1. The study of the transformative effects of a subset of rising powers and of second-tier states, the emerging market democracies : their impact on the international system and on how they impinge upon the prospects of global governance. Our purpose is to explore the empirical findings and the theoretical developments that account for their shared distinctive features – and their prospects in terms of the state capacities required to reconcile the developmental tasks that lay ahead with their new mode of  integration into a changed globalized world;

2. The second research line focus on the transformative processes that are pertinent to the analysis of “The Great Rebalancing”, from the perspective of rising powers as well as of the dominant democracies. Insofar as that process revolves around a quintessentially political challengethe redistribution of the adjustment costs and of responsibilitiesa discussion of the institutional and normative conditions for an agreed rebalancing strategy is needed;

3. Our third research line will build on the empirical and theoretical findings that are pertinent to the analysis of the post-2008 political economy of established democracies in both advanced and emerging economies. While they show significant diversity in terms of their mode of integration into the global system, of their vulnerability to systemic shocks and their differential power to recast the rules, procedures and values that prevailed in the pre-crisis context, they all share the condition of established democracies. The study of the conditions that explain their actual responses to the 2008 critical juncture and to the politically challenging task of how best to rebalance the world economy, offers a testing ground for discussing (and revising) the divide between realist and the liberal perspectives in the study of IPE.