Thomas Sommerer

Thomas Sommerer
Universität Potsdam · Department of Politics and Public Administration

Professor

About

67
Publications
17,004
Reads
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1,340
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2020 - present
Universität Potsdam
Position
  • Professor
October 2009 - September 2020
Stockholm University
Position
  • Researcher
April 2007 - July 2009
Universität Konstanz
Position
  • Fellow
Education
October 1997 - February 2003
Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
Field of study
  • Political Science

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Full-text available
Past decades have witnessed a shift in international cooperation toward growing involvement of transnational actors (TNAs), such as non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, and philanthropic foundations. This article offers a comprehensive theoretical and empirical account of TNA access to IOs. The analysis builds on a novel data...
Article
Full-text available
While extensive research shows that policies and institutions spread across states through processes of diffusion, we know little about diffusion among international organizations (IOs). This article advances the state of the field by developing a novel approach for the study of diffusion among IOs. This approach consists of three components: a the...
Article
Full-text available
Recent decades have witnessed the emergence and spread of a broad range of liberal norms in global governance, among them sustainable development, gender equality, and human security. While existing scholarship tells us a lot about the trajectories of particular norms, we know much less about the broader patterns and sources of commitments to liber...
Article
Full-text available
International organizations (IOs) experience significant variation in their decision-making performance, or the extent to which they produce policy output. While some IOs are efficient decision-making machineries, others are plagued by deadlock. How can such variation be explained? Examining this question, the article makes three central contributi...
Book
Global Legitimacy Crises addresses the consequences of legitimacy in global governance, in particular asking: when and how do legitimacy crises affect international organizations and their capacity to rule. The book starts with a new conceptualization of legitimacy crisis that looks at public challenges from a variety of actors. Based on this conce...
Chapter
In diesem Beitrag untersuchen wir den Zusammenhang zwischen staatlicher Regulierung im Umweltschutz und der Umweltperformanz. Ausgehend von drei theoretischen Perspektiven, welche die Beziehung von Staat und Markt beim Umweltschutz unterschiedlich konzeptualisieren, identifizieren wir fünf Pfade, wie staatlicher Eingriff und Umweltperformanz mitein...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces an innovative method to describe data with sounds in political science. The method, known in ecology, physics, and musicology as “sonification,” operates by linking sound signals to quantifiable observations. We us it to compose a choir of legitimacy crises in global governance from 1994 to 2014, and to negotiate a familiar...
Article
Full-text available
While a dominant position in research on compliance holds that enforcement is necessary for states to abide by their international commitments, many international organizations (IOs) do not have recourse to such coercive means. This article offers the first systematic analysis of one prominent alternative to material coercion: compliance reporting...
Preprint
Full-text available
While a dominant position in research on compliance holds that enforcement is necessary for states to abide by their international commitments, many international organizations (IOs) do not have recourse to such coercive means. This article offers the first systematic analysis of one prominent alternative to material coercion: compliance reporting...
Article
Cambridge Core - American Studies - The Power of Global Performance Indicators - edited by Judith G. Kelley
Article
Full-text available
While scholars commonly assume that Global Governance Institutions (GGIs) need legitimacy to perform effectively, there are few systematic empirical studies assessing the consequences of legitimacy (or the lack thereof) for the functioning of GGIs. Inspired by the new institutionalism in organization theory, which predicts that more legitimate orga...
Article
In the face of escalating conflicts or atrocities, international organizations (IOs), alongside non-governmental organizations (NGOs), often vocalize public condemnation. Researchers have examined NGO shaming, but no extant literature has comparatively explored if, how and why IOs shame. This article fills this gap. We conceptualize IO shaming as c...
Article
Full-text available
In the face of escalating conflicts or atrocities, international organizations (IOs) alongside NGOs, often vocalize public condemnation. Researchers have examined NGO shaming, but no extant literature has comparatively explored if, how, and why IOs shame. This article fills this gap. We conceptualize IO shaming as condemnatory speech acts and disti...
Chapter
Full-text available
