Introduction to "Global cooperation research"

Messner, Dirk / Silke Weinlich
External Publications (2016)

in: Dirk Messner / Silke Weinlich (eds.), Global cooperation and the human factor in international relations, London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, XIII-XVIII

ISBN: 978-1-13891-299-1

Global challenges such as climate change, the stability of financial markets, or the prevention of pandemics urgently demand coordinated. However, instances of successful global cooperation seem to be an exception. Many scholars of international relations draw rather pessimistic conclusions concerning the prospects for a world dealing with its interdependency problems in an effective, legitimate, and peaceful manner. They lament that the rise of new powers makes agreement even more difficult, as does the complexity of the problems to be addressed or that existing institutions, relicts of a 250-year long period of Western dominance, fail to deliver. This pessimism echoes a centuries-old debate about the ‘survival of the fittest’ (Herbert Spencer) and egoism and greed being the main drivers of human existence. These worldviews stand in surprising contrast to the optimism of other disciplines that have been investigating the foundations of human behavior and civilizations. Novel findings from evolutionary anthropology, evolutionary biology, and related disciplines highlight the cooperative and pro-social capacities of humankind. So far, the disciplinary boundaries have rarely been crossed, and the strands of research mostly exist in isolation. In this article, we want to tap the potential of bringing together these diverse bodies of knowledge in order to develop an innovative approach of global cooperation research.

About the authors

Messner, Dirk

Political Scientist


Weinlich, Silke

Political Science


Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dippel, Beatrice


Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Gitt, Florian


Goedeking, Nicholas

Comparative Political Economy 

Haug, Sebastian

Political Science 

Inacio da Cunha, Marcelo

Economics, Geography 

Kachelmann, Matthias

Political Science 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Li, Hangwei

Political Science 

Malerba, Daniele


Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Morare, Ditebogo Modiegi

Political Science 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Novoselova, Anna

Political Science 

Nowack, Daniel

Political Science 

Olekseyuk, Zoryana


Pegels, Anna


Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist 

Stewart, Benjamin

Social Science 

Volz, Ulrich


Wehrmann, Dorothea


Wingens, Christopher

Political Science