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Recently Completed Projects

    • Still Images - Moving People? How visual images trigger the willingness to participate in political protest

    Funding: Friede-Springer-Stiftung

    Start: June 2017

    Partners: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke (University of Freiburg), PD Dr. Stephanie Geise (University of Münster), Dr. Axel Heck (University of Kiel).

    still images - moving people?



    The political power of images has probably never been stronger than in today’s “information age” of digital media networks and social connectivity (Van Dijck, 2013). Digital media and mobile devices allow instant access to information about local, national, and global events, which is mostly visualized – at least in some way. Consumers of digital media are therefore exposed to countless visual representations of terrorism, environmental deterioration, social inequality, and human suffering, to name just a few of the most striking political issues of our time. Although many people are using digital media networks for information purposes on a daily basis (Lenhart, et al. 2010), the mechanism by which images have an impact on political involvement and participation remains unclear and needs further research (Rucht 2010, Anduiza, et al. 2012, Rucht 2014).

    At the same time, many images published in digital media are intellectually and emotionally provoking visual statements, and therefore highly politicized. But can still images in digital media also “move” people? Do they encourage political activism and impact the willingness of citizens to participate in political protest? This pilot study sheds light on the nexus between spontaneous, affective behavior and conscious, intentional action in response to visual images in digital media. Therefore, the pilot study will investigate the following research question: how and under what conditions do visual images trigger individual affective behavioral and cognitive responses that ultimately impact one’s willingness to participate in political protest? The pilot study ventures into methodological territory largely unknown in social sciences as it gathers data and theorizes how and under which conditions of emotional valence visual images can trigger changes in political action through combining pre- and post-surveys with eyetracking methodology.


  • "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Environmental Conflict and Related Migration"

Funding: FRIAS Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies

Start: Semester 2017/18

Partners: Prof. Dr. Tim Krieger (Economics), Prof. Dr. Michael Pregernig (Environmental Social Sciences), Prof. Dr. Diana Panke (Political Sciences)



The research group “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Environmental Conflict and Related Migration” sheds light on a timely and highly important topic, namely the relationship between how resource and environmental conflicts in countries of origin induce migration into host countries as well as whether and why migration fosters conflicts in host countries and how migration feeds back into countries of origin. It addresses three core questions: Under which conditions do environmental and resource induced conflicts in a country of origin induce incentives for migration? Which individuals do indeed migrate? How are migration streams politically governed? These questions will be explored from an interdisciplinary perspective in regular meetings of the Forschergruppe at FRIAS, to which colleagues, junior researchers and guests will be invited. The Forschergruppe will organize in a workshop and an edited volume as well as Freiburger Horizonte talks.


  • "EUN-NET. Studying EU-UN Relations"


Funding: European Union

Start: December 2016 (for 3 years)

Partners of Prof. Dr. Diana Panke and her team are the co-ordinators at Athens University of Economics and Business (Spyros Blavoukos, Dimitris Bourantonis, John Galariotis and Maria Gianniou), experts of London School of Economics and Political Science (Karen Smith), Leiden University (Madeleine Hosli), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Robert Kissack), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Jan Wouters and Edith Drieskens), Adelphi University (Katie Laatikainen), Université catholique de Louvain (Tom Delreux).


  • "Towards an Increasing Regionalization of International Politics? Comparing the Development of External Competencies of Regional Organizations over Time"


Funding: Fritz-Thyssen Stiftung

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke

Duration: September 2016 - August 2018

Research Associate: Anna Katharina Starkmann

 thyssen project

(from left to right: Leonardo Rey, Anna Starkmann, Philipp Wagenhals, Diana Panke)



In all geographical regions of the world, states cooperate in regional organizations (ROs). Although most ROs were initially created to foster economic cooperation between their respective member states, almost all of today’s 61 ROs are active beyond their borders as well. Case studies have illustrated that ROs are today important international actors contributing to international problem-solving across many policy areas (e.g. protection of endangered species, climate change). Nevertheless, there is no comparative study that examines to which extent the 61 ROs contribute to the regionalization of international politics and how this has changed over time. The project studies important preconditions for the ability of different ROs to act internationally. It sheds light on how the external policy mandates of the 61 ROs have changed in the period between 1945 and 2015 and across nine external policy areas and explains observed variation between ROs, across policy areas and over time. The project provides important insights into the dynamic evolution of ROs’ external policy mandates, accounts for the fact that some ROs are at the forefront of international politics while others are bystanders and explains why the regionalization of international politics varies across policy areas.


