International organisations are currently under pressure. The World Health Organization was heavily criticized over its handling of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The World Trade Organization seems incapable of mitigating an American-Chinese trade war. The United States quit UNESCO in 2018 and The United Kingdom will exit the EU in 2019. The ultimate way for states to show that international organisations have outlived their purpose is to disband them. This happens frequently: no less than a third of the international organisations created between 1905 and 2005 have formally ceased to exist.
This large research project seeks to complete the theory on the ‘life and death of international organisations’. We know how international organisations are designed and develop over time. Yet we know virtually nothing about decline and death. The project therefore addresses the question why do international organisations decline or die? The main hypothesis is that some international organisations live longer due to their institutional characteristics. Through a mixed-methods research approach, this project aims to develop an institutional theory on the final stage in the life of international organisations.
Apply now: We are looking for 3 PhD colleagues!
Applications are invited for 3 PhD positions at Maastricht University in this research project “Who gets to live forever?”. These PhD candidates will conduct qualitative case studies of international organisations at risk of decline and/or death in the post-Cold War era. The application deadline is 15 March 2019. Vacancy details here.