The United Nations Security Council from an Organizational Perspective

A DFG funded research project


Project Description

In April 2011, the Chair of International Relations launched an externally funded research project on the United Nations Security Council. The project was mainly driven by two distinct objectives.

First, by applying an organizational theory perspective the Security Council was conceptualized and systematically investigated as an international institution capable of producing autonomous effects.

Secondly, the intergovernmental Security Council constituted a hard test case for any development of a general theory of international organizations.

The project was sucessfully completed in March 2014.


Senior Researcher: Prof. Dr. Thomas Gehring

Researcher: Dr. Christian Dorsch

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Duration: 36 months (April 2011 - March 2014)

Status: complete



Selected Publications

Dörfler, Thomas and Thomas Gehring (2015): Wie internationale Organisationen durch die Strukturierung von Entscheidungsprozessen Autonomie gewinnen. Der Weltsicherheitsrat und seine Sanktionsausschüsse als System funktionaler Ausdifferenzierung. In: Politische Vierteljahresschrift 49 (special issue), pages 30-56.

Dorsch, Christian and Thomas Gehring (2015): Institutionelle Opportunitätsstrukturen im Weltsicherheitsrat. Wie Doktrinen und andere Vorentscheidungen das Handeln der Mitgliedstaaten und die kollektiven Entscheidungen über den Eingriff in innerstaatliche Konflikte beeinflussen. In: Politische Vierteljahresschrift 56 No. 4, pages 599-625.

Dorsch, Christian (2014): A New Barometer for the Evolution of Multilateral Counterterrorism: Introduction to the Materials, Methods, and Results of the UN Security Council & Terrorism Dataset (UNSC-TDS). In: Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 27, No. 4, pages 701-721.


Selected Conference Papers

Dörfler, Thomas and Thomas Gehring (2015): Complex Governance Structures and Rule-based Decision-making within the UN Security Council. Paper presented at the 56. ISA Annual Convention, New Orleans, 18-21 February.

Dorsch, Christian and Thomas Gehring (2014): How Precedent and Doctrine Influence UN Security Council Decision-making on Intervention into Intra-state Conflicts. Paper presented at the 55. ISA Annual Convention, Toronto, 26-29 March.

Gehring, Thomas; Christian Dorsch and Thomas Dörfler (2014): Institutional Constraints as Sources of Organizational Autonomy. The Impact of Doctrines and Delegation to Sanctions Committees on Decision-making within the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Paper presented at the ECPR General Conference, Glasgow, 3-6 September.

Gehring, Thomas and Christian Dorsch (2013): The Emergence of Organizational Constraint from Precedent and Informal Doctrine: Focal Points and Path Dependence in the UN Security Council’s Activity against Terrorism. Paper presented at the 8th Pan-European International Relations Conference, Warsaw, 18-21 September.