The Design of International Institutions: Legitimacy, Effectiveness and Distribution in Global Governance (DII)

Project leader

Funding source

EU Seventh Framework Programme - ERC Starting Grant

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2009
End date: 31/12/2013
Funding: 1651200 EUR


One of the most profound trends in global governance over the past two decades is the growing extent to which international institutions offer mechanisms for the participation of transnational actors. This project will explore two central research questions, pertaining to the causes and effects of this shift in the design of international institutions: (1) Why have international institutions increasingly opened up to transnational actor involvement? (2) What are the consequences of involving transnational actors for the democratic legitimacy, problem-solving effectiveness, and distributional effects of international institutions? These are research questions that previously have not been explored systematically in existing literatures on international institutional design, transnational actors in global governance, and democracy beyond the nation-state. This project opens up a new research agenda on the design of international institutions through an ambitious combination of novel theory development and comparative empirical research. Theoretically, the project develops and tests alternative hypotheses about the causes and effects of transnational participation in international policy-making. Empirically, the project explores the dynamics of transnational participation through comparative case studies of five major international institutions, supplemented with a large-n mapping of formal mechanisms of transnational access in a broader sample of institutions. The project will help to establish an internationally competitive research group of post-doc researchers and Ph.D. students devoted to international institutional design, and consolidate the position of the principal investigator as a leading researcher in this field.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:54