Behind the Scenes

Geschäftszeichen: KO 4997/1-1; FOR 1745
Teilprojekt der DFG-Forschergruppe “Internationale Verwaltung”
Laufzeit: 10/2014-10/2017
Gefördert von: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Fördervolumen (erste Förderperiode der Forschergruppe): ca. 2,8 Mio. Euro
Fördervolumen (für Teilprojekt an der FU Berlin): 361.311,00 Euro


The project “Behind the Scenes” of the DFG-Research Unit “International Public Administration” explores how and to what extent international public administrations (IPAs) interact with (non-)state actors of various levels during and in-between major international conferences.

Since autumn 2015, the project is affiliated with the Earth System Governance Project. The Earth System Governance Project is the largest social science research network in the area of governance and global environmental change. Its international research program takes up the challenge of exploring political solutions and novel, more effective governance systems to cope with the current transitions in the biogeochemical systems of our planet. The normative context of its research is sustainable development: Earth system governance is not only seen as a question of governance effectiveness, but also as a challenge for political legitimacy and social justice.

The project "Behind the Scenes" seeks to identify to what extent and under which conditions convention secretariats can act as partially autonomous actors. By exploring the mechanisms that enhance an administrative actor’s ability to communicate and interact with other actors, the project contributes to a better understanding of the working of IPAs at the intersection of public administration and transnational organizations in issue-specific negotiations (e.g., Gender, Climate Education).

Theoretically, the project draws on hypotheses and concepts developed in accounts of IPA activity rooted in principal-agent theory, sociological institutionalism, and organizational theory. Our study will put assumed causal mechanisms to an empirical test and thus contribute to further theory building. From a methodological point of view, the project seeks to develop a new approach to measure the interaction between different actors at the international level. Using SNA as our main methodological approach, we go beyond previous research in this area. In order to achieve the highest possible accuracy, we will develop a multi-tiered approach, drawing not only on measures of Social Network Analysis (SNA) but also on hierarchical cluster analysis of the matrix of Euclidean and correlational distance measures, fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA), regression analysis and analysis of Twitter data.


Mareike Well M.A.