INFORMATION: The seminar will take place in an online format, starting May 6. All registered participants will receive information about the setup and procedures by e-mail before May 4.
Globalization and increasingly complex interdependence among states and societies has produced a plethora of risks and crises that transcend territorial or political boundaries. The 2008-10 global financial crisis is a recent case in point, as is the COVID-19 outbreak in China. States can hardly solve such problems on their own. They are dependent on others’ cooperation. International organizations (IOs) are supposed to facilitate such cooperation and to provide crucial governance functions to address common problems. There is no uniform pattern of crisis response by IOs, however. Sometimes they are empowered during a crisis (e.g. the ECB during the euro crisis), sometimes they get disempowered (e.g. the European Commission during the migration crisis). Sometimes IOs go beyond their mandates to address an imminent threat (e.g. the WHO during the SARS crisis), sometimes they do not even tap the full potential of their mandates (e.g. the WHO during the Ebola crisis). In some cases, the crisis governance of IOs is effective and legitimate, in others, it is effective but illegitimate (Troika in Greece?) or legitimate but ineffective (UNEP in the global climate emergency?).
The goal of this seminar is to study the politics in IOs’ crisis responses in order to understand the reasons behind this wide variation. What is it in constellations of member state interests, institutional setup, organizational culture, and problem structures that drives IOs in one or the other direction? What roles do power, discourse, and perception play? After reviewing central theoretical concepts relating to crisis politics and institutional change, we shall investigate various crises across issue areas and study the roles that IOs play in the respective emergency response.
- Biermann, Felix; Guérin, Nina; Jagdhuber, Stefan; Rittberger, Berthold; Weiss, Moritz (2019): Political (non-)reform in the euro crisis and the refugee crisis: a liberal intergovernmentalist explanation. In Journal of European Public Policy 26 (2), pp. 246–266.
- Davies, Sara E.; Kamradt-Scott, Adam; Rushton, Simon (2015): Disease Diplomacy. International Norms and Global Health Security. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Gill, Stephen (ed.) (2012): Global crises and the crisis of global leadership. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Kreuder-Sonnen, Christian (2019): Emergency Powers of International Organizations. Between Normalization and Containment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Moschella, Manuela (2011): Lagged Learning and the Response to Equilibrium Shock: The Global Financial Crisis and IMF Surveillance. In Journal of Public Policy 31 (2), pp. 121–141.
- Olsson, Eva-Karin; Verbeek, Bertjan (2018): International organisations and crisis management: Do crises enable or constrain IO autonomy? In Journal of International Relations and Development 21 (2), pp. 275–299.
The seminar is research focused. That is, students are encouraged to develop their own research projects regarding IO crisis politics and emergency governance over the course of the semester. Pooling the last two or three sessions (depending on the number of participants), the seminar will conclude with a “term paper workshop” at which students present their own and discuss each other’s paper ideas in a setting similar to a professional academic conference. It will take place on 17 July 2020.
Participation in the term paper workshop is mandatory. Non-attendance must be compensated with a written assignment.
„Wer die erste Sitzung der Lehrveranstaltung versäumt, ohne sich vorher schriftlich oder persönlich zu entschuldigen, kann den Anspruch auf einen Platz in der LV verlieren, wenn es mehr Interessenten als Plätze gibt. Dies gilt ungeachtet der Platzzuweisung durch Friedolin und ist im Einklang mit der grundsätzlichen Aufhebung der Anwesenheitspflicht.”