Dr. Christian Bueger, Cardiff University.
In 2013 the Contact Group decided to start a process of reflecting on the nature of the group, which lessons can be learned from its work and whether these lessons might be translated to other situations that require coordination of multiple actors. This paper develops an analytical primer for the LLP, that is, it sets out a framework for further investigations of the Contact Group. I draw on an initial interpretation of the Contact Group’s documents as well as observation of its working practice and reflect these results in the light on international relations theory. In this (preliminary) interpretation, I review the institutional structure of the group, contrast it with other similar groups, argue for understanding it as a ‘community of inquiry’ and outline the core functions and effects of the group as an institution. The interpretative framework I develop is eclectic in the sense that it combines insights from different approaches to international relations, including the studies of transnational communities and networks, international organization research, or normative theories of global governance. Read the full paper here.