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Current Projects

CONNECT: Connections and Levels of Influence of Treaty Secretariats in International Environmental and Disability Policy-Making over Time

Duration: 10/2017-09/2020

Funded by: German Research Foundation (DFG)

Project Budget: Approx. 400,000.00 Euro (approx. 6 million Euros for the research unit)

Cooperation partners within the DFG research unit: LMU München, DHV Speyer, TU Darmstadt, Universität Potsdam

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Nina Kolleck, Prof. Dr. Helge Jörgens

Research associates: Alexandra Goritz, Johannes Schuster

Student assistants: Lea Susanne Helm, Simone Hermes

Contact: sekkolleck@erwiss.fu-berlin.de

CONNECT seeks to systematically analyze the influence of international treaty secretariats over time. Using a mixed methods research design, the project aims to investigate two research questions:

How do international treaty secretariats exert influence on the processes, discourses and outcomes of multilateral negotiations over time and across issue areas?
To what extent does the secretariats’ social embeddedness in issue-specific information flows explain this influence?

Despite the increasing visibility of international treaty secretariats and against a growing body of research on their role in global politics, the sources and causal mechanisms of their influence on global policy outputs have not been systematically studied over time and across policy areas. CONNECT addresses this research gap by combining theories and methods in novel ways: The project uses social network theory and draws on techniques of quantitative Social Network Analysis (SNA) and qualitative Discourse Analysis (DA) in order to advance the understanding of the causes and mechanisms underlying secretariats' influence in two different policy fields. Additionally, CONNECT extends previous findings on the role of environmental treaty secretariats by including a treaty secretariat of a second policy field, namely that of disability policy.

Altogether, CONNECT pursues four central objectives that are closely interlinked and address essential advances concerning the empirical, methodological and theoretical state of the art:

    1. to empirically reassess the influence of international treaty secretariats over time by drawing back on actor-based stochastic network analysis ,
    2. to compare the influence of treaty secretariats in different areas (climate change, biodiversity and disability policy),
    3. to combine findings from SNA with qualitative insights gathered with DA in order to identify central determinants of secretariat influence, and
    4. to theoretically reconceptualize the relationship between the embeddedness (i.e., the relative position or nodality) of international treaty secretariats and their influence on policy outputs using social network theory

To achieve these goals, we will resort to the results from the first project phase (namely our project ENVIPA) and the current state of research.


NetKub: Networks in Cultural Education

Duration: 01/2018-12/2022

Funded by: Federal Ministy of Education and Research (BMBF)

Cooperation partners: Federal Academy of Cultural Education Wolfenbuettel (Franziska Schönfeld, Prof. Dr. Vanessa-Isabelle Reinwand-Weiss); Project: Networks of Culture in communities and regions (2018 - 2020)

Research associates: Marie Arnolds (qualative methods) , Angelika Riek (quantitative methods)

Student assistants: Moritz Schreiber, Desidaria Kranl

Completed Projects

Educational Cooperation in the Ruhr Area (Real Laboratory RuhrFutur)

Grant number: A 16015, Principal Investigator

Duration: 06/2015-12/2017

Funded by: RuhrFutur gGmbH

Project Budget: approx. 400,000.00 Euro

Universities’ Role in Promoting Sustainable Education – Integrating Theory, Research and Good Practice

Duration: 2017

Funded by: CIC

Project Partners: Prof. Dr. Nina Kolleck, Freie Universität Berlin and Dr. Dorit Kerret, Tel Aviv University.

In cooperation with researchers from Tel Aviv University and Freie Universität Berlin we will further develop existing research and practice into an interdisciplinary working group of researchers, sustainability managers and administrative staff of both Universities in all aspects of this field and to submit joint research proposals for conducting the research with special focus on the model of Green Campus.

Behind the Scenes (grant number KO 4997/1-1)

within the DFG Research Unit International Public Administration (grant number FOR 1745), Principal Investigator

Duration: 2014-2017 (First funding period of the Research Unit: 36 months)

Funded by: German Research Foundation (DFG)

Project Budget (first funding period for the whole Research Unit): appr. 3 Mio. Euro

Project Budget (research grant for the first funding period at the FU Berlin): 361,311.00 Euro

Project description:

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.

Click here for further information on the DFG research unit

Zukunftsstadt Gelsenkirchen

Duration: 2015-2016, Principal Investigator

Funded by: German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project Budget: 30,000.00 Euro

Joint Initiative of Citiy of Gelsenkirchen, Prof. Dr. Gerhard de Haan, Prof. Dr. Inka Bormann and Prof. Dr. Nina Kolleck

Internationale Verhandlungen im Bildungsbereich: Eine Mixed Methods-Studie zur Analyse latenten Einflusses

Duration: 2015, Principal Investigator

Forschungsförderung, Professorinnenprogramm der Freien Universität Berlin

Project Budget: 30,000.00 Euro

Internationale Konventionen im Bildungsbereich

Duration: 2015, Principal Investigator

Funded by: Center for Research Strategy

Project Budget: 9,800.00 Euro

Research Group „Positions and Contribution of Foundations“

Funded by: VolkswagenStiftung, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Stiftung Mercator, Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung, Fritz Thyssen Stiftung

Project Partners: Hertie School of Governance and Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Advocacy by Foundations

Duration: Oktober 2013 – Dezember 2014

Funded by: Stiftung Mercator

Qualitätssicherung in der Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung (QuaSi BNE)

Logo QuaSi BNE

Duration: 01. Juni 2010 — 31. Dezember 2013

Funded by: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Meta-Analyse – Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien in Politik und Wirtschaft

Duration: 01. September 2008 – 30. November 2010

Funded by: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Project Partners: Freie Universität Berlin, Adelphi Research gGmbH und Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung (IÖW) gGmbH

Guest Professorship

Duration: 17. Juni 2011 – 31. März 2012

Funded by: Berliner Programm zur Förderung der Chancengleichheit für Frauen in Forschung und Lehre

PhD Scholarship

Duration: 01. Oktober 2007 – 31. Juli 2010

Funded by: Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation