Research page
Centre for International Environmental Studies

Governance Entrepreneurs, International Organizations and Public-Private Partnerships

  • Research Assistant: Manoela Assayag
  • Timeline: 2011–2014
  • Keywords: global governance, international organisations, public-private partnerships
  • Funding Organisations: SNF



The project aims to document and explain the rise of public-private partnerships in the multilateral system and their impact on global governance objectives including sustainability. It focuses on the critical role of international organisations as entrepreneurs of institutional change. Our research engages in a theoretical and empirical analysis of the opportunities and constraints of international organisations (IOs) in their relationship with non-state actors as well as states, highlighting the condition for collaborative partnerships as a new mode of governance in the multilateral system. A comparison across the different organisational structures and levels of engagement in partnerships within the UN system inspires important questions and hypotheses to be tested in this and future works. In the current phase, following the completion of databases on the UNEP and World Bank partnerships portfolios for the environment and sustainability, the research team (Prof. Liliana B. Andonova, Manoela Assayag and Defne Gonenc, both PhD candidates in International Relations/Political Science) is focusing on partnerships on health and children's issues. The project has received two consecutive grants (2011-2013; 2013-2014) by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).