Overlapping Spheres of Authority and Interface Conflicts in the Global Order (OSAIC)


The research group, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), focuses on the rise of interface conflicts within and across overlapping spheres of authority. The increased institutional production of rules and norms in the international realm leads to both horizontal interface conflicts at the same level of governance (e.g. across two or more international spheres of authority) and vertical interface conflicts across spheres of authority on different levels of governance (e.g. international and national spheres of authority). The work of the research group is guided by the following questions: Under which conditions become such conflicts manifest? What are the responses to conflicting rules originating from overlapping spheres of authority? If responses are justified with reference to normative principles, what are these principles and how are they operationalized concretely? What consequences do the different ways of responding to interface conflicts have for the global order as a whole? In addressing these questions, the research group conceives of international order as a system of overlapping and interacting spheres of authority. In doing so, it goes beyond the study of issue-area specific international institutions and orders.

The interdisciplinary research group consists of thematic sub-projects in the fields of international relations and (international) law from Freie Universität Berlin, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva), Helmut Schmidt University (Hamburg), Hertie School of Governance (Berlin), Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Potsdam, and WZB Berlin Social Science Center.