  • "Foreign Policy as Public Policy? Exploring Promises and Pitfalls of Public Policy Approaches for Foreign Policy Analysis": Conference 3.-4. November 2016 in Heidelberg


Funding: Fritz-Thyssen-Stiftung

Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Klaus Brummer (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt), Prof. Dr. Sebastian Harnisch (Universität Heidelberg), Dr. Kai Oppermann (University of Sussex), Prof. Dr. Diana Panke (Universität Freiburg



Historically speaking, the study of foreign policy has largely concerned the analysis of decision making processes, individual decision-makers and the effects of international structural factors, anarchy and institutions, and the interactions between these forces. Over the last decades, the erosion of statehood in many areas of the world and the integration of statehood in some has shifted the gravitational pull between hierarchy as the ordering principle in the domestic realm and anarchy in the international sphere. Although foreign policy analysts have started to address these tectonic currents in various ways, e.g. by examining intermestic politics in foreign trade policy, the consequences of this phenomenon for foreign policy analysis have not been considered systematically.

The conference will start out from the assumption that in order to capture these shifts and currents, the study of foreign policy can benefit from taking on board more systematically scholarship in public policy. This is the case, in particular, because foreign policy has become more similar to (and intertwined with) “ordinary” public policies. For once, foreign policy is no longer the more or less exclusive domain of the executive branch of government. With the increasing participation and/or influence of a range of actors such as parliaments, courts, non-governmental organizations, interest groups, etc., national governments no longer monopolize foreign policy and are even struggling to maintain their gatekeeping role. In addition to the plurality of actors that now characterizes foreign policy, allegedly “domestic” fields of public policy increasingly have external implications, particularly in a highly integrated region like Europe.

However, despite this blurring of real-world boundaries between the external and the internal, and hence foreign policy and domestic policies, a divide still persists regarding the analysis of policy-making processes and substantive policies in foreign affairs on the one hand and virtually all other public policies on the other hand. While foreign policy is still predominantly analyzed through the lens of analytical approaches developed in the field of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA), “theories of the policy process” are typically used to make sense of developments in all other policy realms. Although public policy scholars dealing with the analysis of domestic policy fields, such as social and economic policy, interior affairs or environmental policy, use a broad array of heuristics, concepts and theories, the possible contribution of such approaches to the analysis of foreign policy has yet to be fully explored.

Against this background, the conference seeks to bridge the “analytical divide” between FPA and Public Policy (and thus Comparative Politics more generally). The presentations will provide novel insights into how and under which conditions foreign policy analysis can be enriched by ‘domestic realm’ public policy approaches, concepts and theories. By making use of analytical concepts developed in the respective “other” field, the conference aims at contributing to theoretical dialogue, integration and innovation across sub-disciplinary boundaries, thereby enhancing our understanding of policy-making processes and policies across issue areas (see the appendix for abstracts of the contributions).

With this purpose in mind, the conference will have presentations from leading international scholars as well as mid-career scholars who have already proven their ability to make crucial contributions to the field. In line with the objective of the conference to bring together public policy approaches and the analysis of foreign policy, participants include scholars from both research communities. 

The presentations will cover a selection of the most important domestic public policy approaches and examine their transferability and adaptability to foreign policy analysis. Specifically, the conference will have three parts. The first part of the conference will cover a range of actor-centered approaches (Multiple Streams, Advocacy Coalitions, Veto Players, Punctuated Equilibrium) while the second part will discuss more structural approaches (New Institutionalism, Network Analysis, Policy Diffusion, Policy Learning). The third part will have a summary discussion of the presentations and a dedicated forward planning session to identify promising next steps in bringing public policy and foreign policy research together. Thereby the conference seeks to establish how bridging the intra-disciplinary divide between public policy and foreign policy analysis can enrich foreign policy studies and shows how exactly foreign policy analysis can benefit from broadening its instruments for analysis. The presentations will also discuss under what conditions such a transfer is less promising due to the ‘sui generis’ character of foreign policy.


