Welcome to the NestIOr research project

International organisations are currently under pressure. The World Health Organization was heavily criticized over its handling of COVID. The World Trade Organization seemed incapable of mitigating an American-Chinese trade war. The United States quit UNESCO in 2018 and The United Kingdom the EU in 2020. The ultimate way for states to show that international organisations have outlived their purpose is to disband them. This happens frequently: almost 40% of the international organisations created since 1815 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.

Forthcoming and new articles

Giuseppe Zaccaria (2022). You’re fired! International courts, re-contracting, and the WTO Appellate Body during the Trump presidency. Global Policy, forthcoming.

Leonard Schuette (2021). Why NATO survived Trump: The neglected role of Secretary General Stoltenberg. International Affairs, 97(6), 1863–1881. (Blog post)

Maria Debre and Hylke Dijkstra (2021). COVID-19 and Policy Responses by International Organizations: Crisis of Liberal International Order or Window of Opportunity? Global Policy, 12(4), 443-454. (Blog post)

Maria Debre and Hylke Dijkstra (2021). Institutional design for a post-liberal order: Why some international organizations live longer than others. European Journal of International Relations, 27(1), 311-339.

Recent working papers

Hylke Dijkstra, Laura von Allwoerden, Leonard Schuette and Giuseppe Zaccaria (2021). Donald Trump and the survival strategies of international organizations: When can institutional actors counter existential challenges? Final Conference of the DFG Research Group on International Public Administration. 18-19 March 2021.

Laura von Allwoerden (2021). Counter-effect of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement: Manifesting the UNFCCC’s legitimacy. ECPR Joint Sessions, 17-28 May.

Giuseppe Zaccaria (2021). International bureaucracies, institutional leadership, and the crises of the global order: The case of the WTO. ECPR Joint Sessions, 17-28 May.

Leonard Schuette (2021). Shaping institutional overlap: NATO’s responses to EU security and defence initiatives since 2014. Transatlantic Studies Association conference, 5-7 July.

Maria Debre and Hylke Dijkstra (2021). Conceptualizing and Operationalizing the Decline of International Organizations: Toward a Relative View of Institutional Change. ECPR Joint Sessions, 17-28 May.

Hylke Dijkstra and Maria Debre (2020). The death of 21 major international organizations: When institutional stickiness is not enough. NestIOr Working Paper, 22 June 2020.