Workshop on the vitality, resilience, decline and death of international organizations (call for papers)

Workshop on the vitality, resilience, decline and death of international organizations (call for papers)

Maastricht, 26-27 June 2023

The increasing challenges posed to international organizations (IOs) by nationalist populism and the emerging powers has resulted in a vibrant research agenda with many new concepts including contestation, cooptation, gridlock, legitimacy crises, politicization, and withdrawal. While impressive in many ways, the unit of analysis often remains limited to member states or substate actors—that is, those that are doing the challenging. There is less research on the agency of IOs themselves, which IOs are face most challenges, how IOs have responded to these challenges, and what the consequences are for IOs. Some of the research that does focus on the IOs themselves shows significant degrees of resilience and an ability of IOs to cope with many of the challenges posed by the member states.

The objective of this workshop is to bring together scholars that are interested in the vitality, resilience, decline and death/dissolution of IOs. Papers on each of these concepts are very welcome. A non-exclusive list of potential questions includes:

  • What do lifecycles of IOs look like? And how can we identify different stages?
  • Which IOs face most challenges by states, substate actors, and other institutions?
  • Why do different IOs respond to different types of challenges?
  • What type of IOs are particularly resilient to challenges?
  • How does the decline of IOs look like? And what puts IOs on a pathway to decline?
  • Why and how are IOs revitalized and/or replaced and integrated into other IOs?
  • Why and how are IOs dissolved and what about their afterlives?

This is the final workshop of the NestIOr ( research project on the decline and death of IOs funded by the European Research Council (ERC). During this workshop, we want to privilege the participation of early career researchers (PhDs, postdocs, assistant professors) and thus particularly welcome their proposals. We are also explicitly open to papers from the different disciplines (e.g. history; political science; international relations) and welcome different types of methods.

Travel to Maastricht and accommodation will be reimbursed. In case of sufficient interest, we considering to pursue the publication of a special issue with a select number of papers. Please send your paper title and abstract (max 200 words) via email to Hylke Dijkstra by Friday 9 December 2022 (