  • "Nested Games: Regional Actors in Multilateral Negotiations"

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke

Research Associates: Anke Wiedemann, Stefan Lang

Research Assistants: Marina Ermes, Martin Scharf, Thomas Krebs, Matthias Edelmann

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Duration of the project: October 2013 - September 2016, with prolongation until August 2018. 



Research has shown that regional organizations (ROs) are often striving to make their marks beyond their home turf, such as the European Union in its neighborhood policy. The project 'Nested Games: Regional Actors in Multilateral Negotiations' is also interested in the external 'actorness' of ROs, but with a different focus. It sheds light on the role of ROs in multilateral negotiations across a series of international organizations (IOs). With the increase in the number of ROs and IOs since the end of WWII and the overlapping membership of states in both, ROs turn de facto into actors in IOs. Examples include ASEAN in the International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning unemployment insurance issues or Mercosur supporting the initiative for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary in the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Thus, the project draws on multilevel governance approaches to shed light on the phenomenon of the regionalization of multilateral negotiations. Based on a broad range of different ROs and IOs and based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods it analyzes how actively ROs participate in IO negotiations and how influential they are in shaping international norms. Are some ROs more active than others and are some IOs especially prone to RO activity and why? Under which conditions can ROs exert influence over international norms although they are not usually members of IOs? 





  • Diana Panke, Stefan Lang, Anke Wiedemann (2018):https://ecpr.eu/news/news/details/521ecpr.eu/news/news/details/521 , ECPR Press.

  • Diana Panke, Stefan Lang, Anke Wiedemann (forthcoming) "Regional Organisations in the UNGA: Who is most active and why?" In: Journal of International Relations and Development. DOI: 10.1057/s41268-017-0119-8

  • Diana Panke (forthcoming) "Regional Actors in International Security Negotiations." In: European Journal for Security Reasearch. DOI: 10.1007/s41125-016-0010-4

  • Diana Panke (2017): Speech is silver, silence is golden? Examining state activity in international negotiations. In: The Review of International Organizations, Vol.12, No. 1, 121-146..

  • Diana Panke, Stefan Lang, Anke Wiedemann (2017) "State & Regional Actors in Complex Governance Systems. Exploring Dynamics of International Negotiations." In: British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol. 19, No. 1, 91-112.

  • Diana Panke, Stefan Lang und Anke Wiedemann (2015): „Regional Actors in the United Nations. Exploring the Regionalization of International Negotiations”. In: Global Affairs, Vol. 1, Issue 04-05, 431-440. 

  • Diana Panke (2014) “The European Union in the United Nations. An Effective External Actor?”. In: Journal of European Public Policy. Bd. 21, Nr. 7, 1050-1066.

  • Diana Panke (2014) "Communicative Power Europe? How the EU Copes with Opposition in International Negotiations". In: European Foreign Affairs Review, Bd. 19, Nr. 3, 357-372.

  • Diana Panke (2013) “Regional Power Revisited. How to Explain Differences in Coherency and Success of Regional Organizations in the United Nations General Assembly”. In: International Negotiation Journal. Bd. 18, Nr. 2, 265–291.

Conference Contributions:


  • Workshop "New Datasets on International and Regional Organizations - Inter-Operability, Best Practices, and the Way Forward", University of Göttingen, 6th December, "Responses to Crisis: How Regional Organizations Change" (Diana Panke, Anna Starkmann). 

  • 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Barcelona, 15th September, "Responses to Crises: How Regional Organizations Change" (Diana Panke, Anna Starkmann).


  • EU in International Affairs Conference, Brussels, 11th to 13th: “The EU and other Regional Actors in international Negotiations. Why are some ROs more active than others?” (Diana Panke)

  • ECPR Standing Group 8th Pan-European Conference on the European Union, Trento/ Italy, June 16th to 18th: “The EU and other Regional Actors in international Negotiations. Why are some ROs more active than others?” (Diana Panke)

  • ISA Annual Convention Atlanta/USA, February 18th: “Speaking with one voice? Activity of Regional Actors in International Peace and Security Negotiations” (Diana Panke, Anke Wiedemann).

  • ISA Annual Convention Atlanta/USA, February 18th: “A Peaceful Cooperation? Varying Success of Regional Actors in the Arms Trade Treaty Negotiations” (Diana Panke, Anke Wiedemann).


