IR/PS Colloquium Series
IRPS CS Fall 2021

Informal Governance in World Politics

Thomas Biersteker
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P1-S5 and Online on Zoom

This event is part of the International Relations/Political Science Colloquium Series Fall 2021. Snacks and beverages will be provided for in-person attendees.

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Informal Governance in World Politics

Prof. Biersteker will be presenting his introductory chapter to a forthcoming, co-edited volume, "Informal Governance in World Politics". Here you can find the table of contents for the entire book, as well as the Introductory chapter that will be presented and discussed.

Informal modes of cooperation are a central element of the complex institutional architecture of contemporary global governance. In this chapter, we outline the research questions and puzzles that our forthcoming edited volume with Cambridge University Press addresses. We then sketch three types of informality in world politics: 1) informality of institutions; 2) informality within institutions; and 3) informality around institutions. We discuss each of these three types and provide examples both from the chapters included in our edited volume as well as the existing literature on how differentiating among them provides insights into the causes and consequences of informal global governance that go beyond existing scholarship. We also discuss a range of candidate independent variables which individually, as well as in combination, allow researchers to explain the striking variation in the growth, distribution, and functioning of informal governance in world affairs. We end by describing the contributions to and the added value of the edited collection.

Thomas J. Biersteker is Gasteyger Professor Honoraire at the Graduate Institute, Geneva and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He previously taught at Yale University, the University of Southern California, and Brown University. Author/editor of eleven books, including Targeted Sanctions: The Impacts and Effectiveness of UN Action (2016) and Informal Governance in World Politics (forthcoming), his research focuses on international relations theory, multilateral governance, and international sanctions. He is the principal developer of UNSanctionsApp, an interactive tool for the design and analysis of UN sanctions. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.A. from the University of Chicago.

PLEASE NOTE: Access to indoor public events is limited to attendees with a Swiss or European COVID certificate. In addition, face masks must be worn to all in-person events at the Graduate Institute.

IR/PS Colloquium Series 2021