27 July 2018

Why some international organisations lose their legitimacy

How is it possible that international organisations at a certain point lose some of their competences or even are abolished by member states? Dr Hylke Dijkstra, director of the European Studies master’s programme at Maastricht University, plans to research this issue. In doing so, he will elaborate on previous research that demonstrates how such organisations emerge and develop. However, very little is known about decline and dissolution. Thanks to a 1.5 million euro ERC grant, Dijkstra can expand his scientific research in the coming years and put together his own research group.

“A third of the international organisations that emerged last century have been formally dissolved,” says Dijkstra. “Organisations like NATO, UNESCO and the World Trade Organisation are also under threat. And look at the EU, with its forthcoming Brexit. Other international organisations seem to be doing well. Why is this? To find out, I will explore the institutional qualities of these organisations.”

Thomas Conzelmann, research director and professor of International Relations at the Maastricht Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased with the grant allocation. “This research will help us gain important insights into the factors that contribute to the success and failure of international organisations. As an international university, this may help us discover what it takes to prevent problems in the field of international cooperation.”

About the ERC
The ERC Starting Grant is a prestigious personal grant from the European Research Council, awarded as part of the Horizon 2020 programme.