  • British International Studies Association conference 2015, 17th to 19th June 2015 in London: "Regional Actors in International Organizations. Towards a Regionalization of International Negotiations?" (Panke, Lang und Wiedemann)

  • DVPW Congress Duisburg/ Germany; September 25th: “The International Effects of Overlapping Regionalism”. Panel “Ursachen und Konsequenzen von überlappender Mitgliedschaft in Regionalorganisationen” (Diana Panke, Stefan Lang und Anke Wiedemann).

  • ISA Annual Convention New Orleans/ USA, February 20th: “Regional Organizations as Shapers of International Norms?” (Stefan Lang und Anke Wiedemann).

  • ISA Annual Convention New Orleans/ USA, February 19th: “Overlapping Regionalization and its International Effects” (Diana Panke).

  • ISA Annual Convention New Orleans/ USA, February 19th: “Regional Actors in International Institutions. Active = Influential?” (Diana Panke, Stefan Lang und Anke Wiedemann).

  • ISA Annual Convention New Orleans/ USA, February 17th: “Multiple Irons in the Fire: Effects of Overlapping Memberships in United Nations Negotiations” (Diana Panke, Stefan Lang and Anke Wiedemann; Contribution to the workshop “Overlapping Regionalism: Drivers, Interactions, Effects”).

  • Workshop 'The EU at the UN General Assembly” Athen Athens/Greece, February 13th – 14th. ”The Effectiveness of Regional Actors in the UNGA. The EU in a comparative perspective” (Diana Panke).


  • Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen/ Germany, November 20th: “Regional Actors in International Organizations- Towards a Regionalization of International Negotiations?” (Diana Panke).

  • European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), Glasgow/ United Kingdom, September 6th: “Regional Groups in the United Nations – Coordinated Influence?” (Diana Panke, Stefan Lang und Anke Wiedemann).

  • ISA Annual Convention, Toronto/Canada, March 28th: “Regional Actors in International Institutions. Why do some participate more actively in negotiations than others?” (Diana Panke, Stefan Lang und Anke Wiedemann).

  • "Voting Alignment in Multilateral Negotiations: Why Small States Change Their Voting Behavior"


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke
Guest Researcher: Dr. Samuel Brazys
Research Assistants: Stephanie Pollhammer, Anna Lena Mohrmann

Sponsor: Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, Duration of the project: October 2013 - July 2014
Sovereignty is an important building block of the modern international state system and the number of sovereign states increased to about 200 during the last two centuries. Today, sovereign states cooperate in a broad range of policy areas and cooperation is institutionalized in more than 5.000 International Organizations (IOs) and regimes. Although formally equal at the international level, states differ in multiple respects, most notably in their financial resources (economic size). The research group seeks to shed light on the behavior of small states in multilateral negotiations. More precisely, it examines the rationales underlying the voting behavior of small states. Can bigger states, especially developmental aid donors, ‘buy’ the support of smaller aid recipient states and if so under which conditions? What additional considerations guide the voting behavior of small states and changes thereof? To answer these questions, the research group develops a theoretical push-pull model on voting rationales of states and tests it comprehensively with a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. To this end, we draw on the United Nations General Assembly. It is a good testing ground to analyze vote-buying as it is the IO with the largest worldwide membership; accordingly, major developmental donors and recipients negotiate at the same table.



  • "Regional Organizations: Bystanders or Shapers of International Politics?"


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke

Research Assistants: Alena Hahn, Thomas Krebs, Anna Lena Mohrmann

Sponsor: Research Innovation Fund, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Duration of the project: August 2013 - April 2014


Regional organizations (ROs) have evolved in all parts of the globe. While most ROs started with economic cooperation between their member states, single case studies, especially on the EU, show that ROs are now also active beyond their borders. Yet, we do not know much about the magnitude of the phenomenon of ROs international engagement and nothing about whether ROs’ external actions are about to or have already created a regionalization of international politics. Thus as a first step toward a more comprehensive analysis of an RO driven regionalization of international politics, in which a relatively small number of regional actors rather than a relatively big number of individual nation-states play an essential role in international relations generally and in shaping international norms specifically, the project “Regional Organizations: Bystanders or Shapers of International Politics?” puts the extent to which ROs are prepared to be active beyond their borders into a comparative perspective and studies trends over time. Did competencies and capacities for external policies of ROs increase over time? Are some ROs better equipped than others to turn into international actors? Are some ROs better suited to be international shapers for some external polices, while they tend to be bystanders in others? 


