Erin Graham – Keough School


International rules and organizations; climate governance; The United Nations

At Keough School

Erin R. Graham is Associate Professor of Global Affairs at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.


Graham received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at The Ohio State University. Before joining Notre Dame, she was an associate professor of politics at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Other past appointments include Visiting Scholar on World Order at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House and Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University’s Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance.

Research and publications

Graham’s research focuses on the design, financing and development of international rules and organizations. A strand of his research focuses on how different methods of financing international organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, affect states and private actors who exercise control over the policies and programs of the organization. . Her work explores how major donors design and deploy funding rules and practices that allow them to exert unilateral influence over international organizations, thereby undermining ostensibly multilateral governance.

A second strand of his research focuses on how international rules alter absent processes of formal overhaul or replacement. Drawing on international legal research that emphasizes change through reinterpretation, Graham theorizes how ostensibly incremental technical changes can unwittingly enable transformational change in international institutions. She demonstrates these arguments in the empirical contexts of the United Nations development system and the governance of international climate finance. In other work, Graham addresses issues related to the design and performance of international organizations in the field of climate change and global health.

Graham’s research is published in Organization internationale, International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, International Theory, Review of International Organizations, British Journal of Political Science, Global Policy, PS: Political Science and Politics, and in volumes edited at Oxford and Cambridge University Press.

In the media

Graham occasionally writes for a wider audience in media such as the monkey cage (Washington Post), Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and Mother Jones.

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