Das Forschungs­zentrum

This Research Centre is devoted to the study of governance – understood as the sum of activities relating to the collective making of normative orders and public policies – and its effects upon institutions and actors. Manifestations of governance can be found at different levels, stretching from local to global, and constitute distinct and yet interacting ‘spheres of governance’. Understood this way, research on governance crosses both established sub-disciplinary borders within political science, such as those between comparative politics and international relations, as well as disciplinary boundaries across and beyond the social sciences. To the extent that different spheres of governance are conceived of as particular regimes set in space and time, involving social values, structures and actors, the study of governance presupposes, and benefits from, close cooperation between political science/sociology and cognate social-science and humanities disciplines (e.g., history, economics, law).


The research organized in this unit is based on the acknowledgement among its members that institutions – both formal and informal – matter. Institutions mark the bedrock of politics, society and governance, and no inquiry into different governance regimes could ever claim to be complete without substantive institutional analysis. That said, while institutions shape the interactions between different actors, and provide particular incentives and constraints, they do not themselves act. The social and political reality in different governance regimes depends strongly on what actors do, when and how. Thus, it is the study of institutions and agency, as well as the complex interrelationship between them, that forms the core activities of this new research unit.


More specific key subjects of research to be found at the Centre include:


The Centre is firmly committed to international standards of excellence, seeks to involve PhD-students in all of its activities, and warmly welcomes any suggestions for collaboration and exchange.

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