  • "Voice Without Vote- Herausforderungen für den Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Sozialausschuss und den Ausschuss der Regionen? Der Einfluss beratender Ausschüsse im Vergleich"
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke and Prof. Dr. Christoph Hönnige (University of Göttingen)

Research Associate: Julia Gollub (www.uni-goettingen.de/de/265148.html)

Research Assistants: Cormac Duffy, Edwina Hanbidge, Lucie Langer, Stephen Massey, Mary Naughton, Ekaterina Solovieva

Sponsor: Thyssenstiftung, Duration of the project: November 2010 - October 2012 
There are hardly any political systems in and beyond the nation-state that do not incorporate committees. While decision-taking committees are often in the limelight of research, we do not know much about consultative committees, although they are as wide-spread as decision-taking committees. Consultative committees have access to decision-making arenas and can givenonbinding advice to political decision-makers, but do not possess formal voting power.
This project sheds light on the influence of consultative committees and addresses the following research question: How and under which conditions can consultative committees exert influence although they have a voice, but no vote?
In the  current stage of the project, we developed a sender-receiver model that is based on the notion that consultative committees as senders offer information in exchange for influence to legislative actors as receivers. From the model, we derived a set of hypotheses specifying demand and supply sides of the information-influence nexus. In using the European Union with its two consultative committees (the Committee of the Regions (CoR), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) as an empirical example, we comprehensively test the hypotheses with a mixed methods approach. This reveals that information supply of the CoR and the EESC has to match an information demand on the side of the European legislative actors (the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament) for the former to be influential. This is most likely if senders produce recommendations quickly that reflect a high level of expertise, whilst receivers have flexible preferences and lack administrative capacities to gather policy-specific expertise themselves.
  • "The General Assembly of the United Nations. How Size-Differences Influence Negotiation Activities and Prospects for Success of Member States"
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke

Research Assistants: Sally Hayden, Finbar Hefferon, Christopher Lute, Adiran O‘Hagan

Sponsoring through different Sub-projects: Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, UCD Seed Funding, Thyssenstiftung, Duration of the project: June 2010 - December 2012  
Most international organisations (IOs) are based on the principle of sovereign equality, according to which all member states have equal rights and equal weights in the policy-initiation, negotiation and decision-taking stages of an IO’s policy cycle. However, while the states are formally equal, they differ immensely with regards to the financial and staff capacities that they can utilise when participating in the policy-cycle, and the resources that they can draw on when trying to be influential in negotiations and successful when it comes to passing hard or soft law. For example, in the United Nations in New York, states with small delegations of less than five diplomats, such as Somalia, Sao Tome and Principe, Papua New Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Timor-Leste, Palau or Dominica, face diplomatic missions more than ten times their size, such as the US, Russia, China, Germany or Japan, that can additionally draw on over a thousand times more financial resources than the smaller states.
This  project analyses the role  played by size-related capacity differences  in the active and effective participation of states in multilateral negotiations whose decision-making rules are based on the equality-of-states principle. Empirically, it draws on the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The UNGA is the ideal testing ground for the effect of capacities on the conduct of states, as is not only the IO with the highest number of member states, but also of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the one that  most strongly  expresses the sovereign equality of states. The institutional rules guiding the UNGA’s policy cycle strongly reflect the equality principle, most notably in the procedures governing policy-initiation, negotiation participation, and as the one-state, one-vote rule in the decision-taking stage. At the same time, the member states are very heterogeneous concerning financial, staff, administrative and political and ideational capacities, as microstates face very big states.
Thus, the project sheds light on the antagonistic relationship between formal rules and factual capacity differences and answers the following  research questions: Is the institutionalised equality-of-states principle an effective equaliser in IOs or are bigger and better equipped states in a more superior position than smaller and poorer states when it comes to actively participating and effectively making their voices heard in multilateral negotiations? What type of capacities influence a state’s ability to actively participate in the policy-initiation, the negotiation and the decision-taking stages of a policy cycle in an IO? Are smaller states less active than bigger ones? To what extent do size-related capacity differences translate into differences in influence over the content of policies and into differences in the prospects of successfully passing resolutions? Are smaller states as influential in the negotiation stage and as successful in the decision-taking stage as their bigger counterparts in IOs that are based on the principle of sovereign equality of states?


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