The proposed project seeks to establish how processes of dissociation from international institutions contribute to the rise or mitigation of tensions between states. It will focus, in particular, on the role that the management of these dissociation processes plays and compare its significance for tension levels during past and present dissociation processes.
Contribution to International Research
The project makes a contribution to existing research on international institutions by focusing on a so-far understudied aspect: the drifting apart of states from such institutions, which can take a range of different forms. The project takes an interdisciplinary approach by including political scientists and historians. All participating institutes are internationally recognized and well-connected centers of excellence in their respective fields.
Research Design and Methods
Given the nascent state of the field, this project has an explorative character. It seeks to establish, through the comparison of in-depth case studies, the effect that the management of dissociation processes has on the level of tensions between states. It does so by tracing the interaction processes during periods of dissociation to reconstruct how states contributed to the rise or the mitigation of tensions. The five in-depth case studies are:
- Iran's dissociation from cooperation with the West since the late 1970s (ZZF)
- Russia's dissociation from European security cooperation since the 2000s (PRIF)
- The Soviet Union and the Dissociation of East Central European states from the Warsaw Pact (IFZ)
- China's dissociation from global financial institutions since the 2000s (GIGA)
- The UK's dissociation from the European Union since 2015 (PRIF)
The project examines these five cases in what Alexander George (1979) termed the method of "structured, focused comparison". The dissociation processes are studied in detail but according to a common structure so as to make it possible to compare the results of the case studies and identify cross-case patterns. The individual case studies will employ process tracing – a method that is amenable both to case-oriented political scientists and historians.