Valerie Schmidt
Research Unit
Main content

The most pressing challenges of contemporary societies—for example, climate change, migration, global value chains, public health, or security—cannot be effectively managed by individual national governments alone. Therefore, the unit studies Global Governance – the rule-based political order beyond the nation-state in which various international institutions claim political authority in their own right, often with a strong imprint of economically and socially liberal values. This extant order faces pressures from various sides. We work along three interrelated research themes to shed light on the prospects and transformations of effective and legitimate political institutions beyond the nation-state.

The first theme covers state-driven conflicts in and about global governance. We study to what extent regime type, geopolitical, and economic differences account for the structures and alliances of international conflict – also to see how far emerging conflict lines threaten Global Governance as such. The second theme covers societal conflicts in and about global governance. Here we focus on national and transnational processes of discourse, politicization, and polarisation, especially with a view to clashes of cosmopolitan and communitarian worldviews. The third theme covers the institutional dynamics of global governance. Here we study how the observed conflict lines reshape the institutional contours of the international order, paying attention to trends of regionalisation, transnationalization, and counter-institutionalization, among others.

An expanded version of our research programme is available here.


Kristina Schönfeldt
Tel: +49 30 25491 341
Fax: +49 30 25491 342
E-mail: kristina.schoenfeldt [at]
Room: B 319

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
WZB-Blog Oders beyond Borders

WZB Orders Beyond Borders Blog

The blog deals with the increasingly intertwined global, national, and regional governance processes. It addresses laws, rules, norms, regimes and regulations referring to global problems, conflicts, and contestations in world politics, foreign policies, and developments on the local or national level that affect global governance. We look for 'orders' that have emerged 'beyond' national 'borders', and aim to understand our globalized world a little better.

Suhrkamp Michael Zürn

Der Aufstieg des autoritären Populismus

Michael Zürn, moderiert von Stephanie Rohde

8. Mai 2021


Repräsentation in der Krise

Michael Zürn, moderiert von Bernhard Zangl

28. Januar 2021


Why European Right-wing Populists Achieve so Little in Foreign Policy

Andrew Moravcsik, moderated by Michael Zürn

16 December 2020

The Struggle Over Borders: Cosmopolitanism vs Communitarianism

Pieter de Wilde, Michael Zürn, Oliver Strijbis, and Ruud Koopmans

GLOBE Webinar: A Theory of Global Governance

Michael Zürn

05 February 2020

WZB Distinguished Lectures in Social Sciences: Critical Junctures and Institutional Spillover: How 9/11 is Changing the American State

Sidney G. Tarrow

04 October 2016

Leibniz debattiert: Brexit? Zur Lage der Europäischen Union

Michael Zürn und Wolfgang Merkel

22. Juni 2016


19 - 20 September 2024

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Kosmopolitische Modelle globaler Ordnung und die widerspenstige Realität

Michael Zürn

23. Januar 2016

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Research Unit Global Governance

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