Research Agenda 2018–2024

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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 2021–2024, we will focus on


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

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

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

Legitimacy – and its contestation – is a vital question for global cooperation. With legitimacy a governing power is seen to have the right to rule and to exercise it appropriately. Legitimation involves processes whereby authority gains and sustains legitimacy, while delegitimation involves its decline and loss. We consider legitimacy from both a normative, i.e. determined by moral judgement, and sociological perspective, i.e. observed in political behaviour. Read more

The broad question of conflicts over conceptions of world order has been a very traditional issue in international politics, which has operated on the basis of both systemic assumptions (clash of civilizations, unipolarity, ideological conflict etc.) and more actor-focused concepts (enemy images, alliance building, rising powers, power politics or soft power etc.). Rather broad, systemic questions are often posed in contexts of international politics, whereas actor-based concepts may turn to collectives in various contexts. Read more