will focus on


During the period 2022-2024, we will focus on

  • critique, justification and legitimacy in global cooperation
  • global cooperation in the context of plural conceptions of world order


Empirical research on these themes will seek to analyze and compare four policy fields in which global cooperation is urgent but hard to achieve:

Pathways and mechanisms of
global cooperation
(2018–2020)

Global cooperation can only be sustainable if it unfolds as a process over time. Cooperation, in our understanding, involves extensive and intensive collaboration among two or more parties in addressing a collective problem of global scale. By sustainable we mean the creation of dependable patterns of cooperation that are robust in moments of crises. Studying both successful instances and failed attempts of cooperation and investigating how they in turn foster or hamper further cooperation helps to shed light on questions such as the durability, reversibility, linearity or changeability of global governance arrangements.  Read more

Global cooperation and polycentric governance (2018–2020)

This stream of KHK/CGCR work explores the governance dimension of contemporary global cooperation. Efforts to collaborate around global challenges take place in a context of governance: that is, rules and the regulatory arrangements through which social relations are ordered. The Centre investigates the workings of governance around global issues and assesses the consequences that regulatory dynamics can have for both the extents, the types and the results of global cooperation. Substantively this research is, like the rest of the Centre’s current work, particularly directed to four policy fields of climate change, Internet, migration, and peacebuilding. Read more

Critique, justification and legitimacy in
global cooperation
(2021–2024)

Legitimacy – and its contestation – is a vital question for global cooperation. Legitimacy involves the attribution of rightful authority, whereby people regard governing power to be exercised appropriately. We consider legitimacy both from a normative, i.e. determined by moral judgement, and sociological perspective, i.e. observed in political behaviour). The core questions for this theme are: whether, on what grounds, through what processes, and with what consequences architectures for global cooperation have or lack legitimacy. We will explore these questions with fellows from diverse academic disciplines, theoretical orientations, and world regions.

Global cooperation and competing conceptions of world order
(2021–2024)

How global cooperation can unfold in situations where actors hold different and sometimes opposing conceptions of world order is a crucial question for global cooperation. The aim of this theme is to map different conceptions of existing, emerging or imagined world orders, to explore the reservoir of ideas they build upon, to examine the role of different actors, including the media, who articulate these visions. Studies will analyze public discourses and narratives across different world regions, among political and economic elites and wider publics in order to gain a better understanding of how different and often contested conceptions of world order effect global cooperation.

Policy Fields

Empirical research at the Centre seeks to analyze and compare four policy fields in which global cooperation is urgent but hard to achieve:

  • climate change
  • peacebuilding
  • digital spaces
  • migration

Read more