What are the consequences of global governance institutions (GGIs) gaining, sustaining and losing legitimacy? Do higher or lower levels of legitimacy among member governments, stakeholder groups, and the general public change the ways in which GGIs operate and affect their surroundings? It is a long-established wisdom in domestic politics that legi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent decades have witnessed the emergence, spread, and adoption of a broad range of new policy norms in global governance, among them sustainable development, gender equality, and human security. While existing scholarship can tell us a lot about the specific trajectories of each of these norms, we know little about the broader patterns and sourc...
Article
Many problems confronting today’s societies are transnational in character, leading states to increasingly rely on international organizations (IOs) for policy solutions. Yet the performance of IOs varies extensively. This article suggests that systematic, comparative research is required to advance our understanding of IO performance, and that a p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
International organizations (IOs) experience significant variation in their capacity to adopt new policies. While some are efficient decision-making machineries, others are plagued by gridlock. How can such variation be explained? This paper offers the first systematic and comparative analysis of the decision-making capacity of IOs. Empirically, we...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces a new data set on the access of transnational actors (TNAs) to international organizations (IOs). While IOs were long the exclusive preserve of member governments, recent decades have witnessed a shift toward more inclusive forms of governance, involving participation by non-governmental organizations, philanthropic foundati...
Article
Full-text available
In den vergangenen Jahrzehnten hat sich die Rolle nichtstaatlicher Akteure in der internationalen Politik stark verändert. Parallel zur Ausbreitung von Dissidenz in Form von transnationalen Protesten, Demonstrationen und Kampagnen haben auch die Möglichkeiten der Partizipation zivilgesellschaftlicher Akteure in intergouvernementalen Strukturen deut...
Article
Scholars have proposed the analytical concept of the environmental state, a state where government actively addresses negative environmental externalities of economic activities. The mapping of environmental regulatory expansion in Western countries has been central in recent attempts to identify the environmental state empirically. Surprisingly li...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic regime type has emerged a powerful explanation of multiple phenomena in world politics. This article extends this argument to the design of international organizations (IOs), where a profound development in recent decades is growing access for transnational actors (TNAs). While earlier research has shown that democracy in IO memberships he...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter compares cross-national patterns of environmental policy change in advanced industrialized countries from 1970 to 2005. More specifically, it examines dominant patterns in the regulation of environmental protection measures in twenty-four OECD countries by focusing on six dimensions of regulatory change of environmental standards: the...
Book
Once the exclusive preserve of member states, international organizations have become increasingly open in recent decades. Now virtually all international organizations at some level involve NGOs, business actors and scientific experts in policy-making. This book offers the first systematic and comprehensive analysis of this development. Combining...
Article
The classical theory of regulatory competition in environmental policy predicts a race to the bottom of standards as a consequence of globalization. The empirical evidence is contradictory, which is partly due to the measurement of the regulatory level. Research using environmental quality data seems to show an upward movement. The literature provi...
Article
The theory of regulatory competition in environmental policy predicts a ‘race to the bottom’ of standards. This article tests the theory using environmental output data for 24 countries from 1970 to 2005. It finds a clear ‘race to the top’ and a search for international harmonization when competition is imminent.
Article
Full-text available
A central issue of globalisation research is the question whether globalisation leads to the convergence of political institutions and policies or whether domestic responses to global challenges are too strongly influenced by existing domestic structures. In the field of environmental policy pressures towards increasing similarity of national polic...
Article
Wachsende Beliebtheit macht aus Policy-Lernen ein zunehmend vielseitiges, vor allem aber unübersichtliches Forschungsgebiet (Bandelow 2003a). Dabei treffen sehr unterschiedliche Konzepte von Lernen aufeinander, die oft nur wenig trennscharf von anderen Faktoren des Wandels abgegrenzt werden oder Lernprozesse mit der Veränderung von Politik gleichse...
Article
Die Bedeutung der Analyse von Policy-Wandel für die Identifikation und Interpretation von Lernprozessen wurde schon durch die Einführung einer Makro- Ebene im Analyserahmen des Policy-Lernens verdeutlicht (Abschnitt 2.3.3). Als erster Schritt der empirischen Analyse in dieser Arbeit soll nun Policy-Wandel als notwendige Bedingung für den Nachweis v...
