Martina Kühner is a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University. As part of the NWO-funded project “No carrots, no sticks: How do peer reviews among states acquire authority in global governance?” she is working on the authority of peer reviews among states in the field of sustainable development (SD). Martina is also affiliated with the International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development (ICIS) at Maastricht University, with Dr. Ron Cörvers being her second supervisor.

For her individual PhD project, she investigates the role of global monitoring mechanisms in facilitating the implementation of sustainable development goals. In her first case study she looked at the Compliance System of the Kyoto Protocol. For her other case studies she is conducting field research from September to December 2015 at the UN Headquarters in New York, investigating: the monitoring frameworks of the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the monitoring and review instruments under the former Commission on Sustainable Development and its successor, the High-Level Political Forum.

Besides her strong interest in these global governance issues, she is also interested and has done work on several other topics, such as development cooperation of the EU and its Member States, Policy Coherence for Development, Aid Effectiveness, the (Post-) Rio+20 negotiations, the EU Common Agricultural Policy and Global Food Security.

Martina’s recent research output includes


  • Kühner M. (forthcoming): Monitoring commitments made under the Kyoto Protocol: An effective tool for accountability in the Anthropcene?; in: Philipp Pattberg and Fariborz Zelli (eds.): Environmental Governance in the Anthropocene: Institutions and Legitimacy in a Complex World; London and New York: Routledge.
  • Conzelmann, T. and Kühner, M. (2014): ‘Peer Reviews of EU Sustainable Development Strategies: An Effective Means for a More Sustainable Europe?’, presented at the 44th Annual UACES Conference, Cork, 1-3 September 2014.


Before starting her PhD Martina worked as a Junior Professional at the German Development Agency’s (GIZ) representation in Brussels, as a Research Scholar of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) and as a trainee at the European Commission (DG AGRI). She holds a Master’s Degree in European Studies from Maastricht University and a bilingual Bachelor’s Degree in German-Spanish Studies (an intercultural European Studies programme) from Universität Regensburg and Universidad Complutense de Madrid.