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Henning Schmidtke

John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow & Visiting Scholar 2022-2023

Residency Dates: September 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023


Henning Schmidtke

Henning Schmidtke is a research fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA). He has held research positions at the University of Bremen, University of St. Gallen, TU Dresden, and the Technical University of Munich. His research interests include the formation, design, and behavior of international organizations and the contentious politics around them.

At the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), Schmidtke will focus on international institutions created in 1944 by the Bretton Woods Conference. Specifically, his project will explore how the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank expanded their tasks, scope, and capabilities well beyond their formal mandates, whereas the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT/WTO) experienced a trajectory of inertia and decline.

This information is accurate for the time period that the visiting scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Research Fellow, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow & Visiting Scholar 2022-2023, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University

Research Project

Empowering the Bretton Woods Institutions: Why, when, and how international organizations change


International Relations
International Political Economy

Areas of Expertise

Empirical Legitimacy and (De-)Legitimation of Political and Economic Orders
International Institutions and Organizations
European Governance
Global Tax Governance
International Institutional Development and Democratic Control

Select Publications

Krösche, Niklas, Tobias Lenz, Swantje Schirmer, and Henning Schmidtke. "The Legitimation of International Organizations: Introducing a New Dataset." International Studies Perspectives, 25 May, 2023.

Gastinger, Markus, and Henning Schmidtke. “Measuring Precision Precisely: A Dictionary-Based Measure of Imprecision.” The Review of International Organizations, 2022.

Dingwerth, Klaus, Henning Schmidtke, and Tobias Weise. “The Rise of Democratic Legitimation: Why International Organizations Speak the Language of Democracy.” European Journal of International Relations 26, no. 3 (2020): 714–41.

Heldt, Eugénia C., and Henning Schmidtke. “Explaining Coherence in International Regime Complexes: How the World Bank Shapes the Field of Multilateral Development Finance.” Review of International Political Economy 26, no. 6 (2019): 1160–86.

Schmidtke, Henning. “Elite Legitimation and Delegitimation of International Organizations in the Media: Patterns and Explanations.” The Review of International Organizations 14, no. 4 (2019): 633–59.