ERC Project Kick-Off Workshop

We organized the first project workshop on the decline and death of international organizations in Brussels on 9-10 January 2020. The location was Maastricht University Brussels Campus, Avenue de Tervueren 153, 1150 Brussels. 

Many IOs are currently under significant pressure resulting in the loss of competences, resources and even member states. The ultimate way for states to show their discontent is to disband IOs: no less than a third of the IOs, created between 1815 and 2015, has formally ceased to exist. While academics have analyzed how IOs are designed and develop, we know little about decline and death.

This workshop — funded by the ERC project NestIOr – brings together scholars with an interest in the decline and death of international organizations. Both decline and death are broadly conceptualized and include member state withdrawals, budget cuts, continuous underperformance, formal dissolution as well as the transformation of international organizations. The purpose of the workshop is to discuss papers by participants, but also to comment on the research design of the ERC project, and further develop a scholarly network around the decline and death of international organizations.

Thursday, January 9 

13.30-14:00: Welcome and Introduction to the Workshop 

14:00-15:00: Exit and Withdrawal 

Discussant: Gary Marks (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) 

Stefanie Walter (Zurich University): The political contagion effects of voter-based disintegration. How Brexit encourages and deters exit demands abroad

Inken von Borzyskowski (University College London) / Felicity Vabulas (Pepperdine University): When is it “ok” to leave? Public opinion toward state withdrawals from IOs

15:00-16:00: Challenges to International Organizations  

Discussant: Hylke Dijkstra 

Gisela Hirschmann (Leiden University): International Organisations and the Reassertion of National Sovereignty

Vytas Janukauskas (LMU Munich/ University of Konstanz) / Tim Heinkelmann-Wild (LMU Munich): International Organizations under Fire: Explaining Communicative Responses to Member State Contestation 

16:30-17:30: Institutional Design

Discussant: Arjan Boin (Leiden University)

Thomas Sommerer (Stockholm University): Legitimacy crisis, resource cuts, and gridlock in global governance: what role for institutional design?

Liesbet Hooghe (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill): A Theory of International Organizations

Friday, January 10

9:00-10.30: IO Death and Succession 

Discussant: Tobias Lenz (Göttingen University)

Maria Debre/ Hylke Dijkstra (Maastricht University): Institutional Design for a post-liberal order: Why some international organizations live longer than others

Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni (University of Cambridge): Explaining Institutional Successions: contested multilateralism and re-equilibration of institutional power

11:00-13:00: PhD panel

Discussant: Tobias Lenz, Gary Marks, Arjan Boin 

Leonard Schuette, Guiseppe Zaccaria, Laura von Allwörden (Maastricht University)