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(UPDATED) Consequences of the Trump budget cuts for the United Nations

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Today, the scale of the budget cuts of the Trump administration to the United Nations system has been officially announced; and this could be massive. According to various reports – Foreign Policy, Washington Post, IRIN News (great visuals!), CBS News, UN Dispatch, PassBlue, Al Jazeera  – up to 37% of the current US contributions to the UN cut be […]

The President’s joke: Bill Clinton shouts ‘Fire’ at the United Nations

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Last year, I spent some days in the UN archives in New York to find out more about the topic of my current research on budgeting in the United Nations. As I am going through the material (hundreds of photos of archive documents), I stumbled over a document that is only incidentally relevant to my research: […]

Leaking in the European Commission: Is it in its DNA?

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For a paper (SocArXiv preprint version) I am writing in the context of my research on EU leaks, I looked at all disciplinary proceedings against leakers in the European Commission from 2006 to 2015, as documented in the annual reports of the IODC, its internal investigation office. Here’s the data that I extracted from IODC’s annual […]

Political Science in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

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Political science, probably like many other social sciences, seems stuck in an age that many of our students have never lived, and will never live. Our students live in an age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and of problems that are far beyond local borders in a world dominated by thinking within borders. In this age, it is […]

The budget of the United Nations (UN) system: latest figures and research

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— For my ongoing coverage of the budget procedures in the UN system for  2018-19 (or 2018-21), please follow the link. — Finding reliable figures on the budgets and finances of the United Nations (UN) system is not easy, unless you know where to look for them. I’ll try to present some of this below and […]

EU leaks are back on the agenda – also in the Council

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Yesterday, I was working on a new academic paper on how to do research on EU leaks. And then first the Greens presented their EUleaks platform and later EurActiv published this article about the new Commission anti-leak strategy. So below I publish an internal  Council document with its measures to prevent leaks. My interest on EU leaks […]

European Studies Summer School 2016: what is Brussels talking about this year?

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From Thursday, I will again teach a 2-week European Studies intensive course here in Munich, with students from China, South Korea, Jordan, India, Canada and different EU countries. When I taught the course for the first time in 2014, I was just back from living in Brussels where I had worked for the EU Office […]

What a difference a Treaty makes: CFP reform debates in the 2000s and 2010s

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Long-time readers of this blog will remember my (past) obsession with the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) thanks to my PhD research on information flows in EU policy-making during the recent CFP reform. In a new paper posted on arxiv.org by titled “Exploring the Political Agenda of the European Parliament Using a Dynamic Topic Modeling Approach“, Derek […]

(S)electing the next Secretary-General of the United Nation: similar to the EU’s Spitzenkandidaten-process?

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Two years ago, the European Union had its first true electoral campaign held in public for the selection of the EU’s chief administrator, the President of the European Commission. Now, although within a different institutional context, we witness a similar process in the United Nations: the first open nomination procedure for the next chief administrator […]

How the first UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie was (s)elected

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After watching yesterday’s first round of public hearings of candidates for Secretary-General of the United Nations – see my blog post – I was wondering how the first Secretary-General was (s)elected. As it happens, I currently have the memoirs of all former UN Secretaries-General in my office (see picture) as we are going through them […]

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