Research

In August 2018 I have joined the DFG-funded research project Global Pathways: Knowledge Diffusion in International Relations Research.” In this project, which is led by Thomas Risse at FU Berlin, we investigate the spread of ideas among different parts of the IR community. This interdisciplinary research combines theories of diffusion with ideas from the sociology of science, network analysis, and bibliometrics.

My other research is focused on international organizations and international law. World map showing the regional (lack of) binding anti-corruption agreementsIn my forthcoming book, I compare the contents and legal design of international anti-corruption agreements. I argue that they are shaped by diffusion processes between international organizations. Yet the agreements vary significantly because member states use them as signals of their commitment to different audiences.

I have conducted a comparative content analysis of all binding anti-corruption agreements adopted by regional organizations and the United Nations. In two detailed case studies based on archival documents and interviews with officials and civil society, I analyze how treaties were drafted in the Organization of American States and the African Union.

In 2017, I started a new project on the politics of international asset recovery. Here I’m moving the analytical focus from the emergence/legalization phase of international rules towards implementation: Now that rules against grand corruption are in place, to which extent are they implemented? Supported by a startup grant at University of Greifswald, I gathered data based on the World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative. My proposal for a DFG grant is under review.

In addition, I spend time investigating a number of more or less related issues: the evolution of international norms, the present and future of transatlantic relations, the rule of law in post-conflict situations, and geopolitical forecasting. Please take a look at my publications for more information.