Article
Die politikwissenschaftliche Literatur zu Lerntheorien zeigt ein nur geringes Maß an Kohärenz, obwohl - oder gerade weil - die Zahl der Beiträge in den letzten Jahren stark angestiegen ist. Daher überrascht es nicht, dass in der Vielfalt der Forschungstraditionen auch unterschiedliche Wege zur empirischen Analyse von Lernprozessen in der Politik be...
Article
Dass sich das Lernen von den Modellen anderer Länder auf die Politikgestaltung in den Nationalstaaten auswirken kann, wurde in der politikwissenschaftlichen Literatur schon häufig untersucht und auch nachgewiesen. Der Erkenntnisstand der Forschung zu den beiden zentralen Fragen dieser Arbeit, also zum relativen Einfluss von Lernen auf Policy-Wandel...
Article
Durch die deskriptive Analyse von Wandel in der Umweltpolitik konnte bislang ein dominantes Muster von Konvergenz, Imitation und Aufwärtswandel identifiziert werden. Ob diese Änderungen nationaler Regulierungen tatsächlich auf die Effekte der in Kapitel 2 aus der theoretischen Literatur abgeleiteten und in Kapitel 3 operationalisierten Lernvariable...
Article
Die Frage, ob es im Zuge von Globalisierung und Europäisierung zu einer Konvergenz nationaler Politiken kommt, wird in der Politikwissenschaft intensiv diskutiert. Das Buch bietet nicht nur eine systematische Einführung in Konzepte, Theorien und zentrale Mechanismen internationaler Politikkonvergenz, sondern wendet dieses Analyseinstrumentarium auf...
Chapter
Sowohl in der alltäglichen als auch in der wissenschaftlichen Diskussion zu den Auswirkungen der Globalisierung auf nationalstaatliches Handeln wird oft vermutet, dass politische Programme, Steuerungsinstrumente und ganze Politikbereiche sich über Grenzen hinweg zunehmend ähnlicher werden.
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, there is growing interest in the study of cross-national policy convergence. Yet we still have a limited understanding of the phenomenon: Do we observe convergence of policies at all? Under which conditions can we expect that domestic policies converge or rather develop further apart? In this article, we address this research defic...
Chapter
Die Frage, ob die zunehmende transnationale Verflechtung zwischen Staaten zu einer Konvergenz ihrer Politiken, Institutionen, Rechtsordnungen oder gesellschaftlichen Strukturen führt, gehört zu den Kernfragen der Globalisierungsforschung (Guillèn 2001: 235). Während einige frühe Beiträge diese Frage positiv beantworteten (z. B. Meyer u. a. 1997), k...
Chapter
Die gegenwärtige politikwissenschaftliche Konvergenzforschung beschäftigt sich mit dem Wandel, der Stabilität und der Annäherung nationaler Politiken unter dem Vorzeichen fortschreitender ökonomischer und politischer Globalisierung. Nationalstaatliche Regulierungen nähern sich beispielsweise auf dem kleinsten gemeinsamen Nenner einander an oder übe...
Article
The paper provides a review of empirical research on policy convergence. The vast literature on policy convergence reveals a great variety of empirical approaches. Starting from an overview of research traditions in the study of convergence, this paper provides an analysis of the differences in research designs, types of data and concepts to operat...
Article
In recent years, there is a growing interest in the study of cross-national policy convergence, which is closely related to research on globalisation. Yet we still have a limited understanding of the phenomenon: Does the strong growth of economic and institutional interlinkages between nation states lead to increasingly similar policies across coun...
Article
In this review, we portray findings and conceptualizations of selected empirical studies on policy convergence and related concepts. The article reveals that there is no homogenous picture of policy convergence: Although frequently observed, empirical studies often disagree as to its extent. The representation of policy fields, geographical regions...

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Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
This project addressed the question to what extent, under what conditions and how international institutions and trade results in cross-national environmental policy convergence. To answer these questions, ENVIPOLCON employed an innovative combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The first part of the project entailed a quantitative analysis of the development of 40 environmental policy items over 30 years in 24 countries (21 European countries as well as the USA, Mexico and Japan for reasons of comparison). This provided an unprecedented picture of the overall patterns and main causes of convergence. On that basis a number of particularly interesting cases was selected. These were investigated in depth in the second, qualitative part of the project in order to find out how convergence actually ‘works’ in practice, who the key players are and which mechanisms apply under which conditions. More information on http://www.gsi.uni-muenchen.de/lehreinheiten/ls_emp_theo/forschung/finalized-projects/envipolcon/index.html
Project
This project explores when, how, and why the institutional design shapes the policy output of international organizations. It combines a statistical analysis of policy portfolios in 30 IOs with in-depth case studies. The project spans IOs in multiple policy areas and world regions over the time period 1980 to 2010.