Politics of Competing International Order(s)



Research Questions | Goals: A common research interest of the three chairs involved in this research platform is the investigation of questions of global order(s) from different regional and historical perspectives as well as in different issue areas. Although the increasing significance of non-state actors in global political processes can hardly be denied, state-centric foreign policy remains a key reference point for political action. Traditional “great powers” such as the US, “emerging powers” such as China as well as self-described “shaping powers” (“Gestaltungsmächte”) like Germany all feature distinct power assets, historical legacies and politico-cultural roots and ambitions, which each influence their respective conceptions of regional and global order(s). In both empirical and theoretical ways, the three chairs’ research examines how such different features translate into specific inter-state interactions and also create institutional designs for problem solving. Particular emphasis is put on fundamental questions of foreign policy formation, on more context-specific practices of foreign and security policies, on status ambitions and status conflicts as well as on the continuity and change of hegemonic orders.

Participating Professors:
Gunther Hellmann, Heike Holbig, Reinhard Wolf



Projects (Selection)



Most important Publications

Sebastian Biba, Desecuritization in China's Behavior towards Its Transboundary Rivers: the Mekong River, the Brahmaputra River, and the Irtysh and Ili Rivers, in: Journal of Contemporary China 23:85 (2014), pp. 21-43.

Mathias Albert, Nicole Deitelhoff und Gunther Hellmann (Eds.), Ordnung und Regieren in der Weltgesellschaft, Wiesbaden: Springer VS 2018.

Gunther Hellmann, Andreas Fahrmeir, Miloš Vec (Eds.), The Transformation of Foreign Policy: Drawing and Managing Boundaries. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016.

Gunther Hellmann, Benjamin Herborth (Eds.), Uses of the West, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2016.

Heike Holbig, International Dimensions of Legitimacy: Reflections on Western Theories and the Chinese Experience, in: Journal of Chinese Political Science 16:2-3 (2011), pp. 161-181.

Heike Holbig, Das Land hat einen Plan. Der Westen nicht. China als autokratisches Erfolgsmodell?, in: Berliner Debatte Initial, 21:3 (2010), pp. 67-77.

Heike Holbig und Günter Schucher, Wer C sagt, muss auch D sagen: Chinas Anlauf zur 'weltgrößten Demokratie', in: GIGA Focus Asien 02 (2016).

Reinhard Wolf, Regina Heller, Tuomas Forsberg (Hrsg.) Status and Emotions in Russian Foreign Policy, Sonderheft von Communist and Post-Communist Studies 47:3-4 (2014).

Reinhard Wolf, Rising Powers, Status Ambitions and the Need to Reassure: What China Could Learn from Imperial Germany's Failures, in: The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 7:2 (Summer 2014), pp. 185-219.

Reinhard Wolf, Respect and Disrespect in International Politics: The Significance of Status Recognition, in: International Theory 3:1 (2011), pp. 105-142.


Publication Profile

Journals: Chinese Journal of International Politics, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Affairs, International Relations, International Studies Review, International Theory, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Chinese Political Science, Journal of International Relations and Development, Security Studies, Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen u.a.

Publishers: Cambridge University Press, Cornell University Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Sage Publications u.a.