Erin Graham

Associate Professor of Global Affairs

Erin  Graham

4153 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-9104

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Erin Graham

Associate Professor of Global Affairs


International rules and organizations; climate governance; United Nations

At the Keough School

Erin R. Graham is associate professor of global affairs at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.



Graham completed her PhD in the Department of Political Science at the Ohio State University. Prior to joining Notre Dame, she was associate professor of politics at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Other prior appointments include global order visiting scholar at Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania, and postdoctoral fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.

Research and Publications

Graham’s research focuses on the design, financing, and development of international rules and organizations. One strand of her research focuses on how different methods of funding international organizations, like the United Nations and World Bank, affect which states and private actors exert control over the organization’s policies and programs. Her work explores how large donors design and deploy funding rules and practices that allow them to exert unilateral influence at international organizations, undermining ostensibly multilateral governance.

A second strand of her research focuses on how international rules change absent processes of formal redesign or replacement. Taking cues from international legal scholarship that emphasizes change through reinterpretation, Graham theorizes how ostensibly incremental, technical changes can unintentionally enable transformational change in international institutions. She demonstrates these arguments in the empirical contexts of the United Nations Development System and the governance of international climate finance. In other work, Graham engages questions related to the design and performance of international organizations in the realm of climate change and global health.

Graham’s research is published in the Journal of Politics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, International Theory, Review of International Organizations, British Journal of Political Science, Global Policy, PS: Political Science and Politics, and in edited volumes at Oxford and Cambridge University Press.

Recent Work


In the Media

Graham writes occasionally for a wider audience in outlets including the Monkey Cage (Washington Post), Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Mother Jones.