What is it about?

Big Science communities have been remarkably effective in finding ways to enable international collaborations. Three of the most relevant case examples are the CERN community, the ITER nuclear fusion project community and the International Space Station community. Extensive field work in each of the three case study communities reveal winning combinations of collaborative pathways for Big Science collaborations.

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Why is it important?

Inter‐Governmental Organizations should examine the extent that Big Science communities provide models of consensual governance to manage multi‐polarity actively, effectively and consistently with their Member States. International relations scholars, diplomats, negotiators and management teams involved in major international collaborations should explore whether the Big Science collaborative methods can help overcome gridlock between Member States in other domains.


There is an urgent and essential need to make progress in international collaboration to address wicked problems that span borders. There is a desire from diplomats, subject matter experts and the public to improve performance and to find a way through these impasses. There can be no more important question in this field than what could work to improve global collaboration.

Dr Mark Robinson
SOAS University of London

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This page is a summary of: Big Science Collaborations; Lessons for Global Governance and Leadership, Global Policy, October 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12861.
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