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Prof. Dr. Anna Holzscheiter

Anna Holzscheiter (David Ausserhofer)

Freie Universität Berlin

Otto-Suhr Institut for Political Science

Center for Transnational Studies, Foreign- and Security Policy

Junior Professor for Political Science and International Relations

Ihnestr. 22
Room 107
14195 Berlin

Office hours

In the winter semester 2017/18 you can visit me on

18.10. from 2:30 - 4 pm,

25.10. from 11 am - 12:30 pm

08.11. from 2:30 - 4 pm,

in room 107, Ihnestrasse 22. Please register for an appointment using the list that is attached to my office door.

Dr.phil. Freie Universität Berlin (2006), MA International Relations, University of Westminster (Großbritannien) (2000).

Anna Holzscheiter has been Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science since April 2015. During the academic year 2014-2015 she is John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University.

Since April 2015, Anna Holzscheiter is the Head of the Junior Research Group “Governance for Global Health”, which has been established jointly by Freie Universität Berlin and the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB). The Junior Research Group investigates how international organizations respond to an increasing fragmentation of the governance lansdscape in international health. The project seeks to explain how and under what circumstances international organizations intensify their inter-organizational relationships in order to establish governance architectures which promise to enhance effective collective responses to health problems. With its aim to contribute to theory building on the emergence and effects of governance architectures in international politics the project focuses on the explanatory power of global norms which define good global governance as orderly and coherent global governance.

From July 2006 until March 2015, Anna Holzscheiter was Research Associate at the Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign and Security Policy. Between August 2007 and October 2010 she was Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Public Health Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, funded through a Scholarship by the German Research Council (DFG). Since 2003, she has repeatedly worked as a consultant for UNICEF (Florence, Geneva) and the German Institute of Human Rights.

Her research focuses on constructivist, language-based theories and methodologies in International Relations; the power of non-state actors in international politics; and the emergence and effects of governance architectures in densely populated fields of international cooperation. Empirically, she has extensively worked on international human rights norms (particularly children’s rights); the role and power of non-state actors in different areas (child labour; HIV/AIDS) and global health governance.

Prof. Dr. Anna Holzscheiter is on maternity leave during the winter semester 2018/2019.


  • 2010: Children’s Rights in International Politics. The Transformative Power of Discourse, (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan)

  • 2008: A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 20 – Children Without Parental Care (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff) (with Nigel Cantwell)

Articles (*peer-reviewed)

Coming Soon

  • (forthcoming): „Coping with Institutional Fragmentation? Competition and Convergence between Boundary Organizations in International Health“, in Review of Policy Studies


  • 2015: “Emerging Governance Architectures in Global Health – Do Metagovernance Norms Explain Inter-Organizational Convergence?”, Politics and Governance, 4:3 (2016), pp. 5-19 (withThurid Bahr and Laura Pantzerhielm)

  • 2015: ”Representation as Power and Performance: Global Civil Society Advocacy for Children and their Rights”, for: Review of International Studies, 42:2 (2016), pp. 205-226
  • 2014: „Interorganisationale Harmonisierung als sine qua non für die Effektivität von Global Governance? Eine soziologischinstitutionalistische Analyse interorganisationaler Strukturen in der globalen Gesundheitspolitik“, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Sonderheft 2014 “Internationale Organisationen“, Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt et.al. (Eds.), pp. 322-348
  • 2013: "Between Communicative Interaction and Structures of Signification: Discourse Theory and Analysis in International Relations". International Studies Perspectives:n/a-n/a, online pre-publication (Link: Between Communicative Interaction and Structures of Signification)

  • 2013: "The Ambivalence of Advocacy. Representation and Contestation in Global NGO Advocacy for Child Workers and Sex Workers", Global Society 27:4, pp. 497-520 (with Kristina Hahn) (Link: The Ambivalence of Advocacy)

  • 2013: "Macht und Global Governance – Repräsentationsmacht und feldspezifische Logiken des Handelns von NRO im transnationalen Raum", in: Leviathan Sonderheft 2013, Ordnung und Wandel in der Weltpolitik. Konturen einer Soziologie der Internationalen Beziehungen, Eds. Stephan Stetter, 41:28, pp. 125-150 (with Monika Krause) (Link: http://www.nomos-shop.de/_assets/downloads/9783848700011_lese01.pdf)

  • 2012: "Non-Governmental Organizations", in Heather Montgomery (Eds.), Oxford Bibliographies Online: Childhood Studies (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press)

  • 2012: “Monitoring and evaluation in HIV/AIDS control - weighing incentives and disincentives for coordination among global and local actors”, Journal of International Development, 24:1, pp. 61-76 (with Gill Walt and Ruairi Brugha)
  • 2012: "Power of Discourse or Discourse of the Powerful? The reconstruction of global childhood norms in the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child", Journal of Language and Politics, 10:1, pp. 1-28

  • 2012: "UNITAID", in David Held/Thomas N. Hale (Eds.), Handbook of Transnational Governance. Institutions & Innovations (London: Polity Press), pp. 394-9

  • 2012: "International Health Partnership and IHP+", in David Held/Thomas N. Hale (Eds.), Handbook of Transnational Governance. Institutions & Innovations (London: Polity Press), pp. 189-94

