The European International Studies Association hosted the 16th Pan-European Conference on International Relations from 5 to 9 September at the University in Potsdam.
IDOS researchers participated in several panels and used that opportunity to discuss their research. As part of the section on International Organisation between Contestation and Survival, Dr Sebastian Haug presented a paper on relations between the United Nations and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), showing how both sides initially wanted to use these relations to increase their legitimacy among member state audiences but then had to scale down engagement due to Western opposition.
As part of the Knowledge, Expertise, and Development section, Dr Laura Trajber Waisbich – a visiting researcher at IDOS in August and September – and Sebastian Haug presented ongoing research on the geopolitics of excellence. With a focus on policy centres established by the UN Development Programme, their paper provided evidence for the pluralisation of development expertise and discussed the (geo)political drivers behind the setup, consolidation or decline of policy centres as mechanisms to share development experiences.
Dr Mark Furness presented a draft paper on the EU’s Global Gateway investment programme, asking whether European investments in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries are likely to promote mutual interests, or rather exploit societies and their resources. The paper was part of the section on Decolonising Development Practices.
For the section Blue Turn: The Politics of Oceans and Polar Regions, Jacqueline Götze and Dr Dorothea Wehrmann hosted together with SUDEA-colleague Arne Riedel (Ecologic Institute) the roundtable “Cooperation for the sake of cooperation? Relationships between different forms of legitimacy and Arctic cooperation”. A main take-away from the discussion with scholars based at universities in the European Arctic and the Netherlands was that in the Arctic legitimacy tensions are visible across governance levels and entangled with normative authority and polarisation.
Building on her latest publication, Clara Brandi and her co-authors presented ongoing work on how to make multilateral environmental agreements more dynamic in terms of membership and level of ambition.