Here are the research projects dealing with issues of Governance. You will also find the list of recent publications related to this cluster.

Bombs, Banks and Sanctions: A Sociology of the Transnational Legal Field of Nuclear Non-proliferation, 

Associate Professor Grégoire Mallard, funded by ERC. March 2017–February 2022.
This project will analyse how the implementation of sanctions against nuclear proliferators has led to the creation of a global system of surveillance of the financial dealings of all states, banks and individuals.
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Bringing the Seed Wars to the Courtroom: Legal Activism and the Governance of Plant Genetic Resources in Brazil and India

Professor Shalini Randeria, funded by SNSF. October 2015–September 2018.
This project proposes a critical ethnography of legal activism around plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Brazil and India, two mega-diverse countries with large agricultural sectors and vibrant civil societies. In recent years, conflicts over genetic resources in Brazil and India have increasingly taken the form of class action and public interest litigation.
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Can an International Organisation’s Propensity to Reform Help its Member-states Break Through Policy Gridlock?

Professor Thomas Biersteker with Professor Cédric Dupont, Cecilia Cannon and Velibor Jakovleski, funded by SNSF. September 2016–August 2019.
Is there an observable relationship between the reform any given international organisation (OI) has undergone, and the effectiveness of that OI? Without disregarding emergent global governance arrangements, this project refocuses scholarly attention to assess the implications of IO adaptation under a changing environment. It posits that UN agencies with a record of institutional reform are more likely to experience policy breakthroughs than those that show few signs of reform.
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Explaining International Organizations’ Mission Creep: How international Bureaucrats Shape Bioethics

Professor Annabelle Littoz-Monnet, with Xinyu Yuan and Ceren Bulduk, funded by SNSF. September 2017–August 2020.
How do international bureaucrats expand their missions in new policy areas? Taking 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.
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The Global Political Ecology of Lithium Commodity Chain (LITHIUM)

Professor Marc Hufty, funded by SNSF. September 2017–August 2021.
In order for technological solutions not to turn into social and political problems, this project aims to understand the issues surrounding the use of lithium, a natural resource presented as an element of importance for the green economy.
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How to Break the Gridlock in Global Health Governance

Professor Ilona Kickbusch, funded by SNIS. October 2015–March 2018.
This project seeks to understand pathways that lead to gridlock in global health governance in order to conceptualise how this gridlock can be overcome. Gridlock is the tendency to stall in pressing international negotiations and describes the breakdown of the major tools of global policy making when there is increased need for collection action.
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Interface Law: Legal Interactions between Spheres of Authority in Global Economic Governance

Professor Nico Krisch, funded by SNSF. June 2017–May 2020.
This project analyses how the interactions between (formal and informal, public and private) spheres of authority in the global order are reflected in the theory and practice of law. It uses the issue area of global economic governance as an example and focuses on six jurisdictions – Germany, the UK, the US, Brazil, India and China – to inquire into the ways in which conflicts between different layers of law (and informal norms) are processed in judicial, quasi-judicial and regulatory settings.
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International Relations Studies and Education: A Comparative Analysis of Russian, Swiss, and Canadian Approaches

Professor Thomas Biersteker, funded by SNSF. July 2016–June 2018.
Given the current geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West, this project intends to improve our understanding of representations of global governance, global security and global relations by providing systematic and comparable analyses of professional and graduate education in international relations in Switzerland, Russia and Canada, which will in turn provide us with appropriate means to connect distinct education practices and international and foreign policy trajectories. In doing so, we should be able to present a basis for formulating long-term solutions to reconcile the different worldviews in our increasingly multipolar world.
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The Paths of International Law: Stability and Change in the International Legal Order (PATHS)

Professor Nico Krisch, ERC Advanced Grant. October 2017–September 2022.
International lawmaking tends to be an overly rigid instrument that handicaps change in international politics and global public policy. However, in fields such as international criminal law or the law of international organisations, it has developed rapidly,and often informally. The project aims to understand this contradiction.
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Polio Eradication: Overcoming the Final Barriers and Ensuring a Lasting Legacy for Health Systems (Phase II)

Michaela Told and Stephen Matlin, with Professor Ilona Kickbusch. A Global Health Centre project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. April 2017–March 2019.
This project explores the critical dimensions of the global effort to eradicate polio, focusing on overcoming the final barriers and ensuring a lasting legacy for health systems as well as the role of European countries in this effort.
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Rethinking Stakeholder Participation in International Governance

Professor Joost Pauwelyn, funded by SNIS. Start: 2014.
Given the rigidity of formal treaties and formal international organisations (IOs), countries and other stakeholders are increasingly resorting to case-by-case networks, expert-driven bodies or club-like arrangements. However, these arrangements may not sufficiently take account of external stakeholders. This project maps the different responses to legitimacy challenges raised by external stakeholders in a series of selected formal and informal governance arrangements, focusing on health and finance and result in set of best practices and guidelines.
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To Save and To Defend: Global Normative Ambiguity and Regional Order

Professor Stephanie Hofmann, with Anamarija Andreska and Francesco Romani, funded by SNSF. September 2017–August 2021.
This project aims to understand and explain (1) how the global institutional level relates to regional visions of international security order and (2) why some regional security organisations are more compatible with the UN while others challenge the UN in security matters and suggests alternative orders.
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Transnational Private Governance for the Environment in China

Professor Liliana Andonova with Yixian Sun, funded by SNSF/doc.CH. 2015–August 2018.
This project will investigate whether or not the authoritarian regime only leaves very limited space for private governance in China as is often assumed. Taking into account recent developments in environmental regulation in China, the research will also analyse interactions between transnational private governance and state regulation, and thereby contribute to a better understanding of the roles played by the government in China’s uptake of transnational private governance.
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