  • 2011: “The Power of Discourse and the Discourse of Power”, in: Barbara Johnstone/Ruth Wodak/Paul Kerswill (Eds.), SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics (London: Sage), pp.139-52, (with José Antonio Flores Farfan)
  • 2010: "The representational power of civil society organisations in global AIDS governance", in: Thomas Olesen (Eds.), Power and Transnational Activism (London: Routledge), pp. 173-189
  • 2009: "Internationale Menschenrechte von Kindern und Jugendlichen im Spannungsfeld zwischen Schutz und Emanzipation", in: Heiner Bielefeldt et al. (Eds.), Jahrbuch Menschenrechte 2010. Kinder und Jugendliche (Wien: Böhlau Verlag), pp. 69-82

  • 2005: "Discourse as Capability – Non-State Actors’ Capital in Global Governance", Millennium, 33:3, Special Issue on ‚Facets of Power in International Relations’, pp. 723-46

  • 2003: “Sprache, Diskurs, kommunikatives Handeln', in Ingo Peters and Thomas Risse (Eds.) Konstruktivistische IB-Theorien, Teilbereich Internationale Beziehungen, PolitikON Modul, DVPW, online publication

Other Publications

  • 2015: ”Restoring Order in Global Health Governance”, CES Papers Open Forum, Grzegorz Ekiert & Andrew Martin (Eds.), (Cambridge/MA: Center for European Studies, Harvard University, 2015)

  • 2011: "Patent Policies in Biomedical Research", Personalized Medicine Consortium Luxembourg, University of Luxembourg, Online Portal

  • 2010: "Infectious disease governance – a globalised yet divided world", Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Online Portal

  • 2008: "Book review: Aradhana Sharma and Akhil Gupta, The Anthropology of the State: A Reader". Discourse & Society, 19, pp. 262-265.

Conference papers (selection)

  • 2014: “Restoring Order in Global Health Governance: Do Metagovernance Norms Affect Interorganizational Convergence?”
  • 2014: "Contested institutional orders in global (health) governance”, Barcelona Workshop on Global Governance, IBEI/ESADE, Barcelona, January 2014
  • 2012: “Contested Subsidiarity in Global Health Governance. Fragmented spheres of authority and their effects on health systems in developing countries”, Varieties of Subsidiarity, Workshop at Hertie School of Governance, 26th November 2012, Berlin
  • 2012: “The Rock or the Hard Place? Human Rights Advocacy for under-18s in Development Cooperation”, DVPW-Kongress 2012 ‘Die Versprechen der Demokratie’, Tübingen, 24-28th September 2012
  • 2011: “Power and representation in global governance. The dynamics and dilemmas of transnational civil society advocacy for under-18s”, 3. offene Sektionstagung der Sektion Internationale Politik (DVPW), LMU München, October 2011
  • 2011: “Decoding discourses on coordination in development cooperation – Unmasking power asymmetries and coordination practices in global AIDS governance”, IPA 2011, 6th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis, Cardiff University, June 2011
  • 2010: “Sociological Institutionalism meets Discourse Analysis”, Hamburg Symposium Unclenching Fists – Dialogue and Diversity in Diplomatic Interaction, Universität Hamburg, June 2010
  • 2009: "The Sociology of International Relations", ISA Annual Convention, New York, February 2009, (with Stephan Stetter)

  • 2007: "The Role of CSOs in the Global Governance of HIV/AIDS. Representing Children’s Best Interests in Global Public Health", Peter Wall Summer Institute Retreat on “ Global Health Governance and CSOs”, London, LSHTM, October 2007

  • 2007: „Consensual Dialogue or Competing Discourses? Communication and Discursive Practices in the Global Governance of HIV/AIDS”, NISA Conference “Power, Vision, and Order in World Politics”, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, May 2007
  • 2007: "Consensual Dialogue or Competing Discourses? Exploring the Role of Communication and Discursive Practices in Global Health Governance", 2007 Workshop on “Transnational Organization and Democratization of Global Governance”, Lund University, February 2007

  • 2006: "Macht des Diskurses oder Macht im Diskurs? Der Wandel des globalen Verständnisses von Kindheit im Rahmen der Verhandlungen zur VN-Kinderrechtskonvention", DVPW-Kongress „Staat und Gesellschaft fähig zur Reform?, Wilhelms-Universität Münster, September 2006

  • 2005: "The Ambivalence of Advocacy: International NGOs and their discursive power of attributing identities", World International Studies Conference, Istanbul, Bilgi University, August 2005 (with Kristina Hahn)

  • 2004: “Non-State Actors’ Capital in Global Governance”, Millennium Annual Conference, “Facets of Power in International Relations”, London School of Economics, London, October 2004
  • 2004: "Discourse as Capability – Non-State Actors’ Capital in Global Governance", Millennium Annual Conference, ‚Facets of Power in International Relations, LSE, UK, October 2004

  • 2003: "Power of Discourse and Power in Discourse – Investigating the Symbolic Capital of Non-State Actors", 2003 Hamburg Conference ‚Does Discourse Matter?’, Haus Rissen, Hamburg, July 2003

  • 2003: “Discourse and Global Governance: From the 'Power of Discourse' to the 'Power in Discourse'”, Paper for CRIPT Cambridge Workshop on ‘Discourse and International Relations’, Cambridge, UK, October 2003
  • 2002: "The Manifestation of Influence and Exclusion in International Discourse: A Critical Sociolinguistic Analysis of International Processes of Meaning-Negotiation”, Paper presented at Graduate Conference on Social and Political Thought, University of Sussex, UK, September 2002