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Prof Thomas Biersteker

Position(s):

Gasteyger Professor of International Security and Conflict Studies; Director of the Programme for the Study of International Governance at the Graduate Institute of Geneva

Thomas Biersteker is the Gasteyger Professor of International Security and Conflict Studies and Director of the Programme for the Study of International Governance. He served as Director of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University from 1994 to 2006 and has also taught at Yale University and the University of Southern California. He is the author/editor/co-editor of nine books, including State Sovereignty as Social Construct (1996), The Emergence of Private Authority in Global Governance (2002), and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (2007). He is currently completing an edited volume on UN Targeted Sanctions as Instruments of Global Governance. His current research focuses on UN targeted sanctions, the emergence of transnational policy networks in global security governance, and the dialectics of world orders. He was the principal developer of SanctionsApp, a tool for iPhone and Android mobile devices created in 2013 to increase access to information and improve the quality of discourse about targeted sanctions at the UN Security Council.

Current research

UN Targeted Sanctions

Biersteker co-directs the Targeted Sanctions Consortium, a group of more than fifty scholars and policy practitioners worldwide working on UN targeted sanctions. They have produced two databases (one qualitative, one quantitative) on all 22 UN targeted sanctions regimes, two policy manuals describing findings from the research, as well as SanctionsApp. They are currently working on an edited volume, UN Targeted Sanctions as Instruments of Global Governance.

Transnational Policy Networks

Non-state actors, trans-governmental networks, and multi-stakeholder initiatives are playing an increasingly important role in the governance of emerging global issues. This research project explores the theoretical background of these different analytical constructs and synthesizes them with illustrations of transnational policy networks in four contemporary security areas: targeted sanctions, small arms, private military companies, and Internet governance.

Dialectics of World Orders

This multi-year, multi-national co-authored book project inspired by the late Hayward Alker involves two Pakistani scholars, Tahir Amin and Ijaz Gilani (both in Islamabad), and one Japanese scholar, Takashi Inoguchi (Tokyo). The book explores the co-existence and mutual interpenetration of different conceptions of world order emanating from different parts of the world and in different issue domains, including global security, economy, community and ecology.