Patrick Theiner, Ph.D.

Welcome to my website! Since 2013, I am Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Political Science at the University of Göttingen, Germany. A detailed CV can be found here.

The main focus of my research lies on international relations, international institutions, development, foreign aid, and global public health. In my dissertation, I sought to explain tangible institutional inputs and outcomes: Why are donors willing to provide significant financial contributions to some international organizations, but not to others? What can explain why countries are differently successful at acquiring grants, and why do the sizes of such grants vary so much?

Since then, I have been most interested in processes of institutional innovation and change, and the spread of specific innovations - expert bodies, benchmarking, or non-state actor participation - through subfields and issue areas. My main theoretical lens for pathways of innovation and adaption is diffusion: interdependent, but uncoordinated decision-making that is characterized by the voluntary adoption of institutional designs, processes, practices, and policies. Please see the Research section or ResearchGate for details.

Upcoming conferences I will be attending:

  • ISA International Conference, Hong Kong, June 2017.
  • APSA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, September 2017.
  • German Political Science Association IR Group, Bremen, October 2017.

I received my Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin in early 2013, where I was a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Research Scholar, under the supervision of Dr William Phelan. I previously received an M.A. in Political Science and Sociology with first-class honors from the University of Tübingen, where I was supervised by the late Prof Volker Rittberger.

You can connect with me on ResearchGate,, Xing, LinkedIn, and Twitter. In my free time, I enjoy walking my chihuahuas, reading, video games, and spending too much time on the Internet. In an alternate universe I might have been a photographer, and my pictures can be found on Instagram and Flickr.

Patrick Theiner portrait