Global Governance Unit 2024
Bernhard Ludewig
Research Department
Main content

The most pressing challenges of contemporary societies—for example, climate change, migration, global value chains, public health, or security—cannot be effectively managed by individual national governments alone. Therefore, the unit studies Global Governance – the rule-based political order beyond the nation-state in which various international institutions claim political authority in their own right, often with a strong imprint of economically and socially liberal values. This extant order faces pressures from various sides. We work along three interrelated research themes to shed light on the prospects and transformations of effective and legitimate political institutions beyond the nation-state.

The first theme covers state-driven conflicts in and about global governance. We study to what extent regime type, geopolitical, and economic differences account for the structures and alliances of international conflict – also to see how far emerging conflict lines threaten Global Governance as such. The second theme covers societal conflicts in and about global governance. Here we focus on national and transnational processes of discourse, politicization, and polarisation, especially with a view to clashes of cosmopolitan and communitarian worldviews. The third theme covers the institutional dynamics of global governance. Here we study how the observed conflict lines reshape the institutional contours of the international order, paying attention to trends of regionalisation, transnationalization, and counter-institutionalization, among others.

An expanded version of our research programme is available here.