The department Global Governance, based at the Institute of the Foundations of Law, explores cultural, political and legal challenges underlying the processes of Europeanization and globalization. We are committed to bringing together wide-ranging expertise to tackle multi-disciplinary issues on local, national, transnational and international dimensions.
Law in Context
The department Global Governance embraces an interdisciplinary frame of reference based on law in context. Our work incorporates approaches and methods of law, political and social sciences and humanities, as well as cultural sciences in research, teaching and practice. Cross-disciplinary methods and approaches are applied across three dimensions: (1) research; (2) intervention and evaluation research; and (3) training and practice.
The department has three main focal points:
(1) Human Rights and Minority Protection through Diversity Governance
This focal point is dedicated to the contexts and narratives underlying the protection and effective enforcement of human and minority rights on national and international level. We explore the challenges of social integration in the context of migration and cultural pluralization. Our aim is to illuminate the guarantees of diversity through law from multiple perspectives, such as antidiscrimination regimes and the rights of ethnic or religious minorities.
(2) Conflict Transitions and Peacebuilding
Within the focal point Conflict Transitions and Peacebuilding, we look at violent and non-violent conflicts in (post)conflict zones. We explore the causes and dynamics of local, national, transnational and international conflicts, which are shaped and amplified in particular by the forces of identity politics and religion. The options for action or intervention in such conflicts are investigated through the lenses of law as an instrument for compromise and conflict resolution. The analysis bears on the policy and social sciences approaches inherent to peace and conflict studies, ‘classical’ paradigms of peacebuilding (interactive conflict resolution, conflict transformation) as well as newly emerging perspectives on post-liberal peace and conflict transition.
(3) Legal Governance and Integration
This focal point is dedicated to the theories and approaches underpinning political institutions, the functioning and development of the rule of law and democracy, transnational and regional processes of integration (with emphasis on Europeanization) as well as comparative analysis of political systems and constitutions. The processes of state transformation past and present are examined from the vantage point of legal development. We look at the legal and political factors underlying the rule of law crisis in the European Union, the processes of (dis)integration and Europeanization; using the tools of interdisciplinary inquiry, we consider the shifting relationships of power in the Eurasian geopolitical space. Aiming to situate the European conceptions of statehood and law in a global context, we draw on the conceptions of cultural differences informed by geopolitical and geostrategic factors.
The „Cluster for Conflict, Peace and Democracy“ (CPDC) builds a platform for joint research initiatives by bridging scholarship and practice. Based at Global Governance within the Faculty of Law, the Cluster creates an institutional link with non-university institutions: the Democracy Centre (Demokratiezentrum, DZ) and the Institute of Conflict Research (Institut für Konfliktforschung, IKF) in Vienna as well as the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (Österreichisches Studienzentrum für Frieden und Konfliktlösung, ASPR) in Schlaining.
The department Global Governance pursues its objectives in cooperation with multiple Institutes and Centres based at the Faculty of Law, in particular with the Institute of Public Law and Political Science, the Institute of European Law, the Institute of International Law and International Relations, the Centre for East European Law and Eurasian Studies as well as with inter-faculty Centres of the University of Graz: European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy at the University of Graz (UNI-ETC) and the Centre for Southeast European Studies.
A broad network of partner universities facilitates our international cooperation, with collaborations involving:
(1) Transatlantic initiatives with US-based institutions
(2) Eurasian-focused cooperation with partners in Eastern Europe and Asia.
Our regional cooperation initiatives extend across (1) the Alps-Adriatic region, (2) the Middle East, and (3) the Caucasus.