• John G. Oates received his PhD in Political Science from The Ohio State University, his MA from the Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago, and his MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. His research focuses on the dynamics of authority and legitimacy in global governance, with a particular interest in the origins of supranational institutions.

    His current book project explores how supranational organizations become legitimate authorities in a world of sovereign states. The book develops a constitutional theory of international organization that locates supranational authority in the dynamics of representing the constituent power of an institutional order, that is, the collective subject in whose name institutional authority is exercised. Rather than emphasizing the structural conditions of interdependence or the functional calculations of decision-makers, the book locates the origins of supranational organizations in the ideas about the public identity of global governance arrangements and the politics of legitimacy through which these ideas are translated into an institutional reality. This argument is explored in three key cases: the origins of supranational integration in early post-war Europe, the move to supranationalism in the international trade regime with the creation of the World Trade Organization, and the founding of the International Criminal Court. Dr. Oates also has research interests in social theory and international law.

    Dr. Oates currently teaches classes on International Law and International Organizations, and has taught classes on Peace Studies, U.S. Foreign Policy and IR theory. He also teaches a graduate seminar on International Organization.

research interests

  • International law and Organization, IR theory, Social theory, and Normative International Theory

selected scholarly works & creative activities

full name

  • John Oates


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