All Signs Point to Theory: Research focus and key issues for the SFB 700’s third funding period

The research team of the SFB 700

The research team of the SFB 700

News from Jul 15, 2014

On January 1, 2014, the SFB 700 moved with 17 research projects and more than 60 researchers into its third and final funding period. During this period, the Collaborative Research Center will continue working with a series of renowned and well-established partner institutions, such as the University of Potsdam, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). Additionally, the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) has been acquired as a new collaboration partner.

The dominant feature of the third funding period is theory building, thus our focus lies in researching conditions for successful governance. We aim to capture under what conditions the effective and legitimate provision of rules and collective goods is feasible in the context of limited statehood. Moreover, we will examine the consequences of governance in areas of limited statehood and the effects of governance on both national and international politics.

Four key aspects play a special role in our broader research framework, forming the subjects of more detailed investigations by cross-sectional working groups at the SFB. Under the supervision of research project B2 (Tanja Börzel), one of these groups will deal with the role of external actors and their governance contributions. A second group is concerned with issues surrounding the “plurality of norms” and is headed by project B7 (Gunnar Folke Schuppert). Project B9 (Bernd Ladwig) will take charge of a third cross-sectional working group, focusing on an in-depth understanding of issues related to normative evaluations. The fourth group, under the responsibility of project D9 (Stefan Rinke), will research the role of social trust in areas of limited statehood.

Overall, the SFB 700 will continue to develop a theory of governance in areas of limited statehood that is based on empirically sound data. Building on the findings of the first two funding periods from 2006 to 2009 and 2010 to 2013, our research agenda intends to make a productive and innovative contribution to the academic and policy discourse on governance in both the national and international contexts.

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Foto: Eric Stollenwerk

About the author:
Since January 1, 2014, Eric Stollenwerk (M.A) is managing director at the SFB 700. He is also research associate of the research project A1 „Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood: Contributions to Theory Building“.