Research Projects

The Global Governance Centre undertakes innovative research projects on international governance across a number of issue domains. Scholars engage with people working at the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG), in addition to the many non-governmental actors working on aspects of public and private governance. Research is focused on four clusters:

  • Global Politics of Knowledge
  • International Organisations and Global Policy Making
  • International Sanctions and Their Effectiveness
  • Politics of International Law

Global Politics of Knowledge

Explaining International Organizations’ Mission Creep


How do international bureaucrats expand their missions in new policy areas? By looking at the case of bioethics, this project tests the hypothesis that international mission creep is best explained by the role of bureaucratic entrepreneurs who can steer bureaucratic action.





International Relations Studies and Education


Although many factors influence contemporary international relations, there are good reasons to assume that international relations pedagogy plays an important role in shaping different worldviews and foundational orientations. The purpose of this project is to explore this question with an examination of the international relations education curricula in three countries: Russia, Canada and neutral Switzerland.





International Organisations and Global Policy Making

Brexit, European security and International Governance

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This project seeks to examine how European challenges can be met most effectively – in the post-Brexit era – in relation to wider security, stability and shifts in international governance. 





To Save and To Defend


The persistent demand for peace operations has left the UN overburdened. The UN Charter makes provisions regarding the role of regional security organizations (RSOs) in maintaining international peace and security. However, it does not clarify whether the UN has primacy over such matters.




United Nations Reform and Effectiveness

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Today, the UN faces complex, new, global challenges. Its ability to adapt and reform to address them will determine not only its own fate as an organisation, but also that of the peoples it represents. This three-year project analyses what types of reform enhance an international organisation’s effectiveness.




International Sanctions and Thier Effectiveness

Bombs, Banks and Sanctions


This project provides a sociological analysis of the actors, institutions, networks, technologies and discourses involved in the transnational governance of nuclear nonproliferation.





European Union Economic Sanctions

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This project studies European Union autonomous sanctions used outside of the United Nations Security Council framework, with a principal focus on the EU’s sanctions on Russia in response to Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.





Targeted Sanctions Initiative

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The Programme maintains and updates a database on the impacts and effectiveness of multilateral targeted sanctions. As part of the project, more than 50 scholars and practitioners located at institutions around the world have examined two decades of experience with UN targeted sanctions.





United Nations Sanctions and Mediation Project (SMP)

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Mediation and United Nations sanctions are two essential policy instruments used by the UN in its efforts to prevent and resolve conflict. Yet relatively little is known about when and whether these tools work well together or work poorly.




Politics of International Law

Interface Law

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This project seeks to analyze how the interactions between (formal and informal, public and private) spheres of authority in the global economic order are reflected in the theory and practice of law.






The Paths of International Law

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The growing density of interactions between spheres of authority in global governance – the focus of the proposed research unit – puts pressure also on traditional legal structures.