James Hollway

Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Science

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies


How do actors seek to address environmental and economic interdependencies through institutions? How do the complex networks of institutions they have set up affect how they relate to one another? Are these institutions effective? And how can we design or reform them to improve outcomes?

In my research, I develop multilevel and dynamic theories, methods, and data to help us better understand the implications of institutional and policy choices in these contexts.


  • International Institutions
  • Political Methodology
  • Political Networks
  • Fisheries
  • Freshwater
  • Trade



One area in which I am involved is in developing relational theory. I collaborate with political scientists, economists, and organisational theorists to develop theory about how actors relate to each other and resources through institutions.


Broadly speaking, I am interested in the governance of complex fields of social activity, such as the environment or trade. However, I continue to be especially fascinated by the empirical topic of my dissertation, global fisheries governance.


Lastly, I contribute to the development of methods, especially statistical network methods, for use in researching social phenomena. I am also active in teaching these methods.


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I am happy to supervise masters and doctoral dissertations on a broad range of topics and using a broad range of theories and methods. To give you a sense of the range, here are some snippets of dissertation titles I have supervised in the last few years:

  • “Stakeholder perspectives on the Arctic Council”
  • “Integrating human rights principles in protected areas”
  • “Sustainable sources of MPA funding in the Mediterranean”
  • “Public discourse on Swiss agriculture multifunctionality”
  • “River basin treaty effectiveness”
  • “Assessing disaster response institutions’ effectiveness”
  • “Why marginalized groups in Nepal do not have equal WASH access”
  • “A network analysis of international arms control law”
  • “Norway’s bilateral REDD+ partnership strategy”
  • “Cities’ climate change city-to-city network participation”
  • “Cooptation of Maori fishing claims into NZ’s Quota System”
  • “Creating legibility in war: A case study of conflict in Syria”
  • “An analysis of the EU Climate Change Adaptation Policy”
  • “The energy regime complex’s evolving architecture”
  • “UNEP’s role in designing environmental public-private partnerships”

Please contact me below if you are interested in discussing potential supervision of your project.


  • Chemin Eugene-Rigot 2A, Geneva, GE 1211
  • Enter second petal/building directly from the street. Take the stairs/elevator on your left to 6th floor. Turn left at the kitchen and my office (P2-639) is about half way down the left-hand (UN) side of offices.
  • Fridays 13:00 to 15:00
  • Book an appointment