Mark Daniel Jaeger

Mark Daniel Jaeger


Mark Daniel’s research focuses on the sociology of conflict and risk in the areas of ICT, international sanctions, and development cooperation.

Mark Daniel holds a doctorate from ETH Zurich. In his PhD research, he developed a sociological theory of sanctions conflicts, exploring the relation between sanctions and international conflict (de-)escalation. Previously, Mark Daniel worked for the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and in the development sector for GIZ (German International Cooperation).


-> Mark Daniel Jaeger (personal website)


Primary fields of research


1. Conflict and Information and Communication Technologies

The pace of technological innovation raises numerous challenges to traditional notions of authority and order. Mark Daniel’s research investigates the challenges emanating from new crisis-related practices concerning Information and Communication Technologies.

The speed and extent of societal digitalization around the globe poses countless governance challenges. However, it also offers the opportunity to study formation processes and changes taking place as part of these on-going developments.


2. International Sanctions Conflicts

Sanctions remain popular instruments used in international conflicts, even when their political effectiveness is contested and understanding the mechanisms involved in their actual operation remains a challenge.

Mark Daniel investigates sanctions conflicts from a sociological perspective, analysing different kinds of sanctions within the wider disputes they are part of. On the one hand, this entails examining the evolving utilization of particular sanctions instruments and their impact on conflict relations. On the other hand, it entails exploring how specific conflict settings influence opponent perceptions of sanctions.


New book out now (2018), Routledge New International Relations series

Coercive Sanctions and International Conflict: A Sociological Theory

Perhaps the most common question raised in the literature on coercive international sanctions is: "Do sanctions work?" Unsurprisingly, the answer to such a sweeping question remains inconclusive. Instead of asking whether sanctions work, this book addresses a more basic question: How do coercive international sanctions work, and more substantially, what are the social conditions within sanctions conflicts that are conducive to either cooperation or non-cooperation?

Arguing that coercive sanctions and international conflicts are relational, socially-constructed facts, the book explores the (de-)escalation of sanctions conflicts from a sociological perspective. Whether sanctions are conducive to either cooperation or non-cooperation depends on the one hand on the meaning they acquire for opponents as inducing decisions upon mutual conflict. On the other hand, negative sanctions, positive sanctions, or their combination each contribute differently to the way in which opponents perceive conflict, and to its potential transformation. Thus, it is premature to ‘predict’ the political effectiveness of sanctions simply based on economic impact.

The book presents analyses of the sanctions conflicts between China and Taiwan and of the sanctions conflicts over Iran’s nuclear program, illustrating how negative sanctions, positive sanctions, and their combination made a distinct contribution to conflict development and prospects for cooperation.


3. International Development Cooperation

International development cooperation, as part of global governance, is an area in a process of widening (towards interlinkages with related issue areas) and deepening (towards including new actors such as ‘emerging powers’). Mark Daniel’s research explored on the one hand the European Union’s external energy governance relations with emerging powers, especially India. On the other hand, I analysed the links to international climate governance and policy implications for the European negotiation strategy.


Current research


Societies in Digitalization Conflict

The project explores the interplay between technology and conflict. Innovations in ICT bear profound implications for society, potentially disrupting existing rules and influencing the terms of future rule. Powered by a digitizing revolution, networked data turned into a ubiquitous, all-present phenomenon – a connective public good offering new political opportunity and a commodity that can be mined, traded, and further processed to various commercial or political ends.

ICT bear disruptive potential, creating a governance challenge, one that resists simple solutions by way of mapping it onto existing spatio-territorial arrangements. Between citizens/consumers, states, and commercial actors, tensions evolve around the rules governing ICT, as opponents employ them as instruments of political engagement or political manipulation, by promoting surveillance and control, and in pursuing new commercial opportunities, eroding conventional notions of privacy.

In recent years conflict patterns driven by the contested use of ICT continued to proliferate and intensify. The project investigates how ICT turned from being instruments utilized in disputes into a major conflict issue. Some of its key questions:

  • What is the relation between technologies and conflict?
  • In what ways do technologies promote/disrupt societal values?
  • How do conflicts influence technologies?
  • How do opponents emerge from the technology-conflict nexus?

Furthermore, the project analyses conflict patterns more closely, examining relations between opponents and governance efforts, including civil liberties organizations, state security agencies and commercial firms as norm promoters, and public private partnerships and other emerging coalitions.

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