My current research interests focus on the legitimacy and accountability of international organizations. Due to the complex structure of contemporary global governance, traditional accountability mechanisms are often difficult to achieve. Instead, third parties play an increasingly important role in holding international organizations and their implementing partners accountable for human rights violations. In this research project, I analyze the conditions that lead to what I call pluralist accountability. I argue that the degree of competition among third parties and the vulnerability of the implementing actors or the mandating authority regarding specific norms contribute to the development of pluralist accountability. I demonstrate this empirically in a comparative case study, analyzing pluralist accountability for human rights violations in different issue areas of complex global governance, namely security policy, global health policy and economic policy.
I’m further working on an article on the relationship between legitimacy and accountability. I argue that – compared to traditional accountability – pluralist accountability can enhance the legitimacy of international organizations as it responds to society-based criteria of legitimacy. I demonstrate this by using the criteria of participation and transparency to evaluate the impact of pluralist accountability on legitimacy.
In this project, I explore the role of music in international politics. I’m particularly interested in the effects of multilateral (youth) orchestras on societies at war and their long-term impact on peace and reconciliation processes, for example regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the wars on the Balkans.