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Not least to celebrate their first and very successful year of blogging, the crew of the German theorieblog invited fellow German research bloggers to a one-day workshop at Humboldt University Berlin on April 9, 2011. With the help of the online-tool Piratepad some of the participants including myself collaboratively crafted a short workshop report. Since the original report is available in German only, in what follows I present a shortened  version in English and ask my fellow co-authors from Berliner Gazette,  Blogmacherei, Mind at Work, Sicherheitskulturen, Theorieblog, and Verfassungsblog to forgive me any imperfect or crude translations.

How important are offline activities for blogs? The workshop organized by the team of the Theorieblog has given a clear answer to that question: in spite of all blog-euphoria, offline is indispensable. The workshop, attended by over 22 male and female bloggers,  was meant to be structured alongside three major themes:

  1. What makes a good blog post?
  2. Blogs and their readers
  3. Blogs and the wider public

As the discussions soon showed, these issues were difficult to  keep apart and debates circled around the following, overarching questions: How do (research) blogs position themselves in the context of research and the public and how and with what aims are we blogging? Read the rest of this entry »

After more than two years of blogging we thought our blog deserved its own URL:

Of course, links to the original URL ( will be automatically redirected.

Last year we celebrated the first birthday of this blog by sharing some statistics provided by our open source blogging software WordPress in form of the all-too popular end-of-the-year-listings – a tradition, which we continue after our second year of blogging:

Top 5 blog posts 2010 (in terms of visitors):

  1. Transnational Studies and Governance # 3: Studies on ‘global’ markets in history
  2. Fair Value Accounting in Retreat?*
  3. Regulating Over the Counter Derivatives: Is Global Agreement Possible?
  4. Extending Private Copying Levies: Approaching a Cultural Flat-rate?
  5. Eastern Frontiers: The Good, the Bad and the Church

* also #3 in the Top 5 of 2009

Top 5 search terms guiding visitors to our blog in 2010:

  1. Transnational governance (#3 in 2009)
  2. post-socialism
  3. Kindle controversy (#1 in 2009)
  4. Milford Bateman microfinance
  5. fair value accounting (#2 in 2009)

Top 5 tags attached to blog posts in 2010:

  1. Microfinance / Microcredit (12 out of 22 in 2010)
  2. Creative Commons (6/15)
  3. Development (5/12)
  4. Piracy (4/6)
    Financial Crisis (4/9)
    Transnational governance (4/10)
    / Copyright Regime (4/14)

Top 5 series in 2010:

  1. Andrah Pradesh Microfinance Crisis (8 out of 8 posts in 2010)
  2. The Bateman Controversy (4/4)
  3. The Series Series (3/4)
  4. Bordercrossing Books (2/2)
    Wise Cartoons

While in total we published 53 posts in 2010 – down 11 compared to 64 posts in 2009 – we have received a total of 113 comments, doubling our comment-per-article ratio from 1 to 2. We again met our self-imposed goal of publishing on average at least one post per week – it was, however, closer this year. Our New Year’s resolution for 2011: beat the 2009 level of posts but keep the comment-per-article ratio at 2.

When we started our blog with one year ago in January 2009 many things were unclear: Will it work out to subsume very different empirical fields under the heading of transnational governance? Will we manage to find enough time for blogging? Will blogging influence our research? What issues will be of greatest interest?

At least regarding the last question, our open source blogging software WordPress provides some data, which we present in form of the all-too popular end-of-the-year-listings:

Top 5 blog posts 2009 (in terms of visitors):

  1. Pirate Parties: Transnational mobilization and German elections
  2. Fair Value Accounting and the ‘Inactivity’ of Markets
  3. Fair Value Accounting in Retreat?
  4. The Kindle Controversy: No Right to be a Reader?
  5. Accounting at the G20 London summit: Watering down or walking the talk?

Top 5 search terms guiding visitors to our blog in 2009:

  1. Kindle controversy
  2. Fair value accounting
  3. Transnational governance
  4. Copyright example
  5. Epistemic community

Top 5 tags attached to blog posts in 2009:

  1. Creative Commons
  2. Microfinance / Microcredit
  3. Copyright / Copyright Regime
  4. Development
  5. Transnational governance

Top 5 series started in 2009:

  1. Microcredit Myths (4 posts)
  2. Kindle Controversy (3 posts)
  3. Eastern Frontiers (2 posts)
  4. Transnational Studies and Governance (2 posts)
  5. Wikimania Preview (2 posts)

In total we published 64 posts in 2009, with a total of 63 comments attached to them. While this means we reached our self-imposed goal of publishing at least one post per week, we hope to improve our comment-per-article ratio above the current average of 1 in our second blogging year 2010.


A research blog on governing and institution building across borders.


Mostly, we are are members and affiliates of the research group “Institution Building Across Borders” at Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne.


Several reasons: First, we love our work and like to write about it and discuss it. Second, we often meet people in the field or at conferences who are interested in our work. This blog and its feed will make it easier to follow it. Third, a lot of interesting stuff doesn’t make into journals – it is or appears too speculative, too small a contribution, too practical, too theoretical, too special. But still, it may be helpful and interesting for someone, which brings us to the last question:

For whom?

First of all, for ourselves. We believe Weick is right, when he says “people know what they think when they see what they say.” So, blogging can help us think. Second, for anybody interested in (discussing) our work on institution building and governance across borders.

The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
December 2022

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